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27 Jul

Battle of Rocesvalles (788)

Illustration of the death of Roland from a 15th century manuscript

Death of Roland, manuscript illustration

The Battle of Roncesvalles or Roncevaux Pass took place at the high mountain pass on the border between France and Spain in the Pyrenees in 788. The Basques ambushed the Frankish forces on their return to Aquitaine from Charlemagne’s campaign against the Spanish Muslims, defeated the Frankish army and killed several important Frankish nobles including Roland, the prefect of the March of Brittany who was immortalized in the Song of Roland (11th to 12th century) as one of the greatest medieval knights and heroes.

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