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Roland, the great French hero of the medieval Charlemagne cycle of chansons de geste, immortalized in the Chanson de Roland (11th or 12th cent.). Existence of an early Roland poem is indicated by the historian Wace's statement that Taillefer sang of Roland's deeds to inflame the men before the Battle of Hastings (1066). Historically Roland was Charlemagne's commander on the Breton border; he was killed in a pass in the Pyrenees when Basques cut off the rear guard of the Frankish army returning from its invasion of Spain in 778.

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Roland, the great French hero of the medieval Charlemagne cycle of chansons de geste, immortalized in the Chanson de Roland (11th or 12th cent.). Existence of an early Roland poem is indicated by the historian Wace's statement that Taillefer sang of Roland's deeds to inflame the men before the Battle of Hastings (1066). Historically Roland was Charlemagne's commander on the Breton border; he was killed in a pass in the Pyrenees when Basques cut off the rear guard of the Frankish army returning from its invasion of Spain in 778. More...

 
    Charlemagne, Charles I the Great
  Charlemagne, Charles I the Great
Charlemagne, meaning Charles the Great, was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans (Imperator Romanorum) from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe...
 
    Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror
  Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror
William took seven months to prepare his invasion force, using some 600 transport ships to carry around 7,000 men (including 2,000-3,000 cavalry) across the Channel. On 28 September 1066, with a favourable wind, William landed unopposed at Pevensey a...
 
       
 
         
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