Today, the name Robert rings in the ears of visitors passing near Rouen and coming across his castle in the Seine Valley. But who was Robert the Devil? According to legend born in the seventh century, Robert was the son of Duke Aubert and the Duchess Indre. The nickname “Diable” comes from his very conception, as his mother was unable to have a child and asked the devil for help.
This diabolical parentage resulted in Robert being colean, violent, and cruel from an early age. While his father made him a knight, he then took the lead of a band of brigands that terrorized the Norman countryside.
Realizing his violence and wickedness, Robert sought the cause and discovered the mystery of his birth. He then traveled to Rome in order to meet with the pope and then confess to a hermit who asked him to take a vow of silence and compete for his food with dogs as penance.
Following this episode, Robert was taken in by the emperor of Rome. At the time, looters were terrorizing Rome, but no one dared to fight them. Robert the Devil then confronted them, alone and hidden under a white armor. The emperor then promised the hand of his daughter to this valiant knight.
Although the hermit delivered him from his penance, Robert refused to marry the princess and lived as a hermit for the rest of his life.