Chanson de Roland

Chanson de Roland

Old French epic poem written c. 1100, the masterpiece and probably the earliest of the chanson de geste form. Its probable author was a Norman, Turold (Turoldus), whose name is introduced in its last line. It deals with the Battle of Roncesvalles (778), a skirmish against the Basques that the poem portrays as a heroic battle against the Saracens. Direct and sober in style, it highlights a clash between the recklessly courageous Roland and his prudent friend Oliver, which is also a conflict between divergent conceptions of feudal loyalty.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on Chanson de Roland, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up Chanson de Roland? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More