Summary of the Thidrekssaga

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Osantrix and Oda


Shortly after king Hertnit rode north to Wilkinenland, and he plundered and burned until he found king Nordian’s army. Then they fought battle, but more Wilkinen fell, and Nordian had a smaller army since many of his men staid home and did not give him help, and he left his treasure home and did not spend it on his chieftains and knightsThis last clause is only in Von der Hagen. Thus Nordian had to flee, and Hertnit pursued the army for three days.

Now king Nordian had only two choices: he could either flee from his realm or give himself up. He decided to put himself at the mercy of king Hertnit, and he went to him and threw himself down at his feet and begged for mercy for himself and his kingdom.

And Hertnit said: The great king Wilkinus fought many battles with us, and he got our realm in his power, just as we now got your realm in our power. And we got peace from him, and therefore you will now get peace from us. But your entire realm will belong to us and pay us tribute, and you shall swear an oath to keep to this truce.

Thus peace was concluded between kings Hertnit and Nordian. Hertnit was now lord of Wilkinenland, and before he went home he set Nordian as his chieftain over this land that we now call Seeland.

And this is how king Hertnit’s realm remained for a long time. With his wife he had two sons, Osantrix and Waldemar, and he had a third son, Ilias, with a concubineLater 314 also mentions a son Iron.


When king Hertnit had become old and infirm he placed his son Osantrix over Wilkinaland and gave him the king’s name. And his son Ilias he set over Greken as a jarl, and Ilias was a powerful prince and a mighty hero. Then Hertnit became ill, and he called the greatest and wisest of his realm to his bed, and gave his son Waldemar the king’s name and set him over Reussland and Púlínaland, so that he ruled over the entire east of the world. Then king Hertnit died, and his sons ruled long after him.


King Nordian in Seeland had four sons: Etger, Aventrod, Widolf with the Staff, and Aspilian. They were all giants. When king Nordian died Osantrix made Aspilian king over his possessions.

Widolf with the Staff was so large that the heads of the others reached only to his shoulders, and he was stronger than two of his giant brothers, and had such a bad temperament that he did not respect man or animal. King Aspilian had an iron collar put around Widolf’s neck and further irons around his arms and legs, and he was only let loose when he had to battle. Also Aspilian had a large iron staff made with an iron chain on it, and Etger and Aventrod were tasked with carrying this staff, unless Widolf went into battle using it, and that’s why he’s called Widolf with the Staff. Etger only had a spear made of iron as a weapon, and it was so heavy that twelve men could not lift it.


King Osantrix was married with queen Juliana, and her father was king Iron of Skrottan and Mittan, the countries we now call Scotland and England. Osantrix and Juliana had a daughter Bertha, but Juliana died, and everyone mourned her.


A king was named Melias and he ruled over Hunnenland and he was the richest, most powerful, and most proud man. He had a daughter named Oda, and she was the most beautiful of women. The greatest kings and dukes had already asked for her hand, but her father the king loved her so much he didn’t want to give her to any man.

King Osantrix was now a widower, and he heard about king Melias and Oda. He sent twelve knights with a letter that asked for the hand of his daughter, and rich estates, gold and silver with her, or he would invade Hunnenland.


King Melias had the letter read out to him and then said: Now king Osantrix wants me to give up my daughter, who grew up here for fifteen years and whom I denied marriage with kings and dukes. But he expects me to give her up or face his army. And he called his shepherdféhirðir; why is a shepherd in charge of prisoners? and had him throw the messengers into the dungeons to await Osantrix there.


In this time two young men came to king Osantrix, they were the sons of jarl Ilias von Greken, and thus Osantrix' brother-sons. They were Hertnit and HirdVon der Hagen: Osid. Hertnit was eleven winters old and Hird tenIn other words: they are not fully grown yet. King Osantrix made Hertnit a jarl and set him over his knights, and thus Hertnit became one of the great men of Wilkinenland and received large fiefs.


When king Osantrix found out Melias had had his messengers thrown in the dungeon he called together his chiefs and knights and complained about it, and wanted to wage war against him and take his daughter.

A wise man advised him to try messengers of a much higher station, and Osantrix accepted this advice. Thus he told his nephew Hertnit to go to Hunnenland and ask for king Melias' daughter, first with words and gifts, and if those fail with a threat of war. And Osantrix gave him a letter that told Melias that Hertnit had come to take the knights in the dungeon as well as his daughter. And if Melias didn’t cooperate he could lose his life as well as his lands.


Jarl HertnitVon der Hagen: and his brother Osid with him rode south to Hunnenland, and when he was admitted to king Melias he gave a speech about his mission, but the king listened gloomily. Jarl Hertnit gave him a purple cloth, and two golden drinking cups, and a silken tent bordered with gold as gifts, but king Melias replied he would not sell his daughter for these gifts, only a concubine.

