(1) A is a parchment MS. of the second half of the thirteenth century, now found in Munich. It forms the basis of Lachmann's edition. It is a parchment MS. of the middle of the thirteenth century, belonging to the monastery of St. Gall. It has been edited by Bartsch, "Deutsche Klassiker des Mittelalters", vol. 3, and by Piper, "Deutsche National- Literatur", vol. 6. C is a parchment MS., of the thirteenth century, now in the ducal library of Donauesehingen. It is the best written of all the MSS., and has been edited by Zarncke.
(2) The "Thidreksaga" differs from the other Norse versions in having "Sigfrod", as he is called here, brought up in ignorance of his parents, a trait which was probably borrowed from the widespread "Genoveva" story, although thought by some to have been an original feature of our legend.
(3) The "Thidreksaga", which has forgotten the enmity of the brothers, and calls Sigurd's tutor "Mimr", tells the episode in somewhat different fashion. The brothers plan to kill Sigurd, and the latter is attacked by the dragon, while burning charcoal in the forest. After killing the monster with a firebrand, Sigurd bathes himself in the blood and thus become covered with a horny skin, which renders him invulnerable, save in one place between the shoulder blades, which he could not reach. This bathing in the blood is also related in the Seyfrid ballad and in the "Nibelungenlied", with the difference, that the vulnerable spot is caused by a linden leaf falling upon him.
(4) The fact that all but one of these names alliterate, shows that the Norse version is here more original. Gunnar is the same as Gunther (Gundaharius), Hogni as Hagen; Gutthorm (Godomar) appears in the German version as Gernot. In this latter the father is called Danerat, the mother Uote, and the name Grimhild is transferred from the mother to the daughter.
(5) In the prose "Edda", in the water which drips from Gudrun's hair.
(6) "Nibelungenlied", the lay of the Nibelungs. The ordinary etymology of this name is 'children of the mist' ("Nebelkinder", O.N. "Niflungar"), and it is thought to have belonged originally to the dwarfs. Piper, I, 50, interprets it as 'the sons of Nibul'; Boer, II, 198, considers "Hniflungar" to be the correct Norse form and interprets it as 'the descendants of Hnaef' (O.E. "Hnaef", O.H.G. "Hnabi"), whose death is related in the "Finnsaga".
(7) "Adventure" (M.H.G. "aventiure", from O.F. "aventure", Lat. "adventura"). The word meant originally a happening, especially some great event, then the report of such an event. Here it is used in the sense of the different cantos or "fitts" of the poem, as in the "Gudrun" and other M.H.G. epics. Among the courtly poets it also frequently denotes the source, or is the personification of the muse of poetry.
(8) "Kriemhild" is the Upper German form of the Frankish "Grimhild". In the MSS., the name generally appears with a further shifting as "Chriemhilt", as if the initial consonant were Germanic "k". On the various forms of the name, which have never yet been satisfactorily explained, see Mullenhoff, ZsfdA. xii, 299, 413; xv, 313; and Bohnenberger, PB. Beit. xxiv, 221-231.
(9) "Gunther" is the historical "Gundahari", king of the Burgundians in the fifth century.
(10) "Gernot" was probably introduced by some minstrel in place of the historical "Godomar", who appears in the Norse version as "Gutthormr", though the names are not etymologically the same, as "Godomar" would be "Guthmarr" in Old Norse.
(11) "Giselher" is the historical "Gislaharius". Although mentioned by the "Lex Burgundionum" as one of the Burgundian kings, he does not appear in the early Norse version, or in other poems dealing with these persons, such as the "Waltharius", the "Rabenschlacht", the "Rosengarten", etc., and was probably introduced at a late date into the saga. Originally no role was ascribed to him, and not even his death is told. He probably came from some independent source.
(12) "Etzel" is the German form for the historical "Attila" (Norse "Atli"). A discussion of his connection with the saga will be found in the introduction.
(13) "Worms" is the ancient "Borbetomagus", which in the first century B.C. was the chief city of the German tribe of the "Vangioni". In the fifth century it was the capital of the Burgundian kingdom, but was destroyed by the Huns. The Merovingians rebuilt it, and in the seventh century it became a bishopric where Charlemagne at times held his court. It was later noted as the meeting-place of many imperial diets. It remained a free city till 1801. In the "Thidreksaga" the name is corrupted into "Wernize".
(14) "Uta" (M.H.G. "Uote"). The name means ancestress, and is frequently used for the mother of heroes. The modern German form is "Ute", but in order to insure its being pronounced with two syllables, the form "Uta" was chosen.
