Yvain fighting Gawain in order to regain the love of his lady Laudine. Medieval illumination from Chrétien de Troyes's romance, Yvain, le Chevalier au Lion
Orlando Furioso title page, Valgrisi Edition, 1558
Holger Danske, or Ogier the Dane, from the Matter of France
Ruggiero Rescuing Angelica by Gustave Doré
A knight rescues a lady from a dragon.
Title page of the third edition of John Harington's translation of Orlando Furioso, 1634. The first edition was 1591
Page from 1565 edition of Orlando Furioso by Francesco Franceschi.
Norandino and Lucina Discovered by the Ogre, from Canto XVII, by Giovanni Lanfranco, 1624
Marphise by Eugène Delacroix, 1852 (Walters Art Museum)
Orlando Furioso, 1551

The story is also a chivalric romance which stemmed from a tradition beginning in the late Middle Ages and continuing in popularity in the 16th century and well into the 17th.

- Orlando Furioso

1408–1471), the Catalan Tirant lo Blanch, and the Castilian or Portuguese Amadís de Gaula (1508), spawned many imitators, and the genre was popularly well-received, producing such masterpiece of Renaissance poetry as Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando furioso and Torquato Tasso's Gerusalemme Liberata and other 16th-century literary works in the romance genre.

- Chivalric romance
Yvain fighting Gawain in order to regain the love of his lady Laudine. Medieval illumination from Chrétien de Troyes's romance, Yvain, le Chevalier au Lion

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Ariosto, detail of votive painting Madonna with Saints Joseph, John, Catherine, Louis of Toulouse and Lodovico Ariosto by Vincenzo Catena, 1512

Ludovico Ariosto

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Italian poet.

Italian poet.

Ariosto, detail of votive painting Madonna with Saints Joseph, John, Catherine, Louis of Toulouse and Lodovico Ariosto by Vincenzo Catena, 1512
Entrance to the villa where Ariosto was born
Memorial statue and park, Ferrara
Portrait of Isabella d'Este, Leonardo da Vinci, 1499–1500
Titian, A Man with a Quilted Sleeve, long believed to be Ludovico Ariosto
Ariosto's play, first published in verse form in 1551
Statue of the poet in Reggio Emilia
Portrait of Ludovico Ariosto by Cristofano dell'Altissimo

He is best known as the author of the romance epic Orlando Furioso (1516).

A statue of Roland at Metz railway station, France.

Roland

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Frankish military leader under Charlemagne who became one of the principal figures in the literary cycle known as the Matter of France.

Frankish military leader under Charlemagne who became one of the principal figures in the literary cycle known as the Matter of France.

A statue of Roland at Metz railway station, France.
The eight phases of The Song of Roland in one picture
Composed in 1098, the first page of the Chanson de Roland (Song of Roland)
Attributed arms according to Michel Pastoureau: Échiqueté d'or et de sable

Two masterpieces of Italian Renaissance poetry, the Orlando Innamorato and Orlando Furioso (by Matteo Maria Boiardo and Ludovico Ariosto respectively), are even further detached from history than the earlier Chansons, similarly to the later Morgante by Luigi Pulci.

Roland appears in Entrée d'Espagne, a 14th-century Franco-Venetian chanson de geste (in which he is transformed into a knight errant, similar to heroes from the Arthurian romances) and La Spagna, a 14th-century Italian epic.

Don Quixote de la Mancha (1605, first edition)

Don Quixote

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Spanish epic novel by Miguel de Cervantes.

Spanish epic novel by Miguel de Cervantes.

Don Quixote de la Mancha (1605, first edition)
Illustration by Gustave Doré depicting the famous windmill scene
First editions of the first and second parts
Don Quixote de la Mancha and Sancho Panza, 1863, by Gustave Doré.
Illustration to The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha. Volume II.
Don Quixote on a 1951 1 Peseta banknote.
Don Quixote by Honoré Daumier (1868)
Don Quixote, his horse Rocinante and his squire Sancho Panza after an unsuccessful attack on a windmill. By Gustave Doré.
Illustration to Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes (the edition translated by Charles Jarvis)
Don Quixote. Close up of Illustration.
Bronze statues of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, at the Plaza de España in Madrid.
Collage of the engravings of The Adventures of Don Quixote by Gustave Doré
Don Quixote goes mad from his reading of books of chivalry. Engraving by Gustave Doré.
Don Quichote And Sancho Panza by Louis Anquetin

The plot revolves around the adventures of a member of the lowest nobility, an hidalgo from La Mancha named Alonso Quijano, who reads so many chivalric romances that he either loses or pretends to have lost his mind in order to become a knight-errant (caballero errante) to revive chivalry and serve his nation, under the name Don Quixote de la Mancha (in modern-day Spanish, spelled Quijote).

Cervantes makes a number of references to the Italian poem Orlando furioso.

The death of Roland at the Battle of Roncevaux (manuscript illustration c. 1455–1460)

Paladin

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The Paladins (or Twelve Peers) are twelve fictional knights of legend, the foremost members of Charlemagne's court in the 8th century.

The Paladins (or Twelve Peers) are twelve fictional knights of legend, the foremost members of Charlemagne's court in the 8th century.

The death of Roland at the Battle of Roncevaux (manuscript illustration c. 1455–1460)
Roland storms the temple of Muhammad (Codex Palatinus Germanicus, 12th century)
Fierabras (1497 woodcut)
Die drei Paladine des deutschen Kaisers by Wilhelm Camphausen (Die Gartenlaube, 1871)
Hans Peder Pedersen-Dan's 1907 statue of Holger Danske (Ogier the Dane) in the casemates at Kronborg castle, Denmark

In these romantic portrayals, the chivalric paladins represent Christianity against a Saracen (Muslim) invasion of Europe.

Their works, Orlando Innamorato and Orlando Furioso, send the paladins on even more fantastic adventures than their predecessors.

Tablet containing a fragment of the Epic of Gilgamesh

Epic poetry

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Epic, is a lengthy narrative poem typically about the extraordinary deeds of extraordinary characters who, in dealings with gods or other superhuman forces, gave shape to the mortal universe for their descendants.

Epic, is a lengthy narrative poem typically about the extraordinary deeds of extraordinary characters who, in dealings with gods or other superhuman forces, gave shape to the mortal universe for their descendants.

Tablet containing a fragment of the Epic of Gilgamesh
The first edition (1835) of the Finnish national epic poetry Kalevala by Elias Lönnrot

I sing ladies, knights, arms, loves, courtesies, audacious deeds – Orlando Furioso 1.1–2

So too, Orlando Furioso is not a complete biography of Roland, but picks up from the plot of Orlando Innamorato, which in turn presupposes a knowledge of the romance and oral traditions.