Summary of the Thidrekssaga

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Detlef the Dane

125

Detlef didn't want to go into the king's hall for food and drink, but preferred to arrange things for himself. So when the feast started, Detlef went to the market with a few other boys servants? squires? and bought wine and mead, and bread so that even the king's dish wouldn't be better served with food and drink. And everything was brought to the inn, where Detlef gave a feast for the servants and squires, three days long.

And then all his 30 marks of gold were spent. Still, he didn't want to give up his feast while the king's went on, so again he went to the market and bought new food and drink, and he pawned Heime's horse Rispa and his sword Nagelring for ten marks of gold. And thus they ate and drank until everything was gone.

And Detlef went to the market again, and now he pawned Witig's horse Schimming and his sword Mimung for twenty marks of gold. Then he again invited his guests, and also he had the inn hung with tapestries.

And when everything was eaten and drunk the king's feast had gone on for seven days and would go on for two more. And again he went to the market, and when someone asked 12 pennies for something, he would bid 20. And he pawned Diet­rich's horse Falke, and his sword Eckisax and his helm Hildegrim for 30 marks of gold, and now he had no fewer than thirty hundreds of guests, servants and squires, fiddlers and minstrels. And on the day the feast ended, Detlef gave the golden ring his mother had given to him to the chief minstrel Isung It is important to treat your minstrels well! Said the minstrel, because Isung was the best of them all. And Detlef gave him purple clothes with golden seams, and those were the clothes of Diet­rich the king's son, and thus he rewarded Isung for his playing, and the other minstrels also got a mark or two of gold.

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Then they went to a field, took a stone that weighed no less than two ship's pounds skippund, and Walther threw it nine feet, but Detlef threw it ten feet. Then Walther threw it thirteen feet, but Detlef threw it eighteen feet. Then Walther acknolwedged Detlef had won, and everyone was amazed.

Now they took a banner pole merkistöng; like Ermenrik uses in 282 that belonged to king Attila, whom Ermenrik had also invited to his feast. This banner pole was the heaviest of them all, and Walther took it and threw it over the king's hall so that one end hit the further wall. And all who saw that thought it was a strong throw.

Then Detlef took the pole and threw it back across the hall, and as soon as he had thrown it he ran through the hall, which had two doors, and caught it in the air. And all said that Detlef had won the contest and had acquired Walther's head.

But king Ermenrik said, Good man, I'd like to ransom my nephew's head with gold, silver, and jewelry. And Detlef said, What should I do with his head? He is a good knight, and I'll gladly give you his head, and pay me whatever you think fitting. And the king agreed.

And then the king paid his as much money as he had spent, and bought back the horses and arms Detlef had pawned, and also the money Detlef had spent from his own pocket, and he knighted him.

Then Detlef revealed his name and ancestry, and Diet­rich made him one of his companions. And then Diet­rich went home with all his men, including Detlef, and the chief minstrel Isung went with them.

Witig and Heime

134

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 peoples The 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 tribute The saga really presses this point home.

King Osantrix still had with him the two giants, Widolf with the Pole 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.

Wildeber and Isung

140

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 him It 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 go orlof; 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..

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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 city Interesting but unclear. Apparently there was a town around Osantrix' castle..

Isung asked how the king felt about the victory You 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.

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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 violin fiðlu 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.

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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.

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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 Pole 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 friend This 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 head this 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 Pola 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 prison can'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 monster troll, 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.

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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

146

Then Witig, Wildeber and Isung went south to Bern. King Diet­rich was very happy about their return, and they told him everything that had happened. King Diet­rich was pleased and thanked Wildeber for his expedition, and it became famous for its victory.

Now Witig was back home but miserable, and when king Diet­rich asked why he said it was because he did not know where his good sword Mimung was. And, said he, if he found the man bearing Mimung, they would have things to say to one another, and he wanted to retrieve Mimung or lose his life.

King Diet­rich said that he did not have to wonder any longer: Heime our companion carries Mimung, he took it as soon as you fell.

A few days passed Apparently neither Diet­rich nor Witig feel it's necessary to do anything about it..

Sigfrid's youth

168

Now Signfrid went away and took the road that he was told went to Brunhild's castle. And when he came to the castle he found an iron door and nobody was there to open it for him. Then he hit the door so hard that the irons on the door were torn apart and went into the castle. Seven guards came to him, and they were guarding the gate, and didn't like him breaking open the door and wanted to kill him. But Sigfrid drew his sword and didn't stop until all these servants were slain. When the knights noticed this they took their weapons and attacked him, but he defended himself well.Brunhild now heard of all of this in her room, and she said: That must be Sigfrid Sigmund's son. And even though he may have killed seven of my knights ans seven servantsm he should still be welcome. And she went to the fight and told them to stop. And she asked who the man was that had come, and he said he was Sigfrid. She asked him for his ancestors, but he did not know.