(15) "Dankrat" (M.H.G. "Dancrat") appears as the father only in the "Nibelungenlied" and poems dependent on it, e.g., the "Klage" and "Biterolf", elsewhere as "Gibiche" (Norse "Giuki").
(16) "Hagen of Troneg". Troneg is probably a corruption of the name of the Latin colony, "colonia Trajana", on the Lower Rhine, which as early as the fifth century was written as "Troja", giving rise to the legend that the Franks were descended from the ancient Trojans. "Troja" was then further corrupted to "Tronje" and "Tronege". Hagen was therefore originally a Frank and had no connection with the Burgundian kings, as the lack of alliteration also goes to show. Boer thinks that not Siegfried but Hagen originally lived at Xanten (see note 26 found in Adventure II), as this was often called Troja Francorum. When the Hagen story was connected with the Burgundians and Hagen became either their brother or their vassal, his home was transferred to Worms and Siegfried was located at Xanten, as he had no especial localization. Thus Siegfried is never called Siegfried of Troneg, as is Hagen. Other attempts to explain Troneg will be found in Piper, I, 48.
(17) "Dankwart" is not an historical character nor one that belonged to the early form of the legend. He may have come from another saga, where he played the principal role as Droege (ZsfdA. 48, 499) thinks. Boer considers him to be Hagen's double, invented to play a part that would naturally fall to Hagen's share, were he not otherwise engaged at the moment. In our poem he is called "Dancwart der snelle", a word that has proved a stumbling-block to translators, because in modern German it means 'speedy', 'swift'. Its original meaning was, however, 'brave', 'warlike', although the later meaning is already found in M.H.G. In all such doubtful cases the older meaning has been preferred, unless the context forbids, and the word 'doughty' has been chosen to translate it.
(18) "Ortwin of Metz" appears also in the "Eckenlied", "Waltharius", and in "Biterolf". He is most likely a late introduction (but see Piper, I, 44). Rieger thinks that he belonged to a wealthy family "De Metis". Though the "i" is long in the original, and Simrock uses the form "Ortewein" in his translation, the spelling with short "i" has been chosen, as the lack of accent tends to shorten the vowel in such names.
(19) "Gere" is likewise a late introduction. He is perhaps the historical Margrave Gere (965) of East Saxony, whom Otto the Great appointed as a leader against the Slavs. See O. von Heinemann, "Markgraf Gero", Braunschweig, 1860, and Piper, L 43.
(20) "Eckewart" is also a late accession. He is perhaps the historical margrave of Meissen (1002), the first of the name. He, too, won fame in battle against the Slavs.
(21) "Folker of Alzet" (M.H.G. "Volker von Alzeije"), the knightly minstrel, is hardly an historical personage, in spite of the fact that Alzey is a well-known town in Rhine Hesse on the Selz, eighteen miles southwest of Mainz. The town has, to be sure, a violin in its coat of arms, as also the noble family of the same name. It is most likely, however, that this fact caused Folker to be connected with Alzei. In the "Thidreksaga" Folker did not play the role of minstrel, and it is probable that some minstrel reviser of our poem developed the character and made it the personification of himself.
(22) "Rumolt", "Bindolt", and "Hunolt" have no historical basis and merely help to swell the retinue of the Burgundians.
(23) "Worship". This word has been frequently used here in its older meaning of 'worth', 'reverence', 'respect', to translate the M.H.G. "eren", 'honors'.
(24) "Siegmund" (M.H.G. "Sigemunt") was originally the hero of an independent saga. See "Volsungasaga", chaps. 3-8.
(25) "Siegelind" (M.H.G. "Sigelint") is the correct name of Siegfried's mother, as the alliteration shows. The Early Norse version has "Hjordis", which has come from the "Helgi saga".
(26) "Xanten" (M.H.G. "Santen" from the Latin "ad sanctos") is at present a town in the Rhenish Prussian district of Dusseldorf. It does not now lie on the Rhine, but did in the Middle Ages.
(27) "Sword-thanes" (M.H.G. "swertdegene") were the young squires who were to be made knights. It was the custom for a youthful prince to receive the accolade with a number of others.
(28) "Midsummer festival". The M.H.G. "sunewende" means literally the 'sun's turning', i.e., the summer solstice. This was one of the great Germanic festivals, which the church later turned into St. John's Eve. The bonfires still burnt in Germany on this day are survivals of the old heathen custom.
