Summary of the Thidrekssaga

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Hildebrand and Heime

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Now king Dietmar ruled over Bern, and he and his wife Odilia had a son named Diet­rich. And he was large and strong, but not so long that he was called a giant, and as long as he lived he never grew a beard. And all who had known king Samson said that Diet­rich resembled him very much.King Dietmar knighted Diet­rich when he was fifteen winters according to B; A says twelve old, and made him a chief over his court I assume Dietmar's court is meant here, and not that Diet­rich got his own court and all his knights and other people.

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Duke Erik ruled in the town called Wenden, and his sons were Bertram and Reginbald, who became dukes of Wenden after him. Duke Reginbald had a son named Hildebrand, and when he was fifteen years old his father knighted him.

Duke Bertram had a son called Reginbald, and his son was Sintram, who we'll talk about later 106.

When Hildebrand was thirty years not 'winters'; er þrítugr at aldri old he told his father that he wanted to get to know the customs of strange men, and he couldn't gain fame if he stayed here in Wenden A adds: or ride to Svava to eat with the warriors.

The duke asked where he wanted to go, and Hildebrand said he wanted to go to king Dietmar of Bern. He armed himself and rode with twelve knights to Bern. The king received him well and asked him to stay there. And Hildebrand accepted, and the king set him next to him something like: made him a principal counsellor?. And Hildebrand stayed with king Dietmar for a long time, as this saga will show.

Diet­rich, king Dietmar's son, was seven winters old when Hildebrand set him next to him and became his teacher until he was fifteen winters old. And he was a chief over the knights at court. And the two loved one another so much as no two men have done, except for David and Jonathan.

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Now it is said that Diet­rich and Hildebrand rode forth from Bern with their hawks and dogs to the forest to enjoy themselves. They let the hawks fly and loosed the dogs. And when Diet­rich followed a hawk he saw a dwarf walking. Diet­rich spurred his horse and pursued the dwarf, and before he could come to his cave Diet­rich took him by the neck and took him with him in the saddle, and this was the dwarf Alberich the famous thief from whom old sagas speak Otherwise unknown.

The dwarf spoke: Lord, if I can buy my life with it, I'll show you where so much gold, silver and jewelry are that even the rich king Dietmar, your father, doesn't have such amounts. And this treasure is with two people, a woman called Hilda, and her husband is Grim, who is as strong as twelve men, but his wife is even stronger, and they are cruel and evil. He also has a sword called Nagelring, and it is the best of all swords. But you can only defeat them if you first take the sword. And it would be a greater heroic deed of you two to conquer this treasure than to take me with my small body and weak legs.

Diet­rich said: I will never free you unless you give me Nagelring in my hand today, and even then you will show us where this treasure is. The dwarf agreed and swore the oath Diet­rich required. Diet­rich freed him, and he and Hildebrand hunted birds and animals the entire day until the ninth hour from sunrise. Then Diet­rich and Hildebrand were at a mountain slope, and Alberich came back with Nagelring and gave it to Diet­rich. Then he said: On this slope is a gap and there you'll find their earth-house underground house, cave. You can take as much gold and jewelry there as are left, but you'll need your manliness courage to win it, but you will never get me in your power again even if you live two men's lives. And with that the dwarf disappeared.

Diet­rich and Hildebrand dismounted, tethered their horses, and then Diet­rich drew Nagelring, and both felt they had never seen a better sword.

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Then they entered the gap and found the earth-house. Then they bound their helmets tight, donned their armour, and took their shields. Now Diet­rich courageously went into the earthen-house, and Hildebrand close behind him. And when the giant Grim saw a strange man had entered his house he jumped to his weapon rack, but saw his sword was missing, and he understood that the dwarf Alberich, the famous thief, must have stole it. From the fire he took a burning tree and attacked Diet­rich.

