Legends about Theoderic the Great
In legends about Theoderic the Great that spread after his death, the Gothic king Theoderic became known as Dietrich von Bern, a king ruling from Verona, forced into exile with the Huns. The differences between the known life of Theoderic and the picture of Dietrich in the surviving legends are attributed to a long-standing oral tradition that continued into the sixteenth century; the majority of legendary material about Dietrich/Theoderic comes from high and late medieval Germany and is composed in Middle High German or Early New High German. Another important source for legends about Dietrich is the Old Norse Thidrekssaga, written using German sources. In addition to the legends detailing events that may reflect the historical Theoderic's life in some fashion, many of the legends tell of Dietrich's battles against dwarfs, dragons and other mythical beings, as well as other heroes such as Siegfried. Dietrich appears as a supporting character in other heroic poems such as the Nibelungenlied, is referenced and alluded to throughout medieval German literature.
Poems about Dietrich were popular among the medieval German nobility and the late medieval and early modern bourgeoisie, but were targets of criticism by persons writing on behalf of the church. Though some continued to be printed in the seventeenth century, most of the legends were forgotten after 1600, they became objects of academic study by the end of the sixteenth century, were revived somewhat in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, resulting in some stories about Dietrich being popular in South Tyrol, where many of the legends take place. Although the lives of Dietrich von Bern and Theoderic the Great have many important differences, it was never questioned throughout the entire Middle Ages that the two were the same figure. Modern scholarship therefore accepts this identification and has focused on ways to explain the main differences between Theoderic and Dietrich; the most striking difference is that, whereas Theoderic the Great conquerred Italy as an invader, Dietrich von Bern is portrayed as exiled from his rightful kingdom in Italy.
Victor Millet suggests that this difference in particular shows that heroic tradition has a fundamental discontinuity with the historical events that inspire it. In effect, Theoderic's conquest has been transformed according to a literary scheme consisting of exile return, a story which has a consistent set of recurring motifs throughout world literature; the story told in the heroic tradition is meant to convey a particular understanding of the historical event, namely: that Dietrich/Theoderic was in the right when he conquered Italy. To some extent, the development of the "exile-saga" of Theoderic can be traced in early medieval chronicles, where Theoderic is said to "reconquer" Italy and other information known from the saga and not history is reported. Dietrich's exile and repeated failed attempts to reconquer his rightful kingdom, as reported in the historical poems, may be a reflection of the destruction of the Theoderic's Gothic kingdom by the Byzantine Empire under Justinian I; this is true for the figure of Witege and his betrayal at Ravenna, as told in Die Rabenschlacht.
Millet notes, that Dietrich is portrayed as without any heirs and that his closest relatives and supporters die in every attempt to reclaim Italy: this too could be a way to explain the short duration of Ostrogothic rule in Italy. A noticeable difference between Theoderic and Dietrich is that, in the stories about Dietrich recorded from the High Middle Ages, Dietrich/Theoderic is a contemporary of Etzel and his uncle is semi-legendary Gothic king Ermenrich, their co-existence in the world of heroic legend is a process known as synchronization, common in many oral traditions. In the case of Dietrich, its development can be traced, to some extent: Dietrich is associated with an exile among the Huns in the Old High German Hildebrandslied, with Etzel/Attila, depending on how one interprets the mentioned huneo druhtin, it still retains Theoderic's historical opponent Odoacer showing that Odoacer was the original opponent. It is possible that the author of the Hildebrandslied altered the report in the oral saga by replacing the unhistorical Emenrich with the historical Odoacer.
In the Annals of Quedlinburg and Dietrich have both become relatives of Ermenrich. It is possible that Ermenrich/Ermanaric was drawn into the story due to his historical enmity with the Huns, who destroyed his kingdom, he was famous for killing his relatives, so his attempts to kill his kinsman Dietrich make sense in the logic of the oral tradition. By the 1000s all figures of Germanic legend had been connected together in a heroic age, uniting the sagas of Etzel/Attila, Dietrich/Theoderic/Ermenrich/Ermanaric, Wayland the Smith, the Nibelungen. Additionally, Dietrich has a number of features. In the early eleventh-century Waldere he is an enemy of giants, in Middle High German texts he fights against dwarfs, wild men. More notable is the fact that multiple texts record Dietrich breathing fire, it is possible that this tradition comes from ecclesiastical criticism of the Arian Theoderic, whose soul, Gregory the Great reports, was dropped into Mount Etna as punishment for his persecution of orthodox Christians.
