Battle of Roncesvalles

European - (778). A battle between the Franks and the Moors. The rearguard of Charlemagne's army, withdrawing from Spain after an expedition to punish the king, Marsilius, who had earlier invaded France, was ambushed in the pass at Roncesvalles. Roland, in charge of the force, put up a desperate struggle against overwhelming odds, refusing to sound his horn to summon help until the very last moment. The main force under Charlemagne arrived too late to save Roland and his little band, but the sun stopped its journey across the heavens to allow the Franks to avenge their comrades, routing the Moors. In an alternative version, Charle - magne had exacted an annual tribute from Marsilius as his price for withdrawing from Spain and the force under Roland was sent to collect the tribute, only to be ambushed by three armies as they left Spain. Some 100,000 Moors and 20,000 Franks were killed in the battle which resulted from the treachery of Gano who, out of jealousy of Roland, betrayed the emperor to Marsilius. At times, identified as Battle of Roncesvalles, Roncesvalles, Roncesvalles, Roncevaux or Valley of Thorns.

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