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Posted by / 04-Sep-2017 21:08

Roland becomes, in the poem, the nephew of Charlemagne, the Christian Basques become Muslim Saracens, and Charlemagne, rather than marching north to subdue the Saxons, returns to Spain and avenges the deaths of his knights.

The tales are begun, broken off, and taken up again as the listeners interrupt, question, and embroider on their companions' effusionsas one of them puts it, ``The first story engenders the second, from which a third is born, and so on, like periodic fractions resulting from certain divisions which can be indefinitely prolonged.'' Prominent among the several narrators are Ahasuerus the Wandering Jew, whose lengthy tale ranges over the entire world of classical history and legend, and the saturnine gypsy chief Avadoro.

As remarked above, the dating of the earliest version is uncertain, as is its authorship.

Some believe that Turoldus, who is named in the final line, is the author; however, nothing is known about him besides his name.

For seven years, the valiant Christian king Charlemagne has made war against the Saracens in Spain.

Only one Muslim stronghold remains: the city of Zaragoza, under the rule of King Marsile and Queen Bramimonde.

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