A knight, briefly of Arthur’s court, who is the hero of the thirteenth century French romance Floriant et Florete.
His father, King Eliadus of Sicily, was murdred by a treacherous seneschal, Maragoz, while Floriant was still in his mother’s womb. Floriant’s mother, fleeing from Maragoz, gave birth to Floriant in a forest. Morgan le Fay spirited the child (he was said to have been brought by a white stag) to safety and raised him in her castle at Mongibel (an enfances that parallels that of Lancelot). When he came of age, he left Mongibel to seek adventure.
He saved Queen Alemandine of the White City from a monster, rescued a collection of Arthur’s knights from the prison of the tyrant Moradas, killed some giants, and had several other adventures, culminating in his victory at a tournament at Arthur’s court. Eventually, he learned that his mother was still under siege from Maragoz, and he convinced Arthur to assist in the rescue. Maragoz secured the alliance of Emperor Filimenis of Constantinople. The armies met in Sicily.
Floriant fell in love with Florete, Filimenis’s daughter. Defeating Maragoz in single combat, Floriant ended the war and saw his father’s murderer executed. Floriant and Florete married, became king and queen of Sicily, and had a son named Froart. Accused of inactivity (like Erec), Floriant abandoned his throne and embarked with his wife on another series of adventures, ending with the rescue of Rome from a Saracen invasion.
When Filimenis died, Floriant became Emperor of Constantinople and Greece. At the end of their lives, Floriant and Florete joined Morgan le Fay in her enchanted castle, where Arthur was to be brought after the final battle.
Floriant et Florete | c. 1250–1275