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Roland's origin and youth?[edit]

Is there any factual basis for the stories of Roland's origin and youth? AFAIK, the only "evidence" we have for him is the mention in Einhard's Vita Caroli Magni, and all the rest (like R. was Charlesmagne's nephew etc.) is merely legend or from the Chansons de Roland.

Is there a chance to seperate the myth from the facts? --Syzygy 06:58, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

Syzygy, you are right: the only bit of historical evidence for a Roland is in Vita Caroli Magni. Everything else is legend and cannot be assumed to be historically accurate of the Roland mentioned by Einhard. I'll be editing the page shortly to reflect this, with a reference. VikaZafrin 04:19, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Is it acceptable to use the joke word "transmogrified" in a serious article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:58, 22 January 2014 (UTC)


The article says: "Roland ('Hruodland' in contemporary spelling)".

What is the source for this earlier spelling? Yes I do see many references to it on the Web... But the earliest reliable and most famous Chanson de Roland of which I know myself is ms. Digby 23 at Oxford, which spells it "Rollant" : actually a scribal abbreviation of that -- "Roll" with the two "ll"s crossed.

That may be seen online now at [[1]] -- first occurrence is on folio 2 verso about halfway down, the 8th line below that which begins with the big rubricated L.

I know the ms. is not contemporary with Roland's battle. But how do we know that the name would have been spelled "Hruodland" in the 8th c.? Sounds like someone is interpolating some sort of Nordic spelling here. Unless a source turns up I suggest that these references be changed to "Rollant later spelled Roland": to reflect the earliest reliable source & giving that source's date -- also to prevent any sort of Internet circularity here.

--Kessler 18:12, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

"Hruodland" appears to be a "Frankish" spelling, used in German now, popularized (& invented?) in the 19th c. and so imported to the US via Will Durant and others. All this from various online cites. But a lot of that 19th c. "medievalist" scholarship now is considered questionable: Viollet Le Duc, etc.... So, rather than propagate an invented 19th c. Roland, my feeling would be that the genuine 12th c. ms. Digby 23 version would be more accurate: at least we have evidence, there -- unless someone can turn up an earlier ms. showing "Hruodland"?

--Kessler 18:19, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

"Hruodland" is the original spelling of the name, as used in Einhard's "Vita Caroli Magni", the only contemporary (9th century) account of Roland's life:

   Anshelmus comes palatii et Hruodlandus Brittannici limitis praefectus cum aliis conpluribus interficiuntur.

(Chapter 9)

The current German spelling for "Roland" is "Roland".

--Syzygy 07:34, 19 October 2005 (UTC) In Dutch it is "Roeland", though that is a bit old fashioned. The historical figure is systematically called Roeland though.

Translation from "Frankish" to "Dutch" is a bit strange concept, since Dutch is generally considered a Frankish language to begin with. Evolved would be better. (talk) 18:42, 12 June 2013 (UTC)


Stop dancing around the issue and tell the general reader at least a precis of the legend[edit]

I know too little about Roland to contribute. But where's the legend? It is alluded to but not explicated. My ignorance may be telling--having known little, I still knew about his horn--I thought this was a central part of the legend; that Roland, vastly outnumbered, sounds his horn and Charlemagne's army turns around to come to his aid but they are too late and Roland and his men have been slaughtered to a man. A quick google search of "horn of roland" produced many sites--here he is blowing his horn: from

My memory of the story may be flawed--the article should inform me of the story so I can be set straight! Yet the specifics are totally absent. I come away from this article knowing that some guy named Roland had a legend about him that had something to do with Charlemagne that there was a horn and sowrd involved and that his life became the stuff of legend which has been referenced by various people. This article is missing the essentials IMO to make it interesting, informative and encyclopedic.

One more thing that might be fodder for an addition: I was told by an English professor, many years ago, that one chapter of Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises was set in the town in the Pyrenees where the (apparently mythical) events of Roland's defeat was supposed to have occured. I was further told that though Roland is never mentioned, once this is known, it becomes obvious that Hemingway was very specific in setting the chapter in that town; that he was writing for Europeans who would immediately get the reference, and that once known, that chapter is very clearly alluding to Roland. I have no idea if this is true. If he wasn't full of hot air, this could form an addition for someone conversant. --Fuhghettaboutit 04:02, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

Clean up[edit]

This article needs some help in general. I've created a starting paragraph that should be there according to the Wikipedia:Manual of Style, but it needs more. I think a major problem may be that it should be about either the historical figure with references to the fictional one(s) or be merged into other articles about the character like Orlando (character) John 00:39, 30 December 2005 (UTC)


"There exists only one historical mention of a French Roland (November 17, 1213-May 9, 1249)..."