Now jarl Hertnit showed Osantrix' letter — and Melias read the letter himselfClause not in Von der Hagen — and Melias became angry and had Hertnit and Osid thrown in the dungeon.


When king Osantrix heard about this he gathered his armyIn Von der Hagen Osantrix explains the situation and his chieftains agree to follow him, and he also called up king Aspilian and his brothers Etger, Aventrod, and Widolf with the Staff, who was the oldest and strongest of the brothers.


Now king Osantrix came into Hunnenland with his army, but he told his men to call him ThidrekVon der Hagen gives "Fridrich (Mb)" as variant, and Ritter uses that name throughout his redaction of this part, and they rode peacefully, and did not harm anyone and bought what they needed in market places. They went to king MeliasVon der Hagen adds: in his capital of Walterburg and asked to meet the kingFollowing Haymes/Jónsson. Von der Hagen adds a considerable amount of text having to do with how Melias and the citizens of the town reacted, with the citizens allowing Thidrek into the town because they didn't see any disadvantage, but Melias was unhappy with the army. Also, before entering Melias' hall Thidrek tells Etger and Aventrod to keep hold of Widolf..

Brought before Melias Thidrek tells him he was a duke in Wilkinenland but incurred the displeasure of Osantrix, and that he now wants to offer himself and all his men to king Melias. And Thidrek fell to his knees. Melias asked why Thidrek hadn't made peace with his king, since Thidrek was a powerful man in his realm. And, Melias added, you're supposed to serve him. Return to your realm and reconcile yourself with your king. The king said this because he wasn’t sure who this man was.

Thidrek fell down on the floor before Melias' feet and put himself into his power and begged him to accept him. But Melias saidIn Von der Hagen Melias is first unhappy with the large army, and Thidreks says he brought it into town with the permission of the citizens.: You have brought a large army into this country, and if you now become my man it might be you don’t serve me well and we would become enemies and I would have to destroy your army before you destroy usVon der Hagen has: if we were to disagree and fall out, you’d have brought such a large force into town that you would not submit to us, and therefore I cannot trust you..

Then princess Oda spoke: Why don’t you want to give me to the king who is so powerful that he can exile this chieftain from his lands? This man could win all of your country with his sword if you were to battle.

But still the king refused to accept Thidrek, who lay before his feet.


When Widolf with the Staff heard this he became so angry he wanted to kill the king, but the other giants held him. He stomped on the ground so that both feet disappeared up to the ankles and said: Lord, why are you at king Melias’ feet? You are much nobler than he, let’s destroy his castle and plunder his country, and take his daughter as your servant.

When Thidrek heard this he had Aspilian told to bind Widolf to the city wall, and they did so with strong iron fetters. Then Thidrek fell to his knees for a third time and again asked to be taken in as Melias’ follower, since Osantrix, when he caught him, would surely hang him.

Melias said he should get up and leave in peace, because they did not want a foreign army in their town. And if they didn’t leave Melias would call up his men and fight. King Aspilian heard these words and became angry that his lord wad threated thus, and went into the hall and hit Melias’ ear so that he fell unconscious. Now king OsantrixNo more Thidrek also jumped up and drew his sword, and the Wilkinenmen with him did the same.

And when Widolf noticed his brother Aspilian had become angry he broke apart all fetters and took his iron staff. He went into the hall and killed men and women, people and cattle, and called out: Where are you, jarl Hertnit? Be happy because I’m here to free you. Jarl Hertnit and the other prisoners started to stir in their dungeon, and one knight, Hermann, was so strong that he managed to to break open the door, and they joined the other Wilkinenmen, who killed a great number of men, but king Melias escaped.


The men took Oda and all portable wealth to their chieftainOsantrix, but Oda doesn’t know that yet. And he said to her: Although your father did not want to give you to king Osantrix, I will take you with me to my lord, and gain peace and his friendship. And she said he could do whatever he pleased, since she was in his power.

Then the chieftain took a shoe made of polishedor pure silver, took the princess on his knee, and placed the shoe on her foot, and it seemed to be neither too large, nor too small, but made for her. Then he took off the shoe and placed another shoe, made from red gold, on the same foot, and he wanted to see which one looked better on her, and this one was better by half than the other.

Then the princess stroked her leg and said, looking upward to the sky: God in Heaven, give me the day that I may stroke my legVon der Hagen: decorate my foot on king Ostantrix’ throne. The king laughed and said that that day was today. Thus she became aware that king Osantrix himself had come to her, and she received him happily.


King Osantrix went home and took the princess with her. Soon after he sent messengers to king Melias to arrange a reconciliation. King Melias had given his daughter half his kingdom and the men withinVon der Hagen: given his daughtern and the man that would receive (maary) her half his kingdom. And although king Osantrix wanted to marry Oda, he did not want to decrease his father in law’s domains, but leave him the lordship over it all as long as he lived. Only after Melias' death he wanted to take the entire realm of Oda, his wife. And in this way the kings reached a reconciliation.

