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Þiðreks saga

Þiðreks saga af Bern ('the saga of Þiðrekr of Bern', also Þiðrekssaga, Þiðriks saga, Niflunga saga or Vilkina saga, with Anglicisations including Thidreksaga) is an Old Norse chivalric saga centering the character it calls Þiðrekr af Bern, who originated as the historical king Theoderic the Great (454–526), but who attracted a great many unhistorical Germanic heroic legends. The text is probably by a Norwegian scholar from the 1200s who translated a lost Low German prose narrative of Theoderic's life, or who compiled it from various German sources, or by an Icelandic scholar from the 1300s. It is a pre-eminent source for a wide range of medieval Germanic legends.

The name Vilkinasaga was first used in Johan Peringskiöld's Swedish translation of 1715. Peringskiöld named it after Vilkinaland, which the saga says was an old name for Sweden and Götaland.

The saga contains many narratives found in other medieval tales about Theoderic, but also supplements them with other narratives and provides many additional details. It is not clear how much of the source material might have been orally transmitted and how much the author may have had access to written poems. The preface of the text itself says that it was written according to "tales of German men" and "old German poetry", possibly transmitted by Hanseatic merchants in Bergen. Contrary to the historical reality of Theoderic's life, most of the action of the saga is set in Northern Germany, situating Attila's capital at Susat (Soest in Westphalia) and the battle situated in the medieval German poem Rabenschlacht in Ravenna taking place at the mouth of the Rhine. This is part of a process operative in oral traditions called "localization", connecting events transmitted orally to familiar places, and is one of the reasons that the poems collected by the saga-writer are believed to be Low German in origin.

The prevailing interpretation of an Italian saga milieu was largely questioned by the German philologist Heinz Ritter-Schaumburg, who claims the texts to be based on a historiographical vita of an Eastern Frankish Dietrich with his seat rather in Verona cisalpina (Bonn on the Rhine). Ritter-Schaumburg's theory has been rejected by scholars working in the field.

Heroes from the story of Theoderic, after a wall-painting in Floda church in Södermanland.

At the centre of Þiðreks saga is a complete life of King Þiðrekr of Bern.

It begins by telling of Þiðrekr's grandfather and father, and then tells of Þiðrekr's youth at his father's court, where Hildebrand tutors him and he accomplishes his first heroic deeds. After his father's death, Þiðrekr leads several military campaigns: then he is exiled from his kingdom by his uncle Ermenrik, fleeing to Attila's court. There is an unsuccessful attempt to return to his kingdom, during which Attila's sons and Þiðrekr's brother die. This is followed by Þiðrekr's entanglement in the downfall of the Niflings, after which Þiðrekr successfully returns to Verona and recovers his kingdom. Much later, after the death of both Hildebrand and his wife Herrad, Þiðrekr kills a dragon who had killed King Hernit of Bergara, marrying the widow and becoming king of Bergara. After Attila's death, Þiðrekr becomes king of the Huns as well. The final time he fights an opponent is to avenge the death of Heime (who had become a monk and then sworn loyalty to Þiðrekr once again). After this, he spends all his time hunting. One day, upon seeing a particularly magnificent deer, he jumped out of the bathtub and mounts a gigantic black horse – this is the devil. It rides away with him, and no one knows what happened to him after that, but the Germans believe that he received God and Mary's grace and was saved.

In addition to the life of Þiðrekr, various other heroes' lives are recounted as well in various parts of the story, including Attila, Wayland the Smith (in the section called Velents þáttr smiðs), Sigurd, the Nibelungen, and Walter of Aquitaine. The section recounting Þiðrekr's avenging of Hertnit seems to have resulted from a confusion between Þiðrekr and the similarly named Wolfdietrich.

The principal manuscripts are, with the sigla assigned by Bertelsen:

  • Royal Library, Stockholm, Perg. fol. nr. 4 (Mb)
  • Copenhagen, Arnamagnæan Institute, AM 178 fol. (A)
  • Copenhagen, Arnamagnæan Institute, AM 177 fol. (B)

The Stockholm manuscript is earliest, dating from the late thirteenth century.

Erich von Richthofen in his studies of the Castilian Cantar de los Siete Infantes de Lara has pointed to numerous analogies with the epic of central and northern Europe, in particular stating that in addition to many original Castilian elements and motifs, the epic of the Lara princes has many in common with the Þiðreks saga.