And she said: If you don't know, then I can tell you you are Sigfrid, son of king Sigmund and Sisibe, and you are welcome here. But where do you travel to?

Sigfrid replied: I came here, because my foster father Mime told me to go here to get a stallion called Grani that you have. And I'd like to have him, if you please.

She said: I will give you a horse, or even several, if you want. Von der Hagen adds that she offered him hospitality and everything he wanted, but that is not in Jónsson

She ordered her men to catch the horse, and they took all day to do so, but they could not take it and in the evening they came home without it.

Sigfrid stayed the night. But in the morning she called twelve of her men, and went herself as the thirteenth. And the twelve men chased the horse for a long time and could not catch it. In the end Sigfrid asked for the bridle, and with it he went to the stallion, and the stallion wehnt to him and he caught it and jumped on his back.

Now Sigfrid rode away and thanked Brunhild for her hospitality. He stayd in no place for more than one night until he came to Bertangaland. There ruled a king named Isung, who had eleven sons. He took in Sigfrid and made him his counselor and banner bearer, and Sigfrid felt welcome here.

Dietrich's feast

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Now Herbrand the Wise, the king's banner bearer, said that Diet­rich was speaking out of ignorance, because Herbrand knew a country called Bertangaland, with a king named Isung, who is the strongest of all men and feared in duels, and he has eleven sons who are exactly like their father, and he has a banner bearer called Sigfrid, who is so great and wonderful in all heroic things that no better man can be found.

His skin is like horn everywhere, and few weapons bite him. His sword is Gram, and his horse is Grani, a brother of Falke Diet­rich's horse, Schimming Witig's horse, and Rispa Heime's horse. Gram, too, is the best of all swords, and so are all his other weapons.

If you would fight this man, you would say before you returned home, if you returned at all, that you've never been in this much danger.

The road to Bertangaland

193

Now they came to a large forest their road went through. Herbrand held his horse and told king Diet­rich they had reached the Bertangaland forest, and in the forest lives a giant called Etger, a son of king Nordian and a brother of the giants Wildeber killed 144. Etger is here to protect king Isung's lands. Now the road to Bertangaland goes through this forest, but the giant is so strong that I do not know his equal. Anyone who wishes should ride into the forest, but I will not go any further than this unless all of us go. And now I have warned you.

Witig replied: If all that is the case, Herbrand, you and king Diet­rich and all the others should wait outside, but I will ride into the forest and talk to the giant, and it could be I get him to allow us to pass through, since we are relatives. And if he refuses, my stallion will not carry me slower back to you than forward to the giant. The king and all companions agreed to this.

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Now they all rode on, and they saw how deep the pole had gone into the earth, and the place where the spear had gone into the earth, and then to the hole in the ground where the giant had fallen, and there they found innumerable treasures of gold, silver, and jewelry, because that was all the treasure of king Isung I sure assume this means: the treasure Isung had given to Etger as well as what Etger This is the first time since 194 that his name is mentioned. had taken with him from Denmark.

Then king Diet­rich said: Witig, I counsel you to leave this treasure here, and not take a penny with you. Now I first want to go to king Isung and fight him, and when we win we will take this treasure with us and do what we like. But if we lose, people could say we took booty here but still lost in our main endeavour not to mention that Isung would take it back from them. And if we part as good friends after the battle, we will share this treasure with them in friendship.

Witig replied the king but had to command him, as in everything. And so it was done. This sentence is not in Jónsson's Old Norse text. I’m not sure where Von der Hagen got it. A or B?

Now they exited the forest and saw a mountain, and on it a beautiful and large castle. King Diet­rich had his tents erected under the mountain, and camped there.

The tournament

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One day king Isung and his eleven sons were in their castle, and Sigfrid came to them and said to them: My lord, I saw a tent on the field before your castle, of a different type than I saw before. In the middle of this tent is a pole, and on it a knot of gold. And there is a second, red tent before it, and a third, green tent behind it, and on the right a golden tent, and on the left a white tent.

