The desiring old man on the English Renaissance stage derives from the confluence of classical and early modern Italian depictions of sexual senescence with native literary treatments of the subject such as Chaucer’s January of “The Merchant’s Tale” and the cautionary narratives in Gower’s Confessio Amantis. Medieval English writers’ own debt to French and Italian sources underscores the complex cross-fertilization of many fictional topoi, a phenomenon augmented by fifteenthcentury advances in printing technology and travel. This process of contaminatio nourished a Renaissance theater that Frances K. Barasch has described aptly as an “intertextual subject” lacking definitive geographic boundaries.1 At times, a debt is acknowledged, as when Lucentio calls Gremio “the old pantaloon” in The Taming of the Shrew (3.1.36-7), a reference to the Italian Pantalone, whom Gremio resembles in guise and motivation. More commonly, English plays contain more implicit borrowings of Italianate elements, inspired either by the Italian play texts in circulation or by the touring commedia dell’arte troupes known to have performed in England during Shakespeare’s lifetime. As a result, many of the lustful and grasping old men in English comedy-its senes amantes-resemble Italian antecedents.