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Hagen checked his watch as he entered, eleven p. Hagen used his ID card to get into the archive and the lights flickered on automatically. Ivan, a young Gregory Peck in blond, had an angular, male, yet soft face with deep blue eyes that gave him a Hamlet-like air of tragic melancholy. His eyes had a slight feverish glow to them and dilated pupils.

Ivan suffered from constantly elevated body temperature--a side effect of the potion that Hagen brewed for him. A small table stood between the chairs.

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Nothing more would fit into the tiny room. It had no window, only white bleached walls and always stale air. He produced the Ivan-mix bottle from his pocket and put it onto the table. How can you manage not to take any of this precious, heavenly stuff that you brew? Ivan chuckled. Seriously, you look awful, man. Ivan giggled and Hagen grinned. Ivan giggled again. The potion started to work and his eyes became unfocused.

His left hand jerked, spastically, and a moan slipped from his lips. Hagen watched with morbid fascination. Oh, my God A story like that was just in the news. Ivan laughed out loud; drugged, stoned, and pleased. Hagen waited. He frowned. Impressive, Ivan registered and interpreted facial expressions even under the influence of the potion.

Why did you want me to come here today, only to give you your next dosage? Ivan raised a finger into the air. Got something for you, too. The supplies you asked for and something else Ivan reached under his chair and produced a plastic box where he kept his stash of stolen drugs. Hagen smiled. They were a formidable team. The things that you could do with a combined stash of chemicals and medicines were divine.

Ivan opened the box and took out a small plastic bag. He threw it to Hagen, who dropped the bag into a pocket of his lab coat. Next, Ivan took an object wrapped in white linen, a part of a torn bed sheet, from behind his chair. Hagen gasped and Ivan chuckled with satisfaction. The hand had been severed an inch above the wrist, a hint of slender arm still attached. The woman had been in her prime. Continental Germanic traditions about Siegfried enter writing with the Nibelungelied around The German tradition strongly associates Siegfried with a kingdom called "Niederland" Middle High German Niderlant , which, despite its name, is not the same as the modern Netherlands , but describes Siegfried's kingdom around the city of Xanten.

The Nibelungenlied gives two contradictory descriptions of Siegfried's youth.

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On the level of the main story, Siegfried is given a courtly upbringing in Xanten by his father king Siegmund and mother Sieglind. When he is seen coming to Worms , capital of the Burgundian kingdom to woo the princess Kriemhild, however, the Burgundian vassal Hagen von Tronje narrates a different story of Siegfried's youth: according to Hagen, Siegfried was a wandering warrior Middle High German recke who won the hoard of the Nibelungen as well as the sword Balmung and a cloak of invisibility Tarnkappe that increases the wearer's strength twelve times.


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He also tells an unrelated tale about how Siegfried killed a dragon, bathed in its blood, and thereby received a skin as hard as horn that makes him invulnerable. Of the features of young Siegfried's adventures, only those that are directly relevant to the rest of the story are mentioned. In order to win the hand of Kriemhild, Siegfried becomes a friend of the Burgundian kings Gunther , Gernot, and Giselher.

Siegfried, using his cloak of invisibility, aids Gunther in each task. Siegfried and Kriemhild have a son, whom they name Gunther. Finally, in front of the door of the cathedral in Worms, the two queens argue who should enter first. Hagen tricks Kriemhild into telling him where Siegfried's skin is vulnerable, and Gunther invites Siegfried to take part in a hunt in the Waskenwald the Vosges. Siegfried is mortally wounded but still attacks Hagen, before cursing the Burgundians and dying. Hagen arranges to have Siegfried's corpse thrown outside the door to Kriemhild's bedroom.

Kriemhild mourns Siegfried greatly and he is buried in Worms. It is also mentioned that he was buried in a marble sarcophagus—this may be connected to actual marble sarcophagi that were displayed in the abbey, having been dug up following a fire in In the Rosengarten zu Worms c. Kriemhild decides that she would like to test Siegfried's mettle against the hero Dietrich von Bern , and so she invites him and twelve of his warriors to fight her twelve champions.

