The Battle of Roncevaux Pass French and English spelling, Roncesvalles in Spanish, Orreaga in Basque in saw a large force of Basques ambush a part of Charlemagne 's army in Roncevaux Passa high mountain pass in the Pyrenees on the present border between France and Spain, single near charlemagne his invasion of the Iberian Peninsula.
The Basque attack was in retaliation for Charlemagne's destruction of the city walls of their capital, Pamplona. As the Franks retreated across the Pyrenees single near charlemagne to Franciathe rearguard of Frankish lords was cut off, stood its groundand was wiped out.
Among those killed in the battle was Rolanda Frankish commander. His death elevated him and the paladinsthe foremost warriors of Charlemagne's court, into legend, becoming the quintessential role model for knights and also greatly influencing the code of chivalry in the Middle Ages.
There are numerous written works about the battle, some of which change and exaggerate events. The battle is recounted in the 11th century The Song of Rolandthe oldest surviving major work of French literatureand in Orlando Furiosoone of the most celebrated works of Italian literature.
Modern adaptations of the battle include books, plays, works of fiction, and monuments in the Pyrenees. With the rise of the Carolingians and Pepin the Short 's war on Aquitaine, the Duchy of Aquitaine led by Waifer was defeated and the Franks encroached farther into the duchy.
The Basques VasconesWascones of the Duchy of Vasconiaone of the mainstays of the Aquitanian army, submitted to Pepin in andbut the territory south of the Garonne remained largely unscathed and self-governed. However, as of Charlemagne expanded Frankish takeover of Aquitaine to present-day Gasconyby appointing trusted Franks, Burgundians, and Church officials in key regional positions and establishing counties, such as FezensacBordeaux, and Toulouse, on the left bank of the Garonne.
Sulayman al-Arabithe pro- Abbasid Wali single near charlemagne of Barcelona and Gironasent a delegation to Charlemagne, Master of the Franks in Paderbornoffering his submission, along with the allegiance of Husayn of Zaragoza and Abu Taur of Huesca in return for military aid. The three rulers also conveyed that the caliph of BaghdadMuhammad al-Mahdiwas preparing an single near charlemagne force against Abd ar-Rahman.
Seeing an opportunity to extend Christendom and his own power, Charlemagne agreed to go to Spain. Al-Arabi induced him to invade al Andalus by promising him an easy surrender of its Upper Marchof which Zaragoza was the capital.
Following the sealing of this alliance at Paderborn, single near charlemagne Charlemagne marched across the Pyrenees in "at the head of all the forces he could muster". His troops were welcomed in Barcelona and Girona by Sulayman single near charlemagne. Husayn and Ibn Obeid clashed repeatedly; eventually Husayn managed to defeat and to imprison Single near charlemagne Obeid.
Reinforced in his autonomous position, Husayn became reluctant to yield his new privileged status to the Frankish monarch and refused to surrender the city to Charlemagne, claiming that he had never promised Charlemagne his allegiance. He seems to have tried to appease Charlemagne by giving him the prisoner General Ibn Obeid and a large tribute of gold, but Charlemagne was not easily satisfied, putting Sulayman al-Arabi in chains.
Meanwhile, the force sent by the Baghdad caliphate seems to have been stopped near Barcelona. Though Charlemagne's forces initially held the upper hand, the siege of Zaragoza dragged on for over a month.
The latter would pay gold and the release of several single near charlemagne, while the Franks in return would withdraw their siege. Before leaving the Iberian Single near charlemagne, Charlemagne decided to further secure his hold on the Basque territory Wasconia. He gave orders to tear down the walls single near charlemagne the Basque capital Pamplonapossibly fearing that it could be used for future conflicts.
Some primary sources suggest that he destroyed the city altogether,  and many towns in the region were also razed. After securing the region, Charlemagne marched for the Pyrenees mountain pass to return to France. Many of his notable lordssuch as Roland, military governor of the Breton Marchand Eggihard, Mayor of single near charlemagne Palacewere placed in the rearguard probably to protect the retreat and the baggage train. In the evening of August 15, Charlemagne's rearguard was suddenly attacked by the Basques as single near charlemagne crossed single near charlemagne mountain pass.
The Franks were caught off guard by the surprise attack, with their army in confusion and disarray as they tried to escape the ambush. Though killed to the last man, the rearguard nonetheless succeeded in allowing Charlemagne and his army to continue to safety. Having decided to return, [Charlemagne] entered single near charlemagne mountains of the Pyrenees, in whose summits the Vascones had set up an ambush.
They attacked the rearguard, causing confusion which spread to all the army. And, while the Franks were superior to the Vascones both in armament and in courage, the roughness of the terrain and the difference in the style of combat made them generally weaker.
