When Was The Song Of Roland Written?
- Philip Martin
About 1100 The Song of Roland is considered to be one of the oldest examples of a medieval epic poetry. It was written about the year 1100 in France. An event that occurred during Charlemagne’s conquests against Muslims in Spain served as the inspiration for this poem. When the French knights begin to retire, Charlemagne places his nephew, Count Roland, in charge of the rearguard.
Is the Song of Roland true?
Roland is a highly fictional, dramatized retelling of a relatively minor event in Charlemagne’s life that is based on the actual Battle of Roncevaux that took place on August 15, 778 and is described in Einhard’s The Life of Charlemagne. During this battle, Christian Basques ambushed Charlemagne’s rearguard while they were traveling through a Pyrenees mountain pass.
How does The Song of Roland end?
In Spain, Charlemagne’s army is engaged in combat with Muslim forces. The only city left is Saragossa, which is under the control of the Muslim monarch Marsilla. Marsilla, who is terrified of the power of Charlemagne’s army of Franks, sends messengers to Charlemagne, promising wealth and Marsilla’s conversion to Christianity in exchange for the Franks returning to France.
Charlemagne accepts Marsilla’s offer. Charlemagne and his warriors have grown weary of the conflict and have come to the conclusion that they should accept this peace offer. They have to choose someone to go back to Marsilla’s court and report what happened. Ganelon is put forth as a candidate by the valiant warrior Roland, Roland’s stepfather.
Ganelon is furious; he is afraid that he will die at the hands of the savage pagans, and he feels that Roland’s intention all along has been for him to die in this manner. He has harbored resentment and jealousy for his stepson for a very long time, and now that he is returning to Saragossa with the Saracen emissaries, he sees an opportunity to exact his vengeance.
He explains to the Saracens how they may set up an ambush for the rear guard of Charlemagne’s army, which is very certainly going to be headed by Roland as the Franks make their way back to Spain through the mountain passes, and he assists the Saracens in planning their assault. The treacherous Ganelon was correct in his prediction that Roland would bravely offer to head the rear guard.
Roland chooses a group of men to accompany him, among of which including the scholarly and moderate Olivier as well as the furious archbishop Turpin. At Roncesvals, the heathens ambushed the Christians in accordance with their strategy, and the Christians were outnumbered and defeated as a result.
- Olivier, recognizing how severely outnumbered they are, requests that Roland use his oliphant, which is a horn crafted out of an elephant tusk, to make a distress cry to the main body of the Frankish army for assistance.
- Roland vehemently declines to do so and asserts that they do not require any assistance, stating that the rear guard is more than capable of fighting off the heathen hordes.
Even though the Franks are putting up an excellent fight, there is no way they will be able to continue to hold off the Saracens, and the tide of the battle is beginning to visibly turn against them. Roland is aware that it is now too late for Charlemagne and his army to save almost all of his men, but he blasts his oliphant nevertheless in the hopes that the Emperor would witness what happened to his men and seek revenge for them.
Almost all of Roland’s men have been killed. Roland breathes so hard that blood spurts from his temples. He suffers an honorable death as a martyr, and the faithful carry his soul to paradise after his passing. As soon as Charlemagne and his troops arrive to the battleground, they see nothing but dead bodies.
The pagan people have managed to escape, but the Franks are hot on their trail. They end in driving the pagan people into the river Ebro, where they all perish. In the meantime, Baligant, a strong emir of Babylon, has made his way to Spain to assist his subordinate Marsilla in protecting Spain from the Frankish menace.
Baligant and his vast Muslim army pursue Charlemagne and his Christian army, eventually reaching them on the battlefield at Roncesvals, where the Christians are burying and lamenting their fallen comrades. Baligant and his army are victorious. Both sides are putting up a strong battle. As a result of Charlemagne’s assassination of Baligant, the entire pagan army disperses and flees.
The city of Saragossa is taken by the Franks at this point since it has no remaining defenders. Charlemagne and his warriors ride back to their capital in beautiful France, which is located in Aix. Accompanying them is Marsilla’s wife, Bramimonde. Ganelon has been held in chains by the Franks since the Franks uncovered his defection quite some time ago.
His trial is not yet scheduled. Ganelon contends that his behavior did not constitute treason because it was lawful retribution that he freely declared. Initially, the council of barons that Charlemagne summoned to decide the traitor’s fate is influenced by this assertion. However, one man named Thierry argues that Ganelon’s deed represents a betrayal of the emperor because Roland was serving Charlemagne when Ganelon administered his revenge on him.
Pinabel, a friend of Ganelon’s, issues Thierry a challenge to a trial by battle; the two will engage in a duel to determine who is in the right. Thierry, the lesser of the two men, triumphs in the end and is responsible for Pinabel’s death. The Franks are persuaded by this evidence that Ganelon is a villain, and they condemn him to a death that is extremely terrible.
What is Roland’s famous sword?
Roland, a fabled hero and at least partially historical officer of Charlemagne in French epic literature, is said to have wielded the sword Durendal, which can also be written Durandal.