Roland stained glass at Chartre

Items from The Song of Roland

The fine print:
This is an English version of the page I originally authored in Japanese. Most of the quotes below are pertinent excerpts from The Song of Roland that mention famed swords, war-horses, etc.

This page has gotten bogged down on details. For a brief but much more readable items list (in Japanese), I refer you to SYUGO's page which has nicely formatted tables of items and dramatis personae.

  • The spelling from the original Oxford manuscript (The O-manuscript) are put in CAPITAL(block) letters, and followed by [AF] to mean it is Anglo-French.
  • Modern French spellings are followed by [F]
  • My own commentary are indicated by green color.
In the Japanese version, the Iwanami Library edition (tr. Hiroto Arinaga) is being used, and I have followed its stanzaic chapter (laisse) and line number. I used the format 38:500 to indicate "laisse XXXVIII, line 500". Please note that Iwanami translation's numbering, are basically off by one stanza compared with the English (Moncrieff) translation.

  • {orig.} indicate extracts from the O-manuscript.
  • {Eng.} indicate extracts from the C. K. Scott-Moncrieff translation.
  • Both can be obtained online -- see Relevant Links.

Roster of Owners
1. GanelonGanelon
2. RolandRoland
3. Archbishop TurpinTurpin
4. OliverOlivier
5. CharlemagneCharles
6. The French War-Banneroriflamme
7. King Marsil of SaragossaMarsil(Saracen)
8. Baligant the AmirBaligant(Saracen)

List of Horses
Table of Saracen Titles

Named Weapons (alphabetized)
AlmaceAlmace(Archbishop Turpin)

Other Romances
Rolandslied (by Priest Konrad / MHG poem)
The Marriage of Roland (by Victor Hugo / modern poem)

Sword Names (other than La Chanson)
Baptysme[=Baptême]Baptysme(Fierabras[Caxton's Charles])
Cortan/CourtainCortan/Courtain(Fierabras[Caxton's Charles])
Closamont[?]Musaguine(The Marriage of Roland - mod. Fr.)
Floberge[=Flamberge]Floberge(Fierabras[Caxton's Charles])
Glorious[=Glorieuse]Musaguine(Croquemitaine - mod. Fr.)
DurandalDurandal(Fierabras[Caxton's Charles])
GrabamGrabam(Fierabras[Caxton's Charles])
Haulteclere[=Hauteclair]Haulteclere(Fierabras[Caxton's Charles])
Ioyouse[=Joyeuse]Ioyouse(Fierabras[Caxton's Charles])
MusaguineMusaguine(Fierabras[Caxton's Charles])
Pluorance[=Florence]Plourance(Fierabras[Caxton's Charles])
Sauuogyne[=Sauvagine]Sauuogyne(Fierabras[Caxton's Charles])

1. Count Ganelon; Ganelon[F]; GUENES, GUENELUN[AF]
Roland's step-father by marriage to Roland's mother (Charlemagne's sister). This turncoat conspired with the Saracen enemy to entrap Roland, who loses his life at the Battle of Roncevalle. Later gets drawn and quartered for his treachery.
On Ganelon's sword and horse.. 28:345- {orig.} ESPERUNS D OR AD EN SES PIEZ FERMEZ, CEINT MURGLIES S ESPEE A SUN COSTED, EN TACHEBRUN SUN DESTRER EST MUNTED, {Eng.} Spurs of fine gold he fastens on his feet, And to his side Murgles his sword of steel. On Tachebrun, his charger, next he leaps, That Ganelon's sword hilt is made of gold.. 36:465- {orig.} ... MAIS DE S ESPEE NE VOLT MIE GUERPIR, EN SUN PUIGN DESTRE PAR L ORIE PUNT LA TINT. {Eng.} [These he throws down,] .. But not his sword, he'll not leave hold of it, In his right hand he grasps the golden hilt. That Relics are contained in the sword Murgleis.. 47:605- {orig.} ...LA TRAISUN ME JURREZ DE ROLL». CO RESPUNT GUENES, «ISSI SEIT, CUM VOS PLAIST». SUR LES RELIQUES DE S ESPEE MURGLEIS LA TRAISUN JURAT, {Eng.} ...Then answered Guene: "So be it, as you say." On the relics, are in his sword Murgles, Treason he's sworn, forsworn his faith away.
* It is a common practice to swear sacred oaths upon holy relics.

2. Roland; Roland[F]; ROLL, ROLLANT[AF]
His title is either that of a count*comte[F], QUENS[AF](line 165) or a marquis *marquis[F], MARCHIS[AF](line 630), but either way, he is the nephew(sister's son) of Charlemagne, and the foremost accomplished of the Emperor's douzepeers or paladins.
Theis tragic hero of The Song of Roland is based on the historical figure Hruodlandus[L.] who governed the march of Brittany(=Bretagne[F]), and is recorded to have fallen under attack by the "Wascones" (the Basques or Gascones) at a vale/gorge in the Pyrenees.
* The reason Roland is also called "Roll" in this Anglo-Norman text must have something to do with Rollo (or Rou[OFr.], Hrólfr [ONorse]), the legendary Viking founder of Normandy. (cf. Wace's Roman de Rou)
The terrain and spot where Roland met his death was marked by four marble blocks, and whether these were natural formations or artificial structures is uncertain. It is at this place that Roland soliloquizes to reveal tidbits on of how his famed sword Durandal came to be his own. He also attempts to smite the sword in two against the marble blocks, begrudging its becoming the Saracen enemy's spoils, but he does not succeed in breaking it.
The scene where the helmeted Roland strikes his blade against the stone and the barefaced Roland blows on the belated oliphant are depicted on the Charlemagne Stained Glass*Verrière de Charlemagne[F.]at the Chartre Cathedral.

* On titles of nobility: In chansons de geste, it is quite commonplace to find that the title of nobility ascribed to a character lacks consistency. For instance, a personage can be interchangeably denoted either a duke or king. Also, during the time of Charlemagne, the title of "count" denoted a regional official or an appointed governor.
* Glossary: Count, comes [L.] comte [F.], Graf [G.] :
(1) Highest ranking regional official of the Frankish kingdom (administrative, military, financial, judicial). These offices were in the hands of local barons. (2) In feudal times, a title of the upper class nobility in France, while in Germany, the title has denoted a petty aristocrat (vassal of a higher noble) since 12c."
* Glossary: stained glass In French, stained glass is ordinarily termed vitrail(sing.)/vitraux(pl.), but the large stained glass such as the one that relates Charlemagne's story at Chartres is called verrière.

