Bevis of Hampton 7: The Third and Fourth Italian Redactions.

For a summary of the Italian version of Bevis of Hampton, see this post.


After Buovo’s banishment due to the horse race, the story follows the Third French redaction for his family’s separation and adventures in the East.


Ottava rima. Survives in one fragmentary manuscript in the Riccardian library in Florence, 2820.

Runs from the beginning to Buovo’s capture by Sultan Baldragi. Chiaragia, Buovo’s maid, helps him escape, and is executed for it. Buovo is sent to Baldragi under the pretense that he will be trying to convert him.


Ottava rima. Surviving in only one fragmentary manuscript. The poem was in three books. We have Book 2 complete, and no trace of the others, except Buovo Riccardiano. MS: BNCF Magl. VII, 1202.

The story picks up with the recovery of Antona. Terigi is not at the recovery of Antona. Buovo pretends to be Merlino, a herald of Brandoia’s father, to gain admittance to the city. His assistant is instead the brother of Chiaragia, the maid who helped him escape and was executed for it. After the banishment of Buovo for the death of the Prince of England, all follows the Third French redaction, until the MS breaks off, just before the reunion of Buovo and Drusiana in Asinella [Seville].

A very learned version, filled with quotes from the Church Fathers and the classics, and much given to expanding the roles of middle-class characters, particularly merchants and innkeepers. Sometimes, I am told, too prolix, but filled with many excellent scenes.


BOVO D’ANTONA – the version of 1497

Adds an episode, probably based on Il Morgante Maggiore, in which Pulicane despoils a monastery to find food and clothing for Drusiana’s infants. After strong competition with the version of 1480, this became the standard Italian version in verse.


Arminio is ruler of Armenia, a city in Flanders[!] Bovo’s sword is Pomele. Pelukan’s robbing of the monastery is included. Bovo, disguised as a doctor, does not bother expelling Dodon, but reveals himself and cuts him to pieces. After Bovo gives Margarete to Teyrets and returns to Antona with Druzeyne, the author announces that he will not tell in full about his many other battles, such as how he saved his father-in-law from the invading Markabrun. Markabrun was killed, and Arminio died soon after. Thus Bovo had three kingdoms, one for him and one for each of his sons.

Elia Levita had many talents, but fiction was not one of them. His version is poorly written, poorly paced, and hopelessly vulgarized [Brandonia’s messenger fouls himself for fear of her anger; Druzhvena strips to try to seduce Bovo, etc.]. Its latest translator frankly admits that the only reason the poem is interesting is because it is in Yiddish. The characters are all made into good Jews. Druzhvena’s first act upon returning to safety is to have her sons circumcised instead of baptized; Bovo locks his mother up until the next Jubilee year, etc. The poem was very popular among the Ashkenazi Jews. Rabbis warned that it was a frivolous pack of lies, and were ignored. “Bovo-Bukh” for several centuries was the Yiddish word for “Ottava Rima”, and any poem so written, even popular explanations of theology, were advertised as being in “Bovo-Bukh style”. Prose versions of Levita’s story continued to be sold as chapbooks up until the 1900’s, though they toned down the anti-Christian passages.



A Spanish ballad, now found only among the Sephardic Jews.

The Queen combs her hair before a mirror, praises God for making her so beautiful, and curses her parents for making her marry an old man. As she looks out the window, she sees Carleto, her lover. They plan to kill the king. He tells her to pretend to be pregnant and to have a craving for a stag/pig/ram/goat that lives in a certain part of the woods. She does so, and the king orders his men to prepare for the hunt. She tries to convince him to go alone, but he will have none of it. He meets Carleto, and one of them kills the other. In a few versions, the king dies, but usually he wins and sticks Carleto’s head on a lance, which he presents to the queen. She confesses that most of her children are Carleto’s, and/or threatens that his relatives will avenge him. The king cuts her head off, and sticks it beside her lover’s.


The Legend of Bevis of Hampton, 6: The Second Italian Redaction

For a summary of the Italian version of Bevis of Hampton, see this post.


Distinguished by, among other things, omitting the horse race, and passing straight from the recovery of Hampton to the death of Buovo.


Survives in two fragments. Both are in rhymed decasyllables.

1: Buovo Udinese: Ms. Archivo Capitolare di Udine.

2: Buovo Laurenziano. Ms. Laurenziano Palatino 93.

