"As Roland broke you to prevent your capture... "
The text is a verbatim transcription except for the fact that the name of Roland's sword is actually spelt 'Durendal' in the original text and not 'Durandal'. As Durandal's name appears to be have been taken from Roland's sword it is surprising that the original name is not used.Count Roland smites upon the marble stone; I cannot tell you how he hewed it and smote; Yet the blade breaks not nor splinters, though it groans; Upward to heaven it rebounds from the blow. When the count sees it never will be broke, Then to himself right softly he makes moan; 'Ah, Durandal, fair, hallowed, and devote, What store of relics lies in thy hilt of gold!' -From The Song of Roland (Translated by Dorothy Sayers, Viking Penguin, NY, NY, 1957)
<Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! (Terminal 1)>
Below is the original text of verse 173 from the 1957 edition of The Song of Roland by Dorothy Sayers.
Count Roland smites upon the marble stone; I cannot tell you how he hewed it and smote; Yet the blade breaks not nor splinters, though it groans; Upward to heaven it rebounds from the blow. When the Count sees it never will be broke, Then to himself right softly he makes moan: "Ah, Durendal, fair, hallowed, and devote, What store of relics lie in thy hilt of gold! St Peter's tooth, St Basil's blood, it holds, Hair of my lord St Denis, there enclosed, Likewise a piece of Blessed Mary's robe; To Paynim hands 'twere sin to let you go; You should be served by Christian men alone, Ne'er may you fall to any coward soul! Many wide lands I conquered by your strokes For Charles to keep whose beard is white as snow, Whereby right rich and mighty is his throne."
I had the opportunity to ask Greg Kirkpatrick about the spelling of Durandal's name. He wrote:
"I first heard the name in reference to an anti-runway bomb used in F-16 Fighting Falcon, and they spelled it 'Durandal'. Later, when I read the song of Roland, I saw the other spelling, but just assumed that the 'a' had come into it as an anglicization of the word and that the translator of the book had just kept the 'e' to use the original spelling. When we stuck the text in from "The Song of Roland" it seemed like it would have just looked like we misspelled it in the quote."
You can see the anti-runway bomb (BLU-107/B Durandal) below. This one is on display in the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
Below is the cover of 1957 edition of The Song of Roland by Dorothy Sayers.
The roundel on the jacket forms part of a stained-glass window (probably thirteenth-century) in Chartres Cathedral, devoted to the Legend of Charlemagne.
It shows Roland (right) blowing the Olifant, and (left) trying to break his sword Durendal on the "marble stone" beneath the "fair tree tall". Dismembered Saracens strew the foreground. The hand of God is reaching down from heaven to accept Roland's "token".
In the Song of Roland, Count Roland is depicted as Charlemagne's nephew. Charlemagne's name also appears in an earlier terminal.
Whether this has any significance or not is as yet unclear. Indeed the text of this whole terminal is rather bizarre. The last section in particular. Again the number seven appears.....n 15 ~~~~~~Be~rn border of the Roman Empire to the Danube River. During a skirmish with barbarians in Raetiain the mountains near the borof modern France and Switzerland), 117 men under Gaius Licinius MarcW#&I~?f/f/xxfxfff`~~~ THM@#%!@# 233nce of weird and frightening monsters under his control, many successful raidsecty the fall of the Roman Empire and remained unmolested until the ninth un~~~ written ls into the lex vita. Clovis moved the settlement farther south i the mountains, nearer the spring, to escape the notice of Charlemagne and later the Holy Roman Empire. Clovis remain```` ~fxf´f`~Fxff´xf~~~~ 427q3w8459806ladimir in 1902 and Frederi~just recently. Both, however, carried out reforms before their deaths which slowly integrated their people secretly into world society, which are now scattered all over the globe- to meet only once every seven years in southeast France~FFFffxfffffF?F?FF?Ff must be chosen.<Smells Like Napalm, Tastes Like Chicken! (Terminal 2)>
Reference to Roland is made again by Tycho:
As Roland broke you to prevent your capture, so shall we.However, in the Song of Roland, Count Roland was unable to break his sword. The above statement is therefore puzzling and suggests that Tycho is actually referring to someone else.
<Welcome to the Revolution... (Terminal 2)>
Does the reference to "broke you" relate to Durandal's earlier reference to being "purged" by humanity? And is this Durandal's "shame on Mars"?
Benjamin Confino <firstname.lastname@example.org> points out that in Marathon 2, Durandal makes a reference to Count Roland on the level Feel the Noise which contradicts Tycho, namely:
Tycho never got it right either, especially
the part about Roland breaking me. He
No one can.
Benjamin goes on to say:
Perhaps a simpler theory than "broke you" referring to Durandel's "shame on Mars" is that Tycho simply made a mistake. Though given the intelligence and questionable sanity of the AIs, it could be that Tycho was speaking metaphorically, and Durandel either mistakenly took Tycho literally. Or chose to deliberately misinterpret Tycho to make a point.