Japanese translator's endnotes on Durendal.. {Japanese} Endnote to Line 926: Included here are the following
* In the original text, the Vale of Moriane (VALS DE MORIANE) above and the place of origin of the admiral in 74:909 (UNS ALMACURS I AD DE MORIANE) are spelt identically. However, the Japanese translation distinguishes them by rendering the former as the French place name Morienne (perhaps the one in Normandy?)
On the relics placed inside Durendal.. 174:2345- {orig.} EN L ORIET PUNT ASEZ I AD RELIQUES LA DENT SEINT PERRE E DEL SANC SEINT BASILIE E DES CHEVELS MUN SEIGNOR SEINT DENISE, DEL VESTEMENT I AD SEINTE MARIE. {Eng.} 2345 Relics enough thy golden hilt conceals: Saint Peter's Tooth, the Blood of Saint Basile, Some of the Hairs of my Lord, Saint Denise, Some of the Robe, was worn by Saint Mary.
* The identity of the relics differ in other works. In the Middle High German Rolandslied, there are four relics which are only slightly different. Yet another discrepant set of three relics are given in the Karlamagnússaga.
On Veillantif the horse.. 1153- {Japanese} Endnotes to Line 1153: Veillantif his swift and goodly horse — Roland's cherished horse has a name consisting of two words that both mean "old age".Perhaps "Old Ancient" is an apt translation. Also see line 347. {orig.} AS PORZ D ESPAIGNE EN EST PASSET ROLL SUR VEILLANTIF SUN BON CHEVAL CURANT, PORTET SES ARMES,MULT LI SUNT AVENANZ, {Eng.} To Spanish pass is Rollanz now going On Veillantif, his good steed, galloping; He is well armed, pride is in his bearing, The tragic horn -- the Oliphant {Japanese}Iwanami Notes to Line 1051 Your horn I pray you sound!— The famous horn of Roland's appears here. However, Roland's favorite is an ivory horn borne by the First Army commander, and it is a crescent-shaped cornet of ivory, shaped just like horn. These often are intricately carved. Roland's horn becomes a weapon of miracle (St. 171) and it has been a long-held traditon which asserted that it was enshrined at the St. Seuran Church in Bordeaux (li 3686) . 171:2287- {orig.} TIENT L OLIFAN,QUE UNKES PERDRE NE VOLT , SIL FIERT EN L ELME,KI GEMMET FUT A OR. FRUISSET L ACER E LA TESTE E LES OS, AMSDOUS LES OILZ DEL CHEF LI AD MIS FORS, JUS A SES PIEZ SI L AD TRESTURNET MORT. : : FENDUZ EN EST MIS OLIFANS EL GROS, CAIUZ EN EST LI CRISTALS E LI ORS. {Eng.} Took the olifant, that he would not let go, Struck him on th' helm, that jewelled was with gold, And broke its steel, his skull and all his bones, 2290 Out of his head both the two eyes he drove; : : 2295 But my great one, my olifant I broke; Fallen from it the crystal and the gold." 268:3684- {orig.} VINT A BURDELES LA CITET DE , DESUR L ALTER SEINT SEVERIN LE BARON MET L OLIPHAN PLEIN D OR E DE MANGUNS, LI PELERIN LE VEIENT, KI LA VUNT. {Eng.} Above the altar, to Saint Sevrin endowed, Stands the olifant, with golden pieces bound;
* In the orginal text, "BURDELES LA CITET DE" is followed by a lacuna. In the Japanese translation, this is interpolated as "Bordeaux, the citadel [of high reknown]". Note that the English translation retains the "Buredeles" spelling but it is better understood as Bordeaux.
* The meaning of the phrase "SEINT SEVERIN LE BARON" is obscure. I do not know why the Saint should have the epithet of "baron". The word "baron" is rendered as a "valiant man" rather than a title of nobility in the Japanese translation.
* "golden pieces" of the Moncrieff translation occurs as "MANGUN" in the original text. I could find nothing on mangon coinage or currency, but it is evidently understood to be a gold piece. It is probably money used in Saracen Spain, since in the early part of the epic, Valdabrun gives Ganelon a sword whose hilt alone cost "a thousand [mangon] coins" (49:621).

3. Archbishop Turpin Archévêque Turpin[F]; ARCEVESQUE TURPIN[AF]
Archbishop of Reims. Turpin at first wields his great spear *grand épieu [F.], GRANT ESPIET[AF] (96:1248) but eventually draws his sword called Almace and engages in combat with it.

* Reims Cathedral is where Clovis was anointed king, and has been the coronation venue for the rightful French king ever since. Thus the fact that its bishop Turpin accompanied Charles emphasizes his mandated kingship.
* As clergymen are not to shed blood, they should have carried a blunt instrumental called a mace (masse d'arme [F]) to the field. But Turpin fights with the spear or sword as we have seen.
*The Japanese translator applies the sense"with ferocious valor" (96:1246) for the original text has "PAR GRANT VERTUT". The word "vertue/virtue" once was used to mean "virility," (though now obsolete). The current sense of the word stresses how the archbishop was spiritually virtuous, given that he was a man of the cloth. In a related sense, the "vertue/virtue" could mean a "supernatural power". One could easily imagine the bishop would manifest certain God-given powers, and as such, he would be the perfect adversary for Siglorel the Enchanter*SIGLOREL L ENCANTEUR[AF](109:1390-1) or Abisme*Abîme[F.], ABISME[AF} whose name means "abysm/abyss"(126:1659-).

* Glossary: brown steel— Almace's blade metal is described as "brown steel" (=ACER BRUN), an expression that is recurrent in The Song of Roland. This in modern French is generally construed as acier bruni or "burnished steel". And in the Japanese (Iwanami) translation, rendered as "shining steel", etc.
    In the English language too, the medieval phrase"brown steel" has been understood to mean "burnished steel". Here is the entry in the Oxford English Dictionary(OED):
brown 4. In reference to the sword, steel, etc., it seems to have meant:
Burnished, glistening. Obs.. [With the sense of MDu. brun 'shining'
(Kalkar) and F. brunir to BURNISH.]
However, I have my doubts, for if "brown"/BRUN already means "burnished, polished," does it make a whole lot of sense for "white"/BLANC to have the identical meaning of "polished steel" (as is the case according to Iwanami notes to line 1022). It would stand to reason that there were distinguishable differences in these two different tempers of steel, but the knowledge of the difference seems to have been lost with the art.
    Here I venture my own theory, albeit a bit far-fetched — What if "brown steel" were special steels they had employed the technique of creating a brownish/bluish oxidized film which retarded rusting, termed "bluing" bleuir [F], brünieren [G]? However, I have not established whether this technique was already extant in the 11-12th century when the poem was put down.

* Glossary: spear vs. lance —In the Song, two types of polearms appear, and they are translated as ESPIET[AF] = spear and LANCE[AF] = lance, respectively. (cf. "So many blows from spears and lances borne,"—41:541).
Looking up a modern French dictionary, the word most closely resembling ESPIET is épieu
defined as a " boar spear", but also it seems to be applied as the modern translation of ESPIET (a war weapon).
—Hakusuisha's dictionary Le Dico defines it as "épieu-(in olden times) a boar spear or hoko
(=type of polearm) for military or hunting use. "
Further to confound us, the modern French word lance encompasses both that which we call a
lance and that which we call a spear in English.

