The Song Of Roland

Paperback | June 5, 1990

byR AnonymousTranslated byGlyn S. Burgess, Glynn Burgess

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On 15 August 778, Charlemagne’s army was returning from a successful expedition against Saracen Spain when its rearguard was ambushed in a remote Pyrenean pass. Out of this skirmish arose a stirring tale of war, which was recorded in the oldest extant epic poem in French. The Song of Roland, written by an unknown poet, tells of Charlemagne’s warrior nephew, Lord of the Breton Marches, who valiantly leads his men into battle against the Saracens, but dies in the massacre, defiant to the end. In majestic verses, the battle becomes a symbolic struggle between Christianity and paganism, while Roland’s last stand is the ultimate expression of honour and feudal values of twelfth-century France.

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From Our Editors

Based on the 778 massacre of Charlemagne's rearguard at Roncesvalles in northern Spain, The Song of Roland uses the famous defeat as a stage on which to set the clash between Christianity and paganism. Roland, nephew of Charlemagne, is the focus of the poem as he leads the vastly outnumbered rearguard defiantly and triumphantly against...

From the Publisher

On 15 August 778, Charlemagne’s army was returning from a successful expedition against Saracen Spain when its rearguard was ambushed in a remote Pyrenean pass. Out of this skirmish arose a stirring tale of war, which was recorded in the oldest extant epic poem in French. The Song of Roland, written by an unknown poet, tells of Charlem...

From the Jacket

‘Just as a stag flees before the hounds,So the pagans take flight before Roland’On 15 August 778, Charlemagne’s army was returning from a successful expedition against Saracen Spain when its rearguard was ambushed in a remote Pyrenean pass. Out of this skirmish arose a stirring tale of war, which was recorded in the oldest extant epic ...

Glyn Burgess teaches at the University of Liverpool. He is an expert on early medieval French literature, and has translated and written widely on this area.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 7.75 × 5.03 × 0.51 inPublished:June 5, 1990Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140445323

ISBN - 13:9780140445329

Appropriate for ages: 18 - 18

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

The Song of Roland Introduction
A Note on the Translation

The Song of Roland
Notes
Glossary of Unusual Terms
Bibliography
Appendix: La Chanson de Roland
Index of Proper Names

From Our Editors

Based on the 778 massacre of Charlemagne's rearguard at Roncesvalles in northern Spain, The Song of Roland uses the famous defeat as a stage on which to set the clash between Christianity and paganism. Roland, nephew of Charlemagne, is the focus of the poem as he leads the vastly outnumbered rearguard defiantly and triumphantly against the pagan forces only to die on a hill facing the enemy. The oldest existent French epic, The Song of Roland is a celebration of the crusading and feudal values of the 12th century, replete with a poetic intensity and structure that have cast it into literary history.