Blondoia, the old Guidone’s young wife, laments her beauty, and sends her servant Ricciardo to Dodone de Maganza, telling Dodone the whole plot. Guidone is sent out to the hunt, and slain. Bovolin hides in the stables, where his tutor Sinibaldo finds him, and flees with him to San Simone, his castle. Ricciardo sees this, however, and tellls Dodone, who pursues him, and recoves Bovo, though Sinibaldo escapes. Dodone besieges San Simone, and dreams that Bovo will kill him. He sends his brother Albrigo to Blondoia, bidding her kill the boy. She sends him poisoned bread, but the maid warns him and helps him flee. Bovo gets lost trying to find San Simone, winds up on the seashore, and is taken by sailors who selll him to King Arminione of Armenia. For four years he serves there, until the king holds a tournament. King Marcobruno is favored to win, but Buovo “borrows” armor and a lance, overthrows Marcobrun and slips away. Drusiana alone recognizes him and kisses him against his will. But then, the Sultan of Sadonia and his giant son Lucafero arrive to conquere Drusiana. They capture Arminione and Marcabruno, and so Drusiana gives Bovo Chiraenza, the sword of Galassso [Galahad]; the magic horse Rondello; and a parting kiss, which is seen by Arminione’s brother Ugolino. Bovo saves the day, kills Lucafero, drives away the Sultan, and saves the kings. Drusiana wishes to marry him, but Ugolino has his servant impersonate the king (supposedly lying wounded in bed, in th dark) and send Bovo to Lucafero with a “kill-the-bearer” letter. Bovo’s sword is stolen from him on the road by a palmer. He nonetheless comes to Sadonia, is imprisoned, and has the king’s daughter Malgaria fall in love with him. She gives him good food, until a year and three months later when he escapes. Wandering about, he finds the thief, and recovers his sword. To save his life, the thief gives him a magic [?] herb which changes his complexion. In this disguise, he comes to Apolonia, where Drusiana has been wed to Marcabruno. He is recognized first by Rondello, then by Drusiana. The lovers drug Marcabruno and flee. They exchange love’s final gift by a fountain, shortly after which they are found by Pulicane, half-dog and half-man. He and Bovo fight, but are reconciled. The three come to the castle of Duke Orio, rebel to Marcabruno. Orio is taken prisoner, but is granted freedom on condition he betray his guests. They flee, however, thanks to Pulicane. In the woods, Drusiana has two sons, Guidone and Sinibaldo. As Bovo is looking for food, two lions attack his wife and Pulicane. Pulicane and the lions die, and Drusiana flees with the children. She finds a ship which carries her to Armenia. Bovo returns to find Pulicane’s dead body, and assumes Drusiana is dead. Wandering alone, he meets a troop of Sinibaldo’s knights, who are seeking him. He conceals his identity, but travels with them back to England, where the war is still going on. He kills Alberico, and is recognized by Sinibaldo’s wife, due to the mark on his shoulder. Bovo and Terigi, Sinibaldo’s son, disguise themselves as doctors to enter Antona, rally the citizens, and expel Dodone. Brandoia is set to do penance, and Dodone goes to Pepin for help. [Somewhat is lost here]. Bovo kills Dodone, and peace is made.

Bovo soon hears from Malgaria that her father is dead, and that King Passamonte of Hungary is besieging her. Bovo goes to Sadonia, kills Passamonte, wins the war, and marries Malgaria. Drusiana arrives at the wedding as a minstrel, however, with her sons, and reveals herself. Malgaria is wed to Terigi.


BOVO IN OCTAVES – The Version printed in 1480

As above, with some changes, mostly to add comedy and drama. Jolly courtiers find the drugged Marcabruno in the morning, expecting to congratulate him on his recent wedding. Rondello takes part in the fight against Pelucane. There is more dialogue throughout. After the wedding of Malgaria and Terigi, Bovo and his family return to Hampton. [There is some suspicion that the original ended here, and that what follows was a later addition]. Bovo’s son Guidone has a son, Bernardo of Grismonte [Aigremont], who has seven sons: Ottone, father of Astolfo; Melone, father of Orlando; Amone, father of Rainaldo, Ricardo, Rizardetto, and Alaro [sic]; Dudone, father of Otone and Berlingeri; Ansuisi, father of Malgarise; Leon, [the one who becomes Pope]; and Girardo. Sinibaldo, Bovo’s other son, begets Guarmon [Garin of Monglan], who has four sons: Mira, father of Milior; Rainaldo, father of Merigo the fay [Aymeri of Narbonne]; Ghirardo; and Rainero, father of Olivero. When Bovo returns to Antona, he sends messengers to Tedrise [Terry] letting him know he made it home safe, and to Erminio, telling him of his daughter’s safety. Erminio dies, leaving Armenia to Guidone. It is in Armenia that Bernardo, here called Bovo, is born. Sinibaldo dies, and four years later Drusiana does, too. Bovo mourns but lives for another fifteen years. Rainaldo of Maganza, ancestor [father?] of Ganelon, however, orders his vassal Gualtier to kill Bovo. Gualtier goes to Maganza, worms his way into Bovo’s favor, and once his trust is thoroughly gained, on a Tuesday in May, stabs Bovo in the back while he’s praying in a church. The citizens seize him and imprison him, and young Sinibaldo, Guidone, and Tedrise besiege and sack Maganza. [Later reprintings give a longer description of the siege, but in a very bombastic style, certainly not by the original author.] The end.