* An Attempt to Decipher the Meaning of "Almace"
Upon searching dictionaries, the only English word I could come up with that sufficiently resemble "almace" was "alms" (=aumône[F.]). Here I quote from the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) etc., where you can see that the etymological predecessors sound even closer to the sword-name:
[..OE aelmysse ON almusa OFris ielmisse OHG alamuosan MHG almuosen .. from common OTeut *alemosna or *alemosina a. Vulg. Lat. *alimosina , LL eleemosyna, Gk ἐλεημοσύνη "compassionateness, mercy".]
and this to me seems a strong candidate for what "Almace" might actually mean. "Mercy" is reminiscent of the fact that one of three regalia swords of English coronation is the Sword of Mercy (* note that the English Sword of Mercy is sometimes equated with Courtain, the curtailed sword owned by Ogier the Dane.)
On Almace the sword.. 156:2089- {orig.} IL TRAIT ALMACE S ESPEE DE ACER BRUN, EN LA GRANT PRESSE MIL COLPS I FIERT ET PLUS,.. {Eng.} He's drawn Almace, whose steel was brown and rough, 2090 Through the great press a thousand blows he's struck: Locked in combat against Abisme.. 127:1658- {orig.} ..LI ARCEVESQUE BROCHET PAR TANT GRANT VASSELAGE, NE LAISSERAT,QU ABISME NEN ASAILLET, VAIT LE FERIR EN L ESCUT A MIRACLE. PIERRES I AD AMETISTES E TOPAZES ESTERMINALS E CARBUNCLES,KI ARDENT, EN VAL METAS LI DUNAT UNS DIABLES, SI LI TRAMIST LI AMIRALZ GALAFES. TURPINS I FIERT ,KI NIENT NE L ESPARIGNET, ENPRES SUN COLP NE QUID ,QUE UN DENER VAILLET, LE CORS LI TRENCHET TRES L UN COSTET QU A L ALTRE, QUE MORT L ABAT EN UNE VOIDE PLACE. {Eng.} That Archbishop spurs on by vassalage, He will not pause ere Abisme he assail; 1660 So strikes that shield, is wonderfully arrayed, Whereon are stones, amethyst and topaze, Esterminals and carbuncles that blaze; A devil's gift it was, in Val Metase, Who handed it to the admiral Galafes; 1665 So Turpin strikes, spares him not anyway; After that blow, he's worth no penny wage; The carcass he's sliced, rib from rib away, So flings him down dead in an empty place. On the Crosier or Cross.. 127:1558- {orig.} DIENT FRANCEIS,«CI AD GRANT VASSELAGE, EN L ARCEVESQUE EST BEN LA CROCE SALVE.» {Eng.} Then say the Franks: "He has great vassalage, 1670 With the Archbishop, surely the Cross is safe."

4. Oliver Olivier[F], OLIVER[AF]
* In English-speaking countries he is Oliver rather than Olivier.
Roland's close friend and one of the douzeperes serving Charlemagne.
His sister Aude Aude[F], ALDE[AF] is the fiancée of Roland.
If Roland is an intrepid military leader, Olivier is a prudent and wise one.
*Oliver is the nephew of Girart(or Gerard) of Vienne according to the chanson de geste Girart de Vienne; (also cf. The Marriage of Roland)
"Vienne" here is apparently not deemed to be Vienna, Austria, but rather the town Vienne on the banks of the Rhone (in the old province of Dauphiné and now part of Isère), situated about 28 kilometers due south of Lyon. Also, this uncle of Olivier's is different from Gerard/Girart de Rousillon (GERART DE ROSSILLON[AF]), one of the douzepeers who appears in The Song of Roland, 65:797.

Oliver's Genealogy

In the chason de geste Gérard de Vienne*Girart de Vienne(Viane)[OF], Olvier's family tree is as shown in the family tree here.

Oliver's paternal grandfather was Garin de Monglane and his and his father was Renier (or Duc Rénier).

Oliver's uncles Girart (or Gérard)*Gérard/Girart de Vienne[OF] had been robbed of his fiancée by King Charles, and receives an investiture over the fiefdom of Vienne as recompense. *Vienne[F],Viane[OF](→geography), however his unrequieted bitter spite escalates into war between his family and the royals. For a time, Girart and his kinsmen are besieged at Vienne until the matter is finally resolved by combat between champions (i.e., Roland vs. Oliver).
(* More details from →plotline).

The historical personage(→) who became the model for Girart de Vienne lived during a later era in the 8 th century, contemporaneous with Charles' son and grandson, Louis the Pious and Charles the bald. (* →Girart de Rousillon, a douzepere).

[Stemma of Oliver's Clan]

Garin de Monglane
|                                |                           |                     |
Girart de Vienne
Hernaud de Beaulande  
Milon de Pouille
Renier de Gennes
   | |
Roland ?

The chanson de geste of Oliver's grandfather Garin de Monglande has lent its name to one of the →Three Great Cycles
into which French gestes are classified.

Each of Girart's sibling (except Milon) also has a geste of his own.
Oliver has an uncle Milon de Pouille(*Pouill is the province of Apulia*Apulia, Puglia[It.] at the southern end of Italy, but what sort of personality is he?

Roland's father Milon de Anglers may be of southern Italian origins, since Milon's father Bernard comes from Clermont(Chiaromonte) which is just next door to the province of Pouille(Apulia). It may have been the author's intention to make Roland and Oliver blood relatives.  

Hauteclaire the sword 107:1363- {Japanese}Iwanami Notes to Line 1363: The meaning of the word is "high and pure" or "verily pure". Details of the sword can be found in [the chanson de geste] Gerard de Vienne (Gautier). {orig.} («)U EST VOSTRE ESPEE ,KI HALTECLERE AD NUM$ D OR EST LI HELZ E DE CRISTAL LI PUNZ.» {Eng.} (")Where is your sword, that Halteclere I knew? Golden its hilt, whereon a crystal grew." 147:1952- {orig.} OLIVER SENT,QUE A MORT EST FERUT, TIENT HALTECLERE,DUNT LI ACER FUT BRUNS. FIERT MARGANICES SUR L ELME A OR AGUT, E FLURS E PIERRES EN ACRAVENTET JUS, {Eng.} Oliver feels that he to die is bound, Holds Halteclere, whose steel is rough and brown, Strikes the alcaliph on his helm's golden mount; 1955 Flowers and stones fall clattering to the ground,

5. CharlemagneCharles[F], CARLES[AF]
King of France. The Frankish Karl the Great (Charlemagne). His sister's son is Roland while the
man his sister remarried was Ganelon the traitor.
Charles' sword and its relic 184:2498- {orig.} ICELE NOIT NE SE VOLT IL DESARMER, SI AD VESTUT SUN BLANC OSBERC SAFFRET LACIET SUN ELME,KI EST A OR GEMMET, CEINTE JOIUSE, UNCHES NE FUT SA PER, KI CASCUN JUR MUET XXX CLARTEZ. ASEZ SAVUM DE LA LANCE PARLER, DUNT NOSTRE SIRE FUT EN LA CRUIZ NASFRET. CARLES EN AD LA MURE MERCIT DEU, EN L ORET PUNT L AD FAITE MANUVRER, PUR CESTE HONUR E PUR CESTE BONTET LI NUMS JOIUSE L ESPEE FUT DUNET. BARUNS FRANCEIS NEL DEIVENT UBLIER, ENSEIGNE EN UNT DE MUNJOIE CRIER. PUR CO NES POET NULE GENT CUNTRESTER. {Eng.} That Emperour is lying in a mead; By's head, so brave, he's placed his mighty spear; On such a night unarmed he will not be. He's donned his white hauberk, with broidery, 2500 Has laced his helm, jewelled with golden beads, Girt on Joiuse, there never was its peer, Whereon each day thirty fresh hues appear. All of us know that lance, and well may speak Whereby Our Lord was wounded on the Tree: 2505 Charles, by God's grace, possessed its point of steel! His golden hilt he enshrined it underneath. By that honour and by that sanctity The name Joiuse was for that sword decreed. Barons of France may not forgetful be 2510 Whence comes the ensign "Monjoie," they cry at need; Wherefore no race against them can succeed. Charles' sword, shield, lance, and destrier 216:2987- {orig.} LI EMPERERES TUZ PREMEREINS S ADUBET, ISNELEMENT AD VESTUE SA BRUNIE, LACET SUN HELME, SI AD CEINTE JOIUSE KI PUR SOLEILL SA CLARTET NEN ESCUNSET, PENT A SUN COL UN ESCUT DE BITERNE, TIENT SUN ESPIET, SIN FAIT BRANDIR LA HANSTE, EN TENCENDUR, SUN BON CHEVAL, PUIS MUNTET- IL LE CUNQUIST ES GUEZ DESUZ MARSUNE, SIN GETAT MORT MALPALIN DE NERBONE- LASCHET LA RESNE, MULT SUVENT L ESPERONET, FAIT SUN ESLAIS, VEANT CENT MIL HUMES, AOI. RECLEIMET DEU E L APOSTLE DE ROME. {Eng.} First before all was armed that Emperour, Nimbly enough his iron sark indued, Laced up his helm, girt on his sword Joiuse, 2990 Outshone the sun that dazzling light it threw, Hung from his neck a shield, was of Girunde, And took his spear, was fashioned at Blandune. On his good horse then mounted, Tencendur, Which he had won at th'ford below Marsune 2995 When he flung dead Malpalin of Nerbune, Let go the reins, spurred him with either foot; Five score thousand behind him as he flew, Calling on God and the Apostle of Roum.

