The Song of Roland

The Song of Roland

Anon.

c.1125–1150

England

Manuscript

La Chanson de Roland has become the national epic of France, telling how Roland, Charlemagne’s vassal, is tricked by the traitor Ganelon into encountering a Saracen army at Roncevaux. In the climactic passage shown here, Roland finally blows a horn to summon aid, bursting a blood vessel and dying a hero. This manuscript, known as the 'Oxford Roland', is the earliest surviving copy of the poem. It was perhaps already bound with a separate manuscript of Plato’s Timaeus by the thirteenth century, when a note records that the Timaeus was bequeathed by Master Henry of Langley to the Abbey at Osney, just outside Oxford.

Supporting Media

Lines 1753-1760 from The Song of Roland. Read by Dr Helen Swift in the original French.

Comments

29/01/2014

Jakub Kaňák

As for the recording: correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Old French have trilled and not uvular/velar R as can be heard in the recording?

<em>The Song of Roland</em>
The Song of Roland
The Anglo-Norman <em>Romance of Horn</em>
The Anglo-Norman Romance of Horn
The earliest surviving English romances
The earliest surviving English romances
Wax impression of the Grimsby 'Havelok' Seal
Wax impression of the Grimsby 'Havelok' Seal