(29) "Hurtling" translates here M.H.G. "buhurt", a word borrowed from the French to denote a knightly sport in which many knights clashed together. Hurtling was used in older English in the same significance.
(30) "Palace" (M.H.G. "palas", Lat. "palatium") is a large building standing alone and largely used as a reception hall.
(31) "Truncheons" (M.H.G. "trunzune", O.F. "troncon", 'lance splinters', 'fragments of spears'.
(32) "To-shivered", 'broken to pieces', in imitation of the older English to-beat, to-break, etc.
(33) "Spangles" (M.H.G. "spangen"), strips of metal radiating from the raised centre of the shield and often set, as here, with precious stones.
(34) "Guest" translates here the M.H.G. "gest", a word which may mean either 'guest' or 'stranger,' and it is often difficult, as here, to tell to which meaning the preference should be given.
(35) "Eleven" translates the M.H.G. "selbe zwelfte", which means one of twelve. The accounts are, however, contradictory, as a few lines below mention is made of twelve companions of Siegfried.
(36) "Vair" (O.F. "vair", Lat. "varius"), 'variegated', like the fur of the squirrel.
(37) "Known". It was a mark of the experienced warrior, that he was acquainted with the customs and dress of various countries and with the names and lineage of all important personages. Thus in the "Hildebrandslied" Hildebrand asks Hadubrand to tell him his father's name, and adds: "If thou tellest me the one, I shall know the other."
(38) "Schilbung" and "Nibelung", here spoken of as the sons of a mighty king, were originally dwarfs, and, according to some authorities, the original owners of the treasure. Boer, ix, 199, thinks, however, that the name Nibelungs was transferred from Hagen to these dwarfs at a late stage in the formation of the saga.
(39) "Angry of mood". The reason of this anger is apparent from the more detailed account in "Biterolf", 7801. The quarrel arose from the fact that, according to ancient law, Siegfried acquired with the sword the rights of the first born, which the brothers, however, refused to accord to him.
(40) "Balmung". In the older Norse version and in the "Thidreksaga" Siegfried's sword bore the name of Gram.
(41) "Alberich" is a dwarf king who appears in a number of legends, e.g., in the "Ortnit saga" and in "Biterolf". Under the Romance form of his name, "Oberon", he plays an important role in modern literature.
(42) "Cloak of Darkness". This translates the M.H.G. "tarnkappe", a word often retained by translators. It is formed from O.H.G. tarni, 'secret' (cf. O.E. "dyrne"), and "kappe" from late Latin "cappa", 'cloak'. It rendered the wearer invisible and gave him the strength of twelve men.
(43) "Saxons". This war with the Saxons does not appear in the poetic "Edda", but was probably introduced into the story later to provide the heroes with a suitable activity in the period elapsing between Siegfried's marriage and the journey to Brunhild's land. (In our poem it is placed before the marriage.) It reflects the ancient feuds between the Franks on the one hand and the Saxons and Danes on the other. Originally Siegfried probably did not take part in it, but was later introduced and made the leader of the expedition in place of the king, in accordance with the tendency to idealize him and to give him everywhere the most important role. The two opposing leaders are "Liudeger", lord of the Saxons, and "Liudegast", king of Denmark. In "Biterolf" Liudeger rules over both Saxons and Danes, and Liudegast is his brother.
(44) "Fey". This Scotch and older English word has been chosen to translate the M.H.G. "veige", 'fated', 'doomed', as it is etymologically the same word. The ancient Germans were fatalists and believed only those would die in battle whom fate had so predestined.
(45) "Thirty thousand". The M.H.G. epics are fond of round numbers and especially of thirty and its multiples. They will he found to occur very frequently in our poem. See Lachmann, "Anmerkungen zu den Nibelungen", 474 1.
(46) "Their". The original is obscure here; the meaning is, 'when he heard with what message they were come, he rued the haughtiness of the Burgundians'.
(47) "Marks of gold". A mark (Lat. "mares") was half a pound of gold or silver.
(48) "Isenland" translates here M.H.G. "Islant", which has, however, no connection with Iceland in spite of the agreement of the names in German. "Isen lant", the reading of the MSS. BJh, has been chosen, partly to avoid confusion, and partly to indicate its probable derivation from "Isenstein", the name of Brunhild's castle. Boer's interpretation of "Isen" as 'ice' finds corroboration in Otfrid's form "isine steina" ('ice stones', i.e. crystals) I, 1. 70. Isenstein would then mean Ice Castle. In the "Thidreksaga" Brunhild's castle is called "Saegarthr" ('Sea Garden'), and in a fairy tale (No. 93 of Grimm) "Stromberg", referring to the fact that it was surrounded by the sea. Here, too, in our poem it stands directly on the shore.