Þiðreks saga was the basis for the Swedish Didrikssagan, a translation from the mid-fifteenth century which survives in one, largely complete, manuscript, Skokloster 115/116. The Swedish reworking of the story is rather independent: many repetitions were avoided and the material is structured in a more accessible manner. The Swedish version is believed to have been composed on the orders of king Karl Knutsson, who was interested in literature.

Þiðreks saga had considerable influence on Swedish historiography as the saga identified the country of Vilkinaland with Sweden and so its line of kings was added to the Swedish line of kings. In spite of the fact that the early scholar Olaus Petri was critical, these kings were considered to have been historic Swedish kings until fairly recent times. The historicity of the kings of Vilkinaland was further boosted in 1634 when Johannes Bureus discovered the Norwegian parchment that had arrived in Sweden in the 15th century.

Richard Wagner used it as a source for his operatic tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen.

Saga Didriks, Konungs af Bern. Norwegian translation of 1853 by Carl Richard Unger.

Editions

Translations

English
Other
  • Die Geschichte Thidreks von Bern (Sammlung Thule Bd. 22). Übertragen von Fine Erichsen. Jena: Diederichs 1924(in German)
  • Die Thidrekssaga oder Dietrich von Bern und die Niflungen. Übers. durch Friedrich Heinrich von der Hagen. Mit neuen geographischen Anm. vers. von Heinz Ritter-Schaumburg. St. Goar: Der Leuchter, Otto Reichl Verlag, 1989. 2 Bände(in German)
  • Die Didriks-Chronik oder die Svava: das Leben König Didriks von Bern und die Niflungen. Erstmals vollst. aus der altschwed. Hs. der Thidrekssaga übers. und mit geographischen Anm. versehen von Heinz Ritter-Schaumburg. – St. Goar : Der Leuchter, 1989, ISBN 3-87667-102-7(in German)
  • Saga de Teodorico de Verona. Anónimo del siglo XIII. Introducción, notas y traducción del nórdico antiguo de Mariano González Campo. Prólogo de Luis Alberto de Cuenca. Madrid: La Esfera de los Libros, 2010. ISBN 84-9321-036-6 / ISBN 978-84-932103-6-6(in Spanish)
  • Saga de Théodoric de Vérone (Þiðrikssaga af Bern) - Légendes heroiques d'Outre-Rhin. Introduction, traduction du norrois et notes par Claude Lecouteux. Paris: Honoré Champion, 2001. ISBN 2-7453-0373-2(in French)
  • Folkvisan om konung Didrik och hans kämpar. Översatt av Oskar Klockhoff. 1900(in Northern Sami)
  • Sagan om Didrik af Bern. utgiven av Gunnar Olof Hyltén-Cavallius. Stockholm: Norstedt, 1850-1854 (Old Swedish text)
  • Wilkina saga, eller Historien om konung Thiderich af Bern och hans kämpar; samt Niflunga sagan; innehållandes några göthiska konungars och hieltars forna bedrifter i Ryszland, Polen, Ungern, Italien, Burgundien och Spanien &c.Sive Historia Wilkinensium, Theoderici Veronensis, ac niflungorum; continens regum atq; heroum quorundam gothicorum res gestas, per Russiam, Poloniam, Hungariam, Italiam, Burgundiam, atque Hispaniam, &c. Ex. mss. codicibus lingvæ veteris scandicæ. Översatt av Johan Peringskiöld, Stockholm, 1715 (in Swedish and Latin)
  • The Old Swedish version of Þiðreks saga in the original language
  • The Saga of Didrik of Bern, with The Dwarf King Laurin,. Translated (from the Swedish) by Ian Cumpstey. Skadi Press, 2017. ISBN 0-9576-1203-6 (in English)
  1. The article Didrikssagan in Nordisk familjebok (1907).
  2. wilcina land som nw är kalladh swerige oc götaland.
  3. Davidson, Andrew R., 'The Legends of Þiðreks saga af Bern' (Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Cambridge, 1995).
  4. The article Didrik av Bern in Nationalencyklopedin (1990).
  5. Heinz Ritter-Schaumburg, Dietrich von Bern. König zu Bonn. Munich–Berlin 1982.
  6. See the following negative reviews: Kratz, Henry (1983). "Review: Die Nibelungen zogen nordwärts by Heinz Ritter-Schaumburg". The German Quarterly. 56 (4): 636–638. doi:10.2307/405287. JSTOR 405287.; Müller, Gernot (1983). "Allerneueste Nibelungische Ketzereien: Zu Heinz Ritter-Schaumburgs Die Nibelungen zogen nordwärts,München 1981". Studia neophilologica. 57 (1): 105–116. doi:10.1080/00393278508587910.; Hoffmann, Werner (1993). "Siegfried 1993. Bemerkungen und Überlegungen zur Forschungsliteratur zu Siegfried im Nibelungenlied aus den Jahren 1978 bis 1992". Mediaevistik. 6: 121–151. JSTOR 42583993. Here 125-128.
  7. Þs. Ch. 14–17, Unger (1853), pp. 19–26; Haymes tr. (1988), pp. 16–19 [Ch. 25a (14)–29(17), Bertelsen (1905–1911), 1: 31–38]
  8. Henrik Bertelsen, Om Didrik af Berns sagas, oprindelige skikkelse, omarbejdelse og handskrifter (Copenhagen: Rømer, 1902), p. 1.
  9. Helgi Þorláksson, 'The Fantastic Fourteenth Century', in The Fantastic in Old Norse/Icelandic Literature; Sagas and the British Isles: Preprint Papers of the Thirteenth International Saga Conference, Durham and York, 6th–12th August, 2006, ed. by John McKinnell, David Ashurst and Donata Kick (Durham: Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Durham University, 2006), http://www.dur.ac.uk/medieval.www/sagaconf/sagapps.htm.
  10. Richthofen, Erich von (1990). "Interdependencia épico-medieval: dos tangentes góticas" [Epic-Medieval interdependence: two Gothic tangents]. Dicenda: Estudios de lengua y literatura españolas (in Spanish). Universidad Complutense (9): 179. ISSN 0212-2952. Retrieved7 May 2020.
  11. The Saga of Didrik of Bern with the Dwarf King Laurin, trans. by Ian Cumpstey (Cumbria: Skadi Press, 2017), p. 295.