But Hilda took Hildebrand by the neck so tightly he could not move, and Hildebrand fell to the ground and Hilda on top of him. She wanted to bind him, and pressed his arms so hard that blood sprang from his nails, and so tightly she pressed her knees against his breast that he fell unconscious. Then Hildebrand called Unconscious people frequently act in the saga; maybe I mistranslate it to his foster son: Lord Diet­rich, help me, for I have never been in such danger.

I'll help you, Diet­rich called, because I will not suffer my foster father to be brought into mortal danger by a woman. And with one stroke Diet­rich beheaded Grim, and sprang to where his tutor lay, and cut Hilda in two. But she was so magical fjölkunnig ok mikit troll in nature that the two pieces rejoined and she was as before. Diet­rich thought this was a great wonder, and he hit her with another strike on her back, but everything went as before. And then Hildebrand called: Stand with your feet between her head and feet, and you will destroy this troll.

And a third time Diet­rich clove her in two, and stood with both feet between the parts, and her lower part was dead, but her upper part said: I would want that Grim had taken Diet­rich as I have taken Hildebrand, then we would have won. And now both pieces fell apart.

Hildebrand sprang up and said: You have given me as much help as possible, and God thanks you for it. Then they took the gold and silver and jewelry, and they saw the dwarf had not lied. Under the treasure Diet­rich found a helmet, and the dwarf Alberich had told Diet­rich the following about it says A; B says: and the dwarf Malpriant had forged it, and Diet­rich said: Hilda and Grim had thought it such a great treasure that they maned if after the two of them, and it was called Hildegrim, and Diet­rich wore it for a long time in many battles.

Now Diet­rich and Hildebrand took so much treasure as their horses could carry, and buried what was left. Then they went home, and Diet­rich became famous in all lands because of this heroic deed.

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Northward of the mountains in Svava there stood a castle names Seegard, and the wealthy and proud Brunhild ruled over it. And she was the most beautiful and most famous of all women in the South- and Northlands because of her wisdom and the heroic deeds done because of her, which have been told in many languages and will never be forgotten.

In a forest not far from there was a large estate owned by Brunhild, which was run by a man named Studa. In this forest there were many horses, and one herd was the best in the entire Northlands, and these horses were grey in colour, or white, or black, but always in one colour. Among this herd there were stallions big and strong, quick like a bird in flight, but they were easy to tame and well-tempered. Studa knew best of all men to train these horses for both tournaments and travel.

Studa was old, but he had a son also named Studa after his father. He was sixteen says B; A says twelve winters old when the saga comes to him. He was cruel and hard-hearted, greedy and ambitious, so that he wanted to serve no one and hated almost everyone.

He was later called Heime, and lost his original name, because there was a snake ormr; or dragon? out on the fields called Heime, and it was the strongest and most poisonous of all snakes so that all feared to come near its lair. And thus Studa got his name, because everyone compared him to this snake, and the Northmen Væringjar called him Heime. He got a strong stallion from the best herd which Studa had trained, and it was called Rispa.

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One day when Heime had taken his horse and his sword Blutgang he stood before his father and told him he didn't want to stay in this forest but ride forth, and meet famous men and win fame himself. And Studa asked where he wanted to go.

Heime replied that he wanted to go southwards to the town called Bern, there is a famous man there called Diet­rich, and I want to find out if he or I is stronger with weapons. Studa said that wise men had told him of Diet­rich, and that is was madness for Heime to measure himself against him, and that he should ride elsewhere. Heime angrily said he wanted to be a greater man than Diet­rich or be killed quickly. Now I am sixteen says B; A says seventeen winters old, and he is not quite twelve yet, and where is the man I don't dare to fight against i.e. I can handle anyone?

Angry as he was he jumped on his horse Rispa and rode away, along a long unknown road, and he didn't stop until he came to Bern, and rode into the town to the king's hall. He asked a man to hold his horse and spear, and went into the hall to the king's throne, greeted him, and , in the eyes of all who were there, came before Diet­rich and said: Lord Diet­rich, much have I heard from you, and a long way I have gone to see you, and I challenge you to a duel today outside of Bern, then we will find out who the stronger man is.

