It forms part of the cycle of the chansons de geste dealing with the Crusade, and relates how Helyas, knight of the swan, is guided by the swan to the help of the duchess of Bouillon and marries her daughter Ida or Beatrix in circumstances exactly parallel to the adventures of Lohengrin and Elsa of Brabant, and with the like result.
Most important of all is A Lytell Geste of Robyn Hode, which was first printed about 1510 (see A.
812), also known as Guillaume Fierabrace, St Guillaume de Gellone, and the Marquis au court nez, was the central figure of the southern cycle of French romance, called by the trouveres the geste of Garin de Monglane.
The cycle of twenty or more chansons which form the geste of Guillaume reposes on the traditions of the Arab invasions of the south of France, from the battle of Poitiers (732) under Charles Martel onwards, and on the French conquest of Catalonia from the Saracens.
The central fact of the geste of Guillaume is the battle of the Archamp or Aliscans, in which perished Guillaume's heroic nephew, Vezian or Vivien, a second Roland.