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Myths & Legends

Marilyn Floyde 2007


The Battle of Valbeton

Back to Girart de Roussillon. The Battle of Valbeton began on a beautiful May morning and was fiercely fought between evenly-matched soldiers. The battle raged from dawn to dusk and the River Cure ran with the blood of the dead. It was lamented by the troubadours that, “cent mille dames sont veuves de leurs maris” [Translation: A hundred thousand ladies were widowed that day.] Drogon, Girart’s father was, of course killed, after demonstrating his bravery by riding up and down in front of the troops, taunting the enemy. The fighting came to a sudden end when a violent thunderstorm swept through the valley. Lightening bolts struck the battle colours flying on the ends of the soldiers’ lances. Both sides were affected and agreed to finish the fighting because they saw it as divine intervention. The soldier who had killed Drogon was exiled as compensation for Girart, and an uneasy peace with Charles was sustained for a few years.

To cut a long story short, many more battles between the two eventually ensued. Girart and Berthe became paupers living in the forest as charcoal-burners. After many years Elissent interceded on their behalf with her husband and they were given back their chateau in Roussillon and their lands around Avallon. The last episode of the story has them founding the Abbey at Vézelay and organising the snatching of Mary Magdalene’s remains from southern France.

© Marilyn Floyde 2007

Next - Hugues de Poitiers

2016: King Arthur's French Odyssey - Avallon in Burgundy by Marilyn Floyde, has now been republished with fresh findings. Your can order it from www.islandofavallon.co.uk. Now also translated into French.