Another notable tradition
Virginal known as Dietrichs erste Ausfahrt, or Dietrich und seine Gesellen is an anonymous Middle High German poem about the legendary hero Dietrich von Bern, the legendary counterpart of the historical Ostrogothic king Theodoric the Great. It is one of the so-called fantastical Dietrich poems, so called because it more resembles a courtly romance than a heroic epic; the poem was composed by 1300 at the latest, may have been composed as early as the second quarter of the thirteenth century. There are three principle versions of the Virginal; the poem concerns the still young and inexperienced Dietrich's quest to save the dwarf queen Virginal in Tyrol from a force of attacking heathens. After defeating the heathens, Dietrich encounters a series of further adventures while trying to reach Virginal's court, depending on version, his capture by giants and his rescue of the hero Rentwin out of the mouth of a dragon; when he reaches Virginal's court, Dietrich marries Virginal in two of the three versions.
There are three complete versions of the Virginal, the Heidelberg, the Vienna, the Dresden versions. Here follows a summary of each version. Heidelberg Version: Young Dietrich does not yet know what adventure means, so Hildebrand takes him into the wooded mountains of Tyrol to fight against the heathen Orkise, who has invaded the kingdom of the dwarf king Virginal and demands a virgin as tribute to eat. Hildebrand finds a girl, being sacrificed to Orkise, slays a group of heathens who have come to collect her. Hildebrand returns to Dietrich, only to discover that his pupil is himself under attack—with Hildebrand's help, Dietrich defeats the heathens; the girl invites Dietrich and Hildebrand to Virginal's palace at Jeraspunt, heading there herself as messenger to announce the heroes. Virginal sends the dwarf Bibung as a messenger to Hildebrand; when Bibung finds the heroes, they are in the midst of fighting a swarm of dragons. Hildebrand rescues a knight, half-swallowed by a dragon; the knight is named Rentwin, son of Helferich von Lune und der Portalaphe, thus great nephew of Hildebrand.
He invites his rescuers to his father's castle at Arona. Bibung goes to the castle, bringing Virginal's invitation. Dietrich rides alone ahead when the heroes head to Virginal's palace, gets lost, arriving at the castle Muter. There the giant Wicram, together with other giants, overpowers him and takes him captive on behalf of his master, Nitger. Meanwhile, the other heroes notice that Dietrich is missing. In Muter, Nitger's sister Ibelin takes care of Dietrich, with her help he is able to send a message to his friends telling them of his predicament. Hildebrand and Helferich decide to gather a force to free Dietrich, calling for the aid King Imian of Hungary, Witege and Biterolf and Dietleib; the heroes go to arrange combat with Nitger. There are eleven cases of single combat, with Nitger allowing Dietrich himself to fight, all the giants are slain; the heroes head back to Jeraspunt, on the way slaying more dragons and giants. There is an enormous feast at Virginal's palace. However, Dietrich receives news of a threatened siege of Bern (Verona, so Dietrich must hurry back home to further hardships.
Dresden Virginal: The Dresden version has been radically reduced in length by the scribe of the Dresdner Heldenbuch. This version does not contain the episode of Dietrich's capture at Muter. During Dietrich's stay at Arona, further adventures are told: Dietrich is challenged by Prince Libertin of Palermo, defeats him, becomes his friend. Hildebrand, Helferich and Libertin are invited to the castle Orteneck by the heathen Janapas, Orkise's son, while they were heading to Jeraspunt; the heathen ambushes them there, the heroes must fight against lions and heathens. Their victory frees three maidens. Dietrich, fights a ferocious boar and a giant, who objects to Dietrich hunting on his land, while all this is happening. Dietrich defeats the giant as his friends see, taking the giant captive; the heroes arrive at Jeraspunt, where Dietrich marries Virginal. For two nights he is unable to consummate his union, while Hildebrand hides under the bed and counsels the young warrior. On the third night, he is successful.
