QuirksBlog - Thidrekssaga
Just now I published part VII of the Thidrekssaga: The tournament in Bertangaland.
When Dietrich has gathered twelve heroes it’s time to do something heroic. They decide to challenge king Isung, his eleven sons, and his banner bearer Sigfrid to a tournament, which forms the climax of part I of the saga and an important turning point.
Before reading this article, make a guess how this tournament ends.
Just now I published part VI of the Thidrekssaga: A quarrel about Mimung.
Here the saga reports about the quarrel between Witig and Heime about Mimung in the context of two wars and a search-and-rescue story.
Just now I published part V of the Thidrekssaga: Detlef the Dane.
The hero Detlef comes to Dietrich's court, initially as a servant, but he pawns off the heroes' equipment to give a great feast. Once that is discovered he has to fight a duel of strength against Walther, and wins. Thus he becomes a hero of Dietrich. Also, this part shows the start of the quarrel between Witig and Heime.
Just now I published part IV of the Thidrekssaga: Journey to Osning.
This is a complex story that tells how Dietrich wanted to forget his defeat by going on a journey alone. He defeats the hero Ecke in a curious, myth-heavy nightly fight in a forest, then makes Ecke's brother Fasold his follower. Then some frankly unbelievable hunt adventures happen, and Dietrich and Fasold rescue Sintram, Hildebrand's cousin, from a dragon. Thus Dietrich wins two more heroes before returning to Bern.
You’re in for a treat today. Just now I published part III of the Thidrekssaga: Witig.
It is the second best story in the entire saga, and I give a complete version with only minimal notes. We hear how Witig Wieland's son and bearer of Mimung comes to Bern to fight with Dietrich, how he encounters Hildebrand and Heime along the way, and how Hildebrand becomes worried for Dietrich, mostly because he knows Mimung is better than Dietrich's equipment. We also hear how he solves this problem and teaches Dietrich a lesson in the process.
Just now I published part II of the Thidrekssaga: Wieland the Smith.
Here we are told about Wieland the Smith and why and how he forged the sword Mimung that will be carried by his son Witig and will play an important role in the saga. It is so hard and sharp that no armour can stand against it, as will be proved by an impressive casualty list, starting with a competing smith. Even Dietrich himself will have to contend against it.
Note that Mimung is not a magic sword — in fact, the saga tells us exactly how it is forged, and the tale even makes chemical sense. No ladies in lakes here, or even dwarves, although Wieland was apprenticed to dwarves and might have learned his art there.
Today I updated the Thidrekssaga mini site with a first attempt at a decent mobile view. I also did some work on the mobile view for the notes, and I’m asking for a quick review.
As I discussed two weeks ago I want the notes to my texts to be visible at all times in order to emulate the footnote experience in books. I was worried about mobile devices, since with their narrow screens there is not much space to show both the main text and the notes.
I was afraid I’d have to show the notes under the paragraph they belong to, but today I figured out a way to avoid that and keep them in the margin. My question is if this system is good enough.
I have been busy with my Thidrekssaga side project. Today I start a series that I call A First Reading, or a guided tour through the saga, with the first part: Dietrich’s youth.
I temporarily shelved technical considerations such as footnotes (which are really sidenotes) or a decent mobile view in favour of producing actual content. I enjoyed reading through the saga again and meeting old friends, although I may switch to technical stuff now just to give myself a varied diet.
Anyway, enjoy Dietrich’s youth. If you like it, we will need about twelve to fifteen of such articles to bring us to Dietrich’s death and the end of the saga.
I decided to definitively solve the problem of notes on the web in the context of my Thidrekssaga side project. What I offer today is not that definitive solution, but just my first take. I’m looking for feedback.
So let’s talk notes.
First we should ask ourselves how notes should work on the web. Then we’ll look at the technical details of my first take.
Long ago, before I became a web developer, I was a historian of the Later Roman Empire. One of the texts I studied was the Thidrekssaga, a 13th-century Old Norse story about the great German hero Dietrich von Bern and several others, such as the Niflungen, better known from the Nibelungenlied.
When I went into web development I mostly stopped this research, but recently I decided to restart it by writing an extended summary of the Thidrekssaga. Except for being useful in its own right, this side project forces me to learn PHP and Old Norse.