Matteo Maria Boiardo
An Italian poet, b. about 1434, at, or near, Scandiano (Reggio-Emilia); d. at Reggio, 20 December, 1494. The son of Giovanni di Feltrino and Lucia Strossi, he was of noble lineage, ranking as Count of Scandiano, with seigniorial power over Arceto, Casalgrande, Gesso, and Torricella. Boiardo was an ideal type of the gifted and accomplished courtier possessing at the same time, a manly heart and deep humanistic learning. Up to the year of his marriage to Taddea Gonzaga, gthe daughter of the Count of Novellara (1472), he had received many marks of favour from Borso d'Este, duke of Ferrara, having been sent to meet Frederick III (1469), and afterwards visiting Pope Paul II (1471), in the train of Borso. In 1473 he joined the retinue which escorted Eleonora of Aragon, the daughter of Ferdinand I, to meet her spouse, Ercole, at Ferrara. Five years later he was invested with the governorship of Reggio, an office which he filled with signal success till his death, except for an interval (1481-86) during which he was governor of Modena.
His great poem of chivalry and romance "L'Orlando innamorato" (Scandiano, 1495), cohnsisting of sixty-eight cantos and a half, was begun about his thirty-eighth year, interrupted for a time by the Venetian war, then resumed, to be left unfinished on account of the author's death. To material largely quarried from the Carlovingian and Arthurian cycles the count of Scandiano added a gorgeous superstructure of his own. As the plot is not woven around a single pivotal action, the inextricable maze of most cunningly contrived episodes must be linked, first, with the quest of beautiful Angelica by love-smitten Orlando and the other enamoured knights, then with the defence of Albracca by Angelica's father, the King of Cathay, against the beleaguering Tartars, and, finally, with the Moors' siege of Paris and their struggle with Charlemagne's army. The whole, in spite of a lack of finish and sundry rhythmical deficiencies, formed a magnificent work of art, echoing from every ottava the poet's ardent devotion to Love and Loyalty, shedding warmth and sunshine wherever the lapse of ages had rendered the legends colourless and cold, and opening a path which Ariosto and Tasso were soon to tread. Still, the poem, after sixteen editions, was not to be republished for nearly three centuries. Francesco Berni's rifacimento , or recasting of "L'Orlando" appeared in 1542, and from that date till 1830, when Panizzi revived it, Boi8ardo's name was well-nigh forgotten. A similar fate had befallen the count's "Rime" (Scandiano, 1499), which Panizzi's edition (London, 1835), snatched from oblivion. In his youth Boiardo had been a successful imitator of Petrarca's love strains. Evidence of his more sever attainments is furnished in an 'Istoria Imperiale", some versions from Nepos, Apuleius, Herodotus, Xenophon, etc., and by his Latin Eclogues. A comedy, 'Il Timone" (1487?), adds little to his credit. See BERNI.
More Catholic Encyclopedia
Browse Encyclopedia by Alphabet
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Browse the Catholic Encyclopedia by Topic
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online