Diet­rich thought this man was bold to speak these words, because no one had challenged him to a duel yet. But he did not hesitate and had confidence that this man would get what he deserved. He sprang up and left the hall, and Hildebrand and several other men with him, and had his weapons fetched. They brought him his armour and his red shield with a golden lion, and his helm Hildegrim, and his sword Nagelring, and his horse, which was saddled, and they gave him his spear, and Hildebrand held his stirrup for him when he mounted.

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Then Diet­rich rode from Bern, and with him Hildebrand his foster and several other men, and they went to where Heime awaited Diet­rich. And they rode against one another with their spears, but neither of them hit the other's shield, and the horses ran past one another. They turned their horses and tried again, but the same happened. On the third try Heime hit Diet­rich's shield and through his armour, but didn't wound him, but Diet­rich stabbed his spear through Heime's shield and armour and wounded him slightly. And so powerfully rode Diet­rich that his stallion almost sank to its hind legs and Diet­rich's feet briefly touched the ground. Both spears broke.

Both dismounted and drew their swords and fought. Heime landed a big blow with his sword Blutgang on Diet­rich's helmet Hildegrim, but the sword sprang in two pieces. Since he was now defenceless he surrendered to Diet­rich. And Diet­rich did not want to kill him and took him among his men, and from now on the two were the best friends. And Diet­rich had increased his fame by yet another heroic deed.

Witig

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Witig Wieland's son was now twelve winters old when Wieland asked him if he also wanted to learn the craft of smithing so that even if one looked in the entire world there would be no third who could forge iron as well as the two of them did. But Witig said that, for the sake of his mother, he hoped he'd never touch hammer and tongues.

Then Wieland asked him what else he would do to get food and clothes. And Witig said he wanted a good horse, a strong spear, a sharp sword, a new shield, a hard helmet, and armour, and serve a famous prince and ride with him as long as he was alive. Wieland promised to give him all that, but asked where he wanted to go. And Witig said he wanted to ride to Amelungenland to find Diet­rich, son of king Dietmar of Bern, who was now the most famous hero in the world, and they were the same age, and him Witig wanted to search and challenge to a duel. And when Witig would not be able to withstand his strong blows and fall, he knew that Diet­rich, who was a noble hero, would give Witig his life back if he surrendered his sword and became his follower; but it could also be the duel went better than that.

Wieland said he didn't advise Witig to go to Diet­rich, because he was such a great hero Witig would not be able to withstand him. Instead, Wieland added, in a forest nearby lives a giant who does great harm to many people. And I'll help you to defeat him, and when you have done so the king of Sweden will give you his daughter and half of his realm.

But Witig said he did not want to do this because of a woman, because if the giant would defeat him all would say he had lost his life dishonourably. So he would travel south and fight with Diet­rich von Bern. And Wieland said that because Witig would not change his mind, Wieland would give him what he had asked for.

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Then Wieland gave him armour and Witig armed himself. Now Wieland took a sword, and said to Witig: My son, this sword is called Mimung, keep it and use it well. I made this sword myself, and I kept it for you to use, and I expect you to make good cuts with it, since you're not a weakling.

Then Witig donned his helmet, which was forged with the hardest steel, with large nails, and it was hard and strong. And he took his shield that was so heavy no man could hold it with one hand apart from Witig, one assumes. And the shield was red and on it were hammer and tongues to indicate Witig's father was smith. And above the hammer and tongues were three carbuncles that denoted his mother was of royal blood. Then Wieland gave him a horse called Schimming.

Now Witig went to his mother, kissed her and they wished one another well, and he also said goodbye to his father. Then he took his spear and jumped into the saddle without using his stirrups. And Wieland laughed when he saw that, and he went with Witig for a while and explained to him the roads he had to travel, and good advice besides. And then father and son separated and Wieland went back home.