Vienna Virginal: A much longer version of the events contained in the Dresden version, but without detail that Dietrich was at first unable to consummate his marriage. It contains the Muter episode; the Virginal must have been composed prior by 1300 at the latest, based on the dating of the earliest fragments. Because of the oldest fragments of the poem come from the Swabian-Alemannic area, the poem is thought to have been composed there. Like all German heroic poetry, the Virginal is anonymous; the three complete manuscripts, the Heidelberg V10, Dresden V11, Vienna V12 versions, each contains an independent version of the poem. Most of the fragments match the Heidelberg version most but due to the extreme variability of the fantastical Dietrich epic, each individual manuscript can be considered an valid version; the Virginal has the following manuscript attestations: V1: Ms. Frag. Germ. 2. Fragment of a parchment manuscript, first half of the fourteenth century. Alemmanic dialect. V2: Badische Landesbibliothek Karlsruhe, Cod.
Donaueschingen 91. Fragment of a parchment manuscript, first half of the fourteenth century. Alemannic dialect. V3: Archive of the Evangelical-Lutheran Dekanat Ansbach. First half of the 14th century, Rhine-Franconian dialect. Fragmentary olde
Goldemar is a fragmentary thirteenth-century Middle High German poem by Albrecht von Kemenaten about the legendary hero Dietrich von Bern, the legendary counterpart of the historical Ostrogothic king Theodoric the Great. It is one of the so-called fantastical Dietrich poems, so called because it more resembles a courtly romance than a heroic epic; the poem concerns Dietrich's fight with the dwarf king Goldemar after he sees the dwarf absconding with a princess. It is the only poem in the tradition of Germanic heroic poetry with a named author, accepted as genuine. Only the first nine stanzas of the Goldemar have survived, they tell that Dietrich once set off into the forest to defeat the giants who live in Trutmunt forest. While on this quest, he comes across a mountain, he notices that the dwarfs have a girl with them, falls in love. The dwarfs attempt to hide the girl, their king, responds when Dietrich asks them about her; the text breaks off in the middle of his speech. From the Heldenbuch-Prosa we know that the girl's name is a princess from Portugal.
King Goldemar had abducted her after her father was slain by heathens, but the girl had resisted Goldemar's attempts to sleep with her. Dietrich rescued and married her. From the late medieval romance Reinfrid von Braunschweig we know that Dietrich had to defeat various giants who were at Goldemar's command. In the process and his companions destroyed the Trutmunt forest and the dwarfs' mountain; the Goldemar is transmitted in a single paper manuscript dating from the middle of the fourteenth-century. Only eight leaves survive, on which, besides the Goldemar, medical recipes, a Latin-German glossary of the names of herbs, a second Dietrich poem, the Virginal are found; the manuscript is found today in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg. The poem itself dates to sometime around 1230, as this the time when its author is attested. Goldemar is the only German heroic poem with Albrecht von Kemenaten. Though it is possible that this is an authorial fiction, Albrecht is accepted as the genuine author of the poem.
His being named, as opposed to the usual practice of anonymous heroic poems marks Albrecht's ambition to write a poem more similar to a courtly romance. He is praised and mentioned as alive in Rudolf von Ems's Alexander, but dead in Rudolf's Willehalm von Orlens; the family name "von Kemenaten" is attested both in Tyrol and in Thurgau, meaning the poet may come from either area.19th century scholars attempted to ascribe the authorship of the Eckenlied, the Virginal, the Sigenot to Albrecht due to the use of the same stanzaic form in all, as well as various supposed stylistic similarities, but this theory has been given up. The "Berner Ton" consists of thirteen lines rhyming in the following scheme: aabccbdedefxf; the following stanza from Lienert's edition of Goldemar can serve as a typical example: Nu merkent, ir herren, daz ist reht:a Von Kemmenaten Albreht, a der tihtet dúse maere, b wie das der Bernaer vil gůt c nie gewan gen frovwen hohen můt. C Wan seitt uns, das er waere b gen frowen niht ein hofelicher man d e unz er ein frowen wolgetan d gesach bi einen ziten: e Die was ein hov gelopte mait, f die den Berner da betwang, x als úns die aufetúre sait.
