HICKEY Western Civilization to 1650

Study questions on The Song of Roland

It would be a very good idea to read the introduction (pages 1-46) before you begin the poem.  Some of it might be hard to understand (the sections on literary form).  But plow through it, because it contains is a lot of useful information on the origins of the text, the meaning of terms, and the mechanics of warfare at the time of Charlemagne.  It will make the poem easier to understand.

Some terms in this poem that would have been very familiar to European elites in the Middle Ages might be strange to you.  Use a dictionary to look up unfamiliar words.  Be patient!  You may need to read some passages twice.


Based upon The Song of Roland: