Circe is the enchantress who transforms Odysseus’ crew into pigs in the 10th book of the ‘Odyssey’. She uses a potion and a magic wine-cup. Note that the pigs run free, and are not kept chained; but they are metaphorically chained by the enchantment. They are rescued by Odysseus (the wily Greek) who – at Mercury’s recommendation – uses the plant ‘molu’ or ‘moly’ to prevent the witch’s magic affecting him. [Some argue that the men were only metaphorically transformed into pigs, their humanity taken away by a hallucinogen of some kind; the snowdrop has anti-hallucinogenic properties (apparently!) so may be ‘moly’.] Dulichium was one of the islands of which Odysseus was king; possibly one of the Echinades, or nearby Cephalonia? Astolpho takes us to a rather more modern epic – Ariosto’s ‘Orlando Furioso’. Astolpho is the powerful champion who restores Orlando to his senses after he has been maddened by love. Originally one of Charlemagne’s paladins, Astolpho/Astolfo in Ariosto has acquired a range of magical weapons and steeds. He flies on a hippogriff, meets St John the Apostle, then takes Elijah’s chariot to the moon, where he finds Orlando’s lost wits in a bottle…! Blanchemain’s version has only 3 minor changes – though one affects the very beginning of the poem! The early version begins “Du tout changé, ma Circe…” (‘Changed in every way, my Circe holds me…’). In line 8 Odysseus’ sword and ‘moly’ “Forcèrent bien la force charmeresse” (‘overpowered easily the power of the charm’) – not noticeably better or worse than the alternative repetition of ‘forcer’! And in line 10 the troop “reprit” instead of “reprint” (recovered) its honour – a difference only between treating ‘troop’ as plural or singular.