6. The French War-Banner
Charles' war-banner 226:3093- {orig.} ..OD ELS EST CARLEMAGNE. GEFREID D ANJOU PORTET L ORIEFLAMBE, SEINT PIERE FUT, SI AVEIT NUM ROMAINE. MAIS DE MUNJOIE ILOEC OUT PRIS ESCHANGE. AOI. {Eng.} ..With them goes Charlemagne. Gefreid d'Anjou carries that oriflamme; Saint Peter's twas, and bare the name Roman, 3095 But on that day Monjoie, by change, it gat. AOI. {Japanese}Iwanami notes for line 3094 3094 - The sovereign banner was once at St. Peter's Church and had the name Roman Banner — The line merely expounds upon the origins of where the oriflamme (previous line) came from. Accord- ing to Gautier's investigations, the oldest (9th century) oriflamme is to be found on the mosaics of the "dining hall" of the Saint-Jean de Lateran Church, and of the two mosaics, one depicts Charlemagne being handed a green flag from Saint Peter, and this is the flag of the city of Rome and the pope. In the second mosaic, Charles is likewise given a flag from Christ, but this is the imperial, i.e., St. Peter's banner which had the name of "Rome Banner". That is to say, the Carolingian oriflamme and the Capetian oriflamme were confounded.
* Question 1: Historical origins of the oriflamme -- Was the oriflamme blue ?
The Capetian oriflamme was indeed a red banner, and the name oriflamme literally translates to
"gold(or)+flame(flambe)" perhaps, but is this sufficient to assert that the author of the Song
considered Charles' banner to be red? On this:
The earliest use of military banner by the Frankish Carolingian monarachy occurred
after Eudes ascended the throne in 888 AD, when the king, formerly the Abbot of St. Martin,
employed the banner of the church of St. Martin of Tours, and it was a plain blue flag.
The fleur-de-lys on azure motif was used as royal banner up to the 14th century,
(when it was supplanted by the white fleur-de-lys of Joan of Arc) .
As for military banners, the blue flag of St. Martin was replaced by the red oriflamme
of St. Denis only during the reign of the capetian Louis VI the Fat (ruled 1108-37). The design
of the flag is supposed to have been of a flaming red silk (sendal) ground upon which golden
flames and star-glitters are scattered, but nothing can be said of certain.
Its traditional standard-bearer was the Comte de Vexin [Vexin being a former domain on the
right bank of the Seine, between Rouen and Paris.]
                                      —Source:Catholic Encyclopedia, on "
Oriflamme" (paraphrased)
That is to say, the years in which the St. Denis oriflamme was first adopted dated closely before or after
when the Oxford manuscript text was composed/transcribed. Thus it is difficult for me to imagine the
the authors being ignorant of the fact it it was not employed during Charlemagne's heydeys (although
they may have taken license with historical truth.

Incidentally, Iwanami notes for line 973 reads:
The French battle cry of "Monjoie" was also exclaimed "Monjoie St. Denis!"
but that too would have to be part of French history from the Capetian Monarchy and beyond.
The English shouted the battle cry of "Monjoie St. George" or "Monjoie Notre Dame". (ibid.)

*Question 2: History of the Mosaic in Rome -- Was the oriflamme green ?
The Iwanami notes to line 3094 says that the mosaic depicting Charlemagne receiving a banner from
St. Peter is in the Cathedral of Saint John Lateran [E] Basilique de Saint-Jean de Lateran[F]
San Giovanni Laterano [It.] but this is not precisely accurate.
  I find that it is a different building [at more or less the same site] with quite a different history, namely,
the Palazzo del Laterano. The history of this builiding is as follows:
  The palace was a gift by Constantine to the papacy, and it was used as papal residence for a thousand
years. However, the edifice fell into disrepair during the Avignon Period when the pope moved to
France, and was damaged in the fires of the years 1307 and 1361. An immense sum was devoted to
its restoration, but it never regained its former splendor. Pope Sixtus V (1585~90) demolished the
ruin and constructed the much smaller structure at the site, which remains today.

However, the apse portion that is covered with mosaic, which still remains today in open-air, is
a vestige of the Triclinium of Leo III[E.] Triclinio di Leone III [It.] which was the state dining
room used by Pope Leo.
The mosaic is in three parts. The mosaic on the right shows the disciple Peter seat in the center,
granting a green banner vexillum(vexillum) to Charlemagne on the right, while granting a pallium (a cape
or stole) to Pope Leo on the left.
The center mosaic is Christ giving his disciples the evangelical mission. The one on the left shows
Christ giving the pope St. Sylvester a key while giving Constantine the labarum banner labarum
[The banner which combines Christ's monograms and thus also called the chi-rho(ΧΡ)].

                                    —source:Catholic Encylcopedia, on "
Saint John Lateran".

The original mosaic work dates to ca. 800AD, around when Charlmagne had his coronation in Rome.
Since the portrait of Pope Leo is endowed with a square nimbus, this tells us it was made while Leo III
(pope 795 ~ 816) was still alive. (source: Chris Nyborg's guide to the churches of Rome).
The mosaic that remains today is largely restored, though there is possibility that some of the original
tiles still remain.

As for the green flag being handed to Charles, the heraldric scholar Donald Lindsay Galbraith has
described it as:

"it is a green flag of the gonfalon type with three tails, with numerous gold dots
and with 6 disks coloured red, black and gold, which doubtless are meant to represent embroidery."
                                    —from Heraldica.
To me personally, the flag appears to mimic the plumage of the peacock, but please view the
green banner mosaic for yourselves.

