Notes to the Fourth Canto, Part 1

The Orlando Innamorato in English translation, Book I, Canto IV, Stanzas 1-20 Notes

1. When Orlando was a youth, he went on pilgrimage to Compostella, where Saint James gave him three gifts. The first was to be invincible everywhere save the soles of his feet, the second was that no one would be able to stand against him in battle longer than three days. The third I cannot remember, nor can I track down the book relating it.
Orlando will eventually slay Ferraguto shortly before the battle of Roncesvalles. Chiaro, or Claron, is the son of Milone and the nephew of Girart d’Eufrate. Although Chiaro and Orlando fought side by side in the battle of Aspremont, Girart later rebelled against Charlemagne. The war was to be settled by  a duel between Orlando and Chiaro. Orlando killed Chiaro, which caused Girart to turn pagan and flee to Africa. This story may be found in the Italian versions of Aspromont; it is not in any French source.
4. Samite. Silk.
8. Fiordespina. Sister of Matalista. She will be of some importance near the end of the poem.
Thy good sire. Ferraguto is the son of Falsirone and Lanfusa. Falsirone is the brother of King Marsilio of Spain.
9. Gradasso, in case you have forgotten, is Boiardo’s invention. The location of Sericane is unknown.  Some say between India and Tartary, some in south-east China, some between China and the Himalayas.
14. Charlemagne, according to the romances, married Gallerana, sister of Marsilius and daughter of King Galafre, after he spent some time at the Spanish court in his youth, due to his half-brothers Haufrey and Henri conspiring to exile him. The only French romance to treat of these adventures is the fragmentary Mainet, though it is often alluded to in the Italian poems, and Haufrey and Henri reappear in Valentine and Orson and in Bertha Broadfoot. Needless to say, all of this is legendary. The real Charlemagne had four wives and many mistresses, but none of them were Spanish. He never was in that country except on the ill-fated expedition that ended with Roncesvalles, and nothing is known of his youth.
19. Ivon.  Perhaps the Duke of Gascony whose sister Clarice is married to Rinaldo. Perhaps just a name.
Angelin. Of Bordeaux. The Engelier of Bordeaux of The Song of Roland.

On to Part 2

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