The song of roland french la chanson de roland is an 11th century epic poem chanson de geste based on the battle of roncevaux pass in 778 during the reign of charlemagneit is the oldest surviving major work of french literature and exists in various manuscript versions which testify to its enormous and enduring popularity from the 12th to 16th centuries. The song of roland translated by jessie crosland in parentheses publications old french series cambridge ontario 1999 1 charles the king our great emperor has been in spain for seven full years he has conquered all the upland right down to the seashore. Translation by john ohagan also online is an alternative translation of the song of roland by scott moncrieff at omacl introduction in the year 778 ad charles the great king of the franks returned from a military expedition into spain whither he had been led by opportunities offered through dissensions among the saracens who then dominated that country. Song of roland french la chanson de roland is an epic poem song or a chanson de geste based on the battle of roncevaux pass in the pyrenees in 778 during the reign of charlemagne this work is the among the oldest if not the oldest surviving major work of ancient french literature which testifies to its enduring popularity in the 12th
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