7. Marsile, Marsilies Marsil, Marsilion[F], MARSILIE, MARSILIUN[AF]
Saracen King who has carved out the heathen dominion of Saragossa for himself in Spain. Though he
feigns to show deference to Charles, he conspires with the traitor Ganelon to entrap Roland at Roncevalle.
In the field, he has his right hand cut off by Roland and retreats. He seeks out the Admiral Baligan's
assistance against the French, but upon hearing news of the Admiral falling in battle, he dies of grief.
Dart with golden feathers gay 34:439- {orig.} LI REIS MARSILIES EN FUT MULT ESFREED, UN ALGIER TINT, KI D OR FUT ENPENET, FERIR L EN VOLT, SE N EN FUST DESTURNET, AOI. {Eng.} King Marsilies was very sore afraid, Snatching a dart, with golden feathers gay, 440 He made to strike: they turned aside his aim. AOI. Equipment and gear of the Saragosse force (Marsile and his men) 80:994-{orig.} PAIEN S ADUBENT DES OSBERCS SARAZINEIS, TUIT LI PLUSUR EN SUNT DUBLEZ EN TREIS, LACENT LOR ELMES MULT BONS SARRAGUZEIS, CEIGNENT ESPEES DE L ACER VIANEIS, ESCUZ UNT GENZ ESPIEZ VALENTINEIS E GUNFANUNS BLANCS E BLOIS E VERMEILZ, {English} Ready they make hauberks Sarrazinese, 995 That folded are, the greater part, in three; And they lace on good helms Sarragucese; Gird on their swords of tried steel Viennese; Fine shields they have, and spears Valentinese, And white, blue, red, their ensigns take the breeze, {Japanese}Iwanami Notes to Line 997 steel Viennes— the expression steel from Vienne frequently occurs in old texts. perhaps Vienne in the Dauphineé region?
* Vienne in the "Dauphiné region" would be identical to the town of Vienne along
the Rhone River, about 29km S of Lyon, as already discussed in the section on
I could not substantiate whether this town had a steel/swordmaking industry.
Perhaps what is meant was the Vienne River basin where Poitier lies, or even Vienna in Austria.
Innsbruck, Austria is certainly famous for steel production and had an armory industry.
This may be a bit of a stretch, but perhaps goods of Innsbruck make were being trafficked
as Viennese goods (since Vienna was a trade center).
81:1021- {orig.} «DEVERS ESPAIGNE VEI VENIR TEL BRUNUR TANZ BLANCS OSBERCS TANZ ELMES FLAMBIUS, {Eng.} "What sound is this, come out of Spain, we hear, What hauberks bright, what helmets these that gleam? Iwanami Notes to Line 1022 white hauberks(hauberks bright)— rather than being especially colorated, it means that the new iron has been polished bright. Quicherat cites there were also blue and green colorations.
* To reiterate, I am skeptical that both BLANC "white" and BRUN "brown" should be interpreted as
"polished/burnished"(cf. my section on
Almace). I suspect there to be some distinction.

82:1030- {orig.} E SARRAZINS,KI TANT SUNT ASEMBLEZ. LUISENT CIL ELME,KI AD OR SUNT GEMMEZ, E CIL ESCUZ E CIL OSBERCS SAFREZ E CIL ESPIEZ CIL GUNFANUN FERMEZ, {Eng.} And Sarrazins, so many gathered. Their helmets gleam, with gold are jewelled, Also their shields, their hauberks orfreyed, Also their swords, ensigns on spears fixed. Iwanami Notes to Line 1032 hauberks with saffre ornamented (hauberks orfreyed)— Some theorize this to mean armor colored yellow using "zinc oxide" (Foulet), while others interpret this to be chain armor with brass wires woven in (Gautier).
* SAFREZ[AF]=safré[F]— it seems the word is conventionally understood to mean
yellow-colored like saffron. Moncrieff renders it as "orfreyed", i.e., "ornamented with gold embroidery"
in English.

* zinc oxide — this pigment which Foulet theorizes is in fact not a yellow pigment but a
white one; and though it is something "known since the middle ages" it was "rarely used as a pigment
until 1834 when it was used as a watercolor pigment called Chinese White". It is not yellow per se,
but "it yellows or chalks in contact with ultraviolet light."
  An important yellow pigment of the middle ages is orpiment (or King's yellow) but
its main constituent is arsenic sulfide and is thus poisonous.
                            —Source: Conservation and Art Materials Encyclopedia Online , on "zinc oxide"
* When brass/latten wires are woven into chain mail, it creates an alternating stripe of copper-yellow
color. This type of armor is usually termed "banded mail", although the more favored theory may
be that leather strips (not wire) were used for this reinforcement. Nothing can be said for certain,
since examples of such armor have not survived.
                            —Source:ffoulkes The Armourer and his Craft, Dover Press, p. 46

8. Baligant, Baligan[F], BALIGANT[AF]
Amir/Admiral of Babylonia[=Cairo]. The sense is that he is the High Ruler of all of Islam
(see Iwanami Notes to line 2614.) He responds to King Marsil's supplication for military
aid and joins the war.
*The same word Amir/Admiral AMIRALZ/AMIRAFLE [AF] is used to denote Baligan's title and
provincial offices such as Galafe's above. Cf. Table of Saracen Titles below
229:3144- {orig.} PAR SUN ORGOILL LI AD UN NUM TRUVET, PUR LA CARLUN DUNT IL OIT PARLER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CO ERT S ENSEIGNE EN BATAILLE CAMPEL, SES CEVALERS EN AD FAIT ESCRIER. PENT A SUN COL UN SOEN GRANT ESCUT LET, D OR EST LA BUCLE E DE CRISTAL LISTET, LA GUIGE EN EST D UN BON PALIE ROET. TIENT SUN ESPIET, SI L APELET MALTET, LA HANSTE GROSSE CUME UNS TINELS, DE SUL LE FER FUST UNS MULEZ TRUSSET. EN SUN DESTRER BALIGANT EST MUNTET, {English} 3145 Like to Carlun's, as he has heard it said, So Preciuse he bad his own be clept; Twas their ensign when they to battle went, His chevaliers'; he gave that cry to them. 3150 His own broad shield he hangs upon his neck, (Round its gold boss a band of crystal went, The strap of it was a good silken web;) He grasps his spear, the which he calls Maltet; -- So great its shaft as is a stout cudgel, Beneath its steel alone, a mule had bent; 3155 On his charger is Baligant mounted,
* be clept (or yclept) means "was called" or "was named", and is synonymous with "hight".
Baligant's war-charger 202:2813- {orig.} LI AMIRALZ, KI TRESTUZ LES ESMUT, SIN APELET GEMALFIN, UN SUN DRUT, [JO TE CUMANT DE TUTE MES OZ L AUN[. PUIS EST MUNTE EN UN SUN DESTRER BRUN, {Eng.} Their admiral, by whom they all were ruled, Called up to him Gemalfin, whom he knew: "I give command of all my hosts to you." On a brown horse mounted, as he was used,

List of horses
«Alcaliph's sorrel » un ceval sor de Marganices [AF]
MarganicesMarganices War-horse of a sorrel coat (lighter than chestnut) ridden by the Marganice, the Algalyph and uncle to Marsile. (*La chanson de Roland CXLVI:1943)
«Baligant's brown horse»destrer brun (de Baligant) [AF]
BaligantBaligantWar-horse of a brown coat (CCII: 2816) which is ridden by Baligant, the amiral of the Saracens. Though unnamed, it must be an extraordinary horse to be able to leap a fifty foot trench while bearing Baligant, whose spearhead alone weighs a mule-load. (*La chanson de Roland CCXCII:3152-4, 3265-7)
Barbamouche Barbamusche[F,AF]
ClimborinsClimborins Climborins(Climorins) the saracen owns this horse (*La chanson de Roland CCV:1491)

