Song of Roland: A tale of valor, treason, honor, and death


This course will examine one of the earliest versions of a knightly tale, the Song of Roland, a chanson de geste. Heroes, gore, and fighting galore, a wee bit of Crusade, and a lot of exaggeration can be found in this first-millennium celebration of bravery and devotion to cause. Plucked from a tiny footnote to a late eighth-century Spanish military action by Charlemagne, the figure of Roland becomes an exemplar of valor, treason, honor, and death in battle. Simple on the surface, not so much once you dig a little deeper. When does pride become lethal folly? What is the role of the emperor in early medieval society? And how do history and literature intersect in this case? 


Instructor: Herb Arnold

Date: Mondays 4:30-6, April 4, 11, 18, 25, May 2

Time: 4:30–6 p.m.

Location: Wasch Center Butterfield Room