A full account of the Russian versions would be impossible. The story exists in five major redactions, not counting the chapbooks, besides innumerable folktales and ballads, and has spread in folklore to several of Russia’s neighbors. The general plot is always the same, though, ending with the reunion of Bova and his family, and never including the horse-race or the death of Bova. Bova was so popular that he was often mentioned in the same breath as native Russian heroes like Ilya Muromets (though, as far as I know, there are no stories in which Bova meets the old bogatyrs). The English reader may consult Robert Steele’s Russian Garland for a fairly typical version, which we summarize below.

King Guidon of Anton marries Militrisa [from the Italian meretrice: whore] Kirbitovna, of Dimichtian, daughter of King Kirbit Versoulovich, although she loves Tsar Dadon. The maid Chernavka sets him Prince Bova free, and he pretends to the sailors that he is Anhusei, the son of a washerwoman. They come to Armenia, ruled by King Sensibri Andronovich. The princess Drushnevna drops a fork and makes Bova pick it up, and kisses him under the table, after which Bova sleeps three days. When he wakes up, he goes into the fields and makes a garland. Drushnevna asks him to give it to her, but he refuses and leaves the room, slamming the door so hard that a stone falls and knocks him out. Drushnevna cures him, after which he sleeps five days. While he sleeps, Marcobrun arrives and threatens to make war if he is not given Drushnevna. Sensibri agrees, and the knights hold a tournament. Bova awakens, and wishes to join in, but Drushnevna laughs and says he is too young to be a knight. So Bova goes to watch, riding a broom. When the knights laugh at him, he kills them all with it. Then he sleeps for nine nights. Meanwhile, the giant Tsar Lukoper arrives and demands Drushnevna, threatening war otherwise. In the ensuing war, he captures Sensibri and Marcobrun, and sends them to his father Saltan Saltanovich. Bova awakens, learns what has happened, and reveals his identity to Drushnevna. She gives him a mighty horse who has been locked behind twelve iron gates, and kisses him farewell. Orlop, the royal chamberlain, objects to this, so Bova knocks him down. He then kills Lukoper, scares Saltan away, and rescues the kings.

Bova sleeps another nine nights after the rescue, and Sensibri and Marcobrun ride out for a three-day hunting trip. While they are gone, Orlop gathers thirty men to kill Bova, but they are afraid, and one suggests that Orlop lie in bed, pretend to be the king, and send Bova to Saltan Saltanovich with a death-letter. Bova rides for two months, until he meets a pilgrim in the desert. The pilgrim drugs him, and steals his horse and sword. Ten days later, Bova wakes up, and continues his journey. Sensibri, upon reading the letter, has sixty of his knights sieze Bova and hang him. Once they get him out into the field, Bova rouses himself, kills them all, and flees. Tsar Saltan summons a hundred thousand knights, who are able to subdue Bova. As he is about to be hanged, Saltan’s daughter, Miliheria, begs for his life. She will try to convert him, and then they shall be wed. Saltan agrees, and Bova is put in prison with no food for five days. Miliheria comes to see him, but he will not convert, so she tells her father to kill him. The Tsar sends thirty knights to kill Bova, but Miliheria in her anger has heaped so much sand in front of the door that it will be easier to make a hole in the roof. Bova, luckily, finds a sword in prison, and kills them one by one as they enter. He does the same to a second thirty, then flees to the coast. Merchants take him on board, but Saltan arrives and orders them to hand him over. They hesitate, so Bova kills a few of them, and the rest take him away. Three months later, they come to the Sadonic kingdom, where Marcobrun is about to wed Drushnevna. Bova meets the pilgrim who robbed him. The pilgrim returns his goods, and also gives him three magic powders: one to look old, one to look young again, and one to cause sleep for nine days. Bova makes himself look old, and goes to the king’s castle as a beggar. It is illegal to mention Bova’s name in this country, and a cook beats Bova for so doing. Bova kills him, but the seneschal restores peace and sends him to the other beggars. He tells Drushnevna that he was in prison with Bova, who is somewhere near the kingdom. Drushnevna weeps, and tells Marcobrun it is because her father is dying. Meanwhile, Bova goes to the stables, where his steed is fastened with twelve chains. The horse breaks them, and shows affection to Bova. Drushnevna asks how this can be, and Bova reveals his identity. She does not believe him, so he makes himself young again. They drug Marcobrun and flee. After four days, they rest. Bova slays three hundred thousand men whom Marcobrun sent after them, so Marcobrun sends Polkan, who is a centaur who has been imprisoned for years and can leap seven versts (four and a half miles) at once. Bova defeats Polkan, and they swear brotherhood. The threesome come to the city of Kostel, ruled by Tsar Uril, which Marcobrun besieges. Marcobrun captures Uril and his sons, and releases him on condition he betray his guests. Uril’s wife refuses to consent to the treason, so Uril beats her. Polkan is listening, however, and kills him. Polkan and Bova rout the army and free Uril’s children. Marcobrun returns to the Sadonic kingdom, and swears that he, his children, and his grandchildren will never pursue Bova.

