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La Chanson De Roland

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents a short description of the work La chanson de Roland, 'The song of Roland' on Christian-Muslim relations. Composed of 4,002 decasyllabic verses divided into stanzas (laisses) bound by a common assonance, the anonymous Chanson de Roland is one of approximately 100 surviving chansons de geste, and while the Oxford Roland manuscript is in old French, other manuscripts show dialectal traits in Franco-Italian, Picard-Lorrain, and Burgundian. The most prominent of the Old French epics, the Chanson de Roland presents an early example of what will become the standard representation in the vernacular French literary corpus: Islam misconstrued as pagan idolatry centered on the 'trinity' of Mahumet, Apollin, and Tervagant.

Keywords: Christian-Muslim relations; La chanson de Roland



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