F Helmut de Boor argues that if Albrecht was not the author of all four poems in the "Berner Ton", he was the inventor of such a complicated metrical form, an opinion shared by Werner Hoffmann. This would make Albrecht the "inventor" of the fantastical poems about Dietrich. Joachim Heinzle, has argued that Albrecht's metrical form shows him to be using the form of the "Berner Ton" given above, rather than that found in the earliest attested example, the single Eckenlied stanza transmitted in the Codex Buranus. Heinzle concludes from this fact that Albrecht adapted an existing form; the poem begins with a sharp critique of existing heroic poetry as a glorification of brutality. Albrecht will instead tell a tale of how Dietrich came to fall in love and behave in a courtly manner toward women, something which, the poem notes, he is never said to have done; the poem thus appears to be turning away from the topic of heroic poetry to the subject matter of courtly romance. Joachim Heinzle suggests that Albrecht may have had the Dietrich poem Laurin in mind as it concerns Dietrich's battle against a dwarf king and is characterized by extreme violence.
Victor Millet argues that Albrecht, in deliberately turning away from traditional tales about Dietrich, shows that the heroic material could now be invented rather than told and retold. Notwithstanding Millet's opinion, some aspects of the Goldemar may still be connected to an oral tradition. Goldemar, for instance, shares, he is attested in the work of fifteenth-century historian Person Gobelinus as Rex Goldemer. Heinzle sees this the figure in the poem as questionable. Lienert, Elisabeth. Virginal. Goldemar. 3. Berlin and Boston: de Gruyter. Pp. 821–832. ISBN 9783110476781. Zupitza, Julius, ed.. "Goldemar". Das Heldenbuch, fünfter Teil: Dietrichs Abenteuer von Albrecht von Kemenaten nebst den Bruchstücken von Dietrich und Wenezlan. Berlin: Weidmann. Pp. 203–204. de Boor, Helmut. "Albrecht von Kemenaten". Kleinere Schriften, herausgeben von Roswitha Wisniewski und Herbert Kolb. 1. Berlin: de Gruyter. Pp. 198
Sigurd or Siegfried is a legendary hero of Germanic mythology, who killed a dragon and was murdered. It is possible he was inspired by one or more figures from the Frankish Merovingian dynasty, with Sigebert I being the most popular contender. Older scholarship sometimes connected him with Arminius, victor of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, he may have a purely mythological origin. Sigurd's story is first attested on a series of carvings, including runestones from Sweden and stone crosses from the British Isles, dating from the eleventh century. In both the Norse and continental Germanic tradition, Sigurd is portrayed as dying as the result of a quarrel between his wife and another woman, whom he has tricked into marrying the Burgundian king Gunnar/Gunther, his slaying of a dragon and possession of the hoard of the Nibelungen is common to both traditions. In other respects, the two traditions appear to diverge; the most important works to feature Sigurd are the Nibelungenlied, the Völsunga saga, the Poetic Edda.
He appears in numerous other works from both Germany and Scandinavia, including a series of medieval and early modern Scandinavian ballads. Richard Wagner used the legends about Sigurd/Siegfried in his operas Götterdämmerung. Wagner relied on the Norse tradition in creating his version of Siegfried, his depiction of the hero has influenced many subsequent depictions. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Siegfried became associated with German nationalism; the Thidrekssaga finishes its tale of Sigurd by saying veryone said that no man now living or after would be born who would be equal to him in strength, in all sorts of courtesy, as well as in boldness and generosity that he had above all men, that his name would never perish in the German tongue, the same was true with the Norsemen. The names Siegfried do not share the same etymology. Both have the same first element, Proto-Germanic * sigi -; the second elements of the two names are different, however: in Siegfried, it is Proto-Germanic *-frið, meaning peace.
