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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 ("il estoit dessus à cheval, jambe de sà, jambe de là").[1] He is characterised as a beau mangeur des souppes ("a fine eater of soups"), and as the son of Faribroth, father of Nembroth.

The name is not original to Rabelais. It is commented in Rabelais and His Critics[2] that the ancestors are biblical Jewish giants such as Hurtaly of rabbinic legend; his name in Hebrew means “he who has survived.” Another biography [3] states that Hurtaly is based on the Biblical Og, King of Bashan, and that Rabelais was paraphrasing the Pirkei of Rabbi Eliezar of Hyracanus.[4]


  1. ^ a b [1] Text at French Wikisource.
  2. ^ By Natalie Zemon Davis and Timothy Hampton; this PDF
  3. ^ Rabelais, by M. A. Screech (1979), p.45
  4. ^ 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).