Notes to the First Canto, Part 3

The Orlando Innamorato in English Translation, Book I, Canto I, Part 3, Notes

51. Merlin appears to have been among the last wizards to have an innate knowledge of magic. Malagise, like Roger Bacon and Albertus Magnus, had to learn it. Toledo in Spain was allegedly home to a secret school of magic, at which some works claim Malagise studied. Other notable alumni of the Black School include Michael Scot and Soemunder the Wise. For the distinction between the innate magic of Merlin and the book-learned magic of Malagise, see C. S. Lewis’ English Literature in the Sixteenth Century. For Michael Scot, see The Lay of the Last Minstrel. For Soemundur, see any good book of Icelandic folklore.

52. Cathay. Old China, including neither Manchuria nor Tibet.

55/56. The natural tendency of Italian to use more syllables than English sometimes makes it best to condense two stanzas into one.

58. Dudon. Second son of Ogier the Dane, and younger brother of Baldwin (Baldovino). Prefers to fight with a club. Usually a minor character, although there was a now-lost romance that focused on his exploits.
Belengieri and Ottone. Sons of Duke Naimo of Bavaria. Traditional minor characters. This is not the Ottone who is Astolfo’s father and king of England.

60. Astolfo. Cousin of Orlando and Rinaldo. Son of King Ottone of England. He may make a cameo in the Oxford Song of Roland as Duke Austorje of Valence on the Rhone. An Astolfo also appears in the Venice 4 version of that poem, where he replaces Otho [Ottone in Boiardo, of Avin, Avolio, Ottone, and Beringier]. In the Chateroux/Venice 7 version, he is already the son of Otes. He also cameos in Turpin, under the name Estultus, count of Langres. His first major role is in the poem of Aspremont, under the name of Estouf. “De Langres” was corrupted into “D’Angles”, i.e. “Of England”. His personality is traditional; it’s oldest surviving appearance is in Aspremont, but it stuck with him ever after.

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