In 778, after years of fierce battle, the army of the Franks is finally on the brink of victory over the Saracens at Saragossa. Having sent one of his knights, Ganelon, to act as an envoy in the negotiations over the surrender of their king Marsile, Roland, the young commander of the rearguard and nephew of Charlemagne, prepares for the retreat of his troops back to France. Little does he suspect Ganelon's treachery and the disaster that is about to unfold at the Pass of Roncesvalles.
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Probably written around three centuries after the events it describes, The Song of Roland is the earliest and finest example of the French chanson de geste, a verse epic celebrating heroic deeds to be sung or recited by wandering minstrels. Presented here in a sparkling new translation by Anthony Mortimer along with the original Anglo-Norman French, this poetic masterpiece offers the modern reader both an engrossing narrative and a compelling insight into the medieval value system.