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Hurtaly or Hurtali is a legendary giant. He appears in Gargantua and Pantagruel by Rabelais, as an ancestor of Gargantua.[1] Hurtaly is there said to have survived Noah's Flood, by sitting astride Noah's Ark.[2] He is characterised as beau mangeur des souppes,[3] and as the son of Faribroth, father of Nembroth.

The name is not original to Rabelais. It is commented in Rabelais and His Critics[4] that the ancestors are biblical Jewish giants such as Hurtaly of rabbinic legend; his name in Hebrew means “he who has survived.” Another biography [5] states that Hurtaly is based on the Biblical Og, King of Bashan, and that Rabelais was paraphrasing the Pirkei of Rabbi Eliezar of Hyracanus.[6]


  1. ^ [1] Text at French Wikisource.
  2. ^ ibid., il estoit dessus à cheval, jambe de sà, jambe de là
  3. ^ A fine eater of soup.
  4. ^ By Natalie Zemon Davis and Timothy Hampton; this PDF
  5. ^ Rabelais, by M. A. Screech (1979), p.45
  6. ^ Printed a few years later (1544). Screech p.46 calls the derivation of Hurtaly from ha-palit, 'he who survived' just possible. He comments on the 'Jewish dimension' as an example of the 'erudition' of Rabelais, and non-'destructive' comic approach (p.47).