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The Song of Roland is an account of the warrior Roland, who leads his vassals into battle against pagan enemies. Roland dies a valiant death, and Charlemagne, Roland’s uncle and lord, plans to avenge his loyal vassal. The story of Roland has some historical foundation. The setting of the story is Spain, and Charles did lead a campaign into Spain in 778. This paper draws upon that historical base to offer a consideration of another theme in the story: the lord-vassal relationship. The lord-vassal relationship theme developed in The Song of Roland resonates with common practices of this time.