Bova, Polkan, and Drushnevna ride towards the city of Sumin, where Simbalda is. On the way, Drushnevna has two sons in a meadow: Litcharda and Simbalda. Sometime later, an army seny by Dadon and heading towards Armenia to slay Bova marches by. Bova leaves Polkan with Drushnevna and the children [they are staying in a tent in the meadow, still], while he slays the army. While he is doing so, Polkan is attacked by two lions, and all three die. Drushnevna looks out of the tent, sees the carnage, and thinks Bova is dead too, so she flees with her sons. They come to Tsar Saltan’s city, where she washes herself with the aging powder. Bova returns, thinks she is dead, and rides to Simin, where Simbalda and his son Tervis raise and army and march against Anton. Dadon has three hundred thousand men, but Bova challenges him to single combat and cleaves his skull. He sends his body to Queen Militrisa, while he weeps over his father’s grave and returns to Sumin. Unfortunately, Dadon is only mostly dead, and Militrisa sends far and wide for a doctor. Bova disguises himself with the aging powder, pretends to be a doctor, and beheads Dadon. He sends his head to Militrisa on a platter, washes himself with the youthful powder, and has Tervis nail her up in a barrel and roll her into the ocean. Bova reclaims his thorne, and sends to Saltan, asking for Miliheria’s hand in marriage. They consent, but Drushnevna hears of it. She has become a washerwoman, but she now walks with her two sons to Anton, arriving the same day. She washes herself with the youthful powder and sends her sons to present themselves before Bova. They tell their story, and there is much rejoicing. Bova has the taxes remitted for two months, and Milheria weds Tervis. Bova also sends Simbalda’s brother Ohen to conquer Armenia from Orlop, [who has apparently usurped it, though this was not mentioned before.] Orlop is slain, and Ohen is made king. Bova rules and reigns in Anton happily ever after.

A Folk-Tale Version Of Prince Bova

Very much shorter. Bova’s mother is a widow. It is her beloved’s idea to poison Bova. Bova’ mother chases him to the shore and the two of them both threaten the sailors [transferred from Saltan’s pursuit in the original]. Bova helps the merchants sell their goods, where he plays the gusli so well that everyone is transfixed. The ruler [unnamed] hires him to be his daughter’s page. They fall in love, he reveals his identity, and they are wed. Then his father-in-law gives him a horse kept behind twelve iron doors with twelve steel chain. Bova sets out on him to seek adventure. The guard at the gate is asleep, however, so Bova strikes him to wake him up. The guard is not happy, and drugs Bova. He then leaves him with a letter to visit such-and-such a Tsar, and a letter to the Tsar saying that Bova killed his son [this was not related earlier]. Bova wakes up, delivers the letter, and is thrown in jail. His daughter tries to convert him to the Latin faith [Roman Catholicism], but he refuses, so they attempt to hang him. He overcomes twelve guards and escapes. He returns to his palace after five long years, where his wife is giving food to beggars. He drinks the aging potion, reveals himself to his wife, and then turns himself young again. They live happily ever after.

Bevis of Hampton 5: The Italian Version, First Redaction

The legend of Bevis of Hampton is extant in three great families of redactions: the Anglo-Norman, the Continental French, and the Italian. The Italian family consists of the following versions.

