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The Song of Roland

The Song of Roland is the story of the battle of Roncevaux[?] by Roland and his fellow paladins[?]. The story contains several glaring historical inaccuracies, but details the defense of Charlemagne's army from an attack by Islamic forces.

While returning to Aix, Emporer Charlemagne's scouts find a large Moorish army approaching from the rear. Roland and the Paladins, along with a division of Charlemagne's army, turn to hold off the Moors while the majority of the army escape.

Roland and his peers put up such a fight that Charlemagne decides to turn around and join the fray. Roland's forces beat back a force a hundred times their own size. All of Roland's men die, but Roland himself in his final act routes the last few Moorish forces.

By the time Charlemagne actually gets to the battle, Roland and the paladins had forced the Moors to flee. Charlemagne ends up defeating the remainded of the Islamic forces before returning to Aix.

The account of the song does not match history, but is considered a classic example of the virtues of chivalry.

The text of this song is available elsewhere online: [1] (http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/OMACL/Roland)



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