The great military and political leader

The great military and political leader, Charlemagne (or King Charles in The Song of Roland), was crowned “Holy Roman Emperor” by the Pope on Christmas Day in 800 A.D.  This crowning symbolized the ideal of consolidated—or fused—institutions of politics and Christianity.  Charlemagne’s consolidation of central Europe at that time, indeed, came to be synonymous with Christendom—a geo-political and religious empire. The Song of Roland suggests an idea that grows into an important element in the notion of Christendom through the ensuing centuries of the Middle Ages (and beyond):  the concept of a divinely-sanctioned military mission of conquest and expansionism.  In other words, God–and the power of his will and force–is very much on Charlemagne’s side.

Discuss how The Song of Roland suggests this.  You may wish to consider the text of the following lais (section) #’s 79, 89, 92, 113, 126, 140, 166, 179, 183, and 291.

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