Boiardo, Matteo-Maria

, count of Scandiano, an Italian poet, was born at the castle of Scandiano, near Reggio in Lombardy, about the year 1434. He studied at the university of Ferrara, and remained in that city the greater part of his life, attached to the ducal court. He was particularly in great favour with the duke Borso and Hercules I. his successor. He accompanied Borso in a journey to Rome in 1471, and the year following was selected by Hercules to escort to Ferrara, Eleonora of Aragon, his future duchess. In 1481 he was appointed governor of Reggio, and was also captain-general of Modena. He died at Reggio, Dec. 20, 1494. He was one of the most learned and accomplished men of his time, a very distinguished Greek and Latin scholar, and at a time when Italian poetry was in credit, one of those poets who added to the reputation of his age and country. He translated Herodotus from the Greek into Italian, and Apuleius from the Latin. He wrote also Latin poetry, as his “Carmen Bucolicum,” eight eclogues in hexameters, dedicated to duke Hercules I. Reggio, 1500, 4 to Venice, 1528; and in Italian, “Sonetti e Canzoni,Reggio, 1499, 4to; Tenice, 1501, 4to, in a style rather easy than elegant, and | occasionally betraying the author’s learning, but without affectation. Hercules of Este was the first of the Italian sovereigns who entertained the court with a magnificent theatre on which Greek or Latin comedies, translated into Italian, were performed. For this theatre Boiardo wrote his “Timon,” taken from a dialogue of Lucian, which may be accounted the first comedy written in Italian. The first edition of it, according to Tiraboschi, was that printed at Scandiano, 1500, 4to. The one, without a date, in 8vo, he thinks was the second. It was afterwards reprinted at Venice, 1504, 1515, and 1517, 8vo. But Boiardo is principally known by his epic romance of “Orlando Innamorato,” of which the celebrated poem of Ariosto is not only an imitation, but a continuation. Of this work, he did not live to complete the third book, nor is it probable that any part of it had the advantage of his last corrections, yet it is justly regarded as exhibiting, upon the whole, a warmth of imagination, and a vivacity of colouring, which rendered it highly interesting: nor is it, perhaps, without reason, that the simplicity of the original has occasioned it to be preferred to the same work, as altered or reformed by Francesco Berni (See Brrni). The “Orlando Innamorato” was first printed at Scandiano, about the year 1495, and afterwards at Venice, 1500, which De Bure erroneously calls the first edition. From the third book where Boiardo 1 s labours cease, it was continued by Niccolo Agostini, and of this joint production numerous editions have been published. 1

1 Ginguene Hist. Litt. d' Italic. Roscoe’s Leo. —Moreri. Tirabochi. Saxii Onornasticon,