Ferrant d'Espagne Ferrant d'Espayne
OlivierOliver "dull iron-gray horse of Spain", which suggest as gray coat. It was originally the horse of Fierabras of Alexander, a pagan of giant stature who did single combat with Oliver. Since Fierabras' slashing of the sword slew Oliver's horse, the pagan offered to his own to replace it. (*Caxton, Charles the Grete Book II, Part II, Chap. 9 *, however, in Chap. 5, the horse Oliver had to begin with bore the same name.
MarsileMarsile Horse mounted by Marsile, the Saracen king of Sargossa, Spain. (*La chanson de RolandCXLIII:1890. )
ValdabronValdabron Horse of the saracen who gave Ganelon a fine sword and one thousand mangon pieces as a gift near the beginning of the tale. Swifter than a hawk, so it is said. (*La chanson de RolandCXVII:(1571))
MalquiantMalquiant "curvets and is lost[from sight]"?
Horse of the pagan Malquiant from Africa. It is said that no horse racing it was its equal.
(*La chanson de RolandCXIX:1554)
Sorrel Sorel[E, AF]
GerinsGerins A "sorrel" coat is a tone of bay-brown that is lighter than a chestnut.
The horse belonging to Gerins, one of the douzepeers of France.
(*La chanson de RolandCIX:1379)
Marmoire Marmore[E], MARMORIE[AF]
GrandonesGrandones (Grandoines) Since the name is "marbled" it probably had marbling streak marks, i.e., was brindled. Horse of Grandones, a son of a Cappadocian king. Swifter than a flying bird, so it is said. (*La chanson de RolandCXXI:1571)
Gerers Gerers "Passes Deer"?
Horse of the peer Gerers(Geriers), a friend of Gerins.
(*La chanson de RolandCIX:1380)
Tachebrun Tachebrun
GanelonGanelon "brown spot"? "brown with a spot"?
Horse of Ganelon the traitor.
(*La chanson de RolandXXVIII:347)

Tencendor Tencendur(Tencendor)
CharlemagneCharlemagne "All cinder-colored"?
Charlemagne's horse.
(*La chanson de RolandCCXVI: 2993)
Vaillant Vaillant [F]
Mitaine Mitaine "valiant or courageous"?
Horse ridden by Mitaine, a brave girl who was the daughter of Charles' godfather, accordng to the modern romance novel. She mounts on a quest for the Fortress of Fear, and accomplishes this feat. She accompanies Roland as his page, but her life is also lost at Roncevalles.
(* Croquemitaine, Part III)
Veillantif Veillantif[AF]; Vegliantino[It.]
RolandRoland "Olde Ancient One?"
Roland's destrier. In the Italian version, Orlando mounts a horse named Vegliantino.
(*La chanson de RolandXCII:1155)

Table of Saracen Titles (Rank/Offices)
J. trans. English Example O ms. text modern Definition
"Algalife" alcalyph Marganices, uncle of MarsileMARGANICES
(38:493 alcalyph is his uncle; 144:1914 Marganices is his uncle.)
ALGALIFE caliph, calif [(1393) ¬ OF caliphe ¬ (Arab.) khalí¯fah 'successor'<-khálafa 'to succeed']
« the word means the successor to the prophet Mohammed, and is the political and spiritual leader of Islam » Kenkyusha EJ Dictionary
*The English translation clearly translates this as a title "the alcalyph" and not a proper name.
"governor-general" admiral Baligant
AMIRAL émir/emir [(1625) ¬ (Arab.) amí¯r 'commander'<-amara 'to command' => amir, admiral]
1. leader, commander: title of provincial heads of state since the Abbas
monarchy; title of princes and high officials of petty monarchies. 2. chieftain « heads of state of Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and UAE.» 3. (Obs.) honorific title for descendants of Mohamet
Kenkyusha EJ Dictionary
* admiral nowadays usually refers to a naval commander.
"municipal governor" admiral GalafeGALAFES
"provincial chief" almacour almacour of Moriane
ALMAÇUR, almaçour [a OFr. almaçor, -ur, aumaçor / aumansour ¬ (perh. indirectly) (Arab.) al-mançûr (heaven-) defended, august ' <-naçara defend]
A (Saracen) grandee or magnifico. A common title in OFr. romances,
but not so used in Arabic.Oxford English Dictionary
"captain"(cuntur) n/a ----- CUNTUR comte/count[?] I could not find any word remotely close to "cuntur" that might mean "captain"
*In the Iwanami version, Arinaga translates this as "LES FILZ AS CUNTURS" as "sons of captains" (line 850), but I see it as unnatural that sons of captains should be selected to the war-field. Shouldn't this phrase read "sons of counts" (cp. Marsile's counts are "SES CUNTES" in 2:14) Moncrieff renders this phrase as "cadets nobly born". I rather suspect that modern French translations might also used the word "cadet". Perhaps Arinaga read it, and instead of construing it as a "young noble in military service", confounded it to mean "junior officer" and thus "captain"?

thumbnail of card pic from www.woodenhorsebooks.comOther Works in the Charlemagne Legend Cycle

Priest Konrad's Rolandslied
Rolandslied(der Pfaffe Konrad)

This is a Middle High German translation of the Song of Roland by the Bavarian priest Konrad (ca. 1170).
Next I am quoting the scene where Roland speaks to his sword Durendart. The four relics in the sword
mentioned here differ slightly from the four menitioned in the Anglo-French La Chanson de Roland.

Below I have replicated the original English passage, instead of the my translation of it into Japanese
(as I have on my original page).
  Information on this passage was obtained and translated/transplanted onto my page courtesy
Vika Zafrin from her
RolandHT site.
  To view the full extract from J. W. Thomas' translation of Rolandslied, please visit Mr. Zafrin's chapter
"Roland speaks to his sword" chapter (or if you encounter browser compatibility glitches, you might try
"Roland speaks to his sword" on his old server).

   Your like has never been forged or ever will be; you proved it on this field. 
   You were brought to my lord in the valley of Maurienne by an angel who 
   graciously remembered me by name and said that Emperor Karl should gird you,
   Durendart, at my side so that I might protect widows and orphans. 
   How could I be so blind! May the Lord of heaven forgive me for wantonly trying to break you! 
   The emperor insisted that great power be sealed in your hilt: 
   St. Peter's blood, relics of St. Blasius, some hair of St. Denys, 
   and a piece of cloth from St. Mary's garment. 

*The biggest difference is that Chanson de Roland names St. Basilius[L.] Basil [F.] (330~379) whereas
it has been replaced by St. Blasius [L.] Blaise [F.] (martyred in late 4c.) here .
{orig. text - Middle High German} 
This was obtained from the MHDBDB database.
iane wart din geliche nie gesmidet uf dirre erde, 6860 noch newirt ouh hinne fur niemir mere: daz bewartestu wol an disem wal. ze Moriana in dem tal der engel dich mine herren brachte. gnadiclichen er min gedachte 6865 benamen er mich nante: er hiez mir Rovlante Karln den kaiser zebeschirmen witewen unt waisen dich Durndarten umbe binten. 6870 daz ich ie sa erplinde! daz riwet mich uil sere, nu uergip du mir, himilischer herre, daz ich iz ungezogenlichen sluoc. mines herren sent Petres bluot, 6875 diu herschaft sent Plasien, des hares mines herren sent Dionisien, des gewates miner frouwen sent Marien, der kaiser newolte nie beliben unz in dir uersigelet wart 6880 diu uil groze herschaft.

The Karlamagnus Saga
Karlamagnús saga

This is a Norse work in prose form, written around the 13th century.
This saga is the only work that gives such detailed accounts as to the origin of Durendal (according to V.Zafrin).
Also, the relics held within Durendal are three, not four, and the contents themselves differ as well.

