Geneviève de Brabant (fl. 8th c.)

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Geneviève de Brabant (fl. 8th c.)

Saint. Name variations: Genevieve of Brabant; Genoveva or Genovefa. Possibly flourished in the 8th century; married Siegfried, count of Treves and Brabant; children: son Scherzenreich.

Geneviève de Brabant is the subject of a popular medieval legend which dates her life to about the middle of the 8th century. According to the legend, Geneviève, wife of Siegfried, count of Treves and Brabant, was falsely accused of adultery by one of her servants, the major-domo Golo. She was sentenced by Siegfried to be taken into the woods, along with her infant son Scherzenreich, and put to death. Abandoned in a forest by two executioners who were moved to spare their lives, Geneviève and Scherzenreich lived in a cave in the Ardennes nourished by red deer. Seven years later, Siegfried, who had discovered the treachery of Golo long after he was told that his wife and son were dead, was out hunting. A red deer he was pursuing took refuge in the cave, and Siegfried came upon Geneviève and Scherzenreich.