One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A battle that took place in 778 at a mountain pass in the Pyrenees, near the village of Roncesvalles in northern Spain. The rearguard of Charlemagne's army was attacked by the Basques and massacred; one of the nobles, Roland, was killed, an event celebrated in the Chanson de Roland (in which the attackers are wrongly identified as the Moors). French name Roncevaux.
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