Roncesvalles

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Roncesvalles

(rōn'thāsvä`lyās), Fr. Roncevaux, mountain pass (alt. 3,468 ft/1,057 m), in the Pyrenees, between Pamplona (Spain) and Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port (France). Tradition has made it the scene of the death of the hero RolandRoland
, 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
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Roncesvalles

 

(French, Roncevaux), a village in the Western Pyrenees in the Spanish province of Navarre. The village is situated below the pass where on Aug. 15, 778, the Basques, allies of the Moors, fell upon and destroyed the rear guard of Charlemagne’s Frankish army, which was retreating to France after an unsuccessful siege of Zaragoza. The commander Roland, hero of the French epic Song of Roland, was killed in the battle.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Roncesvalles

a village in N Spain, in the Pyrenees: a nearby pass was the scene of the defeat of Charlemagne and death of Roland in 778
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005