These dates seem implausibly accurate for the thirteenth century, and there's no secondary source for them; the primary source seems to be talking about a person who lived five centuries earlier. I have absolutely no idea where the dates came from, but I can't see any reason to believe them, and I'm removing them. Anyone have a source? Shimgray | talk | 17:16, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Roland the Gunslinger (Stephen King Character)[edit]

I don't know much about this legendary Roland, but it would seem that King pulled parts of him for his character - esp. the horn and "unbreakable sword", which would correspond to his legendary guns. SnaX 20:31, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Since Roland of Gilliad, Roland Deschane, is credited by mister king as being inspired by the epic Poem "Song of Roland" which is about the Roland the Paladin, it is worth mentioning, especially since King's Dark Tower series is a major work of modern literature. Yes, a listing of all appearances of Lancelot might be a little much, but so what? There are page upon page of listings for the strangest things. I would think that every verifiable, significant use of a legendary or historical character is worth mentioning, at least in passing. Orlando Furioso is no more historical than The Dark Tower, but it is mentioned in detail. Yes, it does make use of the historical figure, but in a fantastic setting no more real than a the Japan of the Mikado. When one is trying to justify the importance of an historical figure, one should make some effort to demonstrate that that figure is still important or culturally significant to the modern world. For example, Reign the Conqueror is based upon Alexander the Great, so it is mentioned in Alexander's entry. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:35, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm guessing that by "major work of modern literature" you mean it is modern, and it is big. The conventional meaning is that it is modern and it is *important*. The Dark Tower series has yet to establish itself as important. There is no need to include it here.Ekwos (talk) 16:40, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Inappropriate modern references[edit]

I deleted the references to the 2008 film "Jumper" and to "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"; as with Stephen King's use of the character mentioned by SnaX, contemporary use of a mythical figure is only to be expected, and this article is not the place to start itemizing such uses. Come on, it would be like trying to list all references to Lancelot. In addition, I'm not aware of any evidence that a character who happens to be named "Roland Cox" has anything to do with the Roland of medieval legend, and the LOEG reference is to the Woolf character, who in turn is merely a reference to the original Roland. SeanWillard (talk) 08:38, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree. There is entirely too much such activity going on in Wikipedia, essentially turning an encyclopedia project into a trivia collection. If the contributors think it's really important, they can write up separate articles about their pop culture idols and reference this article. If anyone cares, and that's a big IF, they can click on the "What links here" link in the sidebar and find out for themselves. —QuicksilverT @ 20:45, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree. I've removed most of the pop culture section. I left the part about Woolfe's "Orlando" behind even though, right now, it looks like original research.Ekwos (talk) 21:49, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Possible Appropriate Ancient Reference[edit]

I don't know where it is to be found but I believe there is a reference to a Norman minstrel singing about Roland at the Battle of Hastings. That might be appropriate because it pre-dates the Chanson. DKleinecke (talk) 05:40, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

That would be a reference to the jongleur Taillefer, mentioned by Wace's Roman de Rou. Though Wace does not explicitly say so, the assumption is that Taillefer performed the Song of Roland so this tidbit might be added there. --Kiyoweap (talk) 01:09, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Referances to Charlemagne[edit]

In the beginning description of who Roland was, the author wrote "He became the chief paladin of the emperor Charlemagne." However, Charlemagne wasn't to be named Emperor of the Romans for another 22 years on Christmas Day in 800 AD and thus beginning the "Carolingian Empire." All references in the article referring to the Emperor and the Carolingian Empire needs to be edited, perhaps reflecting the the then title of Charlemagne as King of Franks.Hooliganizm (talk) 20:52, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

roland etait un adoré de tous meme charlemagne en pleura — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:03, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

Please see the discussion at Talk:Roland (disambiguation)#Requested move, where there is a proposal to make the disambiguation page the main entry for "Roland". As part of that discussion, if it carries, we'll need to decide a new name for this article. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 08:32, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Roland (disambiguation) which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 11:44, 31 July 2014 (UTC)