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Now Witig rode a long way through forests and lands inhabited and uninhabited. He came to a large river called Eiðisá According to Ritter this is the Eitzer-See, the former mouth of the Aller into the Weser, but he could not find the ford his father had told him about. He tied his horse to a tree, took off his armour and clothes, carefully hid them under the ground, because he was afraid they'd be stolen, and waded into the water that was so deep that only his head was above it, and he went up and down the river.

Meanwhile three knights rode by, and these were Hildebrand, Diet­rich's foster, and the other Heime, and the third was jarl Hornboge. Diet­rich had sent the first two to jarl Hornboge to invite him to come to Bern, since he had heard the jarl was a great hero, and he wanted to make Hornboge his companion.

Now Hildebrand said to his companions: In this river I see a dwarf, which might well be the dwarf Alberich that Diet­rich once defeated and won his sword Nagelring from, and his helmet Hildegrim, and I was there as well 16. Let's try to capture him again; we will certainly get a nice ransom.

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They dismounted and walked to the river. But Witig had heard them quite clearly and called: Allowe me to come to land unharmed and I'll show you I'm not a dwarf. And they allowed him, and Witig jumped from the river, and he covered nine feet in one jump. Then Hildebrand asked who he was, and Witig said: If you're a good hero, do you ask such questions of a naked man? Let me first find my clothes and weapons, and then you can ask.

Witig clothed and armed himself, mounted his horse, and rode to the three. Good sirs knight, he said, God help me, I'd name all of you by name if I but knew them. But ask me anything you like. Hildebrand asked for his name and what he was doing here traveling alone. And Witig said he was a Dane named Witig, and his father was Wieland the Smith, and his mother was daughter to king Nidung of Jutland, and he was traveling to Diet­rich Dietmar's son to challenge him to a duel.

When Hildebrand saw how strong this man was, and how well-made his weapons and armour were, he understood his lord Diet­rich would come to great danger if he fought against this man, and he wasn't sure who would win. Therefore he joyously replied: Thank God I finally found a man courageous enough to swing his sword against Diet­rich, and I hope you will win, because Diet­rich thinks no one is braver and stronger than he. Come, now let's swear brotherhood, that we will help one another when we need it most.

Witig said he felt Hildebrand was a noble man, and he would love to swear brotherhood, but he'd first liked to know their names. And Hildebrand said he was Voltram son of Reginbald, jarl of Wenden, and here is Sintram Herbrand's son, and the third is jarl Hornboge of Vindland. Now Witig and Hildebrand held hands and swore brotherhood. And Hildebrand knew where the ford was, and they rode over it and continued.

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Now they came to a place where the road split, and Hildebrand said: Both these roads lead to Bern, the one is long and hard to travel, I assume, the other a lot shorter and easier, but there's a problem with it. The shorter road comes to a river the Lippe where the only way to cross is a stone bridge. But a fort called Brictan According to Ritter this is Brechten north of Dortmund, where there was a Lippe forth stands near this bridge, and twelve robbers live there, of whom one is called Gramaleif. And there is a toll at this bridge, and they will demand our weapons and horses, and we'll be glad to keep our lives. But we have little hope to get beyond the bridge against their will. Diet­rich has already attempted to take the fort, but failed. But whoever defeats these twelve men has nothing to fear from Diet­rich or anyone else. Still, it is my advice to take the longer road.

Witig said: We will surely take the short road, for a foreigner may ride in peace wherever he wants. And they took the road Witig wanted, and came to a forest named Lurwald Close to Attila's capital of Soest, he goes hunting in this forest in 139, and outside the forest was the fort. When they came near Witig said: Wait for me here, I'll ride on to the bridge, and it could be that they give us passage without toll, but if that fails I'll come back to you. They agreed and let him continue alone.

