Dieudonné de Gozon

It is so told that there was a dragon on the island of Rhodes in the 1330s, hiding in the local swamp and killing the cattle of the local farmers.

It inhabited a cave, just of a path on the hill, called: Mal Paso ( Bad path ), known today as Monte Smith, indicating that passing through that path, was a bad decision. The Dragon itself was said to be enormous and over 20 meters in length, possessing a thick and impenetrable skin, making it near impossible for the Knights to attack it with their swords or any other conventional weapon of those days. It would have been a futile effort.

Fear was spread all over the island … Children were disappearing, cattle were being slaughtered, and everyone who had tried to kill it, never returned back! So many knights had lost their lives trying to kill the monster of Mal Paso …

The Grand Master Hélion de Villeneuve ( c. 1270 – 1346 ) was obliged to forbid the Knights making further attempts on killing it, and the punishment to anyone ignoring him, was expulsion from the Order. In spite of this proscription, one Knight, Dieudonne de Gozon, matured a plan to tackle the dragon with the aid of two specially trained blood – hounds. He had decided to go against the orders of the Grand Master and asked to leave back to France, to visit his father’s Castle.

There, he started building a large scale model of the Dragon, in order to use it for training himself and organizing his final attack, along with his dogs and beloved horse.

The time came …

Our Brave Knight once he was equipped with the required skills and knowledge, traveled back to Rhodes Island. He went to the location where the Dragon lived, decided to “ Clear ” the Mal Paso path and execute the beast. The Dragon was so huge, making it difficult for De Gozon, getting close to it. It swung violently its large tail, eventually hitting De Gozon and knocking him off his white horse. It was also impossible for his dogs to approach the beast as well, due to its magnitude, trying to attack it from the sides …

They failed …

Dieudonne De Gozon knew from his training and studying of the Dragon, that the stomach was its Achilles Heel. The beast approached him, ready to attack back, but on that moment, De Gozon’s long sharp sword, plunged into the Dragon’s stomach … The Dragon fell to its death, trapping the Knight under its heavy corps. Thanks to him and his bravery, Rhodians were safe again.

However, The Grand Master Hélion de Villeneuve was extremely angry. He demanded the Knight to be punished for violating his strict orders to not approach the Dragon. The Rhodian people defended the Knight though, and the charges were

His appeal on the grounds of a motivation for the public’s safety was later accepted and Gozon stepped from being a legend throughout history, to becoming the Order’s Grand Master between 1346 – 1353.

Nonetheless, in order to quell any skepticism that might arise, the skull of the dragon was still to be seen as late as 1837, nailed to a post above the d’Amboise Gate at the Medieval Castle … Over this period of time, many people were able to see the head of the Dragon, saying it was the head of a crocodile.

De Gozon, following the death of Helion De Villeneuve, was elected the 27 th Grand Master of The Knight Order, a position which he held up until his death, in 1353.

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