NIGHTBRINGER | The Arthurian Encyclopedia


Alibe, Elibe, Elibel, Elibes, Elysiabel, Helibe

Guenevere’s cousin and, seemingly, her most intimate confidante, Elyzabel was a brave and resourceful woman as well as a discreet one.

On one occasion, when LancelotBors, and Lionel were all from court and Guenevere had no one else to confide in about Lancelot, she took to her bed with no attendant but Elyzabel. Once the Queen sleepwalked in a nightmare. Elyzabel, awaking, sprinkled her with holy water and said,

Go quickly to bed – the King is coming,

thus bringing her to her senses.

In her efforts to find the missing Lancelot, Guenevere once sent Elyzabel to the Royal Minster in Gaul to bring back the French Damsel of the LakeViviane.

King Claudas, who was at that time popular and residing in Gannes, welcomed and feasted Elyzabel at first, but then suspected she was a spy for Lancelot and his cousins. He had her, her squire, and her dwarf seized and searched.

The dwarf threw Guenevere’s box containing the message to Viviane into the river, but Claudas’ seneschal saw him do it. Claudas imprisoned them all and sent two squires to Britain as spies. The spies was so impressed by Arthur’s court that one of them stayed on, entering Guenevere’s service. When, a year later, Guenevere asked him where he came from, he told her all. Thus she learned that her cousin was a prisoner.

She wrote an indignant letter to Claudas, sealed it with her seal, and sent it by the squire. Claudas forced the squire to return it with an insulting answer. This led to the war in which Arthur defeated Claudas for once and all and freed Elyzabel.

It is possible that she is the original of Elizabeth and Eliabel, for etymologically the names are similar.

Vulgate Lancelot | 1215-1230