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Witig rode to the fort and the stone bridge. Those that were in the fort looked down from the battlements and saw him coming.
Then Gramaleif said: That man has a good shield, and I want it. But take from him whatever you like.
Studfus said: No doubt this man has a good sword, I want it.
And Thräla said: I want his armour.
And Sigstab said: I wat his helmet.
And the fifth said: He has a good horse, I want it.
The sixth said: I want his clothes.
The seventh: Well, then nothing is left for me but his leg protectors.
The eighth said: I want his belt with the sack on it.
THe ninth said: I want his right hand.
The tenth: Then I want his right foot.
And the eleventh said: And I want his head.

Then Studfus said: No one should kill this man, since he'll have so little left. Then Gramaleif, their leader, said: So ride to him and take everything, but leave him his left hand, left foot, and his life.

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When the three came to the one Witig, Witig said: Welcome, good men, but they replied: You'll never be welcome, because here you'll leave your weapons, clothes, and horse, and also your right hand and right foot, and you'll thank us for retaining your life. Then Witig said: This trade you offer to me, an innocent foreign man, seems unfair; call your leader here, so that I can hear his decision. They rode back and told Gramaleif what had happened.

And Gramaleif rose, armed himself and all his twelve companions and rode across the stone bridge. Witig again welcomed him, and Gramaleif said: You're not welcome, because we have already divided your belongings among ourselves, and you'll keep one hand and one foot. Now give me your shield.

Witig said he wouldn't give his shield, since if he returned to Denmark his father would say Diet­rich had taken it from him. Then Studfus told Witig: Then give me your sword, because that's my share. And Witig said: If you take my sword, how would I defend myself if I come to Diet­rich? One after the other demanded his share, and Witig asked again for free passage, but he would not give them even a penny.

Then Studfus said: Look, we're with twelve standing before a single man who replies haughtily, so draw your swords and he'll leave his belongings here and his life as well. Studfus drew his sword and hit Witig on his helmet, but the helmet was so hard that it withstood the blow like a stone would do. Then Witig drew his sword Mimung and hit Studfus in the shoulder so that he was hacked in two through breast and armour and both pieces fell to the ground.

The other robbers took fright from this blow, and many would have preferred to be at home, but all of them drew their swords and attacked Witig, and they spurred on one another. Gramaleif hit Witig on the helmet, but it was so hard that nothing happened. On the other hand, when Witig hit Gramaleif on the helmet he cleaved his head and torso to the belt, and he fell dead.

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Then Hildebrand said to his companions: Let's move closer and see what happens. When Witig defeats these men alone and we don't come to his aid, they'd say we abandonded him, and the oath of brotherhood I swore requires me to help him.

Heime said: I think we should ride there and help him once we see he has the upper hand, but if he falls we ride away as quickly as we can, so that we don't go into danger for the sake of an unknown man. Hildebrand said that would be ignominious. And Hornboge said that since we have sworn brotherhood we must help him.

Then they rode forward to the stone bridge, where Witig had meanwhile killed seven of the twelve. Sigstab and five others fled.

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Then Witig and his companions greeted one another cheerfully. They rode into the fort, where they found wine and food, and they took all the treasure and went to sleep there.

Hildebrand thought carefully about Witig and how strong he was, and doubted that Diet­rich would be able to defeat him. He also considered how good Witig's weapon was. And when midnight had come, Hildebrand stood up and drew his sword, and then took Witig's sword Mimung, drew it from the sheath, and put his own sword in there after he had swapped their hilts. Then he sheathed Mimung himself and went to sleep.

They rose and prepared to travel on. Witig asked Hildebrand what they would do with the fort. Hildebrand said they'd do what the two of them would consider best. But, he added, I no longer wish to be silent but tell you the truth. I am Hildebrand, and I am Diet­rich's follower, and all of us are his companions. And although I didn't tell you our true names before, we still want to retain the brotherhood that we swore. But it is my counsel that we leave the fort as it is, and leave our two companions here to guard it. I will follow you to Bern, and once you become good friends and brothers the two of you will own this fort jointly, and he will certainly reward you. But if you separate without friendship the fort will belong to you alone.