Þiðreks saga
THidreks saga Language Watch Edit THidreks saga af Bern the saga of THidrekr of Bern also THidrekssaga THidriks saga Niflunga saga or Vilkina saga with Anglicisations including Thidreksaga is an Old Norse chivalric saga centering the character it calls THidrekr af Bern who originated as the historical king Theoderic the Great 454 526 but who attracted a great many unhistorical Germanic heroic legends The text is probably by a Norwegian scholar from the 1200s who translated a lost Low German prose narrative of Theoderic s life or who compiled it from various German sources or by an Icelandic scholar from the 1300s It is a pre eminent source for a wide range of medieval Germanic legends Thidrekssaga Holm perg 4 fol bl 11v Contents 1 Titles 2 Origins 3 Contents 4 Manuscripts 5 Adaptations and influence 6 Editions and translations of the Norwegian text 6 1 Editions 6 2 Translations 7 Editions and translations of the Swedish text 8 References 9 Further readingTitles EditThe name Vilkinasaga was first used in Johan Peringskiold s Swedish translation of 1715 1 Peringskiold named it after Vilkinaland which the saga says was an old name for Sweden and Gotaland 2 Origins EditThe saga contains many narratives found in other medieval tales about Theoderic but also supplements them with other narratives and provides many additional details It is not clear how much of the source material might have been orally transmitted and how much the author may have had access to written poems 3 The preface of the text itself says that it was written according to tales of German men and old German poetry possibly transmitted by Hanseatic merchants in Bergen 4 Contrary to the historical reality of Theoderic s life most of the action of the saga is set in Northern Germany situating Attila s capital at Susat Soest in Westphalia and the battle situated in the medieval German poem Rabenschlacht in Ravenna taking place at the mouth of the Rhine This is part of a process operative in oral traditions called localization connecting events transmitted orally to familiar places and is one of the reasons that the poems collected by the saga writer are believed to be Low German in origin The prevailing interpretation of an Italian saga milieu was largely questioned by the German philologist Heinz Ritter Schaumburg who claims the texts to be based on a historiographical vita of an Eastern Frankish Dietrich with his seat rather in Verona cisalpina Bonn on the Rhine 5 Ritter Schaumburg s theory has been rejected by scholars working in the field 6 Contents Edit Heroes from the story of Theoderic after a wall painting in Floda church in Sodermanland At the centre of THidreks saga is a complete life of King THidrekr of Bern It begins by telling of THidrekr s grandfather and father and then tells of THidrekr s youth at his father s court where Hildebrand tutors him and he accomplishes his first heroic deeds 7 After his father s death THidrekr leads several military campaigns then he is exiled from his kingdom by his uncle Ermenrik fleeing to Attila s court There is an unsuccessful attempt to return to his kingdom during which Attila s sons and THidrekr s brother die This is followed by THidrekr s entanglement in the downfall of the Niflings after which THidrekr successfully returns to Verona and recovers his kingdom Much later after the death of both Hildebrand and his wife Herrad THidrekr kills a dragon who had killed King Hernit of Bergara marrying the widow and becoming king of Bergara After Attila s death THidrekr becomes king of the Huns as well The final time he fights an opponent is to avenge the death of Heime who had become a monk and then sworn loyalty to THidrekr once again After this he spends all his time hunting One day