And before the tents there are thirteen shields, and on the outer shield there is a horse, and that is Heime's, and on the next a golden hawk with two birds, and that is my relative see 203 for this relation jarl Hornboge's, and on the third shield is the same, and that is of his son Amelung, and on the fourth there is a tongues, hammer and anvil, and that is Witig's, and on the fifth is a crowned lion, and that is king Diet­rich's. On the sixth is a crowned eagle, and that is king Gunther's, and on the seventh an eagle without a crown, and that is his brother Hagen's, and on the eighth there are flames of gold, and that is Herbrand's, and on the ninth there is also a lion, but without a crown, and that is Fasold's, and on the tenth is a dragon, and that is Sintram's, and on the eleventh is the castle of Bern, and that is Hildebrand's, and on the twelfth are a boar and a bear, and that is Wildeber's, and on the thirteenth there are a man and an elephant, and that is Detlef's.

And from that, Sigfrid continued, it seems to me that foreign warriors have come to our land, and I am prepared, if you wish, to ride to them and find out who they are A bit pointless, since he just identified them, but that's how sagas work and why they have erected their tents against your will.

King Isung said: I'll send one of my men to them to tell them that if they want to keep their lives they should pay me tribute, as our laws require, and my emissary will ask them who they are, where they come from, where they were born, and where they're going, and if they have any other goal here than to pay me tribute.

And Sigfrid said: the man you're going to send should be none other than me.

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Then Sigfrid took a bad horse without a saddle Why? and rode from the castle and down the mountain to king Dierich's tent. He dismounted and said: Welcome, good sir knight, and I'd greet you by name if I but knew it. They replied in similar vein and welcomed him.

Then Sigfrid said: My lord king Isung sends me to demand tribute from you, as our laws require, but if you do not give tribute you will leave your goods and your life here.

King Diet­rich replied: We came here for reasons other than to give your king tribute. I offer him a challenge vígr. Let him come to me with as many men as I have, and before we part we will see what kind of heroes have come here retranslate.

Sigfrid replied: With your permission, who is your leader, and where do you come from? You're doing something no one has done before with your challenge. Haven't you heard how great he is? And I think he will not refuse battle, whatever men you are.

Witig said: King Diet­rich rules these men, and there is another king here, that is Gunther of Niflungenland, and there are also many good heroes here. But do you think that king Isung and Sigfrid will truly battle us?

Sigfrid said: King Isung and Sigfrid will not flee from you, even though it's Diet­rich von Bern and his men who have come here. But you cannot break the law and refuse tribute, so you should send him something that honours both you and him.

King Diet­rich said: Since you bring us this message with so much courtesy I'm willing to send him an honourable gift. And he turned to his men and decided they would send one horse and shield, and they would cast lots to see who would lose them. And they did so One would love a few more details about the process, and Amelung Hornboge's son's lot came up. Thus king Diet­rich gave Amelung's horse and shield to Sigfrid, who rode away.

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Now Sigfrid came to king Isung's hall and told him what had happened, and that Diet­rich von Bern with twelve of his heroes had come, and that he had challenged them to a duel, and that Sigfrid had had a horse as a gift of friendship No more mention of tribute, but I gave it to one of my relatives when I met him.

And king Isung said that he willingly accepted the challenge.

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The next morning king Isung and his men sons, one presumes armed themselves, and Sigfrid took his banner and they rode from the castle to king Diet­rich's tent. There king Isung said: Let king Diet­rich stand up and arm himself and come against thirteen of us with thirteen of his men. And if he now rides home without fighting we will tell everyone about his scandalous behaviour.

And king Diet­rich said: Don't doubt we've come here to fight. We have ridden a long road and encountered many dangers to find out who of us has the better swords and shields, the harder helmets, and more strength and valour.

King Isung and his men dismounted while king Diet­rich and his men armed themselves. And they decided to hold thirteen duels between two heroes on foot. King Diet­rich would fight Sigfrid, king Gunther would fight king Isung, and Witig Isung's oldest son, and so man was paired with man.

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The first duel pitted Heime against the youngest prince The saga calls him konungssonr, king's son. I’ll go with prince. When they had fought many hours the prince decided to end the fight, took his sword in both hands and brought it down on Heime's helmet with such force that Heime fell to the ground. Then the prince threw himself on Heime and told him to lie still if he wanted to save his life, and be bound.

Heime refused and wrestled with him, but the prince gave him such a blow on the helmet with his bare fist that the helmet bended in against Heime's skull, and blood streamed from his nose and mouth and he lost consciousness.