Witig said: A heavy toll rested on this bridge, for locals and foreigners alike, but this is an important road for many people, and they don't dare to pass by this place because of this fort and the robbers who lived here. As far as I'm concerned all, locals and foreigners, young and old, rich and poor will henceforth travel this road in peace.

Hornboge said: He who won this fort by his sword has the right to decide on its fate. Then Witig set one of the buildings on fire, after they had taken all goods, and they did not travel on until the fort was burned down completely.

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Then they continued their journey happily, and rode on until they came to the river called Wisar Weser. There had been a bridge between its two steep stone banks, and Sigstab and his men had fled there, and they had demolished the bridge and didn't want to let them across Unclear. I picture that they were waiting on the other side with weapons drawn because they preferred not to meet Witig and his companions again, nor their weapons.

When Witig saw all this he spurred on his horse Schimming, rode to the stone banks where the bridge had been, and then Schimming jumped from the one bank to the other as if an arrow sped there, and until this day the saga writer's, or his source's one can see the imprints of his hoofs and horseshoes where he sprang.

Hildebrand, Heime and jarl Hornboge rode after him. Hildebrand's horse also jumped, but didn't make it to the other bank and fell in the rivier, and swam to land. The same happened to Hornboge, but he reached the bank before Hildebrand. But Heime, who rode Rispa, Schimming's brother, jumped to the other bank.

As soon as Witig came down he rode at Sigstab and his five companions and they fought, and Witig gave many men heavy blows. But Heime sat on his horse and refused to help him See 108 for the consequences. When jarl Hornboge came on land he bravely rode to help Witig, and they did not stop until all five companions were dead I thought it was five + Sigstab, but he seems to have disappeared. But Witig had not yet noticed he didn't use his own sword Mimung.

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Now they rode on and in the evening they came to a fort called Her which belonged to king Dietmar Mss. A and B say: belonged to Hildebrand, Diet­rich's father, and Hildebrand's wife lived there Manuscript A calls her Oda; the others do not have a name. There they stayed overnight, and the next day they went on to Bern.

Now Diet­rich was told while he was eating that Hildebrand, jarl Hornboge and Heime had come, and he rose and went out to greet them and asked for news. He didn't say a word to Witig, because he didn't know what kind of man he was. Then Witig took a silver-plated glove and gave it to Diet­rich, who asked what that meant. Witig replied: Hereby I challenge you to a duel. We are the same age, but I have heard much about you, and I have gone through a great deal to see if you are as great a hero as is said. Now I have reached you, and since the day I left home I have waited for the moment the two of us will fight.

Diet­rich said: I will keep the peace in the lands of my father and myself, so that not every tramp or scoundrel will challenge me to a duel. Hildebrand said: My lord, you don't know whom you're talking to. I'm not sure who would win a duel between the two of you; it is even likely that you would lose, when no one helps you.

Reinald, a follower of Diet­rich's, said: It's a great shame, my lord, that any country bumpkin can challenge you in your own lands. But when Hildebrand heard this he told him not to insult his companions with such words, and he hit Reinald on the ear with his fist so that he fell unconscious.

Then Diet­rich said to Hildebrand: I see you're taking the trouble to help this man, but you'll see how he will enjoy it: today he will hang outside Bern. Hildebrand said: If he comes into your power by bravery and strength i.e. after losing the duel then he will have to submit to your harsh judgement, but I think he'll fight better than that. But he is still unbound i.e. doesn't have a lord ... I think, and I think he'll stay here all day until the two of you fight Unclear; retranslate.

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Then Diet­rich called for his weapons. He donned his armour, put his helmet Hildegrim on his head, girded himself with his sword Nagelring, and took his shield with the golden lion on a red field, and took his lance. His horse Falke was brought to him and he mounted, and Falke was a brother of Schimming, Witig's horse, and Rispa, Heime's horse. Then Diet­rich rode forth out of Bern with a large retinue of knights and chiefs. When he exited Bern he found Hildebrand and Witig with a few men. Witig sat fully armed on his horse, and was ready.