upon seeing a particularly magnificent deer he jumped out of the bathtub and mounts a gigantic black horse this is the devil It rides away with him and no one knows what happened to him after that but the Germans believe that he received God and Mary s grace and was saved In addition to the life of THidrekr various other heroes lives are recounted as well in various parts of the story including Attila Wayland the Smith in the section called Velents thattr smids Sigurd the Nibelungen and Walter of Aquitaine The section recounting THidrekr s avenging of Hertnit seems to have resulted from a confusion between THidrekr and the similarly named Wolfdietrich Manuscripts EditThe principal manuscripts are with the sigla assigned by Bertelsen 8 Royal Library Stockholm Perg fol nr 4 Mb Copenhagen Arnamagnaean Institute AM 178 fol A Copenhagen Arnamagnaean Institute AM 177 fol B The Stockholm manuscript is earliest dating from the late thirteenth century 9 Adaptations and influence EditErich von Richthofen in his studies of the Castilian Cantar de los Siete Infantes de Lara has pointed to numerous analogies with the epic of central and northern Europe in particular stating that in addition to many original Castilian elements and motifs the epic of the Lara princes has many in common with the THidreks saga 10 THidreks saga was the basis for the Swedish Didrikssagan a translation from the mid fifteenth century which survives in one largely complete manuscript Skokloster 115 116 4 11 The Swedish reworking of the story is rather independent many repetitions were avoided and the material is structured in a more accessible manner 4 The Swedish version is believed to have been composed on the orders of king Karl Knutsson who was interested in literature 4 1 THidreks saga had considerable influence on Swedish historiography as the saga identified the country of Vilkinaland with Sweden and so its line of kings was added to the Swedish line of kings 1 In spite of the fact that the early scholar Olaus Petri was critical these kings were considered to have been historic Swedish kings until fairly recent times 1 The historicity of the kings of Vilkinaland was further boosted in 1634 when Johannes Bureus discovered the Norwegian parchment that had arrived in Sweden in the 15th century 1 Richard Wagner used it as a source for his operatic tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen Editions and translations of the Norwegian text Edit Saga Didriks Konungs af Bern Norwegian translation of 1853 by Carl Richard Unger Editions Edit Unger Henrik ed 1853 Saga Đidriks konungs af Bern Fortaelling om Kong Thidrik af Bern og hans kaemper i norsk bearbeidelse fra det trettende aarhundrede efter tydske kilder Christiania Feilberg amp Landmark Bertelsen Henrik ed 1905 1911 THidriks saga af Bern Samfund til udgivelse af gammel nordisk litteratur 34 2 vols Copenhagen Moller Gudni Jonsson ed THidreks saga af Bern 2 vols Reykjavik 1951 normalised version of Bertelsen s edition Translations Edit EnglishHaymes Edward R tr 1988 The Saga of Thidrek of Bern Garland ISBN 0 8240 8489 6 OtherDie Geschichte Thidreks von Bern Sammlung Thule Bd 22 Ubertragen von Fine Erichsen Jena Diederichs 1924 in German Die Thidrekssaga oder Dietrich von Bern und die Niflungen Ubers durch Friedrich Heinrich von der Hagen Mit neuen geographischen Anm vers von Heinz Ritter Schaumburg St Goar Der Leuchter Otto Reichl Verlag 1989 2 Bande in German Die Didriks Chronik oder die Svava das Leben Konig Didriks von Bern und die Niflungen Erstmals vollst aus der altschwed Hs der Thidrekssaga ubers und mit geographischen Anm versehen von Heinz Ritter Schaumburg St Goar Der Leuchter 1989 ISBN 3 87667 102 7 in German Saga de Teodorico de Verona Anonimo del siglo XIII Introduccion