Now king Osantrix had a wonderful wedding prepared, and ruled his realm peacefully, like king Melias did in Hunnenland. King Osantrix and his wife had a daughter Erka, and she was the most beuatiful and courteous of all girls.

Attila and Erka


A king named Osid ruled over Frisia. He had two sons, the elder was Ortnit, the younger Attila, and Osid set him over his chieftains as he was twelve winters old. Often, Attila and his army would ride into king Melias' realm, and since Melias was old and feeble and didn’t have a son to protect him, Attila did grave damage and took many castles and towns.

In these days king Melias became gravely ill and called together his chieftains and talked to them in secret about the fact that he didn’t have a son, and his daughter was married in Wilkinenland to the north, and his son in law, Osantrix, was too far away to protect Hunnenland. But Attila made great progress in Hunnenland, and therefore Melias believed the realm would pass out of his family, even though he wished king Osantrix to take it and defend it against Attila.

Beset by these concerns, and also because he was very ill, Melias died. He was mourned throughout Hunnenland because he had been peaceful and generous, and had kept the laws.


When Attila heard this he called a large meetingþing and had all of his friends come. He held a long speech about how lucky his expeditions into Hunnenland had been and how many towns he’d taken from king Melias. And he swore he would never be home in his father’s realm before he had taken all of Hunnenland.

His speech found great applause, and for a long time people praised him for his generosity and valour, and the fact he’d become much more powerful than his kinsmen.


Now Attila was made king over the army, and his retainers gave him the king’s nameNú er Attila tekinn til konungs yfir herinn, ok gefa liðsmenn honnm konungsnafn, and in return he swore to uphold justice and law, and at another time he swore that he would not return to his father’s realm before he had conquered all of Hunnenland, all that king Melias had owned.

Melias had had his capital in Walterborg, but when Attila subdued the entire realm he moved his capital to Soest, and he had his seat here for a long time and he was the first to buildDoes this mean found? and inhabit this city, and it is still impressive and powerful to this dayThese last two clauses are only in Von der Hagen. Attila was now made king of all HunnenlandAlso only in Von der Hagen; previously Attila had merely been king of the army.

King Osantrix thought king Attila had taken by force the land that belonged to his wife, queen Oda, Melias' daughter. But Attila kept it all and never sent Osantrix tributeVon der Hagen adds a long piece about how they waged many wars, and how Attila boasts that his father doesn’t have as large a realm as he does.

Then king Osid, king Attila’s father, died, and his elder son Ortnit, Attila’s brother, took over the realm. Ortnit has a son called Osid whom he sent to king Attila to be raisedVon der Hagen: when Osid was a man, he wanted to visit Hunnenland. Attila made him a chieftain over many knights. Thus the realm remained for a long time.


One day king Attila told Osid to travel to Wilkinenland to ask for the hand of Erka, king Osantrix' daughter. Attila also selected a second chieftain to go on this journey: Rodolf, a duke over many knights. When Osid and Rodolf arrived in Wilkinenland king Osantrix received them well, even though he and Attila were not friends, and asked them what they came for.

Osid told them Attila wanted to marry Erka. Osantrix replied that king Attila had feuded with him, and killed many Wilkinamen, and therefore he would not give him his daughter. Osid and Rodolf returned home and told each other they had never seen so beuatiful a woman as Erka, and after her Berta, her sisterIn Von der Hagen Osid tells all this to Attila.


A castle was called Bakalar, and a margrave called Rodinger owned it, a powerful chieftain and friend of king Attila. Attila sent word to Rodinger, and when the margrave came to Soest Attila asked him to ride to Wilkinenland to king Osantrix to ask for Erka’s hand. And, added Attila, if he again denies us his daughter, tell him he should prepare his realm and men and we will come with our army.

Rodinger went to Wilkinenland with sixty knights. King Osantrix welcomed him and organised a feast, which Rodinger accepted.


Then Rodinger told Osantrix that Attila wanted the hand of Erka, and a rich dowry. He will repay you with gifts and his friendshipInstead of this, Von der Hagen has: when he does not get what he wants, he will bring his army here.. He is now very powerful, and is now established over Hunnenland and he is the most valiant of kingsVon der Hagen: and conquered great realms with his sword, and he succeeded at everything, that's why it's better to have his friendship rather than emnity.

King Osantrix replied: You are a good chieftain, margrave, and you bring your lord’s message well. But it’s strange he desires my daughter when he has taken our territoryVon der Hagen: that was Melias’, and I should avenge him. And king Attila is of a less high family than we Rus. Then why should I give him Erka, whom I love more than most of my kingdom. Now go home in peace, but king Attila should not hope we give him our daughter.

Rodinger told Osantrix that if he didn’t want to give his daughter to Attila, that king would do great damage to his realm. Osantrix laughed, and warned Attila through Rodinger that the Wilkinenmen were ready for battle. Then Rodinger went back, and Osantrix gave him rich gifts. In Soest he told Attila that there was no chance Osantrix would give Erka to him.