Although they do not share the same second element, it is clear that surviving Scandinavian written sources held Siegfried to be the continental version of the name they called Sigurd. The normal form of Siegfried in Middle High German is Sîvrit or Sîfrit, with the *sigi- element contracted; this form of the name had been common outside of heroic poetry since the ninth century, though the form Sigevrit is attested, along with the Middle Dutch Zegevrijt. In Early Modern German, the name develops to Seufrid; the modern form Siegfried is not attested until the seventeenth century, after which it becomes more common. In modern scholarship, the form Sigfrid is sometimes used; the Old Norse name Sigurðr is contracted from an original *Sigvǫrðr, which in turn derives from an older *Sigi-warðuR. The Danish form Sivard derives from this form originally. Hermann Reichert notes that the form of the root -vǫrðr instead of -varðr is only found in the name Sigurd, with other personal names instead using the form -varðr.
There are competing theories as to. Names equivalent to Siegfried are first attested in Anglo-Saxon Kent in the seventh century and become frequent in Anglo-Saxon England in the ninth century. Jan-Dirk Müller argues that this late date of attestation means that it is possible that Sigurd more represents the original name. Wolfgang Haubrichs suggests that the form Siegfried arose in the bilingual Frankish kingdom as a result of romance-language influence on an original name *Sigi-ward. According to the normal phonetic principles, the Germanic name would have become Romance-language *Sigevert, a form which could represent a Romance-language form of Germanic Sigefred, he further notes that *Sigevert would be a plausible Romance-language form of the name Sigebert from which both names could have arisen. As a second possibility, Haubrichs considers the option the metathesis of the r in *Sigi-ward could have taken place in Anglo-Saxon England, where variation between -frith and -ferth is well documented.
Hermann Reichert, on the other hand, notes that Scandinavian figures who are attested in pre-twelfth-century German and Irish sources as having names equivalent to Siegfried are systematically changed to forms equivalent to Sigurd in Scandinavian sources. Forms equivalent to Sigurd, on the other hand, do not appear in pre-eleventh-century non-Scandinavian sources, older Scandinavian sources sometimes call persons Sigfroðr Sigfreðr or Sigfrǫðr who are called Sigurðr, he argues from this evidence that a form equivalent to Siegfried is the older form of Sigurd's name in Scandinavia as well. Unlike many figures of Germanic heroic tradition, Sigurd cannot be identified with a historical figure; the most popular theory is that Sigurd has his origins in one or several figures of the Merovingian dynasty of the Franks: the Merovingians had several kings whose name began with the element *sigi-. In particular, the murder of Sigebert I, married to Brunhilda of Austrasia, is cited as a inspiration for the figure, a theory, first proposed in 1613.
Sigibert was murdered by his brother Chilperic I at the instigation of Chilperic's wife queen Fredegunda. If this theory is correct in the legend and Brunhilda appear to have switched roles, while Chilperic has been replaced with Gunther; these parallels are, not exact and n
Biterolf und Dietleib
Biterolf und Dietleib is an anonymous Middle High German heroic poem concerning the heroes Biterolf of Toledo and his son Dietleib of Styria. It tells the tale of Biterolf and Dietleib's service at the court of Etzel, king of the Huns, in the course of which the heroes defeat Etzel's enemies, including an extended war/tournament against the Burgundian heroes of the Nibelungenlied; as a reward for their services and Biterolf receive the March of Styria as a fief. The text is characterized by its comedic parody of the traditions of heroic epic. Biterolf und Dietleib is only attested in the Ambraser Heldenbuch, but it may have been composed in the thirteenth century; the poem is sometimes considered part of the cycle of legends about Dietrich von Bern: it is either considered part of the so-called "historical" Dietrich poems, or else placed together in its own subgroup of Dietrich poems together with the Rosengarten zu Worms. More it is considered to be independent from the Dietrich cycle. Biterolf, the king of Toledo in Spain, hears of the grandeur of Etzel's court in Hungary, decides to set out with twelve men to join that court, leaving Spain in secret.
