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Title: Lines of the kingdom: bloodshed and the establishment of the Frankish Christian identity in Chanson de Roland
Authors: Adam, Steven
Keywords: Humanities::Language
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Adam, S. (2021). Lines of the kingdom: bloodshed and the establishment of the Frankish Christian identity in Chanson de Roland. Neophilologus, 105(4), 491-506.
Journal: Neophilologus
Abstract: This essay investigates the importance of death in Chanson de Roland for the purposes of enacting and changing borders of cultural identity. It argues that Roland responds to contemporary concerns over Christian superiority vis-à-vis the Islamic world. The representation of communities in Roland is dynamic and changing over the course of the poem: Christian and Saracen communities are initially behaviourally different but with superficial qualities of resemblance that threaten to efface the perceived moral and chivalric superiority of Christendom. Roland’s slaying of a specific group of Saracen knights effects a potent clarification and reformulation of communal boundaries between Christians and Saracens, removing any ambiguity or illusion of moral parity between the two camps. Meanwhile, his own death allows for a consolidation of a uniform Frankish Christian identity and a transformation in social and political structures. Finally, the execution of Ganelon functions to qualm unsettling fears over lingering heresy and affirms the non-ethnic basis for Christian identity.
ISSN: 0028-2677
DOI: 10.1007/s11061-021-09693-7
Schools: School of Humanities 
Rights: © 2021 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Journal Articles

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