Song of Roland Paper Assignment
(aka Aix-la-Chapelle) Cathedral (aka Kaiserdom ) is the oldest
surviving cathedral in Northern Europe--and it is still functioning as
a Roman Catholic diocese church. Charlemagne began construction
of the octagonal-shaped
Palatine Chapel (pictured here) about 792, with the pope himself making
the long journey from Rome to Charlemagne's capital to consecrate the
new imperial cathedral in 805. That certainly says a lot about
the power of Charlemagne vis-a-vis the pope.! The Chapel was long the
central part of cathedral which later, through the Middle Ages,
expanded around the Chapel. Almost miraculously, the Cathedral
suffered little serious damage in the World Wars; this despite the
allied bombing raids which pretty much totally destroyed the city of
Aachen in World War II. Charlemagne, or more accurately, what is
left of Charlemagne, is buried (preserved ) here. Photo credit yeussquai.
Read the Song of Roland (in its entirety).
Answer the following question in a one-page paper:
Citing specific evidence from the Song of Roland (not from the textbook), what were some of the
main characteristics of the ideal knight during the reign of Charlemagne?
Your paper must follow the following format:
Before proceeding, you might wish to read
the short notes and
review the study questions on the Song
- typed using a word processor
(font size 10 or 12 only)
- one-inch margins
- page number citations for your
- not to exceed one (1) page
- name, date and HIS 101 at
the top left
- must have a brief introduction
and conclusion (each not to exceed two sentences)
may consider submitting drafts of your assignment to your instructor for
feedback before submitting the assignment for a grade. Please send some specific questions that you would like answered about
your draft. The questions can be general (Is my introduction clear?) or
specific (Is the phrase, "Chardin was jeweller," written correctly?).
You can send in multiple drafts (within reason) of an assignment before you submit for a grade.
- At times, you may be asked
to rewrite your essay before it is graded. This is done for your own benefit
and will result in an improved grade.
This question might also be phrased somewhat
differently: "How was a knight expected to behave? What were the
qualities that a knight should possess? The paper requires that you gather
evidence from a textual source (Song of Roland) to reconstruct the past
(task 1), and that you then interpret that past by analyzing the evidence
(task 2). As you read the epic and take notes, you should look for any
information that sheds light on the expectations of feudal behavior, for
example, the decapitation of Marsilla's right hand is certainly one piece
Your assignment should be sent to your course
instructor following the directions
for submitting assignments.
Please take a moment to review
Charlie's History Writing Center for
specific information on the writing requirements for the assignments in the
The Roland Paper is worth a maximum of 100 points.
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