(49) "Zazamanc", a fictitious kingdom mentioned only here and a few times in Parzival, Wolfram probably having obtained the name from this passage. (See Bartsch, "Germanistische Studien", ii, 129.)
(50) "Wont to wear". In the Middle Ages costly furs and fish-skins were used as linings and covered, as here described, with silk or cloth. By fish such amphibious animals as otter and beaver were often meant.
(51) "Well fit". In this passage "wert", the reading of A and D, has been followed, instead of unwert of B and C, as it seems more appropriate to the sense.
(52) "Dight", 'arrayed'; used by Milton.
(53) "Brunhild". The following words are evidently a late interpolation, and weaken the ending, but have been translated for the sake of completeness. They are spoken by Siegfried.
(54) "Palaces". See Adventure III, note 40.
(55) "Surcoat", which here translates the M.H.G. "wafenhemde", is a light garment of cloth or silk worn above the armor.
(56) "Azagouc". See Zazamanc, Adventure VI, note 49. This strophe is evidently a late interpolation, as it contradicts the description given above.
(57) Weights. The M.H.G. "messe" (Lat. "masse") is just as indefinite as the English expression. It was a mass or lump of any metal, probably determined by the size of the melting-pot.
(58) Adventure VIII. This whole episode, in which Siegfried fetches men to aid Gunther in case of attempted treachery on Brunhild's part, is of late origin and has no counterpart in the older versions. It is a further development of Siegfried's fight in which he slew Schilbung and Nibelung and became the ruler of the Nibelung land. The fight with Alberich is simply a repetition of the one in the former episode.
(59) "Rest" (M.H.G. "rast"), originally 'repose', then used as a measure of distance, as here.
(60) "Knobs", round pieces of metal fastened to the scourge.
(61) "Cunning" is to be taken here in the Biblical sense of 'knowing'. The M.H.G. "listig" which it here translates, denotes 'skilled' or 'learned' in various arts and is a standing epithet of dwarfs.
(62) "Mulled wine" translates M.H.G. "lutertranc", a claret mulled with herbs and spice and left to stand until clear.
(63) "Mark". See Adventure IV, note 47.
(64) "Fillets" were worn only by married women.
(65) "Ferran", a gray colored cloth of silk and wool; from O.F. "ferrandine".
(66) "Clasps" or "brooches" were used to fasten the dresses in front.
(67) "Chaplet" (O.F. "chaplet", dim. of "chapel", M.H.G. "schapel" or "schapelin") or wreath was the headdress especially of unmarried girls, the hair being worn flowing. It was often of flowers or leaves, but not infrequently of gold and silver. (See Weinhold, "Deutsche Frauen im Mittelalter", i, 387.)
(68) "Eckewart", see Adventure I, note 20.
(69) "Xanten", see Adventure II, note 26.
(70) "Cognizance", 'jurisdiction.'
(71) "Dames", i.e., Siegelind and Kriemhild.
(72) "Norway". The interpolated character of the Adventures XI to XIII, which are not found in the earlier versions, is shown by the confusion in the location of Siegfried's court. The poet has forgotten that Xanten is his capital, and locates it in Norway. No mention is made, however, of the messengers crossing the sea; on the contrary, Kriemhild speaks of their being sent down the Rhine.
(73) "Meiny" (M.E. "meiny", O.F. "mesnee"), 'courtiers', 'serving folk'.
(74) "Housings", 'saddle cloths'.
(75) "Leman" (M.E. "lemman", O.E. "leof mann", 'lief man', i.e., 'dear one'), 'mistress' in a bad sense.
(76) "Brach", 'hunting dog', cognate with M.H.G. "braeke", used here.
(77) "Lion." It is hardly necessary to state that lions did not roam at large in the forests of Germany. They were, however, frequently exhibited in the Middle Ages, and the poet introduced one here to enhance Siegfried's fame as a hunter.
(78) "Ure-oxen", the auerochs, or European bison, now practically extinct.
(79) "Shelk" (M.H.G. "schelch"), probably a species of giant deer.
(80) "Fragrance". It was believed that the odor of the panther attracted the game. Compare the description of the panther in the older "Physiologus", where the odor is said to surpass that of all ointments.
(81) "Otter" translates here M.H.G. "ludem", whose exact connotation is not known. Some interpret it to meau the fish otter, others the "Waldschrat", a kind of faun.