notas y traduccion del nordico antiguo de Mariano Gonzalez Campo Prologo de Luis Alberto de Cuenca Madrid La Esfera de los Libros 2010 ISBN 84 9321 036 6 ISBN 978 84 932103 6 6 in Spanish Saga de Theodoric de Verone THidrikssaga af Bern Legendes heroiques d Outre Rhin Introduction traduction du norrois et notes par Claude Lecouteux Paris Honore Champion 2001 ISBN 2 7453 0373 2 in French Folkvisan om konung Didrik och hans kampar Oversatt av Oskar Klockhoff 1900 in Northern Sami Editions and translations of the Swedish text EditSagan om Didrik af Bern utgiven av Gunnar Olof Hylten Cavallius Stockholm Norstedt 1850 1854 Old Swedish text Wilkina saga eller Historien om konung Thiderich af Bern och hans kampar samt Niflunga sagan innehallandes nagra gothiska konungars och hieltars forna bedrifter i Ryszland Polen Ungern Italien Burgundien och Spanien amp c Sive Historia Wilkinensium Theoderici Veronensis ac niflungorum continens regum atq heroum quorundam gothicorum res gestas per Russiam Poloniam Hungariam Italiam Burgundiam atque Hispaniam amp c Ex mss codicibus lingvae veteris scandicae Oversatt av Johan Peringskiold Stockholm 1715 in Swedish and Latin The Old Swedish version of THidreks saga in the original language The Saga of Didrik of Bern with The Dwarf King Laurin Translated from the Swedish by Ian Cumpstey Skadi Press 2017 ISBN 0 9576 1203 6 in English References Edit a b c d e The article Didrikssagan in Nordisk familjebok 1907 wilcina land som nw ar kalladh swerige oc gotaland Davidson Andrew R The Legends of THidreks saga af Bern Unpublished Ph D Dissertation University of Cambridge 1995 a b c d The article Didrik av Bern in Nationalencyklopedin 1990 Heinz Ritter Schaumburg Dietrich von Bern Konig zu Bonn Munich Berlin 1982 See the following negative reviews Kratz Henry 1983 Review Die Nibelungen zogen nordwarts by Heinz Ritter Schaumburg The German Quarterly 56 4 636 638 doi 10 2307 405287 JSTOR 405287 Muller Gernot 1983 Allerneueste Nibelungische Ketzereien Zu Heinz Ritter Schaumburgs Die Nibelungen zogen nordwarts Munchen 1981 Studia neophilologica 57 1 105 116 doi 10 1080 00393278508587910 Hoffmann Werner 1993 Siegfried 1993 Bemerkungen und Uberlegungen zur Forschungsliteratur zu Siegfried im Nibelungenlied aus den Jahren 1978 bis 1992 Mediaevistik 6 121 151 JSTOR 42583993 Here 125 128 THs Ch 14 17 Unger 1853 pp 19 26 Haymes tr 1988 pp 16 19 Ch 25a 14 29 17 Bertelsen 1905 1911 1 31 38 Henrik Bertelsen Om Didrik af Berns sagas oprindelige skikkelse omarbejdelse og handskrifter Copenhagen Romer 1902 p 1 Helgi THorlaksson The Fantastic Fourteenth Century in The Fantastic in Old Norse Icelandic Literature Sagas and the British Isles Preprint Papers of the Thirteenth International Saga Conference Durham and York 6th 12th August 2006 ed by John McKinnell David Ashurst and Donata Kick Durham Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Durham University 2006 http www dur ac uk medieval www sagaconf sagapps htm Richthofen Erich von 1990 Interdependencia epico medieval dos tangentes goticas Epic Medieval interdependence two Gothic tangents Dicenda Estudios de lengua y literatura espanolas in Spanish Universidad Complutense 9 179 ISSN 0212 2952 Retrieved 7 May 2020 The Saga of Didrik of Bern with the Dwarf King Laurin trans by Ian Cumpstey Cumbria Skadi Press 2017 p 295 Further reading EditKrappe Alexander Haggerty 1923 A Folktale motif in the THidreks saga Scandinavian Studies and Notes 7 9 pp 265 69 JSTOR 40915133 Sandbach F E 1906 The Heroic Saga Cycle of Dietrich of Bern London David Nutt Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title THidreks saga amp oldid 1019384178, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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