King Attila gathered a great army against king Osantrix, and when he rode out of Soest he had fiveVon der Hagen: six thousand knights, and when they came in Wilkinenland they burned and pillaged.

The giant Aspilian came against Attila with his army, and a great battle ensued. The Wilkinenmen were put to flightVon der Hagen: Aspilian had few warrior but depended on his brothers, and they killed five hundred, of which Widolf alone three hundred. and Aspilian and Etger fled east, but Aventrod and Widolf fled to king OsantrixThis clause is not in Von der Hagen, but matches 144, where only these two giants are with Osantrix.

Now king Osantrix gathered his army and marched against Attila. When he came south of Jutland he wanted to do battle with Attilaand in Von der Hagen this battle actually takes place and Widolf mows down the Huns and Attila loses and flees into the forest, but Attila rode back into Hunnenland, and Osantrix went after him, and when Attila came to the forest on the border between Denmark and Hunnenland he set up his tents and waited to see if Osantrix would ride out of his realm into HunnenlandVon der Hagen: Osantrix didn’t want to enter the forest at night and set up his tents on one side, and Attila on the other..


RodolfVon der Hagen: Rodinger the good knight was spying in the forest. When he became aware of king Osantrix’ army Rodolf went back to king Attila's armyEverything up to here is missing in Von der Hagen and gathered three hundred knights and met Osantrix’ guards and killed all twelve. Then they rode into king Osantrix’ camp and blew their horns, and killed all that came running, and before they even got their weapons six hundred men had been killed by weapons or trampled under horseshoesThis last clause is only in Von der Hagen.

Then he rode back into the forest and counted his men, and found he had lost no one, and no one was even seriously wounded, but they had killed five hundred of the enemy. And Rodolf went back to Attila, who rewarded him wellVon der Hagen has something more negative: When Osantrix took up arms they fled to king Attila and told him what happened, and asked him to retreat to Hunnenland in order to safeguard it, since they could do nothing else. Then Attila went home to Soest, and king Osantrix went back to his realm, and things stayed calm for a while.


One day duke RodolfVon der Hagen: margrave Rodinger went to king Attila and asked him for a boon: three hunderd knights, and as much gold and silver as necessary for such an expeditionVon der Hagen: and your nephew Osid. King Attila asked whet he needed it for, and the duke said: What does it matter? But if I’m not back after three winters I’m dead. And king Attila gave him what he asked for.

They rode from Soest andVon der Hagen inserts: he had the rumour spread he rode westward to Spain to ask for the king of Spain’s daughter’s hand for king Attila, but in fact went north to Wilkinenland, and when they came into an uninhabited forest they made camp. Now Rodolf told his men: This forest is uninhabited, and there’s no road through it. Stay here and live her for a while, until I return. This gold and silver I give you to provide yourselves with food and clothing, and send men to the market to buy what you need. If I’m not back within three winters, go home ant tell king Attila that I’m deadVon der Hagen adds: He asked Osid to take care of them in his absence.

Then he rode alone to Wilkinenland, wearing a large hood and calling himself Sigurd.


When he arrived at king Osantrix’ hall he came before the king wearing a wide hood so that one could not see him in the eyes, and appeared to be an oldand either dim-sighted or stupid man. He threw himself before the king’s feet and said: Lord Osantrix, for God’s sake grant me mercy. And the king asked: who are you and what do you want? You speak like our enemies, the Huns.

RodolfVon der Hagen: Rodinger said: Lord, I am Sigurd, and I was raised in Hunnenland and I fled before my enemies. Osantrix said: You look like duke Rodolf, who once killed five hundred of my knightsVon der Hagen adds: and thus repaid the gifts we gave him. If this is really Rodinger, this refers to the gifts in 44..

Sigurd said: I was king Melias’ follower with my three brothers, but Attila hanged one of them, killed another with the sword, and wounded the third, and he was still lying wounded when I left. Then I killed a hundred of his men and burned five farms and fled from HunnenlandVon der Hagen’s version is much longer: Sigurd denies being Rodinger, explains how they never swore loyalty to Attila, got chased, and now wants to serve Osantrix because he is married to Melias’ daughter. And if Rodinger were to fall into your power, like I have now, may you repay his ingratitude and crimes..

And Osantrix welcomed him, and promised him a rewardVon der Hagen adds that Osantrix' men would welcome him as well, and Rodinger says that he will stay if that is true And Sigurd stayed with king Osantrix for two wintersVon der Hagen adds he kept wearing his deep hat, but did not speak to Erka, although he would have liked to.


Around that time a powerful king from Svavaland called Nordung came to Osantrix to ask for Erka's hand, and he was supported by jarl Hertnit and his brother HirdVon der Hagen: Osid because Nordung was a friend of theirs. King Osantrix was inclined to take up the proposal, provided his daughter was willing.