And then Heime was bound hand and foot and the prince took his spear, planted it in the ground, and bound Heime to it. Then he returned to his men and called on the next pair of fighters. And he sat down calmly, because he had done his duty.

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Now Herbrand, king Diet­rich's banner bearer, took the field, and against him was set another of king Isung's sons, and they started the fight. They fought for a long time, but eventually Herbrand had received five wounds, none of them small, and lost a lot of blood and became tired. His strength left him and one more strong blow felled him. He surrendered his arms and was bound like before.

The prince went back to his men, and called on the next pair of fighters.

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Now Detlef the Dane took the field, and against him the ninth prince. And this fight was tough and bitter. They hit and stabbed so quickly that eyes could hardly keep up, and they fought until they both were tired, and both of them stabbed their shafts of their spears, apparently into the ground and leaned on them to rest.

Then Detlef said: If you want to keep your life, surrender your weapons and I'll bind you, but you may live in disgrace.

The prince replied: I won't yield my weapons, even though you are a Dane and a much-praised man, because you'll have to suffer many blows from my sword before I let it go, and you'll need your weapons as much as I need mine Maybe means: I won't ask you to yield your weapons because you'll need them?.

Then they started fighting again with even more courage than before, and they did not stop until both of them were so tired that they could hardly stand. And it began to grow dark.

Then king Diet­rich took his shield, and king Isung too, and both came between the fighters and separated them This also happens in 95. And still nobody knew who would win.

Then king Isung said to king Diet­rich: Now that it is evening we can no longer fight. I'll ride home to my castle, but the bound men who are not freed will have to stay here. And then tomorrow with daylight we will continue our fight, and by the evening you will lie bound on the same place you're sitting now. And with that they parted. King Isung and his men went to the castle, and king Diet­rich and his companions slept in their tents.

And in the morning, when it was light, king Isung and his thirteen men returned, and king Diet­rich went to them with his men. And now the fight between Detlef and the prince was resumed, and they fought bravely until Detlef got the upper hand and the prince fell, and Detlef caught him and told him he'd bind him unless he bought himself free by releasing Hagen.

Nine fights had been fought now.

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Now Hildebrand took the field, and against him the tenth prince. They started their fight with great valour, and fought for a long time, until they tired. Hildebrand had already wounded the prince three times, all of them serious, and then he wanted to strike a mighty blow, but his sword broke in two, and now the prince came so boldly that he captured Hildebrand and bound him.

Then the prince went back to his men, and the Bertanga-men rejoiced.

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Now king Gunther of Niflungenland took the field, and against him king Isung. The two kings attacked each other sharply, and both hit strongly and well, but still king Isung was a long stronger. But king Gunther did not fall back, and returned many blows. When this had gone on for a while king Isung became angry that a man could stand against him for so long, and decided to risk himself boldly, so that one of them would get a quick defeat, and spared no force and hit the helmet of king Gunther, and his sword broke; and this was such a strong blow that it was a wonder. But the helmet was so hard that the sword didn't bite.

Now king Isung took the spear shaft that Hagen had been bound to from the earth and hit king Gunther's helmet with all might, and the helmet bent and king Gunther fell, blood streaming from nose and mouth.

Then king Isung took him and bound him, and went away saying: "May the men who are left do equally well."

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Now Witig the Strong took the field, and against him the eleventh prince, and this was the strongest of them all. Now they went at each other so powerfully that each blow was half as strong again as the previous one, and nobody saw a braver fight then this one. And they came so close to one another that they were barely able to hit one another Retranslate; vague.

Now Witig considered what Mimung had done before, when he had carried that sword into a duel 95, and he had confidence in it, and he did not hold back. So he swung with all his might and trusted his sword, and it hit the prince's helmet and cut off what it hit, not only the helmet's tip, but also a bit of the prince's head, but it was not a large wound. And again Witig swung his sword, and now he hit the prince's foot so hard that he cut away not only the outer clothes and the leg guards of his armour, but also the foot, except for a little bit, and the prince fell.

Witig spoke: You, king Isung, choose: either release all my companions, or lose your son. King Isung replied: I won't release them before I see that the man can be killed, but he has not yet received a mortal wound.

The prince called: Do what he desires at once, or I'll lose my life. He has the Devil himself in his hand, and I cannot stand against it, nor anyone else; but still it's expensive to trade man against man Retranslate; I do not fully understand.

Then Witig said: If you, king Isung, do not release all my companions I'll cut off your son's head, and then I'll cut you a killing blow, and Mimung will not be sheathed before all my companions are free.

