The Song of Roland
The first and greatest of French literature's epics, this eleventh-century tale of romance and heroism embodies all the power and majesty of its predecessors from other cultures. Its narrative framework echoes that of classical mythology, and it melds European historic accounts and legends of the troubadours with folklore from the Far East. This crystalline translation by Leonard Bacon does full justice to the timeless tale of the warrior Roland, nephew to Charlemagne and prince of the Holy Roman Empire. A patriotic and poetic story of valor, betrayal, and revenge, it represents a landmark in world literature.
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Algalif amain Amiral Archbishop Turpin army Baligant battle beard beheld Blanchandrin blood body bore buckler cavaliers charger Charlemagne the Emperor comrade Count Ganelon Count Roland cried dead dear deeds doth Duke Neimes Durendal Emperor Charlemagne evil fair fair Lord fell ﬁeld ﬁerce ﬁght ﬁlled ﬁne ﬁrst forthwith France Franks fray Frenchmen gallant gave answer Geoffrey of Anjou God's gold gonfalon hand hath hauberk helm helmet hero host hundred thousand King Charlemagne King Charles King Marsile knight lance land of France likewise Lord Olivier Mahound Malprimis Marquis Roland mighty moreover nephew never o'er Ogier the Dane Paynims perish Pinabel poem ride rode Roncevaux Saracen Saragossa shalt thou shield slain slaughter slay smite smote Song of Roland sore sorrow Spain spake spear spurred steed stroke sword ta'en thee thou shalt traitor Turpin the Archbishop twain twelve peers twenty thousand unto vassal war-hom wrought