Erka lived in a castleVon der Hagen: together with her sister Berta and forty other maidens that no man was allowed to enter. King Osantrix told Sigurd: You are a good man, and therefore I want to send you to Erka in her castle to tell her about Nordung and to ask her for her wishesVon der Hagen more like: and to continue Nordung's wooing for him.

King Osantrix and king Nordung were sitting outside on the city wallVon der Hagen: castle court when this happened.


Sigurd went to the castle and asked the princess to open the doors. When she heard her father had sent him there she invited him in and asked him what his mission was. And she added: You are a wise and wily man, and never before someone has come to my father for twice twelve months who acted as you have, for you never came here except when you’re commanded to, and you never came to talk to us.

Sigurd said that it was not customary in herVon der Hagen: our country to see princesses, unless the king allows it, and that he learned this in Hunnenland. But since the king himself sent him, they could speak for a while.

Then Erka told her sister Berta and all others to go out so that the two of them could remain alone to fulfill his mission. But Sigurd proposed: let's go into the grassy courtyard to speak there, so that even the king on the wall can see what wer’re doing, but no one can hear our words. And Erka replied he was courteous, and learned great cunningor good manners? in his youth. Then she called for two cushions to be laid outside.


Now they went out into the garden and sat below a treeVon der Hagen: apple tree and kings Osantrix and Nordung saw where they were sitting. And Sigurd took off his hatWhy is this important? and said: I deceived king Osantrix and you, lady, I’m not Sigurd but RodolfVon der Hagen: Rodinger, king Attila’s messenger. He asks you to become his wife, and he will mae sure you will get sons, have knights and castles, and you’ll be the greatest queen of all the world.

Erka became angry and called out: My dear sister Berta, hear now this man’s mission. He is Rodolf, and has deceived me and myStrictly speaking ourfather; Berta is also Osantrix’ daughter father. Quick, go tell my father what happened, for he has killed five hundred of his knights and will hang for that.

Rodolf said: Rather, lady, go with me to become king Attila’s wife and queen, and young BertaAccording to 28 she is older than Erka; or is "young" meant as a lower rank? Or did Osantrix just have two wives at the same time? will become my wife.

Then Berta said: Lady, as a king’s daughter you shall not betray a manVon der Hagen: foreign man who has come into your power. Rather, you should allow him to leave. But didn’t you at one time say, sister Erka: Holy God in Heaven, make me queen of Hunnenland? Now you can get what you asked of God. Don’t betray this man. Become Attila’s queen and I will come with you.

Before Berta had ended her piece Rodolf wanted to leave, because he had heard Erka say that she would tell her father everything. But now Erka called out: Hear, good knight Rodolf, and don’t leave. I will become king Attila’s wife, and I give you this gold ring as a pledge of thatVon der Hagen adds: And my sister and I will keep quiet about you, but you must help us escape.. Osantrix and Nordung saw Erka give Sigurd a ring, so they thought she would accept king Nordung, but it did not turn out that wayThis last sentence is not in Von der Hagen.

Witig and Heime


All this time there had been a feud between king Attila of Hunnenland and king Osantrix of Wilkinenland, and both had had victories and defeats. King Attila had grown stronger, and had made friendships with many powerful lords, and he was loved in his realm with all peoplesThe saga really presses this point home.

King Osantrix had aged, and had become harsher, and the people in his realm could hardly bear the heavy yoke he put on to them, and everybody suffered from him, rich and poor, courtiers and subjects, and foreign merchants. And although he gave his knights land, he still managed these lands himself and gave it to whomever he wanted. And the heavy wars with king Attila cost him a lot of money, so he demanded more and more tributeThe saga really presses this point home.

King Osantrix still had with him the two giants, Widolf with the Staff and Aventrod, his brother. But he had sent another brother of these giants, Etger, to king Isung of Bertangaland because of their friendship, and there he guarded the entry to that realm.


King Attile sought reconciliation with king Osantrix, and sent men to him, but Osantrix refused. When Attile found out, he sent a letter with his seal to king Dietrich to request him to come to Hunnenland with his best warriors for a campaign against king Osantrix, since they had sworn friendship. And king Dietrich wanted to come immediately, since his friend needed his help.

So he rode forth from Bern with 500 knights and his heroes. And when they came to Hunnenland king Attila received them well, and was ready to go to Wilkinenland with them.

So they went forth to Wilkinenland and made many prisoners and killed many, and some fled from them. They also burned many castles, villages and farmsteads, and gathered great booty, both people and gold and silver.


King Osantrix also had a large army, and when he met the army that did not flee from himDid the army flee from him earlier? The saga is unclear they clashed with one another, and a great battle began.

Herbrand, king Dietrichs banner carrier, rode in front, and hit with both hands both men and horses, and behind him came king Dietrich and his heroes, and they all tried their swords on hard helmets and strong shields and armour, and all the companions helped one another where necessary.