(82) "Balmung", see Adventure III, note 40.
(83) "Spessart wood" lies forty to fifty miles east of Worms and is therefore too distant for a day's hunt, but such trifles did not disturb the poet.
(84) "Mulled wine", see Adventure VIII, note 62.
(85) "Feet". This was probably done as a handicap. The time consumed in rising to his feet would give his opponent quite a start.
(86) "Bleed". This was not only a popular superstition, but also a legal practice in case of a murder when the criminal had not been discovered, or if any one was suspected. The suspected person was requested to approach the bier and touch the body, in the belief that the blood would flow afresh if the one touching the body were guilty. Our passage is the first instance of its mention in German literature. A similar one occurs in "Iwein", 1355-1364. The usage was also known in France and England. See the instances quoted by Jacob Grimm in his "Rechtsaltertumer", 930.
(87) "Marriage morning gift" was the gift which it was customary for the bridegroom to give the bride on the morning after the bridal night. On this custom see Weinhold, "Deutsche Frauen im Mittelalter", i, p. 402.
(88) "A1berich", see Adventure III, note 41. It is characteristic of the poem that even this dwarf is turned into a knight.
(89) "Wishing-rod", a magic device for discovering buried treasure. Cf. Grimm, "Deutsche Mythologie, ii, 813.
(90) "Loche", according to Piper, is the modern "Locheim" in the Rhine province.
(91) "Etzel", see Adventure I, note 12.
(92) "Helca" (M.H.G. "Helche") or "Herka", Etzel's wife, is the daughter of king "Oserich" or "Osantrix", as the "Thidreksaga" calls him. In the latter work (chap. 73-80) we read how Rudeger (Rodingeir) took her by force from her father and brought her to Etzel to be the latter's bride. On her identity with the historical "Kerka" of Priscus, see Bleyer, PB. "Beit." xxxi, 542.
(93) "Rudeger of Bechelaren", or, as the name reads in the "Thidreksaga", "Rodingeir of Bakalar", is probably not an historical personage, but the hero of a separate legend. Evidence of this is seen in the fact that he calls himself an exile, though he is Etzel's mightiest vassal, with castles and lands in fief. He may have been introduced, as Wilmanns ("Anz." xviii 101) thinks, to play a role originally assigned to Dietrich, who is also an exile. Mullenhoff considered him to have been a mythical person. Bechelaren, or Pechlarn, lies at the junction of the Erlach with the Danube.
(94) "hast seen here". "Biterolf", 9471, relates that Dietrich had carried Siegfried, when young, by force to Etzel's court.
(95) "full soon". See Adventure III, note 36.
(96) "Paynim" (O F. "paienime", late Latin "paganismus"), 'heathen'.
(97) "gold for offerings". This was the gold to be used as offering when masses were sung for Siegfried's soul.
(98) "Vergen" is the modern Pforing, below Ingolstadt. A ferry across the river existed here from ancient times.
(99) "Pilgrim", or "Pilgerin", as he is variously called, is an historical personage. He was bishop of Passau from 971 to 991. Without doubt he is a late introduction, according to Boer between 1181 and 1185. See Boer, ii, 204, and E.L. Dummler, "Pilgrim von Passau", Leipzig, 1854.
(100) "Enns" (M.H.G. "Ens") is one of the tributaries of the Danube, flowing into it about eleven miles southeast of Linz.
(101) "Efferding" (M.H.G. "Everdingen") is a town on the Danube, about thirteen miles west of Linz.
(102) "Traun" (M.H.G. "Trune") is a river of Upper Austria, forty-four miles southeast of Linz.
(103) "Truncheons", see Adventure II, note 31.
(104) "Botelung's son" is Attila, who is so called in our poem, in the "Klage", and in "Biterolf". In the earlier Norse version "Atli" is the son of "Budli". (On this point see Mullenhoff, "Zur Geschichte der Nibelungensage", p. 106, and Zsfd A., x, 161, and Bleyer, PB. Beit. xxxi, 459, where the names are shown to be identical.
(105) "Medelick" is the modern Molk, or Melk, a town on the Danube near the influx of the Bilach. It lies at the foot of a granite cliff on which stands a famous Benedictine abbey.
(106) "Astolt" appears only in this passage; nothing else is known of him.
(107) "Mantern" is situated at the influx of the Flanitz, opposite Stein in Lower Austria.
(108) "Traisem", Traisen, is a tributary of the Danube in Lower Austria, emptying near Traismauer.