Near Paris he encounters Walther of Aquitaine, a hostage of the Huns as a youth. At first, the two heroes fight. Walther tells Biterolf of his experiences at Etzel's court. Biterolf continues his journey, but is forced to fight against the lords through whose territory he travels, who demand a toll for him to pass through, he is, welcomed in Bechelarn by Etzel's margrave Rüdiger. Etzel is welcoming and offers Biterolf gifts, but Biterolf refuses and does not identify himself. Sometime both Biterolf and Rüdiger fight a battle for the city of Gamaly, which belongs to the King of Prussia. Both heroes are captured, but Biterolf escapes and captures the lord of the castle where they are imprisoned, sends word to Etzel, conquers the city with an army and frees the other prisoners; some years Biterolf's son Dietleib discovers his father's weapons and decides to set out in secret to find his father. Like his father, he is attacked along the way in Worms, where Hagen and Gunther attack him, he wounds all his opponents, who are amazed by skill at fighting given his youth.
When he arrives at Etzel's court, Etzel's wife Helche takes him under her wing. Biterolf and Dietleib do not recognize each other, however; the heroes are soon called to battle. He decides to secretly join the army however, everyone is amazed at his prowess in battle. In the heat of the battle, he mistakes Biterolf for an enemy and they fight until Rüdiger separates the two. After the battle Rüdiger takes Biterolf aside and speaks to him, revealing that he has recognized Biterolf and Dietleib's identities, the father and son are thus reunited. Biterolf had forced Rüdiger to promise not to reveal their identities to man or woman, but Rüdiger spreads the rumor throughout the court by telling a girl, who informs Etzel. Biterolf and Etzel recognize each other as kings. Dietleib now complains to Etzel about the attacks. Etzel calls together his army to avenge this dishonor and invades the Burgundians' kingdom, with the help of heroes such as Dietrich von Bern and others from Lombardy, Hungary, Austria and Turkey.
Upon receiving the declaration of war, Gunther calls together his own vassals from Saxony, Bohemia, Swabia and the Netherlands. Etzel's army camps outside of Worms. Rüdiger goes as a messenger to the Burgundians and the various heroes are introduced to each other and their intentions made clear; as his reward for being the messenger, Rüdiger is allowed to kiss all the ladies at the Burgundian court, Brünhild gives Rüdiger a lance with a flag that he should carry into combat as a sign of his love for the ladies. The ladies of Worms demand to choose the manner in which the heroes of the two armies should fight: either in a battle or in individual duals. Rüdiger brings this message back to the Hunnish camp, where Hildebrand begins to organize the army for a large battle. Dietrich von Bern learns that he will be fighting against the troop led by Siegfried and becomes fearful due to the many stories about this hero. Hildebrand is forced to cajole Dietrich into fighting, evening fighting against him, until Dietrich is furious and ready to fight.
Dietrich's vassal Wolfhart, laments that the Burgundians are well known for their jousts, whereas he knows little about this as he's only fought in wars. He wishes. Rüdiger therefore negotiates with the Burgundians to have a tournament rather than a battle, with the ladies of Worms as the audience. In the course of the tournament, seveal of the heroes on the Hunnish side are captured, including Wolfhart, a change in the rules is negotiates so that Dietrich and his men can free them; this causes the tournament to turn into a real battle in which many are killed and wounded until night fall forces the fighting to end. On the next day the battle begins; the poet introduces the different troops that will fight as well as the various messengers and couriers traveling between them who will make sure that relatives on different sides avoid each other in battle. The battle lasts all day, with its climax being Dietrich's vassal Heime's decision to leave his troop to attack Siegfried. Siegfried, knocks Heime's famous sword Nagelring out of his hand, so that now the entire battle concerns the var
Laurin or Der kleine Rosengarten is an anonymous Middle High German poem about the legendary hero Dietrich von Bern, the legendary counterpart of the historical Ostrogothic king Theodoric the Great. It is one of the so-called fantastical Dietrich poems, so called because it more resembles a courtly romance than a heroic epic, it originates from the region of South Tyrol as early as 1230, though all manuscripts are later. The poem has five extant versions. In each, it concerns Dietrich's fight against the dwarf King Laurin, which takes place when Dietrich and Witege destroy Laurin's magical rose garden; the heroes are subsequently invited into Laurin's kingdom inside a mountain when it is discovered that Laurin has kidnapped and married the sister of Dietleib, one of Dietrich's heroes. Laurin betrays the heroes and imprisons them, but they are able to defeat him and save Dietleib's sister; the different versions depict Laurin's fate differently: in some, he becomes a jester at Dietrich's court, in others the two are reconciled and become friends.
