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.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.