(109) "Zeisenmauer" (M.H.G. "Zeizenmure"). All the MSS. but C and D have this reading. The latter have "Treysenmoure" and "treisem moure", which corresponds better to the modern name, as Zeiselmauer lies between Tulln and Vienna. It is possible, however, that the town on the Traisem was originally called Zeiselmauer, as the road leading from Traismauer to Tulln still bears the name of Zeiselstrasse. See Laehmann, "Anmerkungen", 1272, 3, and Piper, ii, 289, note to str. 1333.
(110) "Kiev" (M.H.G. "Kiew") is now a government in the southwestern part of Russia. Its capital of the same name, situated on the Dnieper, is the oldest of the better known cities of Russia, and in the latter Middle Ages was an important station of the Hanseatic league.
(111) "Petschenegers", a Turkish tribe originally dwelling to the north of the Caspian. By conquest they acquired a kingdom extending from the Don to Transylvania. They were feared for their ferociousness and because they continually invaded the surrounding countries, especially Kiev.
(112) "Tulna (M.H.G. "Tulne") is the modern Tulln, a walled town of Lower Austria, seventeen milos northwest of Vienna on the Danube.
(113) "Ramung and Gibeck" (M.H.G. "Gibeche") appear only in our poem, nothing else is known of them.
(114) "Hornbog" is frequently mentioned in the "Thidreksaga", but nothing otherwise is known of him.
(115) "Hawart" is perhaps identical with the Saxon duke Hadugot, who is reputed to have played an important part in the conquest of Thuringia. He evidently comes from the Low German version.
(116) "Iring" is considered by Wilmanns to have been originally an ancient deity, as the Milky Way is called "Iringe straze" or "Iringi". He occurs in a legend of the fall of the Thuringian kingdom, where he played such a prominent role that the Milky Way was named after him. See W. Grimm, "Heldensage", p. 394, who thinks, however, that the connection of Iring with the Milky Way is the result of a confusion.
(117) "Irnfried" is considered to be Hermanfrid of Thuringia, who was overthrown and killed in A.D. 535 by Theuderich with the aid of the Saxons. See Felix Dahn, "Urgeschichte", iii, 73-79. He, too, comes from the Low German tradition.
(118) "Bloedel" is Bleda, the brother of Attila, with whom he reigned conjointly from A.D. 433 to 445. In our poem the name appears frequently with the diminutive ending, as "Bloedelin".
(119) "Werbel and Swemmel", who doubtless owe their introduction to some minstrel, enjoy special favor and are intrusted with the important mission of inviting the Burgundians to Etzel's court, an honor that would hardly be accorded to persons of their rank. Swemmel appears mostly in the diminutive form "Swemmelin".
(120) "Heimburg" lies on the Danube near the Hungarian border.
(121) "Misenburg" is the modern Wieselburg on the Danube, twenty-one miles southeast of Pressburg.
(122) "Etzelburg" was later identified with the old part of Budapest, called in German "Ofen", through the influence of Hungarish legends, but, as G. Heinrich has shown, had no definite localization in the older M.H.G. epics. See Bleyer, PB. Belt. xxxi 433 and 506. The name occurs in documents as late as the fifteenth century.
(123) "Herrat", the daughter of King "Nentwin" is frequently mentioned in the "Thidreksaga" as Dietrich's betrothed. She is spoken of as the exiled maid.
(124) "Nentwin" is not found in any other saga, and nothing else is known of him. See W. Grimm, "Heldensage", 103.
(125) "Ortlieb" is not historical, and in the "Thidreksaga" Etzel's son is called Aldrian. Bleyer, "Die germanischen Elemente der ungarischen, Hunnensage", PB. Beit. xxxi, 570, attempt to prove the identity of the names by means of a form "*Arda", giving on the one hand Hungarian "Aladar", "Aldrian", on the other German "Arte", "Orte".
(126) "Hungary". According to the account in "Waltharius", Hagen spent his youth as a hostage at Etzel's court.
(127) "Hostage", i.e., he has never betrayed you to your enemies.
(128) "Gran", royal free city of Hungary, on the right bank of the Danube opposite the influx of the Gran, twenty-four miles northwest of Budapest.
(129) "a thousand and sixty". This does not agree with the account in Adventure XXIV, witere we read of a thousand of Hagen's men, eighty of Dankwart's, and thirty of Folker's. The nine thousand foot soldiers mentioned here are a later interpolation, as the "Thidreksaga" speaks of only a thousand all told.
