Summary of the Thidrekssaga

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Attila and Erka


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.


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.


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.

Status: summary of 5 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)