In this battle were killed the majority of the paladins that the Single near charlemagne had placed in command of his forces.
The baggage was sacked, and suddenly the enemy vanished, thanks to their knowledge of the terrain. The memory of the injury so produced overshadowed in the King's heart that of the feats done in Hispania. One of the principal units of the Vascones was the guerrilla army of the Basques. He would not normally wear armour. Regions surrounding his kingdom such as Bordeaux were under the control of the Carolingians.
While the Duke did pay single near charlemagne to Charlemagne by offering Hunald II a rebel leader and a possible heir to Waiofar and his wife to him, there were disputes over the trans-Pyrenean Basques lands ruled by Lupo and those under Carolingian suzerainty. Their reasons were that he and the Vascones opposed Carolingian expansion into Vasconia after the Franco-Aquitanian war — The range also single near charlemagne the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of Western Europe.
Beyond the Northern part of single near charlemagne pass lies much of the French frontier and wilderness. The mountains are older than the Alps and have an elevation of 1, m 5, feet. The mainstream opinion single near charlemagne that the battle took place somewhere not far from Roncevaux itself, as it is not just on one of the easiest routes but also the traditional one.
Lescarcrossed the Pyrenees through Roncevaux. Charlemagne biographer Einhard stated that the men in the rear were "massacred to the last man. While the skirmish was a small setback, Charlemagne did lose huge quantities of treasure and good men. A decade later the Franks finally captured Barcelona. Land in the Pyrenees would be overseen by Carolingian officials, and distributed among colonisers and to the Spanish Single near charlemagne who were allied to Charlemagne.
A Christianization program was put in place across single near charlemagne high Pyrenees. The Basques would continue their rebellion to Carolingian rule until the appointment of William of Gellonewho would dissolve their rebellion after capturing and single near charlemagne Lupo's son and Basque leader Single near charlemagne in Zaragoza, however, remained a Muslim city and capital of the Upper March, single near charlemagne later single near charlemagne an independent emirate until the 11th century.
Pamplona itself would remain in the hands of the Muslims until a rebellion in — expelled them as well. The Vascones would finally consolidate the Banu Qasi realm and eventually the constitution of the independent Kingdom of Pamplona in after the birth of a new resistance to Carolingian rule. In that same year, the Basque army defeated another Single near charlemagne army in the same mountain pass. The second Battle of Roncevaux Pass was almost identical to the first, with the Basques again taking advantage of the terrain, but against a much larger Frankish force.
Unlike the first battle in which Charlemagne's army managed to escape, the Carolingians led by Count Aeblus were trapped and routed, and a larger number of their men were slaughtered than those of Charlemagne.
Over the years, this battle was romanticized by oral tradition into a major conflict between Christians and Muslims although in fact, the Basques of the period were mainly pagans and Charlemagne had been allied to some of the Muslims.
In the tradition, the Basques are replaced by a force of single near charlemagne, Saracensand mythical objects such as Durendal and Oliphant were also added. It is the earliest surviving of the chansons de geste or epic poems of medieval France written in Old French. Together with the Knights of the Round Table in Britain, the story of Roland and the paladins have become the archetypal icons of chivalry in Europe; greatly influencing knightly culture and inspiring many Christian warriors that came after.
During the Battle of Hastings inknights and soldiers under William the Conquerorchanted the poem to inspire themselves before their fight with the Anglo-Saxons. The knights were described by the French author Jean Froissart as "if they had been all Rolands and Olivers," which admired their single near charlemagne and companionship in battle. The song is also commemorated in the Italian literary classic Orlando Furioso. A French film La chanson de Roland features an adaptation of the Song of Roland and single near charlemagne the battle as depicted in the poem.
Contents move to sidebar hide. Article Talk. Read Edit View history. Tools Tools. Download as PDF Printable version. In other projects. Single near charlemagne Commons. For the later battle leading to the establishment of the Kingdom of Pamplona, see Battle of Roncevaux Pass For the battle in the Peninsular War, see Battle of Roncesvalles Roncevaux Pass in the Pyrenees.
Battles in the Reconquista. Main article: Abbasid—Carolingian alliance. Part of a series on the. Prehistory and Roman Empire. Early Middle Ages. Late Middle Ages. Modern Age. Daily Life in the Age of Charlemagne. Greenwood November 30, Mercenaries in Medieval and Renaissance Europe. McFarland Greenwood November single near charlemagne, Archived from the original on Retrieved Retrieved December 20, Skepticism in History.
Orria, o la batall de Roncesvalles. Elkar Military History. Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN Retrieved March 26,
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