(130) "Eastern Frankland", or East Franconia, is the ancient province of "Franconia Orientalis", the region to the east of the Spessart forest, including the towns of Fulda, Wurzburg and Barnberg. In "Biterolf" Dietlich journeys through Eastern Frankland to the Danube.
(131) "Swanfield" (M.H.G. "Swanevelde") is the ancient province of "Sualafeld" between the Rezat and the Danube.
(132) "Gelfrat" is a Bavarian lord and the brother of "Else", mentioned below. Their father's name was also Else.
(133) "Wise women", a generic name for all supernatural women of German mythology. While it is not specifically mentioned, it is probable that the wise women, or mermaids, as they are also called here, were 'swan maidens', which play an important role in many legends and are endowed with the gift of prophecy. They appear in the form of swans, and the strange attire of the wise women mentioned here refers to the so-called swan clothes which they wore and which enabled Hagen to recognize them as supernatural beings. On bathing they lay aside this garment, and he who obtains possession of it has them in his power. This explains their eagerness to give Hagen information, if he will return their garments to them. For an account of them see Grimm's "Mythologie", 355.
(134) "Aldrian" is not an historical personage; the name is merely a derivative of "aldiro", 'the elder', and signifies 'ancestor', just as Uta means 'ancestress'. In the "Thidreksaga" Aldrian is the king of the Nibelung land and the father of Gunther, Giselher, and Gernot, whereas Hagen is the son of an elf by the same mother.
(135) Else appears also in "Biterolf"; in the "Thidreksaga" he is called "Elsung", the younger, as his father bore the same name.
(136) "Amelrich" is the ferryman's brother.
(137) "Spear". It was the custom to offer presents on a spear point, perhaps to prevent the recipient from treacherously using his sword. Compare the similar description in the "Hildebrandslied", 37, where we are told that gifts should be received with the spear.
(138) "Goods". In the "Thidreksaga" the ferryman desires the ring for his young wife, which explains better the allusion to marriage and the desire for wealth.
(139) "To-broke", see Adventure II, note 32.
(140) "Clerk", 'priest'.
(141) "Adventure XXVI". This adventure is a late interpolation, as it is not found in the "Thidreksaga". Originally the river must be thought of as separating them from Etzel's kingdom.
(142) "Moering" (M.H.G. "Moeringen") lies between Pforing and Ingolstadt. In the "Thidreksaga" we are told that the mermaids were bathing in a body of water called "Moere", whereas in our poem they bathe in a spring. This may be the original form of the account and the form here contaminated. See Boer, i, 134.
(143) "Eckewart", see Adventure I, note 20. It will be remembered that he accompanied Kriemhild first to the Netherlands, then stayed with her at Worms after Siegfried's death, and finally journeyed with her to Etzel's court. Originally he must be thought of as guarding the boundary of Etzel's land. Without doubt he originally warned the Burgundians, as in the early Norse versions, where Kriemhild fights on the side of her brothers, but since this duty was given to Dietrich, he has nothing to do but to announce their arrival to Rudeger. His sleeping here may, however, be thought to indicate that it was too late to warn Gunther and his men.
(144) "Chaplets", see Adventure 10, note 67.
(145) "Of yore", see Adventure 23, note 126.
(146) "Nudung" was slain, according to the "Thidreksaga", chap. 335, by "Vidg"a (here Wittich, M.H.G. "Witege", the son of Wielant, the smith, in the battle of Gronsport. There, chap. 369, he is Gotelind's brother, but in "Biterolf" and the "Rosengarten" he is her son.
(147) "Marks", see Adventure IV, note 47.
(148) "Hildebrand" is the teacher and armor bearer of Dietrich. He is the hero of the famous "Hildebrandslied".
(149) "Wolfhart" is Hildebrand's nephew. In the "Thidreksaga" he falls in the battle of Gronsport.
(150) "Amelung land" is the name under which Dietrich's land appears. Theodorich, the king of the East Goths, belonged to the race of the Amali.
(151) "Feast". That Kriemhild kissed only Giselher, who was innocent of Siegfried's death, aroused Hagen's suspicions.
(152) "Vassal". No other account speaks of Aldrian as being at Etzel's court. He is probably confused here with his son, for Hagen's stay with Etzel in various legends, as also in our poem a few lines further down.
(153) "Walther of Spain" is Walther of Aquitania, a legendary personage of whom the O.E. fragment "Waldere", the Latin epic "Waltharius", a M.H.G. epic, and the "Thidreksaga" tell. He flees with Hildegund, the daughter of the Burgundian King Herrich, from Etzel's court, as related here, but has to fight for his life against overpowering numbers, in the "Thidreksaga" against the pursuing Huns, in the other sources against the Burgundians. In both cases Hagen is among his foes, but takes no part in the fight at first, out of friendship for Walther.
