Entrée d’Espagne

Composed in Italy in the early fourteenth century, the romance Entrée d’Espagne claims to be a vernacular version of the history of Charlemagne’s conquest of Spain as recorded by the Latin author, Turpin. As such, it functions as a prologue to the Chanson de Roland, containing detailed origin stories for many of the heros found in the Roland text. The Entrée d’Espagne begins with Roland’s deeds in the service of Charlemagne, who has just undertaken a grand campaign to defeat the Saracens of Spain. After seizing a castle, Roland is inspired by wall paintings depicting the adventures of Alexander the Great, and decides to travel East and attempt to learn from Alexander’s path. In the Orient, Roland performs great deeds in battle, sees wonderous things, and reaches a wall built on the edge of the world before returning to Spain, where a prophet foretells his martyrdom. In the twentieth century, a few fragments of the text have been discovered among private collections, suggesting a larger circulation of the work than previously understood. The text’s presence in the manuscript inventories of the Gonzaga court alongside similar works such as Aquilon de Bavière speaks to an active culture of Italian adaptions of the romance genre in this period.


Venice Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Fr. XXI (=252).


Entreé d’Espagne. Edited by Antoine Thomas. Paris: Firmin Didot, 1913.

‘L’Entrée en Espagne,’ Chanson de geste inédite renfermée dans un manuscrit de la Bibliothèque de S. Marc à Venise Edited by Léon Gautier. Bibliothèque de l’Ecole des Chartes s. IV, t. 4, (1857-58): 217-270.

Secondary Literature

Bartolucci, Lidia. “Eremiti, cibo e cavalieri nell’ ‘Entrée d’Espagne,’ e nel’ ‘Aquilon de Bavière’.” In Codici delgusto. Edited by Maria Grazia Profeti, 70-86. Milan: Angeli, 1992.

Caucci von Saucken, Paolo G. “El sueño de Carlomagno en Italia: la Entrée d’Espagne.” In El Pseudo-Turpin, lazo entre el culto jacobeo y el culto de Carlomagno: Actas del VI Congresso Internacional de Estudios Jacobeos. Edited by Klaus Herbers, 347-352. Santiago de Compostela: Xerencia de Promoción do Camiño de Santiago, 2003.

Brook, Leslie C. “Allusions a l’antiquité gréco-latine dans l’Entrée d’Espagne.” Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie 118:4 (2002): 573-586.

Hartung, Stefan, “Karl der Große in der italienischen und fracovenetischen Literatur des Mittlealters.” In Karl der Große in den europäischen Literaturen des Mittlealters: Konstruktion eines Mythos. Edited by Bernard Bastert, 53-78. Tübingen: Niermeyer, 2004.

Infurna, Marco.“‘Aemulatio’ cavalleresca: Rolando, l’‘Entrée d’Espagne,’ e il ‘Roman d’Alexandre.’” La Parola del testo 3 (1999): 133-146.

Infurna, Marco, and Francesco Zambon. “Alberto Limentani e l’‘Entrée d’Espagne’.” In Alberto Limentani, L ‘Entrée d’Espagne e i signori d’Italia. Edited by Marco Infurna and Francesco Zambon, xii-xxi. Padua: Antenore, 1992.

Marcon, Susy. “Estudio codicològico del manuscrito y estudio artìstico de las miniaturas.” In La Entrada en España. Poema épico del siglo XIV en franco-italiano, 291-318. Valencia: Ediciones Grial, 2003.

Strum-Massox, Sara, “’En fer en cortoisie retourner li villan’: Roland in Persia in the Entrée d’Espagne.” InThe Court Reconvenes: Courtly Literature Across the Disciplines. Selected Papers from the Ninth Triennial Congress of the International Courtly Literature Society, University of British Columbia, 25-31 July 1998. Edited by Barbara K. Altman and Carleton W. Carrol, 297-308. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell and Brewer, 2003.

See also RIALFRI.
See also FIOLA.