The Song of Roland Historical Context

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Charlemagne's Reign

The historical Charlemagne was born in 742, about 300 years before The Song ofRolandv/as first recorded in a manuscript. Descended from Germanic tribesmen, Charlemagne possessed a remarkable love of learning for a ruler of his time. He learned to read and tried, without success, to learn to write. In addition to his local Germanic dialect, he spoke old Teutonic, literary Latin, and understood Greek. Charlemagne, like his literary image, fought to defend the Christian faith in foreign lands, including the regions that are now Spain, France, Germany, and Italy. His success on the battlefield unified the peoples of these countries, who had been torn apart by tribal conflict for centuries.

Charlemagne's administrative expertise provided a structure to his vast empire. He made military service codified and mandatory. To increase the sense of public participation in government, he fostered assemblies in which landowners came together and made suggestions...

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This section contains 1,144 words
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Buy The Song of Roland Study Guide
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Epics for Students
The Song of Roland from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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