The Italian family consists of the following versions.


Buovo d’Antona, in Franco-Italian assonanced decasyllables. Only surviving manusccript is part of the Geste Francor. Beginning lost, down to Bovo’s return to England and war with Do. Best edition is La Geste Francor, edited by Leslie Zarker Morgan. I refer you to Arlima for earlier editions.

I Reali di Francia: an Italian compilation of Carolingian legends, by Andrea da Barberino. Bevis’ story is in books IV and V. An abridged translation by Max Wickert can be found on his website, here.

Buovo d’Antona, in prose. Only a fragment survives as an independent work. Bib. Ricc. 1030. To be found in Pio Rajna’s “Frammenti di redazioni italiane del Buovo d’Antona. II. Avanzi di una versione tosca in prosa (continuaz. e fine) », Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie, 15, 1891, p. 47-87.” Runs from the beginning to Buovo’s rescue of Drusiana from Marcabruno.


Bovo d’Antona, in pure Italian rhymed decasyllables. Survives only in fragments. The largest fragment, the Laurenziano, is to be found in Rajna’s misleadingly titled work I reali di Francia. [Volume I:] Ricerche intorno ai reali di Francia, seguite dal libro delle storie di Fioravante e dal cantare di Bovo d’Antona. An analysis comes first, and the Buovo is stuck in at the end. Runs from Brandoria’s message to Dodo of Maganza to Drusiana’s meeting with Malgaria.

The other, much shorter, fragments of the rhymed Bovo, known as the Udinese fragments, are currently lost, but were printed by Rajna in « Frammenti di redazioni italiane del Buovo d’Antona. I. Nuovi frammenti franco-italiani », Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie, 11, 1887, p. 153-184. Runs from Do of Magance’s conquest of Hampton to after Buovo’s fight with Marcabrun.

Buovo d’Antona di 1480, in ottava rima. The only edition is Daniela Delcorno Branca’s Buovo d’Antona. Cantari in ottava rima (1480).

Bova Karolovich. Or Bova Korolevich , meaning “Prince Bova”. The Russian versions, which reached that country near the end of the 1500’s. There are five major redactions of the manuscripts and of the chapbooks based on them, each one more Russianized than the last in style. From these the story passed into oral tradition and is found in several collections of Russian folktales and ballads, where one would never guess it was not a native production if one didn’t know. I have read that the story is also known in several of Russia’s neighbors, but I cannot find any details. A chapbook version was translated by Robert Steele in The Russian Garland. A shorter, folklore version is to be found in Russian Wondertales II. Tales of Magic and the Supernatural, an absurdly expensive book by Jack Haney which is Volume 4 of his series The Complete Russian Folktale.

THE THIRD ITALIAN REDACTION, being a combination of the Italian and the Third French.

Buovo Riccardiano. Fragments of ottava rima. Not printed, so far as I know.

Buovo d’Antona by Gherardo. Ottava rima, in three books, of which only the second survives. Also not printed.

THE FOURTH ITALIAN REDACTION, being a combination of the First and Second Redactions with details from French sources, and several new adventures.

Buovo Palatino. A MS fragment that appears to have been from a text similar to the following.

Buovo d’Antona di Guidone Palladino. Rezunto e Reviso. (Bevis of Hampton, son of the Paladin Guidone, abridged and revised) in Ottava Rima, as first printed in 1497. This was frequently reprinted and became the standard Italian version.

Bovo Boek, a Yiddish poem, in ottava rima, by Elia Levita, from the Italian. Published 1541, though written 1507. Translated into English prose in Early Yiddish Epic, by Jerold Frakes. An earlier translation by Jerry Christopher Smith, published under the title Elia Levita Bachur’s “Bovo-Buch”, is so inaccurate that it is more honestly described as a retelling.


Celinos y la Adultera. Also called La Caza de Celinos. A Spanish ballad, from some form of the Italian, these being the only ones where, as in the ballad, Brandoria sits at her mirror admiring herself. The titles mean “Celinos and the Adulteress” and “The hunt of Celinos”, respectively.


A Franco-Italian chanson, in assonanced decasyllables, found in one MS: Marc. Fr. XIII, containing Bovo d’Antona (Part 1), Bertha Broad-Foot, Bovo Part 2, Karleto, Berta e Milone, Enfances Ogier, Orlandino, Chevalerie Ogier, and Macario.