* Again, I am going to clip out my Japanese translation of the paragraph and replace it with the
corresponding paragraph from V. Zafrin's site.
RolandHT site.
To view the full excerpts of Constance B. Hieatt's English translation of the saga, you should go to
Karl's Swords (or if you encounter browser trouble you might try "Karl's Swords" on his old server).
I do not have access to text in the original language however.
* The icons are there as a device for me to display the spelling of the Proper Names to the Japanese readers
(The English/French, etc. should appear in a speech bubble when you point the cursor at the icons)

The Manner in which Karl(Charlemagne) Obtained the Swords and his Testing of them
...Malakin son of Ivin Malakin son of Ivin came [to Karl's castle] and asked if King KarlamagnusKing Karlamagnús would release AbrahamAbraham, his brother, who had been in prison for more than fourteen years: "and I have three swords which are the best possible. Galant the smithGalant, of England, made them, and he heated them in the forge for seven years; King FaberKing Faber gave them to me as a surety for seven hundred gold coins. The swords were good - and I ask you to release my brother." [K. has A. released and gets the three swords.] As soon as King Karlamagnus came home, he called NamlunNamlun to him and told him to bring the swords which Malakin of Ivin had given him. He drew the swords from their scabbards and looked at them, and they seemed to be good. After that he went to the steel mound before his hall, and struck the first of the swords into it a hand's breadth, so that there was a little notch in it. "Certainly that is a good sword," says the king, "and I shall call it KurtKurt." Then he struck in the second a hand's breadth or more, and called that AlmaciaAlmacia, and said it was good to strike heathens with. He then struck with the third, and rent more than half the length of a man's foot; he said, "That sword shall be named DyrumdaliDyrumdali," and he kept that with him, for he loved it dearly. (cont.)
* The first sword cut a "hand's breadth", namely 1 hand or about 4 inches(=10cm)[In French this would be called 1 main ].
This unit of length has been used in recent times to measure a horse's height, etc. Dyrumdali was able to cut "half a man's foot",
namely ½ foot or 6 inches(=15cm) [In French, this would be called ½ pied].
* As for "Kurt" it means "short", and corresponds to Ogier le Danois's sword Courtain (which also means short or shortened in French).
Angel seen by Karl in his Dreams / The Three Relics
Now that King Karlamagnus was home, a letter came to him from the pope, saying that a great war had broken out between the Lombards and the men of BretlandBretland , and it was doing much harm to the Romans. The king was most unhappy about that; he wrote a letter asking all those who were at war to come to him in MontardalMontardal and he swore by his beard that whoever would not come to a settlement would be hanged. He went off, with his trumpets blowing. And when he arrived in Moniardal, all of those to whom he had sent word had come there. He ordered them all to reach a settlement if they wished to keep their lives, and asked the pope to act as judge between them in their differences. The night after this, as Karlamagnus lay in his bed, the angel Gabriel came to him and told him that his sword contained a precious, holy relic: "There is in it a tooth of Peter the apostle, and a hair of Maria Magdalene, and some blood of Bishop Blasius; you shall give the sword to Rollant, your kinsman, for it will then be in good hands." Karlamagnus did as the angel told him. He gave Rollant the sword and girded him with it, and tapped him on the neck, saying, "Good nephew, take Dyrumdali now, and use it, best of men, in the memory that God gave his apostles a dwelling in Paradise."
* striking a gentle blow on the neck with ones hand is a gesture called colée and is used during the dubbing of a knight.

Works on the Saracen named Fierabras has existed in many forms, in prose and verse, in French, Latin,
and English; but here, I am basing my information on Caxton's English translation of the French prose
Fierabras, namely the work he published as Charles the Grete (15 c.).
  Oliver/Olivier assumes the false name Garyn and challenges Fierabras, the Saracen prince of giant stature.
During this single combat, Oliver loses grip of his sword Hauteclaire and drops it in a ditch. He grabs hold
of a sword named Baptism which was hanging from the cruppers of his opponent's horse, and continues
to fight. Fierabras is finally vanquished and desires to be coverted to Christianity, bequeathing his
sword and his horse to Oliver as he approaches death.
  In a slightly earlier passage, the tale refers to the three swordsmith brethren and the nine swords wrought
by them. I now quote/transate from that passage:
(*pointing the cursor over the icons should cause the spelling of the names and the French pronunciation
guide to appear in a speech bubble.)

Caxton's Charles the Grete, II, ii, Ch. 9 p. 52
Whan FyerabrasFierabras FEE-AIR-A-BRAH[F] was wel armed he thanked moche OlyuerOlyuer OLI-VEE-YAY [F], And after gyrde hys swerde named PlourancePlourance PLUH-RAWNCE[F]. and in the arson of his sadyl he had tweyne other of whom that one was named BaptysmeBaptysme BAP-TEHM[F] and that other GrabamGrabam GRA-BAN[F],2 the whyche swerdes were maad in suche wyse that there was none harnoys but they wold breke and cutte a-sondre. And who that wyl demaunde the manyer how they were made & by whom I wyl saye after that whyche I haue founden by wrytyng. On a tyme there were thre brethern of one fader engendred, of whome that one was named GalausGalaus GYA-LOW(-CE)[F], that other MunyfycansMunyfycans MEW-NI-FI-CAHN(-CE)[F], & the thyrd was called AgnisiaxAgnisiax A-NYUH-ZEE-AX[F].4 These iij brethern made ix swerdes, eche of them thre. Agnisiax the thyrd brother maad the swerde named Baptesme, whiche had the pomel of gold and wel enameld, & also Plourance, and after Grabam; whyche thre swerdes Fyerabras had as I haue sayd. Munyficans, that other brother, made another swerde whyche was named DurandalDurandal, Whyche Rolland had. that other was called Sauuognye(sic.)Sauuognye SO-VA-GEE-NEH[F] and that other CortanCortan whyche Ogyer the DanoysOgier le Danois[F] OH-GEE-AY-LEH-DAN-WAHhad5. And Galaus, that other brother, maad the swerd that was named FlobergeFLOW-BARE-JEH[F], another called HaulteclereHaute-Clair OATEH-CLARE[F], and that other IoyouseJyeuse JWA-YUSE[F], whyche Charlemayn had for a grete specyalte. and these iij brethern aforesayd were smythes & wrought the sayd swerdes.
4In the verse Fierabras the names appear as Galans, Munificans, and Aurisas 5The verse Fierabras gives the names of the swords made by Munificans as Durendal, Musaguine, and Courtain

* Floberge is likely a variant spelling of Flamberge, usually attributed to Renaud de Montauban Renaud de Montauban.
* Here I have inferred that Courtain was Ogier's sword and Sauvagine's owner went unmentioned [and translated the
passage into Japanese accordingly]. However, in [the English translation of] the modern adaptive work Croquemitaine,
both swords are attributed to Ogier.
*I made the assumption that the correction Sauuognye -> Sauuogyne was needed, although I do not know if
the error is orignal to Caxtion's printed book or was an input error during the preparation of the electronic text.

Croquemitaine (1863)
This is a retelling of the Charlemagne legends by the modern writer Ernest L'Épine (1826-1893. penname Quatrelle).
  The work is in three parts, the first part about a tournament held in Fransac Fransac where Marsile's
Moorish knights combat Charlemagne's French contingent; the second part about Charlemagne's
siege of Saragossa, and the third part being the parable of the Fear Fortress.
 As for an English version, a translation (1867) done by Tom Hood (1835-1874)exists,
and a reprint is newly put out by
Rock Publishing [including the copper engraving illustrations by Gustave Doré ]
*The word in the title croquemitaine is an evil sprite or bugbear conjured up by French parents and nurses
to frighten the children into good behavior.