When the fight is finally meant to begin, Dietrich initially refuses to fight Siegfried on the grounds that the dragon's blood has made Siegfried's skin invulnerable. Dietrich is convinced to fight Siegfried by the false news that his mentor Hildebrand is dead and becomes so enraged that he begins to breathe fire, melting Siegfried's protective layer of horn on his skin. He is thus able to penetrate Siegfried's skin with his sword, and Siegfried becomes so afraid that he flees to Kriemhild's lap.

Only the reappearance of Hildebrand prevents Dietrich from killing Siegfried. Some of the details agree with the Thidrekssaga. When Sigmund returns from a campaign one day, he discovers his wife is pregnant, and believing her to be unfaithful to him, he exiles her to the "Swabian Forest" the Black Forest? She dies after some time, and Sigurd is suckled by a hind before being found by the smith Mimir.

Mimir tries to raise the boy, but Sigurd is so unruly that Mimir sends him to his brother Regin, who has transformed into a dragon, in the hopes that he will kill the boy. Sigurd, however, slays the dragon and tastes its flesh, whereby he learns the language of the birds and of Mimir's treachery. He smears himself with dragon's blood, making his skin invulnerable, and returns to Mimir. Mimir gives him weapons to placate him, but Sigurd kills him anyway. Thidrek is unable to wound Sigurd because of his invulnerable skin, but on the third day, Thidrek receives the sword Mimung, which can cut through Sigurd's skin, and defeats him.

Sigurd recommends to Gunnar that he marry Brynhild, and the two ride to woo for her. Brynhild now claims that Sigurd had earlier said he would marry her unmentioned before in the text , but eventually she agrees to marry Gunnar. She will not, however, allow Gunnar to consummate the marriage, and so with Gunnar's agreement, Sigurd takes Gunnar's shape and deflowers Brynhild, taking away her strength. Sometime later, Grimhild and Brynhild fight over who has a higher rank.

Brynhild claims that Sigurd is not of noble birth, after which Grimhild announces that Sigurd and not Gunnar deflowered Brynhild. The brothers then place his corpse in Grimhild's bed, and she mourns. The author of the saga has made a number of changes to create a more or less coherent story out of the many oral and possibly written sources that he used to create the saga. The Thidrekssaga makes no mention of how Sigurd won the hoard of the Nibelungen. The second half of the heroic poem Biterolf und Dietleib between and [55] features a war between the Burgundian heroes of the Nibelungenlied and the heroes of the cycle around Dietrich von Bern, something likely inspired by the Rosengarten zu Worms.

In this context, it also features a fight between Siegfried and Dietrich in which Dietrich defeats Siegfried after initially appearing cowardly. The text also features a fight between Siegfried and the hero Heime , in which Siegfried knocks Heime's famous sword Nagelring out of his hand, after which both armies fight for control over the sword. The text also relates that Dietrich once brought Siegfried to Etzel's court as a hostage, something which is also alluded to in the Nibelungenlied.

The so-called "Heldenbuch-Prosa" , first found in the Heldenbuch of Diebolt von Hanowe and afterwards contained in printings until , is considered one of the most important attestations of a continued oral tradition outside of the Nibelungenlied , with many details agreeing with the Thidrekssaga. The Heldenbuch-Prosa has very little to say about Siegfried: it notes that he was the son of King Siegmund, came from "Niederland", and was married to Kriemhild.

Unattested in any other source, however, is that Kriemhild orchestrated the disaster at Etzel's court in order to avenge Siegfried being killed by Dietrich von Bern. According to the Heldenbuch-Prosa, Dietrich killed Siegfried fighting in the rose garden at Worms see the Rosengarten zu Worms section above. This may have been another version of Siegfried's death that was in oral circulation. It agrees in many details with the Thidrekssaga and other Old Norse accounts over the Nibelungenlied , suggesting that these details existed in an oral tradition about Siegfried in Germany.

He was so unruly, however, that the smith arranged for him to be killed by a dragon. Siegfried was able to kill the dragon, however, and eventually kills many more by trapping them under logs and setting them on fire. The dragon's skin, described as hard as horn, melts, and Siegfried sticks his finger into it, discovering that his finger is now hard as horn as well.