Then Widolf with the Staff came to them and with his staff he hit Witig, who was out in the very front, on the helmet, so that he fell from his horse onto the ground unconscious. Heime was close by, and when Witig had fallen he took his sword Mimung and hurried from there.

The Wilkinen also fought bravely, but king Dietrich told all his men to advance and show the enemies their handiwork. Now king Osantrix saw that the battle was lost and fled, after he had lost 500 knights. Attila, who had lost only 300, chased after him.


Now Hernit, Osantrix' brother's son, arrived with his army, and they saw Witig laying there, and they took him with them. But then Hertnit saw that the battle was lost, since his uncle Osantrix had already fled, and also fled, like all the others. Thus the Wilkinen lost, and they separatedWho? Osantrix and Hertnit, or Osantrix and Attila?, but Osantrix threw Witig in his prison.

Wildeber and Isung


One day Isung, the chief minstrel, came to king Attila from king Dietrich in Bern. Dietrich had sent him out to find out if Witig was still alive, because minstrels can always go from prince to prince in peace, while other men may be distrusted. And king Attila received him well and entertained himIt is very important to treat minstrels well! The saga, especially the parts featuring Isung, is very clear about that.

Wildeber told Isung he wanted to get Witig back, and wondered if Isung could make sure he could go into Osantrix' court undetected. Isung replied he was willing to do so.

The next morning Wildeber went to king Attila and told him he wanted to visit his relatives for a short while. King Attila offered him some knights to accompany him, but Wildeber said he'd travel with Isung, and they'd travel through peaceful lands. Then Attila allowed him to goorlof; apparently Attila has some say in this, while otherwise it appears Wildeber is a guest at his court, and wouldn't need permission to go..


They now left the city of Soest, and when they were alone Wildeber showed the bear skin and asked Isung whether they could do anything with it. Isung inspected it and said that it might come in useful. He told Wildeber to wear the skin over his armor, and took needle and thread and sowed the skin as tightly as he could around Wildeber's back and feet, and so skilled was he that it would seem to everyone Wildeber was a bear. Now Isung put a collar around his neck and lead him, and so they traveled day after day until they reached Wilkinenland.

Close to king Osantrix' castle they encountered a man, who told them king Osantrix was in his castle but had few men with him, because he had recently conducted an expedition, as you may have heard, and most of his knights have returned to their houses, if they have one, because it is costly to live in a merchant cityInteresting but unclear. Apparently there was a town around Osantrix' castle..

Isung asked how the king felt about the victoryYou see? 136 was lying. he had won in the campaign. The man replied that the king had little to say about it, but others say he lost more than he won. except that he captured one of Dietrich von Bern's heroes, and even him he would not have captured if Hertnit hadn't been there.

Then Isung asked if Hertnit was still with Osantrix, and which hero they had captured and if he was still alive. The man replied Hernit was not there, and that the hero was Witig, and was currently in a dark prison in heavy chains, and the man believed Witig was suffering much and waiting for his final day.


Then Isung went into the castle to the king himself. And when this famous minstrel came there he was well received. Then king Osantrix asked him to play some of the things that had made him so famous.

Isung replied that he thought little was being played here in Wilkinenland that he couldn't do better, singing songs, or playing harp, fiddle and violinfiðlu ok gígju, or other strings. And the king handed him a harp, and Isung played it and everyone said they had never heard a better harpist. And when Isung played the harp his bear danced, and Isung had given his bear a name, Weisleue, and everybody was amazed that the bear danced so awell. Thus Isung and his bear entertained the king for the evening, but the bear didn't allow anyone to come near it, except for Isung, and he bit and scratched anyone else.

The king said that the bear had been trained well, but could it do more than cance? Isung replied that his bear could do many things. Then they went to bed.


The next morning the king asked to be entertained again by Isung and his bear, by setting a pack of dogs on it and see what happened. Isung said he did not like this proposal, for either his bear would be killed, and he was worth more to him than any gold or silver Osantrix would give him, or the dogs would lose, and the king would get angry and kill the bear. Osantrix said he would set his dogs on the bear, but promised that neither he nor any of his men would hurt the bear.

And during this day, and also the previous evening, they had heard how Witig was in a dark prison in strong fetters and a heavy collar.


The next morning the king and all his men went out of the castle to a field, and with them as well Widolf with the Staff and Aventrod, and Widolf was in strong chains, since he should never be released except in battle. And they and all of the other king's men were without weapons. Many other people, young and old, men and women and children, came to see what would happen.

And now Witig in his prison heard that Isung, his friendThis friendship is not mentioned anywhere else, had come, and suspected he wanted to free him with some plot at the request of king Dietrich and his companions. Witig broke his fetters.

The people outside let loose sixty large dogs who all attacked the bear at the same time, but the bear took the largest of them with his front paws and with it killed twelve of the best dogs. King Osantrix became angry, walked to the bear, drew his sword, and slashed him at the top of his back, and although the sword went through the skin the armor.

