General - The French version of Rinaldo. Son of Aymon and Beatrice. Brother of Aalart, Guischart and Richart. In this version, Aymon's brother, Beuve, killed Charlemagne's son, Lohier, when he tried to force Beuve to fulfil his obligations to the king and Charlemagne sought revenge. Aymon supported the king's view against his own brother and sent his four sons to court where they were knighted. It was on this occasion that Renaut was given the magic horse, Bayart. In an argument over a chess game, Renaut struck Bertelai, the king's nephew, with the chess-board and killed him. He and his brothers then fled to their father's castle but he turned them away and they built their own castle in the Ardennes. When they were attacked by Charlemagne's forces, the four brothers fled to Gascony with their cousin Maugis and served the king, Yon. Here they built another castle, Montauban. When Charlemagne organised a horse-race, Renaut entered riding Bayart and won the prize which included the Charlemagne's crown. The king then attacked Montauban. Yon betrayed them to the king's forces but the four brothers were rescued by Maugis who, by magic, transported the king to Montauban. The protagonists failed to reach a peaceful settlement and the king was released and the siege was resumed. The brothers escaped, taking Bayart with them, through an underground passage and went to Dortmund where they were pursued by the king. Only when Renaut threatened to hang Charlot, the king's son whom he had captured, would the king make peace, but he required Renaut to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and threw Bayart into the Rhine. The horse managed to escape and fled to where Maugis lived as a hermit in the forest. In the Holy Land, Renaut and Maugis helped in the capture of Jerusalem and Renaut refused the offer of the crown, preferring to return to the king's court. Finding that his wife had died in his absence, he gave his property to his sons and became a monk, later working on the construction of the cathedral at Cologne. His fellow-workers, jealous of his performance, killed him amd threw his body into the river. When the body was recovered and placed on a cart, the cart set off of its own accord in the direction of Dortmund where Renaut was finally buried. In a Dutch story, Renaut killed Lodewijk (Louis) who had struck one of Renaut's brothers with a chessboard, Bayart was drowned in the Rhine and Maugis (here Malagjis) was killed in the Holy Land. Also commonly called Renaut, Rinaldo, Rinaldo, Re(g)nault, Renau(l)d, Reinold, Rinaldo of Montalban, St Rinaldo, Rinaldo, Rinaldo, Renaut de Montauban, Renaut de Montauban or Remaut.

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