[The beginning is lost] Bovo has Clarença, which Druxiana gave him. Do de Magançe is besieging San Simon. Synibaldo’s wife recognizes Bovo. Now he and Terigi disguise themselves as physicians to enter Antona, where they make alliance with one Uberto de la Cros, and rouse the citizens. He sends Do off on a palfrey, who returns to Magançe. He locks his mother, Brandoia, in a small room where she can hear Mass said. The news of his victory runs to Sydonia, to Braidamont, who writes to Bovo, requesting him to come back and marry her. Meanwhile, Druxiana has been for seven years wandering as a minstrel with her sons Synibaldo and Guion, and has come to Armenia, where she does not reveal herself, but is taken into favor anyway, for her talent. Braidamont, despite the fact that Bovo killed her brother Luchafer, wishes to marry him, and sends a messenger, offering to convert. Bovo agrees to wed her, and travels to Sydonia, where Druxiana also comes and reveals herself in song. [Pulican was killed by lions, the song says]. Braidamont is married to Teris, and Bovo and his family return home to Hampton. Do, meanwhile, has persuaded King Pepin of France to send messengers to Hampton demanding the release of Brandoia. The messenger is Garner, son of Brandoia and Do. Bovo refuses, and threatens war.

[The story of Bertha Broad-foot follows. Bovo resumes afterward.]

Pepin, son of King Angelo, leads Aquilon of Bavaria, Bernardo of Clermon, Do of Magançe, his brother Albrigo, and others against Bovo, against the advice of all his non-Maganzan advisors. Bovo sends for aid to Teris, who comes. Negotiations fail, and fighting begins. Teris kills Albrigo, Bovo captures Aquilon and Bernardo. They are received hospitably in Hampton, while Bovo kills Do, and then captures Pepin. Bovo releases his prisoners on condition they send their sons, Names of Bavaria and little Charles, as hostages. They do so, the war is ended, and Bovo releases his hostage-children. Teris goes home to Sydonia, and there are seven years of peace. At that time, however, Bovo’s uncle, king Guielme of England invites him to his son Folcon’s wedding, to a daughter of an emir. The prince offers to buy Rundel [there is no race] but is refused, for Bovo is too fond of him, and remembers how Druxiana had fed him for three years while he languished in Syndonia. Folcon tries to steal Rundel, who kills him. The King wishes to hang the horse, but is content to send Bovo on pilgrimage to Jerusalem instead. Bovo leaves his wife, children, and city in the care of Synibaldo, and departs. As he is visiting the Holy Sepulchre, the Persian Corcher [Khosroes?] arrives to besiege it. Bovo succors the city and converts Corcher and all his people. Baldechin, however, the son of Corcher, will not convert, and Bovo slays him in a duel. He gets lost pursuing the fleeing Paynims, and comes to a cave wherein a dragon lives. He slays the dragon, and returns to Jerusalem. Once the four years of his exile are fulfilled, he returns to England, and tells his wife all the story.

[Here the story ends, and the MS moves on to Karleto]


This is the form in which the legend was known to Boiardo.

Guido d’Antona weds the daughter of King Ottone de Bordeaux, in Gascony, and begets Buovo within a year. He is named after Bovetto. His tutor, no relation to him, is Sinibaldo dall Rocca a San Simone [of Saint Simon’s Rock]. Sinibaldo’s wife is Luzia, his son Teris. Luzia suckles Buovo until he is seven years old(!), and sends him home to his father at ten. By then, his mother Brandoria is twenty-four, and very annoyed that her husband is old and feeble. She sits in front of the mirror and remembers how Guido had once killed Count Rinieri of Maganza, who left two sons: Duodo [Doon de Mayence] and Alberigo, who are now about thirty-five, and both unwed. She sends her servant Antonio “Gascon” to Duodo, who comes with eight thousand knights. Meanwhile, Brandoria pretends to be pregnant and to have a craving for wild boar. On August 1st, she persuades Guido to go to the hunt without his armor, so as to be quicker. Duodo kills Guido, and takes Antona after a slight battle. In the confusion, Buovo, aged eleven, hides into the stables, where Sinibaldo finds him. Duodo catches them as they try to escape, and Brandoria locks Buovo in a chamber. Duodo dreams that he is killed by a lion cub, and orders Buovo dead. Brandoria serves him poisoned bread, but the maid warns the lad, who refuses to eat it. She then sets him free, and he flees to Amusafol, on the coast. His mother tells Duodo he is dead. They have a son, Gailone, and Duodo lays siege to Sinibaldo in San Simone.