Now Wildeber snatched his sword from the hands of Isung, went after the king and cut off his headthis last clause is missing from Von der Hagen and then ran to the giant Aventrod and killed him, and then sprang on Widolf with the Staff and killed him as well. And thus king Osantrix ended his life, and with him two of his giants.

Then all of the king's men, who were unarmed, ran away, and all thought the devil himself had entered the bear, and most of them didn't know what to do.

Wildeber now went to the castle and asked where his good friend Witig was. Witig had already broken out of prisoncan't have a major hero sitting around passively waiting for a rescue and together they ran through the town and killed sixteen men. They found many goods and weapons and horses, among which Witig's horse Schimming, and all his weapons except for his good sword Mimung, which he could find nowhere.

Now Wildeber took off the bear skin, and all saw he was a man and not a monstertroll, and they understood they had been tricked, and went for their weapons. Witig, Wildeber, and Isung thought it inadvisable to stay longer, and thought they had done well. They had found as much gold and silver and treasures as they could carry, and rode out of town. And they rode through wild lands until they came to Hunnenland and king Attila.


The king received them well, and acted as if Witig had been brought back from Hell. He also asked how king Osantrix was. And Witig told him everything about their journey and Osantrix' death.

And king Attila marveled at how wonderful of a leader king Dietrich was, that he had so many good heroes willing to give their lives for one another. And he mused that Osantrix would have done better to make peace and accept reconciliation.

Witig and Heime


Now Witig rode back to the tents, and he was very pleased and had his stallion make jumps, and the others knew Witig had done some heroic deed or other.

Heime said: Very proudly Witig rides there, and he has probably done something heroic that makes him feel even better about himself than before.

Witig told them they did not need to stay here any longer, since the jarl was dead. And they asked who had done that, and he told him he'd seen the man that had done the deed. And Heime said he didn't have to hide any longer that he had done that deed himself, but it was only a minor heroic deed that even a woman could have done if she could handle weapons, because the jarl was so old he had hardly any strength left.

Then Witig became angry and drew Mimung, and he took Nagelring and threw it at Heime's feet, and challenged him to a duel. And Heime accepted.

Then king Dietrich and several of his companions sprang between them, because they did not want them to fight, and they asked Witig to leave it be. But Witig said he would not sheathe Mimung before it had cut through Heime's head and body, and that there was bad blood between them, and they had to fight sooner or later, and he preferred sooner. Also, Heime had not behaved manly in the battle against king Osantrix, when he left Witig laying on the ground while he could have saved him, but instead he took my weapon, as if he had been my enemy instead of my companion.

Now king Dietrich said that Heime had not done well, and told him to apologise. And thus it came to pass that Heime said that what he had saidjust now, when Witig returned had only been a joke. Witig accepted this apology, and they ended their strife for the time beingIt is not mentioned explicitly, but from this time on Witig again carries Mimung..

Then king Dietrich asked Witig: Dear friend, did you really kill the jarl? Yes, said Witig, he rode against me with five knights, and he pulled the short straw in our encounter, and the others fled. Then Dietrich praised him for his courage and thanked him.

Walther and Hildegund


One day there was a wonderful feast and ring dancedans ríkr in king Attila's garden, and there Walther took Hildegund by the hand and they talked for a long time without anyone noticing.

He said: How long do you want to stay a handmaiden to queen Erka? It would be better for you to come with me to my relatives. She asked him not to mock her, because she was not with her kinsmenUnclear.

Walther said: Lady, you are the daughter of jarl Ilias of Greken, and your father's brother is king Osantrix of Wilkinenland, and also in Reussení mikla Rúzi. I am the sister son of king Ermenrik of Rome, and another relative of mine is Dietrich von Bern. Then why should I serve king Attila? Now come with me, and love me as much as I love youretranslate.

She said: Now that I know your will truly, you shall know mine: I was fourseven! winters old when I saw you for the first time, and I loved you as much as anything in the world, and I’ll come with you wherever you want.

Then Walther said: If that's true, then come to the outer gateor tower? borgarhlið when the sun rises, and take as much gold as you can hold in your hands. And she said she'd do so.

King Attila became aware of all this only when Walther and Hildegund had ridden from Soest. They took a lot of gold with them, and rode away alone, for they had confided in no one.

Dietrich's flight


One day, when Ermenrik and Sibich sat together, Sibich said that all kings of the world paid tribute to Ermenrik, except only Osantrix of Wilkinaland, and counseled him to send his son Fridrich and many men to Osantrix to demand tribute. Ermenrik liked this counsel, called Fridrich, and sent him out.

Thus Fridrich went to Wilkinenland, and came to the Wilkinenburg, where one of Osantrix's jarls lived. Sibich, however, had secretly sent out a messenger to this jarl, who was his relative. He invited the jarl to slay Fridrich. Thus, when Fridrich reached the castle the jarl and his men attacked him, and killed all seven of themSee also 303. When king Ermenrik heard about this he assumed Osantrix had given the order because he didn't want to pay tribute.

