It contains a valuable library with many incunabula and old manuscripts, amongst which is one of the Nibelungenlied, an astronomical observatory, a collection of antiquities, and a mineral collection.
GUDRUN (KuDxuN), a Middle High German epic, written probably in the early years of the 13th century, not long after the Nibelungenlied, the influence of which may be traced upon it.
The epic of Gudrun is not unworthy to stand beside the greater Nibelungenlied, and it has been aptly compared with it as the Odyssey to the Iliad.
It was a severe trial to Wagner not to hear his own work, but he knew that it was in good hands, and he responded to Liszt's appeal for a new creation by studying the Nibelungenlied and gradually shaping it into a gigantic tetralogy.
In his literature it has played a prominent part from the Nibelungenlied to the present day; and its weird and romantic legends have been alternately the awe and the delight of his childhood.
The frequent mention of "Wiene" in the oldest extant version of the Nibelungenlied points in the same direction.
Of the latter the number has tended to diminish in the light of modern scholarship. The fashion during the 19th century set strongly in the other direction, and the " degraded gods " theory was applied not only to such conspicuous heroes as Siegfried, Dietrich and Beowulf, but to a host of minor characters, such as the good marquis Rudeger of the Nibelungenlied and our own Robin Hood (both identified with Woden Hruodperaht).
Theodor Abeling (Das Nibelungenlied, Leipzig, 1907) traces the Nibelung sagas to three groups of Burgundian legends, each based on fact: the Frankish-Burgundian tradition of the murder of Segeric, son of the Burgundian king Sigimund, who was slain by his father at the instigation of his stepmother; the Frankish-Burgundian story, as told by Gregory of Tours (iii.
Sifrit), the hero of the Nibelungenlied, and of a number of Scandinavian poems included in the older Edda, as well as of the prose V iilsunga Saga, which is based upon the latter.
See Nibelungenlied and also R.
Abeling, Nibelungenlied (1907).
KRIEMHILD (GRiMHILD), the heroine of the Nibelungenlied and wife of the hero Siegfried.
In the north, indeed, the name Grimhildr continued to have a purely mythical character and to be applied only to daemonic beings; but in Germany, the original home of the Nibelungen myth, it certainly lost all trace of this significance, and in the Nibelungenlied Kriemhild is no more than a beautiful princess, the daughter of King Dancrat and Queen Uote, and sister of the Burgundian kings Gunther, Giselher and Gernot, the masters of the Nibelungen hoard.
In the Nibelungenlied, however, the primitive supremacy of the blood-tie has given place to the more modern idea of the supremacy of the passion of love, and Kriemhild marries Attila (Etzel) in order to compass the death of her brothers, in revenge for the murder of Siegfried.
Zarnke, Das Nibelungenlied, p. ii.
Abeling, Einleitung in das Nibelungenlied (Freiburg-im-Breisgau, 1909).
It is immortalized in the Nibelungenlied in the person of "Volker von Alzeie," the warrior who in the last part of the epic plays a part second only to that of Hagen, and who "was called the minstrel (spilman) because he could fiddle."
Among them are Rodenstein, the reputed home of the wild huntsman, and near Grasellenbach, the spot where Siegfried of the Nibelungenlied is said to have been slain.
Adopting Arianism they came into conflict with the Romans, and under their king Gundahar or Gundicar (the Gunther of the Nibelungenlied) rose in 435 against the Roman governor Aetius, who called in the Huns against them.
The destruction of Worms and the Burgundian kingdom by the Huns in 436 was the subject of heroic legends afterwards incorporated in the Nibelungenlied (q.v.) and the Rosengarten (an epic probably of the late 13th century).
In the Nibelungenlied King Gunther and Queen Brunhild hold their court at Worms, and Siegfried comes hither to woo Kriemhild.
NIBELUNGENLIED, or DER Nibelunge Not, an heroic epic written in a Middle High German dialect.
Of the Nibelungenlied is added a supplementary poem called the Klage or Lament, a sequel of 2160 short-line couplets, describing the lament of the survivors - notably Etzelover the slain, the burying of the dead, and the carrying of the news to the countries of the Burgundians and others.
The origin and nature of the various elements that go to make up the story of the Nibelungenlied have been, and continue to be, the subject of very lively debate.
This view is maintained by Richard von Muth in his Einleitung in das Nibelungenlied (Paderborn, 1877), who thus sums up the result of his critical researches: "The basis of all is an old myth of a beneficent divine being (Siegfried), who conquers daemonic powers (the Nibelungen), but is slain by them (the Burgundians turned Nibelungen); with this myth was connected the destruction of the Burgundian kingdom, ascribed to Attila, between 437 and 453, and later the legend of Attila's murder by his wife; in this form, after Attila and Theodoric had been associated in it, the legend penetrated, between 555 and 583, to the North, where its second part was developed in detail on the analogy of older sagas, while in Germany a complete change of the old motif took place."
So early as 1783 Johannes von Muller of Gottingen had called attention to the historical figures appearing in the Nibelungenlied, identifying Etzel as Attila, Dietrich of Bern as Theodoric of Verona, and the Burgundian kings Gunther, Giselher and Gernot as the Gundaharius, Gislaharius and Godomar of the Lex Burgundiorum; in 1820 Julius Leichtlen (Neuaufgefundenes Bruchstick des Nibelungenliedes, Freiburg-im-Breisgau) roundly declared that "the Nibelungenlied rests entirely on a historical foundation, and that any other attempt to explain it must fail."
But criticism is still busy attempting to trace these also to historical originals, and Theodor Abeling (Das Nibelungenlied, 1907) makes out a very plausible case for identifying Siegfried with Segeric, son of the Burgundian king Sigimund, Brunhild with the historical Brunichildis, and Hagen with a certain Hagnericus, who, according to the Life of St Columban, guided the saint (the chaplain of the Nibelungenlied), who had incurred the enmity of Brunichildis, safe to the court of her grandson Theuderich, king of the West Franks.
In the Nibelungenlied, on the other hand, the influence of other wholly unconnected stories is felt: thus Hildebrand appears during the final fight at Etzel's court, and Theodoric the Great (Dietrich von Bern; see THEODORIc), for no better reason than that the Dietrich legend had sent him into exile there, and that he must have been there when the Burgundians arrived.
Conceived as a single, coherent story, or is it based on a number of separate stories, popular ballads akin to the Eddas, which the original author of the Nibelungenlied merely collected and strung together?
He applied to the Nibelungenlied the method which Friedrich August Wolf had used to resolve the Iliad and Odyssey into their elements.
This view was adopted by Friedrich Zarncke, who made C the basis of his edition of the Nibelungenlied (Leipzig, 1856).
Anew hypothesis was developed by Karl Bartsch in his Untersuchungen fiber das Nibelungenlied (Leipzig, 1865).
To this view Zarncke was so far converted that in the 1887 edition of his Nibelungenlied he admitted that C shows signs of recension and that the B group is purer in certain details.
Theodor Abeling (Das Nibelungenlied and seine Literatur (Leipzig, 1907) gives a full bibliography, embracing 1272 references from 1756 to 1905.