The Laurin was one of the most popular legends about Dietrich. Beginning in the fifteenth century, it was printed both as part of the compendium of heroic poems known as the Heldenbuch and independently, continued to be printed until around 1600. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a variant of the poem was reimagined as a folk saga and became part of South Tyrolean popular folklore; the Laurin exists in several versions. The oldest version of the tale (the so-called elder Vulgate version, which the "Dresdner version" follows begins with a conversation between Witige and Hildebrand. Witige says. At that point Dietrich walks in and is angered by Hildebrand's private criticism. Hildebrand tells Dietrich where he can find such an adventure: the dwarf king Laurin has a rose-garden in the Tyrolian forest, he will fight any challenger. Dietrich and Witige set off to challenge Laurin. Upon seeing the beautiful rose-garden, Dietrich relents and decides that he does not want to harm anything so lovely.
Witige, says that Laurin's pride must be punished, not only breaks the thread, but tramples the entire rose garden. The dwarf Laurin, armed so wonderfully that Witige mistakes him for Michael the Archangel and demands the left foot and right hand of Witige as punishment for the destruction of the garden, he fights and defeats Witige, but Dietrich decides that he cannot allow his vassal to lose his limbs, fights Laurin himself. Dietrich is losing, but Hildebrand arrives and tells Dietrich to steal the dwarf's cloak of invisibility and strength-granting belt fight him on foot wrestling him to the ground. Laurin, now defeated, pleads for mercy. Laurin turns to Dietleib, informing him he had kidnapped and married the hero's sister Künhilt, so that he was now Dietleib's brother-in-law. Dietleib hides the dwarf and prepares to fight Dietrich. Dietrich and Laurin are reconciled, Laurin invites the heroes to his kingdom under the mountain. All are enthusiastic except Witige. In the mountain they are well received, Dietleib meets Künhilt.
She tells him she is being treated well and that Laurin has only one fault: he is not Christian. She wants to leave. Meanwhile, after a feast, confides to Dietleib's sister that he wishes to avenge himself on the heroes, she advises him to do so. He drugs Witige and Dietrich and throws them into a dungeon, he locks him in a chamber when the hero refuses. Künhilt releases Dietleib, they deliver weapons to the other heroes, they begin a slaughter of all the dwarves in the mountain. In the end Laurin is taken as a jester back to Bern. In the "younger Vulgate version," the story of how Laurin kidnapped Dietleib's sister is told: he used a cloak of invisibility. Dietleib goes to Hildebrand and reports the kidnapping; the two heroes set off, encountering a wild man, banished by Laurin. The wild man tells his rose garden, after which the heroes go to Bern. There follows the story. At the end, however, it is added that Dietrich accompanies Dietleib and his sister to Styria, where they stay with Dietleib's father Biterolf.
In the so-called "Walberan" version, Laurin surrenders to Dietrich during their battle in the mountain. As Wolfhart and Witege prepare to slaughter all the inhabitants of the mountain, Laurin begs for mercy. Dietrich refuses, but Künhilt and Dietleib convince him to stop the killing. Laurin is taken as a prisoner to Bern, while the dwarf Sintram becomes Dietrich's vassal in command of the mountain. Once the heroes have returned to Bern, Künhilt begs Dietrich to treat Laurin well, as he has treated her well, to convert him to Christianity, she disappears from the story. Sintram, however, is disloyal, sends for help from other dwarfs. Laurin's relative Walberan declares war on Dietrich. Laurin tells Walberan's messengers that he is being treated well and begs Walberan not to damage Dietrich's lands. Walberan does as he is marches to Bern. Laurin attempts to negotiate
The term Nibelung or Niflung is a personal or clan name with several competing and contradictory uses in Germanic heroic legend. It has an unclear etymology, but is connected to the root nebel, meaning mist; the term in its various meanings gives its name to the Middle High German heroic epic the Nibelungenlied. The most wide-spread use of Nibelung is used to denote the Burgundian royal house known as the Gibichungs or Gjúkings. A group of royal brothers led by king Gunther or Gunnar, the Gibichungs are responsible for the death of the hero Siegfried or Sigurd and are destroyed at the court of Attila the Hun; this is the only use of the term attested in the Old Norse legends. In medieval German, several other uses of the term Nibelung are documented besides the reference to the Gibichungs: it refers to the king and inhabitants of a mythical land inhabited by dwarfs and giants in the first half of the Nibelungenlied, as well as to the father and one of two brothers fighting over a divided inheritence.
