500 Years of Orlando’s Adventures



500 years ago, Ludovico Ariosto (1474-1533), a poet from Reggio Emilia, a city in the region of Emilia-Romagna, published an epic poem titled “Orlando furioso.” Written in an archaic version of the Italian language (one that English speakers could compare to Chaucer), the poem chronicles the raging adventures and mishaps of the paladin (a knight in Charlemagne’s court) Orlando (translated as Rolando in English). For 2 centuries, Sicilian cantastorie (singing storytellers) and marionette makers like Mimmo Cuticchio, who created the puppet pictured, have exploited Ariosto’s stories, illustrating scenes of Orlando’s furious quest for the pagan princess Angelica and against Saracen invaders.

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