Heroic Legends of the North
An Introduction to the Nibelung and Dietrich Cycles
Originally published in 1996, this book is a study of two of the central themes of medieval German mythology, the Dietrich and Nibelung legends. It traces its two legendary topics form their historical roots during the last centuries of the Roman Empire to the medieval texts that make them known to us. Many of the medieval texts have never been translated into English or even modern German. A synopsis of each work is therefore included so that the reader can form an idea of the content of the works in question. The book takes a text-oriented approach. The book includes a chronological chart which puts most of the texts and literary works discussed in a European and world context.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Background 1. The Germanic Legends 2. Historical Background 3. Historical Sources 4. Oral Transmission Part 2: Literary Works 1. Literary Works 2. Table of Motifs 3. Traces in Early Literature 4. The Dietrich Legend 5. The Nibelung Legend. 6. Related Legends
Edward R. Haymes
‘The extensive bibliographic information makes this book an excellent guide for those planning serious study of the subject. A chronology, table of motifs and glossary of names make it a handy reference for anyone trying to unravel artistic, literary or musical references. And, since it assumes no background knowledge (either of German literature, late roman history, or the theory of oral transmission), it is also a book for the merely curious….’ Danny Yee