Astolpho

European - An English duke. Son of Otho. He was the first knight to fight with Argalia at the great tournament organised by Charlemagne and was unhorsed. He acquired Argalia's magic lance when the latter was fighting Ferrau and with it defeated all-comers at the tournament. He went in search of Rinaldo, who disappeared after the tournament and defeated the knight Florismart, who was travelling with his lady-love, Flordelis. Astolpho spared his life and they became friends. At the Castle of Oblivion, Astolpho refused the drink offered by the damsel on the bridge but Florismart was taken prisoner. At Albracca, he killed many of the besieging Tartars but was then captured by the relieving forces of Sacripant. He was later caught in the spell of the enchantress Alcina who, tiring of him as she tired of all her lovers, turned him into a myrtle tree. In this form he was found by Rogero who, having successfully destroyed Alcina's power with the help of Melissa, returned him to his normal shape. Astolpho then went to the home of Logestilla, who gave him a magic book that would tell him all he would ever need to know and a horn that he could use in times of peril. Here he recovered the horse Rabican, originally owned by Argalia, from Rogero. He returned to France but was lured by Atlantes to a castle where the book Logestilla had given him told him how to proceed and the horn dispersed the many apparitions that attacked him. Here he found and released Bradamante, Florismart, Gradasso, Rogero, Roland and many others. He also found the hippogriff and, leaving his own horse and the magic lance with Bradamante, flew off. He landed in Abyssinia and was entertained by the blind king Senapus, driving off the Harpies that were harrying the king and sealing them into the cave in which they took refuge. In some accounts this incident involved Prester John, king of Nubia. Astolpho rode the hippogriff to the top of a mountain and found the earthly paradise, meeting Elijah, Enoch and St John who took him to the moon where he was given the bottle that contained the missing senses of Roland, which he had lost in his period of madness. He was also given a plant with which he cured the king's blindness. As a reward he was given a huge army with which to help Charlemagne in his battles with the Saracens. Capturing the desert wind in a bag so that they could cross the desert in safety, he made horses for his troops from fragments of rock. Finally they reached Biserta where they laid siege to Agramant's forces in that city. They were joined by some of the knights taken prisoner by Rodomont and sent to Africa. Roland then appeared, still in his period of madness. He was restrained and Astolpho restored him to sanity with the bottle given to him by St John. After the submission of the Africans following the combat between Agramant, Gradasso and Sobrino on one side and Florismart, Oliver and Roland on the other, Astolpho flew on the hippogriff to Marseilles where he turned the flying horse loose. He rejoined Rinaldo, Roland and the others who had arrived there after their visit to the hermit, who cured the wounds of Oliver and Sobrino. After the end of the war, Astolpho went with Oliver and Roland to collect the tribute exacted by Charlemagne from the Spanish King Marsilius. He was the first to charge when the Spaniards trapped their small force in the pass at Roncesvalles, killing Arlotto of Soria. Astolpho was killed later in the battle. Sometimes known as Astolpho, Astolfo or Astolfo.

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