Now Witig walked to where his companions were kept, and he broke one spear shaft after the other until they were all free. And then he walked to the man he had fought with and wanted to kill him. Then king Isung and Sigfrid sprang between them and separated them, and king Diet­rich agreed with this. And they were reconciled, and it was decided that both sides were unbound now, and that the fights so far were equal. And with that they parted, and Witig had released all his friends.

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Now king Diet­rich drew his sword Eckisax from its sheath, and came forth from his men to the field, and he was ready to fight. Sigfrid walked to meet him and drew his sword Gram. They drew closer courageously, and as soon as they met they exchanged great blows. Most blows were incredibly strong, and they did not spare their each other's? shield and armour. Such a strength projected from their weapons that the spectators on both sides were afraid, each most for their own man. And although the battle was terrible, neither had received a wound, so good was their armour. And thus they fought the entire day until night fell, and still no one knew who had had the better of the other.

Then king Isung took his shield, and Witig too, and they entered the battlefield and separated the two. "Enough fighting for today, and let's rest for the night, but tomorrow you may conclude your duel." And thus they parted, and king Isung and his men rode to the castle, while king Diet­rich and his men went to their tents. They were quite happy, since things had gone well. And then they slept.

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The next morning, when it hadn't been light for long, king Isung came down from his castle, and king Diet­rich and Sigfrid armed themselves for a new day of combat. And when they continued they fought as if they had not met one another before, and both seemed fresh, and they hacked at one another until both were tired and they rested for a while. And then they fought on, the entire day until nightfall, and they only rested when neither of them could stay on his feet. And still their armours were unbroken, so that neither of them had suffered a wound, and still nobody knew who would vanquish the other. And again they were separated by king Isung and Witig. And then king Isung rode to his castle, and Diet­rich and his men slept in their tents.

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That night king Diet­rich and Witig met, and Witig asked Diet­rich: My lord, how do you think this battle with Sigfrid will end? He seems to be a brave and strong man, and both of you are, so I cannot say which one of you will win the prize the battle, and thus the tournament. Both of you have given everything, and none of you is even wounded.

King Diet­rich replied: I don't know either, but I'd feel better if my sword could penetrate his skin, which seems harder than any weapon This is the first time Sigfrid's horn skin comes up. Before, his armour was credited.. Therefore I'd like to ask you if I could borrow Mimung, because I know it will cut through anything. And he fears this weapon alone; this morning, before we fought, I had to swear an oath not to use Mimung.

Witig replied: You may not ask for Mimung, because since it was forged it was but once in another man's hands than mine, and that was when Heime took it 136; but this is actually not true: Hildebrand kept it for a while from 88 on..

This angered the king, and he said: Now hear what great shame this is, that you compare your king to a stable boy. We will never be as good friends as we were before because of these words.

Witig replied: My lord, if I spoke ill of you that was not deliberate ??? makligt, forgive me. I will lend you the sword, and may it help you. And with that he gave the sword to Diet­rich, and no one knew this except for these two. And then they went to sleep.

222

And when the night had passed king Isung came back with his men to fight. And king Diet­rich was ready with his men. And when king Diet­rich came on to the battlefield he had drawn his sword, but put his shield in front of it. Sigfrid had not come onto the battlefield yet, and Diet­rich called out for him to come fight.

Sigfrid replied: I'm coming, and we'll fight like yesterday, provided you again swear you won't use Mimung, Witig's sword. And once you do so I'll gladly fight with you. Diet­rich replied he'd rather swear that oath than not fight, and called Sigfrid again.

Now Sigfrid came to the battlefield, but king Diet­rich drew the sword behind his back and stuck its point in the earth, and supported the hilt with his back, and swore that, so help him God, Mimung's point was not above the earth and its hilt in no man's hand.

That was enough for Sigfrid, and he drew his sword Gram, but Diet­rich took Mimung and they came together and fought. After a short while Diet­rich made one hit after the other, and he cut off pieces of Sigfrid's shield or helmet or armour the horn skin is gone again, and Sigfrid suffered five wounds in a short time.

Now Sigfrid realised exactly which oath Diet­rich had sworn, and that he used Mimung, and he said: Lord Diet­rich, I wish to surrender my arms and become your man follower, because it is no shame to serve such a lord as you. And you are such a famous hero that I'd rather surrender myself to you than lose my life.

And Sigfrid surrendered his weapons, and king Diet­rich took him gladly into his following, and it seemed to him that he had won the greatest and strongest hero in the world. And thus they parted.

