Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Song of Roland - Book 6 of 52 in 52

The Song of Roland translated by Sayers is one of the oldest and best-known examples of a ballad of chivalry from medieval France.  It is based on the historic death of Roland, the nephew of Charlemagne, in ambush by the Basques of Spain.  The events of the ballad are historically inaccurate on many points; however, this does not diminish the value of the text.  It serves as an excellent reference point for medieval Christian chivalry.  There is courage, honor, and adventure intertwined with betrayal and revenge to grip the reader's attention.  Modern readers will be challenged by the example of Roland and his companions to live out their Christianity in the real world as best they are able.  The text provides a basis for the discussion of the long division between Islam and Christianity as well as Islam and Western society or for more basic topics of trust or leadership.  At it's core, it is a tale meant to not only entertain but to inspire and as such well deserves its place among the great books.  Definitely a must read!!

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