Song of Roland Anonymous – Song of Roland

Set in the Carolingian age, it was composed much later on. There is a single extant manuscript of the Tune of Roland in Old French, held at the Bodleian Library at Oxford. [2] This copy dates between 1129 and 1165 and was composed in Anglo-Norman. [3] There are likewise 8 further manuscripts, and three fragments, of other poems on the subject of Roland. [4]

Some scholars estimate that the poem was composed, possibly by a poet called Turold (Turoldus in the manuscript itself), between around 1040 and 1115, and the majority of the alterations were performed by about 1098. Some prefer an earlier dating, due to the fact that it enables one to say that the poem was influenced by the Castilian projects of the 1030s, which the poem went on to be a significant influence in the First Crusade. Those who choose a later dating do so based upon what they translate as short references made in the poem to events of the First Crusade.

In the poem, the term d’oltre mer or l’oltremarin comes up 3 times in recommendation to named Muslims who originated from oltre mer to fight in Spain and France. Oltre mer, contemporary French Outremer, actually “oversea, beyond sea, opposite of the sea”, is a native French term from the classical Latin roots ultra=”beyond” and mare=”sea”. The name was commonly utilized by modern chroniclers to refer to the Latin Levant [5]

The incident of this term in the poem can not be translated as revealing impact from the Crusades in the poem; on the contrary, the method it is utilized in the poem, in which it is simply a Muslim land, indicates that the author of the poem was unacquainted with the Crusades, and that the term remained in French before the Crusades started indicating the far side of the Mediterranean Sea. The bulk of the poem is adjudged to date from prior to the Crusades (which started in 1098), but there are a few products where concerns remain about these items being late additions quickly after the Crusades started.

After two manuscripts were found in 1832 and 1835, the Song of Roland ended up being recognized as France’s national epic when an edition was published in 1837. [6]


Certain lines of the Oxford manuscript end with the letters “AOI”. The meaning of this word or annotation is unclear. Scholars have actually assumed that the marking may have played a role in public performances of the text, such as showing a place where a jongleur would alter the pace. [7]