Buovo is taken about by sailors, and calls himself Agostino. He is sold, by his will, to King Erminione of Erminia [lesser Armenia, in Turkey today]. He serves and carves there for five years, until he speaks the language like a native. He tames Rondello, who has been chained for seven years. Drusiana begins to fall in love with him [she is fourteen, he sixteen], asks him to dance, kisses him under the table when he kneels to pick up the knife she dropped on purpose, and summons him to her bedroom, where he flees her seductions. A year passes, during which Buovo refuses to admit that he loves her. When Buovo is seventeen, King Erminione holds a tournament to find a husband for Drusiana. King Marcobruno of Polonia [not Poland] is favored to win, but Buovo “borrows” armor and a lance, and, riding Rondello, overthrows Marcobrun and slips away. Only Drusiana recognizes him. She summons him that evening, the first time they’ve spoke in a year.

Meanwhile, the King of Buldras has a son, Lucafero, who wishes to wed Drusiana. He arrives with fifty thousand soldiers just as the tourney ends. In the ensuing battle, Lucafero captures Erminione, his brother Ugolino, and Marcobrun. Drusiana arms and dubs Buovo, giving him a sword which used to be Sir Lancelot’s. Some English knights had brought it here. His shield bears the arms of his father Guido. They are engaged, and Buovo reveals his identity. He then kills Lucafero, and reveals his true identity to the king. After the celebrations, Ugolino walks in on Buovo and Drusiana kissing, and calls Drusiana a whore, whereupon Buovo beats him. Erminione decides to give Drusiana to Buovo, so Ugolino and Marcobrun make a plan. Ugolino lies in the king’s bed, and pretends to be the king, dictating to a scribe a “kill-the-bearer” letter for Buovo to take to Lucafero’s father. Buovo leaves Rondello behind, but takes his sword Chiarenza [Clarence]. He finds Sinella in Ischiavonia [Slavonia]. But, on the way, a thief drugs him and steals his horse and sword. Buovo does not break any idols on his arrival, but is still imprisoned. The king’s daughter, Margalia, hears his lament. There are no snakes or dragons in the dungeon, but she brings him out of it and hides him in a much more comfortable tower. For three years and four months she brings him food, trying to win his love, but in vain.

After two years, Erminione has decided Buovo probably is gone for good, and betroths Drusiana to Marcobrun. She agrees to marry him if Buovo does not return in one more year. She spends that year in his country, with where cousin Fiorigio, with Rondello, and with a slave named Pulicane, who is a dog from the waste down and a man from the waist up, talks like a man and runs like a dog. He was the son of a Christian lady of Cappadocia, who married the Turkish King of Liguria, on condition that he convert. Instead, he stripped her and threw her to his dog, whence Pulicane. Naturally, they keep him chained.

Buovo has been in Sinella for three years and four months. Since he won’t starve to death, they decide to kill him. He overcomes the two guards-turned-assassins and escapes. He persuades sailors to take him to Constantinople, and kills King Baldras’ nephew Alibrun, who had pursued him to the ship. They sail by Polonia, where Buovo hears the news of Drusiana. He stays there, meets the pilgrim who robbed him, and recovers Chiarenza. Two merchants give him food, but flee when he mentions Buovo’s name. A lady takes him to Drusiana’s palace, where he fights the cooks, kills the seneschal, and meets Fiorigi, who takes him to Rondello and Drusiana. Buovo, still in disguise, tells her that he met Buovo in prison, and that he is now married to Margalia. Drusiana weeps so loudly at this that Marcabruno comes in to ask what’s wrong, and is put off with an excuse about the palmer’s life-story being so sad. They hear Rondello neighing, and Buovo is able to tame him, whereupon Drusiana and Fiorigi [Boniface] recognize him. They escape that night, and ride for Montefeltrone, the castle of Duke Canoro, who hates King Marcabruno.

