Veillantif

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Equestrian statue of Roland astride Veillantif in Haldensleben, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, in front of the town hall.

Veillantif (French), Vegliantin, Vegliantino or Brigliadoro (Italian) is the name of Roland the paladin's trustworthy and swift horse in the stories derived from the chansons de geste. The French name comes from an expression meaning "vigilant". Veillantif is first mentioned in the Song of Roland (v2032; laisse 151).

The Italian name Vegliantino was initially used in the Italian romances (he is found as such in Luigi Pulci's Morgante), but Matteo Maria Boiardo renamed him Brigliadoro in his Orlando Innamorato, and this is the name that is also used in Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso.[1]

Veillantif was given various origins. In the 12th century chanson de geste Aspremont, he is said to have formerly been the possession of king Agolant's son Helmont. After Helmont's defeat, the horse (and his sword Durendal) was given to Roland. This was the tradition followed by Boiardo and Ariosto.

See also[edit]

  • Bayard - Rinaldo/Renaud's magical horse

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ariosto, pt 1, introduction, p. 109.

References[edit]

  • Orlando Furioso, verse translation by Barbara Reynolds in two volumes (Penguin Classics, 1975). Part one (cantos 1-23) ISBN 0-14-044311-8; part two (cantos 24-46) ISBN 0-14-044310-X.
  • The Song of Roland: An Analytical Edition. Gerard J. Brault, ed. (Pennsylvania Sate University, 1978). ISBN 0-271-00516-5
  • (French) Les Quatre Fils Aymon. Presentation, selection and translation in modern French by Micheline de Combarieu du Grès and Jean Subrenat. Paris: Gallimard, 1983. ISBN 2-07-037501-3}