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Historically, Roland was a Frankish seneschal[?] (or commander) in Charlemagne's service, who was killed in the battle of Roncevaux[?] by the Basques August 15, AD 778.

Legend has embroidered his tale into the epic tale of the noble Christian killed by Islamic forces, which forms part of the medieval Matter of France[?]. Roland's tale is retold in the eleventh century poem The Song of Roland, where he is armed with a horn and a sword named Durandal, and the later epic Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto.

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