The Wilkinen wars


King Attila told king Dietrich how much trouble king Osantrix of the Wilkinen had caused him, both by killing men and by destroying his country. Dietrich said that should be avenged since he was in Attila's kingdom nowi.e. he would fight with Attila because he was his guest now, and it should no longer be endured.

Not long after messengers came to king Attila who told him king Osantrix had entered his realm and was burning buildings and destroying the land and killing many men. Then king Attila called up all his men to ride out against Osantrix. And king Dietrich told master Hildebrand to take his banner and that all his men should ride out to help king Attila.

Now king Attila rode from Soest with king Dietrich and margrave Rodinger and went to the town called Brandenborg, because Osantrix had recently taken this town. King Attila and his men now laid siege to the town, and king Osantrix was also there with his whole army.


When king Osantrix heard king Attila had arrived he rode outof the town? to meet him. He asked king Attila if he was ready for battle, and spurred on his men to fight bravely. And king Dietrich replied that Osantrix would find out quickly that Attila was ready for battle. And he told his men: They will have death, but we will have victory! Now let's help king Attila.

Now Hildebrand rode forth with king Dietrich's banner, and he slew Wilkimen one after the other. And behind him rode ming Dietrich, and also his relative Wolfhart, and the AmelungenDietrich's men fought the Wilkinen wherever they met. And Hildebrand carried Dietrich's banner straight through the Wilkinen army, and then went back via another route, and they killed Wilkinen one after the other all day.

King Osantrix saw that, and he rode at the front of his army against the Huns. Now Wolfhart attacked him, and they fought a hard battle that ended with king Osantrix' fall. And when the king had fallen the Wilkinen fled, and the Huns pursued them. Thus king Attila won this battle.

Now king Attila rode home, having freed his realm from the Wilkinen. But the Wilkinen took Hertnit, Osantrix' son, as their king.


When king Attila had been home for a short while he got the message that Waldemar, king of Holmgard and brother of Osantrix, had come to Hunnenland with a large army. And one day king Dietrich stood on the highest tower and oversaw Hunnenland, and he saw large fires and much smoke in the lands, and he went to king Attila and said: Rise, my lord, and arm your men. Waldemar is burning your lands, and if you do not ride against him now he will come to you and you must fight anyway. Then king Attila stood up, had his horns blown and rode forth with his army.

Meanwhile king Waldemar had taken a castle of king Attila, and had captured a good knight named Rudolf who had been sent there, and bound him. He had already burned a thousand villages, and taken fifteen towns and castles. But when he heard king Attila was coming with his army he fled back to his own land.

Hertnit and Isung


In these days king Isung ruled Bertangaland, and with him is sons. He was a great enemy of king Hertnit and had often helped king Attila in war. King Hertnit wanted to take revenge for the death of his father's brother, king Osantrix, first on king Attila and king Dietrich, but also on king Isung, who was the third one to be guilty of Osantrix' deathThis is not attested anywhere else.

King Hertnit gathered a great army, went to Bertangaland into Isung's realm and killed a lot of people and took a lot of goods. King Isung and his sons sat in Bertangaburg and were not yet aware what king Hertnit was up to. And when king Hertnit had gathered great booty and had gone as far into Bertangaland as he wanted, he returned home again, and he had not lost even a single man.

Status: summary of 44 chapters complete.

Other parts

  1. Dietrich's family (1-14)
  2. Hildebrand (15-17)
  3. Heime (18-20)
  4. Osantrix and Oda (21-38)
  5. Attila and Erka (39-56)
  6. Wieland the Smith (57-79)
  7. Witig (80-95)
  8. Journey to Osning (96-107)
  9. Witig and Heime (108-110,134-137,146-151)
  10. Detlef the Dane (111-129)
  11. Amelung, Wildeber, and Herbrand (130-133)
  12. Wildeber and Isung (138-145)
  13. Sigmund and Sisibe (152-161)
  14. Sigfrid's youth (162-168)
  15. Origins of the Niflungen (169-170)
  16. Dietrich's feast (171-191)
  17. The road to Bertangaland (192-199)
  18. The tournament (200-222)
  19. Dietrich's fellowship falls apart (223-226,240)
  20. Gunther and Brunhild (227-230)
  21. Walther and Hildegund (241-244)
  22. Ake and Iron (269-275)
  23. Dietrich's flight (276-290)
  24. The Wilkinen wars (291-315)
  25. The battle of Gransport (316-341)
  26. Sigfrid's death (342-348)
  27. Hertnit and Isung (349-355)
  28. Grimhild's revenge (356-394)
  29. Dietrich's return (395-415)
  30. Attila's death (423-428)
  31. Heime's death (429-437)
  32. Dietrich's death (438-442)