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Wright-WarTerrorismandtheChristianExodusfromtheMiddleEast-690St. George Church in Tanta, Egypt, after a suicide bombing on April 9th.

War, Terrorism, and the Christian Exodus from the Middle East, The New Yorker
by Robin Wright (15 April 2017)
Please click on the title to read Robin Wright’s article.

Le Roman de Renart is a mock-epic. It is the underside of the chansons de geste and courtly love. This post excludes courtly literature to concentrate on France’s first and most important chanson de geste, the anonymous Chanson de Roland. Roland, King Charlemagne‘s nephew, and his twelve Paladins were defeated at the Battle of Roncevaux (778). Roland died.

It has been said that the Chanson de Roland is now forgotten. The Internet tells another story. It is still the subject matter of masterpieces of European literature. As we saw in my last post, Roland is Ludovico Ariosto‘s masterpiece Orlando Furioso. The Chanson de Roland may at times have been put aside, but Orlando Furioso has endured and inspired several authors down to this very day. Wikipedia’s entry on Orlando Furioso is a who’s who chronicling the arabisation of North Africa and the decline of Eastern Christianity rooted in the Fall of Constantinople to the Seljuq Turks on 29 May 1453.

The Millet protected Christians under Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, called the Conqueror, but Anatolia was not a Muslim country before the fall of Constantinople. The Ottoman Empire was defeated during World War I and dissolved under the terms of the Treaty of Sèvres.


Ruggiero rescuing Angelica by Gustave Doré (Wikipedia)


A battle of the Reconquista from the Cantigas de Santa Maria (Wikipedia)

El Cantar de Mio Cid is a celebration of the Reconquista. The Moors were in the Iberian Peninsula from 711 until 1492. In literature, el Cid is also Pierre Corneille’s Le Cid (1936). The play was produced shortly after Richelieu founded the Académie-Française. Le Cid, a very successful play, created the first querelle. It violated the rule of the three unities: time (24 hours), action (minimum) and place (single). Rodrigue, Le Cid, succeeds in pushing back thousands of Moors.

The Crusades are the backdrop to Le Roman de Renart. Crusaders aimed to recover the Holy Land from Islamic Rule. (See Crusades, Wikipedia.) Renart talks himself out of a death sentence by claiming he must go to the Near East and expiate before he is put to death.

According to The New Yorker‘s Robin Wright, Christians are leaving the Near East. The Coptic Church was founded in 42 CE (Christian era).

Love to everyone 


A battle of the Second Crusade (illustration of William of Tyre‘s Histoire d’Outremer, 1337 (Wikipedia)

Sources and Resources 

Cantigas de Santa Maria
Cantiga 10 Rosa des Rosas
Performers: Malandança (Unha noite na corte do rei Alfonso X)

© Micheline Walker
24 April 2017