(154) "Scathful scathe" here imitates the M.H.G. "scaden scedelich".
(155) "Balmung", see Adventure III, note 40.
(156) "friend . . . friendly". This repetition occurs in the original.
(157) "Irnfried", see Adventure XXII, note 117.
(158) "Hawart" and "Iring", Adventure XXII, notes 115 and 116.
(159) "Morat" (M.H.G. "moraz") from late Latin "moratum", mulberry wine, is a beverage composed of honey flavored with mulberry-juice.
(160) "Arras", the capital of Artois in the French Netherlands. In older English "arras" is used also for tapestry.
(161) "Adventure XXXI". This adventure is of late origin, being found only in our poem. See the introduction.
(162) "Truncheons", see Adventure II, note 31.
(163) "Schrutan". This name does not occur elsewhere. Piper suggests, that perhaps a Scotchman is meant, as "Skorottan" appears in the "Thidreksaga", chap. 28, as an ancient name of Scotland.
(164) "Gibecke", "Ramung" and "Hornbog", see Adventure XXII, notes 113 and 114.
(165) "Nudung", see Adventure XXVII, note 146.
(166) "Ortlieb". In the "Thidreksaga" Etzel's son is called Aldrian. There, however, he is killed because he strikes Hagen in the face, here in revenge for the killing of the Burgundian footmen.
(168) Adventure XXXII. The details of the following scenes differ materially in the various sources. A comparative study of them will be found in the works of Wilmanns and Boer.
(169) "Marriage morning gift" (M.H.G. "morgengabe") was given by the bridegroom to the bride on the morning after the wedding. See Adventure XIX, note 87.
(170) "Aldrian's son", i.e., Dankwart.
(171) "Sewers" (O.F. "asseour", M.L. "adsessor" 'one who sets the table'; cf. F. "asseoir" 'to set', 'place', Lat. "ad sedere"), older English for an upper servant who brought on and removed the dishes from the table.
(172) "Friendship" translates the M.H.G. "minne trinken" 'to drink to the memory of a person', an old custom originating with the idea of pouring out a libation to the gods. Later it assumed the form of drinking to the honor of God, of a saint, or of an absent friend. See Grimm, "Mythologie", p. 48.
(173) "Amelungs", see Adventure XXVIII, note 150.
(174) "Wolfhart", see Adventure XXVIII, note 149.
(175) "Gauds", ornaments.
(176) "Weregild" (O.E. "wer", 'a man', "gild", 'payment of money'), legal term for compensation paid for a man killed.
(177) "Waska". In "Biterolf" it is the name of the sword of Walther of Wasgenstein and is connected with the old German name, "Wasgenwald", for the Vosges.
(178) "Parlous", older English for 'perilous'.
(179) "Fey", 'doomed to death', here in the sense of 'already slain'.
(180) "Strangers", i.e., those who are sojourning there far from home.
(181) "Helfrich" appears also in the "Thidreksaga", chap. 330, where we are told that he was the bravest and courtliest of all knights.
(182) "Master Hildebrand", see Adventure XXVIII, note 148.
(183) "Siegstab" is Dietrich's nephew. He also appears in the "Thidreksaga", but in a different role.
(184) "Wolfwin" is mentioned in the "Klage", 1541, as Dietrich's nephew.
(185) "Wolfbrand" and "Helmnot" appear only here.
(186) "Ritschart". With the exception of Helfrich (see Above note 1), these names do not occur elsewhere, though one of the sons of Haimon was called Wichart.
(187) "Waskstone", see Adventure XXXV, note 177.
(188) "Fall". The word "not", translated here "fall", means really 'disaster', but as this word is not in keeping with the style, "fall" has been chosen as preferable to 'need', used by some translators. The MS. C has here "liet" instead of "not" of A and B.
(189) The "Nibelungenlied" is continued by the so-called "Klage", a poem written in short rhyming couplets. As the name indicates, it describes the lamentations of the survivors over the dead. The praises of each warrior are sung and a messenger dispatched to acquaint Gorelind, Uta, and Brunhild with the sad end of their kinsmen. It closes with Dietrich's departure from Etzel's court and his return home. Although in one sense a continuation of our poem, the "Klage" is an independent work of no great merit, being excessively tedious with its constant repetitions. A reprint and a full account of it will be found in Piper's edition of our poem, vol. I.