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Robert the Devil

Robert the Devil, hero of a medieval legend. He was sold to the devil by his mother before his birth but upon discovering the fact did penance and was able to purify himself of his many sins. The tale may have been derived from the life of Robert I, duke of Normandy. The story exists in several French and English versions and is the basis of Meyerbeer's opera Robert le Diable.

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Robert le diable

Robert le diable (Robert the Devil). Opera in 5 acts by Meyerbeer to lib. by Scribe and Delavigne. Prod. Paris 1831, London 1832, NY 1834.

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Robert the Devil

"Robert the Devil"

A popular thirteenth-century romance legend, known in France in both prose and verse forms as Robert le Diable. The story was printed in England ca. 1502 by Wynkyn de Worde (Caxton's assistant) as Lyfe of Robert the Devyll.

According to the story, Robert was the son of a duke and duchess of Normandy. He was endowed with marvelous physical strength, which he used only for evil. Explaining to him the cause of his wicked impulses, his mother told him that he had been born in answer to prayers addressed to the devil. He sought religious advice and was directed by the Pope to a hermit, who ordered him to maintain complete silence, to take his food from the mouths of dogs, to feign madness, and to provoke abuse from common people without attempting to retaliate.

He became court fool to the Roman emperor, and three times delivered the city from Saracen invasions, having, in each case, been prompted to fight by a heavenly message. The emperor's dumb daughter was given speech in order to identify the savior of the city with the court fool, but he refused his due reward, as well as her hand in marriage, and went back to the hermit, his former confessor.

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"Robert the Devil." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. 12 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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