The Song of Roland

Chanson de Roland

Another great poetry must read includes The Song of Roland or La Chanson de Roland.

This terrific twelveth century epic describes the tragic betrayal and demise of Roland: Charlemagne’s hero, friend, and champion-defender. As Emperor Charlemagne campaigns in Muslim Spain, Roland leads a numerous, mounted rear-guard through treacherous mountain-passes behind the main army.

Roland and his men are hardy warriors: they have easily bested Saracen fighting forces of twice their numbers while on campaign.

But how could Roland know that on this day his father-in-law – Ganelon – has betrayed him, out of personal spite, into the hands of his most dangerous enemy?

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