He smears himself with the melted dragon skin everywhere except for one spot. Later, he stumbles upon the trail of another dragon that has kidnapped princess Kriemhild of Worms. With the help of the dwarf Eugel, Siegfried fights the giant Kuperan, who has the key to the mountain Kriemhild has been taken to. He rescues the princess and slays the dragon, finding the treasure of the Nibelungen inside the mountain. Eugel prophesies, however, the Siegfried only has eight years to live. Realizing he will not be able to use the treasure, Siegfried dumps the treasure into the Rhine on his way to Worms.


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  • He marries Kriemhild and rules there together with her brothers Gunther, Hagen, and Giselher, but they resent him and have him killed after eight years. The Icelandic Abbot Nicholaus of Thvera records that while travelling through Westphalia , he was shown the place where Sigurd slew the dragon called Gnita-Heath in the Norse tradition between two villages south of Paderborn. In a song of the mid-thirteenth-century wandering lyric poet Der Marner, "the death of Siegfried" Sigfrides [ The chronicles of the city of Worms record that when Emperor Frederick III visited the city in , he learned that the townspeople said that the "giant Siegfried" gigas [ Meinhard and St.

    Frederick ordered the graveyard dug up—according to one Latin source, he found nothing, but a German chronicle reports that he found a skull and some bones that were larger than normal. In contrast to the surviving continental traditions, Scandinavian stories about Sigurd have a strong connection to Germanic mythology. While older scholarship took this to represent the original form of the Sigurd story, newer scholarship is more inclined to see it as a development of the tradition that is unique to Scandinavia.

    Although the earliest attestations for the Scandinavian tradition are pictorial depictions, because these images can only be understood with a knowledge of the stories they depict, they are listed last here. The so-called Prose Edda of Snorri Sturluson is the earliest non-pictorial attestation of the Scandinavian version of Sigurd's life, dating to around Sigurd tastes the dragon's blood and understands the birds when they say that Regin will kill him in order to acquire the dragon's gold.

    He then kills Regin and takes the hoard of the Nibelungen for himself. He rides away with the hoard and then awakens the valkyrie Brynhild by cutting the armor from her, before coming to king Gjuki 's kingdom. There he marries Gjuki's daughter, Gudrun, and helps her brother, Gunnar, to acquire Brynhild's hand from her brother Atli. Sigurd deceives Brynhild by taking Gunnar's shape when Gunnar cannot fulfill the condition that he ride through a wall of flames to wed her; Sigurd rides through the flames and weds Brynhild, but does not sleep with her, placing his sword between them in the marriage bed.

    Sigurd and Gunnar then return to their own shapes. Sigurd and Gudrun have two children, Svanhild and young Sigmund. Later, Brynhild and Gudrun quarrel and Gudrun reveals that Sigurd was the one who rode through the fire, and shows a ring that Sigurd took from Brynhild as proof. Brynhild then arranges to have Sigurd killed by Gunnar's brother Guthorm.

    Guthorm stabs Sigurd in his sleep, but Sigurd is able to slice Guthorm in half by throwing his sword before dying. Guthorm has also killed Sigurd's three-year-old son Sigmund. Brynhild then kills herself and is burned on the same pyre as Sigurd. The Poetic Edda appears to have been compiled around in Iceland, and assembles mythological and heroic songs of various ages. Generally, none of the poems is thought to be have been composed before and some appear to have been written in the thirteenth century.

    The Poetic Edda identifies Sigurd as a king of the Franks. Sigurd is born at the end of the poem; he is the posthumous son of Sigmund, who dies fighting the sons of Hunding, and Hjordis. Then he will wake a valkyrie and learn runes from her.

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    He says that Sigurd will go to the home of Heimer and betroth himself to Brynhild, but then at the court of King Gjuki he will receive a potion that will make him forget his promise and marry Gudrun. He will then acquire Brynhild as a wife for Gunnar and sleep with Brynhild without having sex with her. Brynhild will recognize the deception, however, and claim that Sigurd did sleep with her, and this will cause Gunnar to have him killed.