Now, according to this modern retelling, the legendary swords were crafted as follows:
(I have used the English spelling here.)

Ansias, Galas, and Munifican each crafted three swords respectively,
and every sword required three years in their making .

The three swords made by this cutler were Baptism Baptism [E]->Baptême BAP-TEHM[F], FlorenceFlorence FLO-RAWNCE[F], and GrabanGraban [F],
all made for Strong-i'-the-Arm. Strong-i'-the-Arm[E] Fierabras[F].
The three swords made by this cutler were Flamberge Flamberge[F] and JoyeuseJoyeuse [F] for Charlemagne, and
HauteclaireJoyeuse for ClosamontClosamont.
The three swords made by this cutler were Durandal Durandal[E]  Durendal[F] for Roland; SauvaginsSauvagins[F] and CortainCortain[F] for
Ogier the DaneOgier the Dane[E] Ogier le Danois[F].
N.B. Oliver's sword, called GloriousGlorious[E]->Glorieuse[F], hacked all the nine swords of Ansias, Galas, and Munifican “ a foot from the pommel. ” (Croquemitaine)
  The above is quoted second-hand from Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable's entry on "Sword Makers",
and not directly from Croquemitaine.

* In this work, Hauteclaire has become the sword of a different knight, one Closamont as he is called. And a
newly fabricated sword named Glorious/Glorieuse now belongs to Oliver/Olivier.
  However, no such knight by the name of Closamont occurs in La Chanson de Roland. Perhaps
he is to be found in some other work. The only mention I could find was in Victor Hugo's short poem, "La
Mariage de Roland
," Closamont appears to be an alternate name for Olivier's Hauteclair.
* Strong-i'-the-Arm is a translation of what the name Fierabras ("fier-à-bras") means in French.

Girart de Vienne (ca. 1190-1217)
Girart de Vienne

[Preface: The Three Cycles]

This work is a chanson de geste written by Bertrand de Bar-Sur-Aube around 1190-1217. In its preface, Bertrand divides the French chasons de geste into three cycles.

The categorization into these three cycles (→glossary) has considerable precendent, and is still being followed.
The present work itself, namely, the geste of Girart de Vienne*Girart de Viane[OFr], Gérard de Vienne[F] belongs to the third cycle.


Girart(or Gerard)*Gérard de Vienne[F] was born the son of Garin de Monglane, and had three brothers, Hernaut de Beaulande*Hernaud de Beaulande [OFr.], Milon de Pouille*Milon de Pouille [OFr.](perhaps Roland's father?), and Renier de Geanne*Renier de Gennes[OFr.].
The main plotline of the tale revolves around the dispute between Girart and the Duchess of Burgundy. The duchess had been betrothed to Girart, but she is wedded instead to Charlemagne. Girart is invested with the fiefdom of Vienne as recompense. But unable to contain the anger from the breach of her plight, Girart bombards her with verbal abuse. The duchess, bearing a grudge, avows she'll have her revenge. On her wedding night, she tricks Girart into kissing her toes instead of the sovereign's. Then years later, she tauntingly relates the occcurrence to Girart's son. This affrontery leads to war. King Charles lays a siege on Vienne, and Girart is aided by his brother Renier and Renier's son Oliver. A truce is called, and it is agreed that the matter be settled by single combat fought by their respective champions. The duel between Roland and Oliver takes place on an island on the Rhône, River. The spectacular battle is finally interrupted by an angel who counsels that these two paragons of knighthood should love one another, and their fury should be turned against the pagans. Charlemagne accepts Girart's homage, then declared new war on the pagans, calling on knights all over France to battle.
(Source: Dictionary of Medieval Knights and Chivalry: People, Places, and Events, "Girart de Vienne" p. 294)

[Published Texts] [Online Texts]

Victor Hugo's Le Mariage de Roland
This is a short piece of poetry found in the poetry collection by Victor Hugo (1802~1885) entitled
La légende des siècles (The Legend of the Centuries).
In it, Roland and Oliver fight a duel lasting five days. In the end Oliver sues for peace and gives his
sister Aude's hand in marriage to Roland. Note that Hugo makes Oliver the son of Gerard (rather than the nephew as according to the chanson de geste). And Aude is not just affianced to Roland, but is married to him at the end of this.
*This work is also mentioned in the Iwanami translation's notes to line 1720.

Plotline (The text was in French and I relied on machine translation, so I'm not 100% certain.) 

On an island amid the river Rhone, two warriors are matched up in single combat. It is a most stupendous battle. As for the combatants — their names are Oliver and Roland. Oliver is the son of Gerard de Vienne. His shield was made by Bacchus, his helm was one found under the wings of the hydra; his hauberk was once worn by Solomon, and his estoc bears an inscription of its name. Roland was armored cap-á-pie in iron, and held Durendal in his hand. Early on, Roland has the advantage, and he scores a masterful stroke to his opponent's helm and Oliver loses grip of his sword. But a man will not live down the shame if he were to strike an unarmed foe, and a nephew of Charlemagne's no less. Roland declares: "Let us enjoy a bit of respite. I suggest you sir, have your servant bring you another weapon. And I am feeling dreadful thirsty. I prithee you have your man bring me something to drink as well." Thus Oliver instructs his boatman to go fetch from Vienne the goodly sword Closamont (which others know as Haute-Claire). The brave warriors resume the fight, but as night sets, Oliver is feeling unwell. He can barely stay on his feet. Oh Sir Roland, will you not concede to a truce? "Indeed you do seem to have come down with a fever, sir. And not on account of being overcome by my sword. Very well, go ahead and lie youreself down on the sward, to your heart's content." "Nay, no need of that," answers Oliver. "I was merely testing your sense of honor, sir. I am full capable of sustaining the fight for another four days and nights." In fact the fight drags on for three days, and Olivier's father Gerard is on edge. He summons an augurer to read the omen. The augurur says, "My lord, the gentlemen are bound to keep fighting forever on."
On the fourth day, it is Oliver who manages to grab away Roland's sword and toss it in the river. "Now it is my turn to return the favor. At Vienne, I keep the sword of the Giant Sinnagog so I will have that fetched for you. Next to Durendal, that is the only sword worthy of thee." Roland laughs and says, "I will make do with this bit of stick," as he uproots a tree of oak. Oliver answers in kind by pulling up an elm-tree from the ground. On the fifth day, Oliver finally rests his hand and says, "At this rate, we will surely fight forever and on like a lion and a pard. This is a most fruitless exercise. What if you were to be my brother-in-law? I happen to have a beautiful sister, who goes by the name of Aude of the white arm. What if you were to take her hand in marriage?" "That suits me just fine," answered Roland. "Then let us have our drink now, we have lost plenty of sweat over these few days. " And it was thus that Roland was married to the belle Aude. {original text} Please see the "
La Mariage de Roland" links below for links to the text file.

* The abrupt ending is not mine(the translator's) but is in the original work.
* Vienne is not Vienna, Austria but a city on the Rhone, about 28km south of Lyon, as I already
stated in reference to Gerard de Vienne.
* Here, Closamont is evidently another name by which Haute-Clair was called. But in "Croquemitaine,
it appears as the name of a knight.

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