Written by an unknown author in the twelfth century, this powerful tale of murder and revenge reaches back to the earliest epochs of German antiquity, transforming centuries old legend into a masterpiece of chivalric drama Siegfried, a great prince of the Netherlands, wins the hand of the beautiful princess Kriemhild of Burgundy, by aiding her brother Gunther in his struggle to seduce a powerful Icelandic Queen But the two women quarrel, and Siegfried is ultimately destroyed by those he trusts the most Comparable in scope to the Iliad, this skilfully crafted work combines the fragments of half forgotten myths to create one of the greatest epic poems the principal version of the heroic legends used by Richard Wagner, in The Ring I love this book so much, the characters and storyline are so absorbing The blend and variation of French courtly romance and Germanic heroic ethic causes tension throughout the poem, with characters such as Siegfried, Hagen, Brunhild and Hildebrand representing the older heroic ethic and characters such as Gunther, Dietrich, Etzel and Ruedegar representing a new courtly ethic kriemhild s transformation from courtly princess to heroic villain is also intriguing Variation is also noticeable in I love this book so much, the characters and storyline are so absorbing The blend and variation of French courtly romance and Germanic heroic ethic causes tension throughout the poem, with characters such as Siegfried, Hagen, Brunhild and Hildebrand representing the older heroic ethic and characters such as Gunther, Dietrich, Etzel and Ruedegar representing a new courtly ethic kriemhild s transformation from courtly princess to heroic villain is also intriguing Variation is also noticeable in scenic descriptions of courtly jousts, courtship, feasts and clothing descriptions and then scenes from an older heroic world such as Siegfried s dragon slaying episode, Hagen s slaying of the water sprites, the traditional Germanic bridal quest and the catastrophic last battle The language also constantly alternates between courtly words like Ritter knight and olderheroic words like degan, recke warrior helt hero and the archaic word, wigant warrior The variation techniques constantly remind me of the Beowulf poet s use of pagan and Christian imagery and the Nibelungelied s use of arrival and departure scenes also remind me of Beowulf.The driving force behind the whole poem are two ethical concepts, triuwe loyalty and vriunt friend, relative, ally, lord vassal relationship The poet uses these two concepts to drive the poem to its apocalyptic conclusion.The poet is thought to have composed the poem in two sections but working in reverse order and using lost older poems in the task of composing the Nibelungenlied The second part is thought to be based on an old poem called by German scholars the Altere Not, traces of this poem are thought to be preserved in the Niflunga saga section of the Thidrekssaga af Bern For the first section of the poem the poet it thought to have used a number of old poems on Siegfried and Brunhild, again, traces of these lost poems are thought to be preserved in works such as the Thidrekssaga, Hurnen Seyfred, Rosengarten zu Worms, Eddic poetry and Volsunga saga.Out of all the older Nibelungenlied translations, I much prefer this edition by Mowatt While the Penguin classics edition does have some useful appendices, it readslike a modern novel The Burton Raffel translation reminds me of Heaney s Beowulf translation, while it s good poetry, it s not the Nibelungenlied Mowatt s excellent Everyman edition is very readable and preserves the formulaic feel of the original Because we all need some kick ass medieval literature in our lives. Das NibelungenliedBy Anonymus Translated from Mittelhochdeutsch by Karl Simrock in 1827Existing historical locations and recordings of living persons at the time, determine the period of creation of this epic poem to between 1202 and 1204.It is the German counterpart to the Anglo Saxon sagas of King Arthur and his knights and Chretien of Troie s Lancelot tales.The geographical locations of the events stretch from Worms, the country on the river Rhine, to a northern Iceland, the castle of Brunehi Das NibelungenliedBy Anonymus Translated from Mittelhochdeutsch by Karl Simrock in 1827Existing historical locations and recordings of living persons at the time, determine the period of creation of this epic poem to between 1202 and 1204.It is the German counterpart to the Anglo Saxon sagas of King Arthur and his knights and Chretien of Troie s Lancelot tales.The geographical locations of the events stretch from Worms, the country on the river Rhine, to a northern Iceland, the castle of Brunehilde and later further south and east to Bavaria, Austria, Vienna and possibly to Bohemia or Hungary to the castle of King Etzel.Medieval chivalry is the background to the story of love and revenge between Siegfried the white knight in shining armour and Krimhilde the beautiful and faultless princess.Fairytale features light up the story with Siegrieds battle and slaying of a dragon, covering his body with the dragon s blood, almost gaining invulnerability to any future battle wounds.Nibelungenland is Siegfried s fairytale kingdom, the location of which is hard to guess Siegfried holds there an immense treasure of gold and silver, diamonds and jewellery as well as mysterious invisibility cap which he uses on several occasions and not always to his advantage.Inevitably the story also tells of the powerful dark villain knight Hagen, who causes endless sorrows, bloodshed and countless deaths with his treacherous intrigues and proceedings.The author knows and highlights chivalry values such as unfailing courteous behaviour to ladies of their choosing and everlasting faith and mutual protection between friends The style of writing is unique The story told in the German language of the nineteenth century is unusual in vocabulary and rhyme The beauty of the original can only be guessed.Chapter after chapter and sometimes between the lines, the author warns the reader of sorrow to come from ongoing actions and dialogues as they happen.This epic tale is the pride of German literature of the medieval ages.Its reading can be recommended to all friends with interest in chivalry literature How bad do you want your epics to be Do you want someone to hit someone else so hard that the plains shake and gouts of red fire shoot from the impact How about someone throwing a boulder 20 fathoms and then leaping just as far And, if you don t, what s wrong with you This book epic lay is amazingly over the top, and at the same time is one of the greatest examples of medieval literature that has not been lost to antiquity Any one who has read and enjoyed Beowulf, Canterbury Tales, Aelfric How bad do you want your epics to be Do you want someone to hit someone else so hard that the plains shake and gouts of red fire shoot from the impact How about someone throwing a boulder 20 fathoms and then leaping just as far And, if you don t, what s wrong with you This book epic lay is amazingly over the top, and at the same time is one of the greatest examples of medieval literature that has not been lost to antiquity Any one who has read and enjoyed Beowulf, Canterbury Tales, Aelfric s saga, etc should not give this a miss