And now king Diet­rich and his men were quite happy and considered themselves to have succeeded in this expedition. But king Isung and his men were unhappy, because their best man and most famous hero was defeated.

Dietrich's fellowship falls apart

223

And when king Diet­rich and king Isung separated they swore friendship and gave one another great gifts. And Sigfrid, too, gave great gifts to his relatives This is the last time the relation is mentioned jarl Hornboge and his son Amelung. Sigfrid also arranged that king Isung gave his daughter Fallburg to Amelung, and she was the most beautiful and polite woman in all things, and the wedding should be held before Diet­rich went back to Bern.

And the feast was celebrated with the best, and it took five days with great splendour and all sorts of festivities, and games and entertainment.

224

Now king Diet­rich and his men rode away, and with him came Sigfrid, whom they admitted to their brotherhood. And when kings Diet­rich and Isung separated they swore friendship. And Amelung was followed by his wife Fallburg with a great treasure of gold, silver, and jewelry.

Now king Diet­rich rode the entire road that he had come by until he and his companions came home to Bern. There they were received with all honours.

And now everyone praised him for his strength and courage, wherever his name was heard, and that was in almost the entire world, and no one could name the man who would be willing to measure himself against Diet­rich in strength or weapons. And he knew he could sit undisturbed in his kingdom for all his life, or as long as he wished.

Hertnit and Isung

350

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' death This 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.

351

Now king Isung and his sons heard what king Hertnit had done. They gathered a great army and went after Hertnit. Also he sent a message to his good friends Detlef the Dane and Fasold the Proud.

They happily gathered their men and went to king Isung. Together they invaded Wilkinenland, and destroyed many farms and killed many men. Everyone fled before them, and nobody dared to take the spear against them. Everyone fled to the forest, the ships, and onto the uninhabited heath.

Some fled to king Hertnit and told him what was going on, and that Isung, Detlef and Fasold had come with 5000 men. King Hertnit became angry at this message, and sent out messengers to gather all his men. But to everyone it seemed undoable to fight against such powerful heroes as those that had now come to Wilkinenland.

352

Thus king Hertnit gathered a great army. And his wife Ostacia went out and moved her hand hrærði sinn gand; Google Translate gives "stirred her hand". Von der Hagen says "rief ihre Götter an", which is unhelpful., which is what we The audience of the saga, 13th century Norwegians would call casting a spell færi at seiða; translation my own but likely not good enough, as was done in the past, when magical women that we call völur would do magic To be retranslated. She did so much witchcraft and sorcery fjölkynngi ok trollskap that she summoned all kinds of animals, lions and bears and flying dragons, and tamed them all until they obeyed her and she set them against her enemies. And it is said in German songs that her army herr; or lord? was like the Enemy Satan, I presume himself. And she herself took the form of a flying dragon.

Now king Hertnit moved his army against king Isung, and when they found one another a severe battle erupted. King Isung and his sons went forward and killed many men, and the army fell for them wherever they came. Elsewhere Detlef the Dane with his men rode forth and also gave many men death, and the Wilkinenmen could not hold before him. And the third army led by Fasold the Proud also fought with great courage this day. The Wilkinenmen fell in this battle as grain being scythed.

353

At this moment Ostacia arrived with her following that she had summoned by sorcery. The dragons flew over the army and killed many men with their claws and mouths, and the lions bit and tore, and so did the bears. And Ostacia herself flew over the army as a dragon, and forced all animals and dragons to fight.

Now king Isung and his sons saw how much damage this army did to them, he spurred on his horse and held his spear fast. This spear was long and thick, and it was one part of an ash that was split into three. He now saw the biggest dragon fly, and threw his spear at it. The dragon saw it coming and evaded it so that it flew over it, and the dragon descended on the king, damaged him with claws and mouth and swallowed him.

The oldest son, who was the strongest of them all, saw this and hit the dragon with his spear through its leg and body. The dragon turned to him, took him so tightly in its claws that they went through his armour into his body and he died, but before he had killed a lion and a bear.

In the same way Lorentin, the youngest son, had killed a lion, and had been wounded, and wounded a dragon to the death, but this dragon gave him the killing blow with its claws.

The battle went on until almost all dragons and bears lost their lives by the great blows of Isung's sons, but also king Isung and all his sons were killed by the animals and dragons, and no one but Ostacia's sorceries gave them this death.

Status: summary of 34 chapters complete.

Other parts

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