Ariosto, Ludovico, 1474-1533, Italian epic and lyric poet. As a youth he was a favorite at the court of Ferrara; later he was in the service of Ippolito I, Cardinal d'Este, and from 1517 until his death served Alfonso, duke of Ferrara. He was never properly rewarded by his patrons. While in the service of the cardinal, he began writing his masterpiece, the Orlando Furioso, published in its final form in 1532. This epic treatment of the Roland story, theoretically a sequel to the unfinished poem of Boiardo, greatly influenced Shakespeare, Milton, and Byron. It was intended to glorify the Este family as Vergil had glorified the Julians. Ariosto also wrote lyric verse of unequal merit, but he was among the first to write comedies in the vernacular (based loosely on Roman models), among them I Suppositi [the pretenders] and Il Negromante [the necromancer].

See the famous 16th-century translation of Orlando Furioso by Sir John Harington, ed. by R. McNulty (1972), as well as the recent verse translation by B. Reynolds (2 vol., 1975); studies by B. Croce (tr. 1920, repr. 1966), R. Griffin (1974), and A. R. Ascoli (1987).

Sforza, Ludovico or Lodovico, b. 1451 or 1452, d. 1508, duke of Milan (1494-99); younger son of Francesco I Sforza. He was called Ludovico il Moro [the Moor] because of his swarthy complexion. In 1480 he deprived his sister-in-law, Bona of Savoy, of the regency for her infant son, Gian Galeazzo Sforza (see Sforza, family), and from that date his actual rule may be reckoned. In 1494, Gian Galeazzo died, a virtual prisoner, and Ludovico was formally invested with Milan by Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. Partly in order to divert French ambitions from Milan, partly in order to protect himself from the hostility of the king of Naples, Ludovico concluded an offensive alliance with Charles VIII of France, whose invasion (1494) of Italy was the beginning of the Italian Wars. In 1495, however, Ludovico reached an understanding with Charles's enemies and turned against the French, who were expelled from Italy. In 1499, Louis XII of France, who had a hereditary claim to the duchy of Milan (he was a great-grandson of Gian Galeazzo Visconti), invaded Italy and expelled Ludovico from his duchy. Ludovico's attempt, with the aid of Swiss mercenaries, to recover his lands was defeated at Novara (1500); he was captured and died a prisoner in France. Before his fall, Ludovico Sforza was one of the wealthiest and most powerful princes of Renaissance Italy. He was a subtle diplomat and an unscrupulous intriguer. With his wife, Beatrice d'Este, he held a brilliant court and spent immense sums of money to further the arts and sciences. He is remembered especially for his patronage of Leonardo da Vinci and of the architect Bramante.
Ludovico may refer to:

In royalty:

  • Ludovico II of Gonzaga, the ruler of the Italian city of Mantua from 1444 to his death
  • Ludovico Roncalli, Italian nobleman who published a collection of suites for five-course baroque guitar
  • Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan (1452-1508), a member of the Sforza dynasty of Milan, Italy, patron of Leonardo da Vinci and other artists

In literature:

In the Arts

From fiction:

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