Parution : « Ariosto and the Arabs. Contexts for the Orlando Furioso », Harvard University Press, 2022

Among the most dynamic and influential literary texts of the European sixteenth century, Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso (1532) emerged from a world whose horizons were rapidly changing. The poem is a prism through which to examine various links in the chain of interactions that characterized the Mediterranean region from late antiquity through the medieval period into early modernity and beyond. Ariosto and the Arabs takes as its point of departure Jorge Luis Borges’s celebrated short poem “Ariosto y los Arabes” (1960), wherein the Furioso acts as the hinge of a past and future literary culture circulating between Europe and the Middle East. The Muslim “Saracen”—protagonist of both historical conflict and cultural exchange—represents the essential “Other” in Ariosto’s work, but Orlando Furioso also engages with the wider network of linguistic, political, and faith communities that defined the Mediterranean basin of its time.

The sixteen contributions assembled here, produced by a diverse group of scholars who work on Europe, Africa, and Asia, encompass several intertwined areas of analysis—philology, religious and social history, cartography, material and figurative arts, and performance—to shed new light on the relational systems generated by and illustrative of Ariosto’s great poem.

Table of Contents


Editorial Note

Introduction: Investigating Landscapes around “Ariosto and the Arabs” [Mario Casari, Monica Preti, and Michael Wyatt]

I. Textual Contexts: Inside the Furioso

  • Ariosto and Arabic: Notes on an Unaccomplished Contiguity—A Prologue [Mario Casari]
  • Chivalric Plurilingualism as a Motif in Italian Literature: From the Franco-Italian Tradition to Ariosto [Jacopo Gesiot]
  • Orlando furioso: The Saracen Perspective [Maria Pavlova]
  • Ariosto’s Religion [Stefano Jossa]

II. Textual Contexts: Around the Furioso

  • Literary Life in Mamluk Egypt and Syria (1250–1517): A Forgotten Heyday of Arabic Culture [Thomas Bauer]
  • From al-Barqā to Albracca: Orlando furioso and the World of the Arabian Nights [Claudia Ott]
  • Jews and Judaism in Ariosto’s Literary Production [Fabrizio Lelli]
  • “A un giovane Aphrican si donò in tutto”: The Marriage of Africa and India in Ariosto and Camões [Vincent Barletta]

III. Geographical and Visual Contexts

  • “Popul la più parte circonciso”: Ariosto in Ferrara and the Muslim World of His Time [Giovanni Ricci]
  • Ariosto, the Arabs, and the Geo-cartographic Culture of the Este Court [Massimo Rossi]
  • The Middle Eastern Intellectual and Artistic Context at the Time of Ariosto [Anna Contadini]
  • Images of Rodomonte: The Ambiguous Allure of the Enemy in the Furioso and in the Ariostan Figurative Tradition [Vincenzo Farinella]
  • Intercultural Threads in the Figurative Legacy of the Orlando furioso: Two Ariostan Plates of Otto Vaenius on the Chastity and Indecency of Women [Monica Preti]

IV. Performative Contexts

  • “And of these things a dream was left behind called ʿAntar”: Arabic Performance Traditions of Heroic Poetry [Dwight F. Reynolds]
  • Performing the Medieval Greek Romance from Digenis Akritis to the Erotokritos [Adam J. Goldwyn and Przemysław T. Marciniak]
  • Trobar, Cantar, Recitar: Performative Poetics across the Middle Sea—An Epilogue [Michael Wyatt]


Citer ce billet
Juliette Brack (2022, 14 juin). Parution : « Ariosto and the Arabs. Contexts for the Orlando Furioso », Harvard University Press, 2022. Collectif d'Historiens de l'Art de la Renaissance. Consulté le 14 juin 2024, à l’adresse

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