    The poem is likely fairly young and seems to have been written to connect the previous poems about Helgi Hundingsbane with those about Sigurd. The following three poems form a single unit in the manuscript of the Poetic Edda , but are split into three by modern scholars.

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    It is most likely that Sigurd's youth with the smith, his stupidity, and his success through supernatural aid rather than his own cunning is the more original of these conceptions. Regin wants Sigurd to kill the dragon.

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    He makes the sword Gram for Sigurd, but Sigurd chooses to kill Lyngvi and the other sons of Hunding before he kills the dragon. On his way he is accompanied by Odin. Baldwin, given his mythological preoccupations, cannot resist making the spurious link between the Odenwald, where Siegfried is murdered, and the god Odin. Golden Threads from an Ancient Loom. Das Nibelungenlied. Engravings by Julius Schnorr, of Carolsfeld When the dead Siegfried is burnt on a funeral pyre rather than buried, the intention is to link, perhaps even equate, Siegfried with the god Balder.

    In the notes appended to his narrative Baldwin makes a further connexion between Hagen and Hoder, the blind brother who unwittingly killed Balder with the mistletoe. Like many of his contemporaries, Baldwin was indebted in his views to those scholars who interpreted virtually all myths in terms of battles between summer and winter, night and day, thunder and lightning.

    Such interpretations appear simplistic today, but they were taken very seriously at the time. They do not intrude unacceptably on the various tales that are woven together in this book. Baldwin is fond of his digressions, but he keeps the story of Siegfried moving too. Wagner was, again, the source for the two volumes The Rhinegold and the Valkyrie and Siegfried and the Twilight of the Gods London: Heinemann, and , their chief attraction being the colour plates by Arthur Rackham.

    The book was reprinted a number of times. The location of the forest in which the hunt takes place is not given. The guarded nature of the narrative as a whole obviously points to a young readership. Jack; New York: E.

    Immediately after this Siegfried goes to Isenland, where he meets Brunhild, but has no wish to conquer her for his bride. These details come from Norse sources, but for the most part Macgregor adapts the Nibelungenlied. The decorations at the head of each chapter are, however, the only thing taken over unchanged from the earlier publication.

    The text is fairly thoroughly adapted, modernized and put into twelve rather than fourteen chapters, but it is the same story. It too was anonymous in terms of authorship. However, the two texts are quite different in scope and approach. Siegfried and Kriemhild. As one might therefore expect, it places a good deal of interest on the love-story element.

    The whole narrative is conceived in strong visual terms, and the scenes of emotional tension and danger are frequently highlighted with symbols such as storms, lightning and sinister crows. Hagen, we are told, is always dressed in black. The author has some striking things to say about Iceland, which is stunningly depicted as snow-covered when Gunther, Siegfried, Hagen and Volker not Dankwart go to woo Brunhild. Most likely this comes from Wagner. It is an excellent adaptation of the Nibelungenlied , keeping faithfully to the key points in the plot and taking the story right through to the slaughter of the Burgundians at Etzelburg.

    While Baldwin determinedly mythicized his narrative, the author of Siegfried and Kriemhild romanticized it. The book has eight colour plates by Frank C. His technique is to use a decorative frame of leaves and branches within which there is a central square main picture, a kind of tympanum above and a small long oblong below. The Rev. The Nibelungenlied is central to Hands, Baldwin, Macgregor and the two Nelson volumes, but each author uses a different approach and spices it with additional materials.

    From a purist point of view, none of the authors is completely faithful to the Nibelungenlied , but all have tried to make a coherent story suitable for their target readership. Of course, Greek mythology was there from the start, and so was Robin Hood though not a supernatural hero. Kemble as early as Church in his Heroes of Chivalry and Romance , mentioned above, and by C.

    But then the first modern edition of Beowulf was not published until , some sixty years after the discovery of the Nibelungenlied. The epitome of youth, courage, strength and beauty, Siegfried has to be blameless too. But he is so great an ideal because in many ways he is still so much a child. Version classique Version mobile. Open Book Publishers. Picture Books.