Song of Roland

Germany — Late 12th century

Song of Roland

Song of Roland

Alternative Titles:
  • Rolandslied
  • Rolandslied des Pfaffen Konrad
  • Chanson de Roland
  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology
Short Description

Originating from the 11th century, The Song of Roland is the oldest surviving major work of French literature and is the most famous example of a chanson de geste or “song of heroic deeds”. The narrative centers around the figure Roland, a knight and captain in the service of Charlemagne who died leading the rear guard of the Frankish army when it was ambushed at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778. This embellished retelling of the battle and the events surrounding it would have been performed by troubadours for the entertainment of the knightly class and has survived in numerous illuminated manuscripts. A German poet known as Konrad der Pfaffe (Conrad the Priest) translated the work from French into the Bavarian dialect ca. 1170, likely in Regensburg, and replaced the specifically French topics with broader Christian themes. The manuscript at hand originated from the end of the 12th century and its neatly written text is adorned by 39 half-page miniatures. Although uncolored, they are obviously the work of a skilled hand and very clearly illustrate the events of the text.

Codicology
Alternative Titles
Rolandslied
Rolandslied des Pfaffen Konrad
Chanson de Roland
Origin
Germany
Date
Late 12th century
Style
Language
Script
Early Gothic minuscule
Artist / School
1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Song of Roland“

Rolandslied des Pfaffen Konrad Facsimile

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Rolandslied des Pfaffen Konrad Facsimile

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Reichert Verlag – Wiesbaden, 1970
Commentary
1 volume by C. Scheufele, Wilfried Werner and Heinz Zirnbauer
Language: German
More Information
Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
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