In the morning, King Marcabruno is furious, summarily executes Fiorigi, and sends Pulicane to bring back Drusiana. Pulicane finds Buovo and Drusiana sleeping, Buovo and Pulicane fight, but Drusiana reconciles them, and they are received warmly at Montefeltrone. Marcabruno follows and lays siege. In a sally, Buovo kills Duke Sanguino, but Canoro is captured. After eight months have gone by, Marcabruno releases him, on promise that he will give his sons Lione and Lionido as hostages, and will betray Buovo. The duchess sends her sons as hostages, welcomes her husband, and is horrified at his proposal to betray their guests. He begins to beat her, and her cries alarm Pulicane, who comes, listens to their arguing long enough to learn about the treason (but not about the hostages), and then kills Canoro. He, Buovo, and Drusiana flee. They kill some commissariats of King Baldras of Sinolla’s on the way, for that king is on his way to help Marcabruno. The duchess surrenders the castle soon after. Meanwhile, Drusiana, in the middle of the forest, gives birth to twins: Guidone and Sinibaldo. They are hopelessly lost, however, and Buovo leaves to scout ahead for help. He finds a river and a merchant ship, who agree to wait for him for a day. While he was gone, however, Pulicane went out hunting, was badly mauled by lions, and Drusiana fled with the children for terror. Buovo returns to find a dying Pulicane, who does not know Drusiana is still alive. He baptizes the cynocephalus, and buries him when he dies shortly after. He then sadly returns to the merchants. Drusiana has gotten there first, however, and left with them, thinking Buovo dead. She comes to Armenia, but does not reveal herself to anyone.

Buovo, luckily, finds another ship, captained by Terigi of the Rock of San Simone, son of Sinibaldo. Terigi recognizes Buovo’s arms [red lion on blue field, with silver stripes], but Buovo conceals his identity, calling it a strange coincidence, and gives his name as Agostino. They return to the Rock, where one Riccardo of Conturbia becomes jealous of him, but is reconciled after losing in a tournament. Sinibaldo is still at war with Duodo of Magazna, lord of Antona, and after an inconclusive skirmish, they return to the Rock. Now Buovo’s nurse recognizes him, and to prove it, tells Sinibaldo to urge Buovo to bathe, and to look for the red cross on his shoulder. Buovo tries to conceal it, but at last reveals his identity. Now he and Terigi disguise themselves as physicians to enter Antona, where they make alliance with one Ruberto dalle Croce, rouse the citizens, and take Duodo, Alberigo, Brandoria, and Duodo and Brandoria’s son Galione prisoners. Buovo keeps his mother prisoner but lets the others go. They go straight to King Pepin of France, who goes to war against Buovo. In the war, Alberigo and Duodo are killed, and Pepin taken prisoner. Peace is made, Brandoria is executed, and Pepin grants Buovo and his descendants independence from every emperor and king. King William of England, Pepin, and Buovo next go to succor Princess Margaria, who is besieged by King Druano of Syria. Druano flees, and Buovo intends to wed Margaria. He announces far and wide that a tournament will be held at the wedding, and the news comes to Armenia, where Drusiana has been living for the last twelve years. Guidone and Sinibaldo do exceptionally well in the tournament, and then Drusiana reveals herself. Margaria marries Terigi. Buovo and family return to Antona, and Terigi takes his parents Sinibaldo and Aluizia to live in Schiavaonia with him.

King William of England sends for Buovo, and in London Buovo wins a race on Rondello. William’s son Fiore tries to buy Rondello, then to steal him, and is killed by his hooves. The King banishes Buovo, who leaves Antona in Drusiana’s hands, and leaves with his sons for Schiavonia, ruled now by Terigi and Margalia, who have a son, Sicurans. They go to war against Arpitras, the admiral of Dalmazia and Corvazia. In the war, Sinibaldo and Terigi are slain, but Ascilacca, Arpitras’ city, is taken, and the Admiral slain. Sixteen months later, King Arbaull of Hungary, successor to Buldras, makes war on the Christians now, and after a long war, the Christians are victorious. Sicurans is now king of Sinella and Hungary as well as Schiavonia. He grows up to beget King Filippo, Ughetto, and Manabello. Buovo stays in Sinella for fourteen years.

The King of Langle, a realm between England and Ireland, dies, leaving a daughter Orlandina, whom he wishes to marry Buovo’s son Guido. It is done. Erminione dies, leaving Armenia to Sinibaldo, son of Buovo. Buovo at last returns to Antona, and his third son, Guglielmo, is crowned King of England. Guido has a son named Chiaramonte, who dies at sixteen. A castle is named in his memory, and in this castle Guido has another son, Bernardo, and hence Bernardo descendents are called the House of Clairmont. Galione, now lord of Flanders, Maganza [Mayence], Pontiers, Bayonne, and more, has five sons. Riccardo, Guglielmo, Spinardo, Tolomeo, and Grifone the father of Ganelon. His wife is pregnant with Ghinamo of Baiona. Galione a church called Santo Salvadore, three miles from Antona, and favored by Drusiana and Buovo. Galione kills his half-brother while he is praying, and then flees to Babylon, where he converts to Islam and is honored richly by the Sultan. Drusiana swoons over Buovo’s body, but lives for another fifteen days. They are buried in one tomb.