The Song of Roland (French: La Chanson de Roland) is an 11th-century epic poem (chanson de geste) based on Roland and the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, during the reign of Charlemagne. It is the oldest surviving major work of French literature and exists in various manuscript versions, which testify to its enormous and enduring popularity from the 12th to 16th centuries.
The date of composition is put in the period between 1040 and 1115: an early version beginning around 1040 with additions and alterations made up until about 1115. The final text has about 4,000 lines of poetry. The epic poem is the first and, along with The Poem of the Cid, one of the most outstanding examples of the chanson de geste, a literary form that flourished between the 11th and 16th centuries and celebrated legendary deeds.