Durendal is the sword of Roland (Rinaldo, Ronaldo), Charlemagne’s great warrior, who defended France from the Muslims in the Battle of Roncesvalles in 778. The pommel of the sword contained the relics of Ss Peter, Basil, and Denis and fabric from the Blessed Virgin.
Durendal (“enduring”) was a companion sword of Charlemagne’s Joyeuse and Ogier’s Curtana. At the tragic end of the battle, Roland tried to destroy this sword to deny it to the enemy, but he could not. Before Roland died he buried Durendal and his horn, Oliphant. It is lost.
The story of the sword and Roland is narrated in the Song of Roland, the origin of Christendom’s warrior legends. Although it was written in many forms around the 1100s and after, it was a minstrel’s warrior song much earlier.