This land and its inhabitants give their name to the "hoard of the Nibelungs". In the late medieval Lied vom Hürnen Seyfrid, the name, in the form Nybling or Nibling, is given to a dwarf who again gives his name to the treasure. In Richard Wagner's opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen, Nibelung denotes a dwarf, or a specific race of dwarfs; the earliest probable surviving mention of the name is in the Latin poem Waltharius, believed to have been composed around the year 920. In lines 555–6 of that poem Walter, seeing Guntharius and his men approaching says: Nōn assunt Avarēs hīc, sed Francī Nivilōnēs,cultōrēs regiōnis; the translation is: "These are not Avars, but Frankish Nivilons, inhabitants of the region." The other texts have nebulones'worthless fellows' instead of nivilones, a reasonable replacement for an obscure proper name. In medieval Latin names, b and v interchange, so Nivilones is a reasonable Latinization of Germanic Nibilungos; this is the only text to connect the Nibelungs with Franks.
Since Burgundy was conquered by the Franks in 534, Burgundians could loosely be considered Franks of a kind and confused with them. The name Nibelunc became a Frankish personal name in the 8th and 9th centuries, at least among the descendants of Childebrand I. Yet, in this poem, the center of Gunther's Frankish kingdom is the city of Worms on the Rhine. In the eddic poem Atlakviða, the word Niflungar is applied three times to the treasure or hoard of Gunnar, it is applied once to Gunnar's warriors and once to Gunnar himself. It elsewhere appears unambiguously as the name of the lineage to which the brothers Gunnar and Högni belong and seems interchangeable with Gjúkingar or Gjúkungar, meaning descendants of Gjúki, Gjúki being Gunnar's father; the variant form Hniflungr occurs as the name of Högni's son in the eddic poem Atlamál, as a term for the children born by Gunnar's sister Gudrún to Atli. It appears to be a general term for "warrior" in Helgakviða Hundingsbana I. Hniflungar might be of separate origin, meaning descendants of Hnef, referring to the Hnæf son of Hoc, prominent in the Old English Finnesburg Fragment.
However h was early dropped before other consonants in Norwegian dialects which might have led to the adding of h to names in other dialects where it did not belong. In the Lex Burgundionum, issued by the Burgundian king Gundobad, it is decreed that those who were free under the kings Gibica, Gundomar and Gundaharius will remain free, but as will be seen below, legendary tradition makes Gibiche or Gjúki the father of Gunther/Gunnar and names Giselher as one of Gunther/Gunnar's brothers. In Norse tradition another brother is named Gutthorm. German tradition provides instead a third brother named Gernot, which may be a substitution of a more familiar name for an unfamiliar one. In the Nibelungenlied, all three brothers are called kings. If these legends preserve authentic tradition historically Gibica of the Burgundian Laws might have been the father of the three kings Gundomar and Gundaharius who shared the kingdom among them with Gundaharius as the high king, but if so, the order of the names here is puzzling.
One would expect Gundaharius to be named after Gibica. In the Waltharius King Gibicho of the Franks is father of Guntharius, Gunther, both father and son are called kings of the Franks, not kings of the Burgundians, though their city is Worms on the Rhine. Another king called Heriricus rules the Burgundians and is father of Hiltgunt, the heroine of the tale; the only other kinsman of Gunther who appears here is Hagano. But Hagano's exact familial relation to Guntharius is not given; the Old Norse Þiðrekssaga is a medieval translation of German legendary material into Norwegian. Here Gunther and his brothers are heirs of Irung or Aldrian by Aldrian's wife Ode; the sons are named Gunnar and Gisler. Ode bears a daughter named Grímhild. One passage adds Guthorm, but Guthorm is never mentioned again and is an addition from Norse tradition by the translator or by an early copyist. Hǫgni appears as their maternal half-brother, fa