Now Heime came to Diet­rich with a bowl full of wine, and said: Drink, mylord, and God grant you victory today and forever. Diet­rich took the bowl, drank, and returned it. Then Hildebrand brought Witig the bowl, but Witig said he should bring the bowl to Diet­rich first and ask him to drink to his Witig's health. Now Hildebrand took the bowl to Diet­rich, but he was so angry that he refused to take it.

Then Hildebrand said: You still don't know who you're angry at, but you'll quickly find he is a hero, and not a scoundrel. Then he walked back to Witig and offered him the bowl again, and said: Now drink, and defend yourself with bravery, and may God help you. Then Witig took the bowl and drank, and with the bowl he also gave Hildebrand a golden armring and thanked him for his help.

Then Diet­rich called to Witig if he was ready, and Witig said he was.

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Then they spurred their stallions and rode at one another like a hungry hawk at its prey. Diet­rich's spear glanced off Witig's shield, but Witig's hit Diet­rich's shield squarely, and the shaft broke into three pieces.

Then Witig called: Turn your horse and ride at me again! You still have your spear, so I'll keep still, but you'll break your spear just like I did mine. And he drew his sword.

Then Diet­rich rode at him with all his might and hit Witig's breast with his spear, and he expected to kill him with that blow, but Witig hacked his spear in two with his sword, and with the same blow he hacked off a bit of his own shield. He was not wounded, since his hard armour protected him.

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Then both dismounted and attacked one another, and they hit each other mightily with their swords. Diet­rich gave Witig many heavy blows with Nagelring, and Witig wanted to give Diet­rich a blow that would wound him, and he swung his sword with all his might against Diet­rich's helmet Hildegrim, but the helmet was so hard that this marvelous blow did break something, but it was the sword that sprang in two pieces.

Then Witig called: Ha, Wieland, my father, have God's wrath for forging this sword so badly. I would have fought like a hero had I but had a good sword, but this brings shame and injury to me, and also to the one who made it.

Now Diet­rich swung Nagelring with both hands and wanted to behead Witig. But Hildebrand jumped between them and said to Diet­rich: Give this man peace and take him as your companion. You will never get a better hero than him: he defeated twelve men at fort Brictan all by himself, and you couldn't conquer the fort with all your men. It would honour you if such a man would serve you.

But Diet­rich said he would stick with what he said before: Witig would hang before Bern today. Hildebrand praised Witig's descent of royal houses on his father's and mother's side, and again asked him to make Witig his follower.

But Diet­rich said: I'd like to make it a law in my father's lands that not every slave's son þrælssonr can challenge me to a duel. And I want to hang this evil dog today outside Bern. Now get out of my way! And if you don't I'll hack you to pieces first.

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When Hildebrand saw that Diet­rich did not want to listen, he said: Now I see that my good counsel will not be heeded, and therefore the child shall have what it cries for.

Then Hildebrand drew his sword from the sheath and said to Witig: See now, good sir knight, how I keep my vow of brotherhood. Here, take the sword Mimung and defend yourself.

Then Witig became as happy as a bird at the crack of dawn. He kissed the sword and said: God forgive the words I said about my father Wieland. See, Diet­rich, my good hero, this is Mimung. Now I am as eager to fight you as a thirsty man to drink, or a hungry dog to eat That's Von der Hagen's translation; the original says Nú em ek svá fúss at berjast við þik sem þyrstr maðr til drykkjar eða soltinn til matar. 'Salt to eat'? My Old Norse is really too lousy to decide..

Now he hit Diet­rich blow after blow, and each time he took away a piece of his armour or shield or helmet, and Diet­rich didn't manage to strike one blow, and could do nothing but defend himself, and he had five wounds already. Then he saw he would lose this fight, and called to Hildebrand his teacher: Come here and separate us! Because I do not see how to separate us by myself!

Then Hildebrand said: When I tried to separate you you didn't want to take good advice, but now I think you'll agree that Witig is a good hero. And it seems to me that with your armour is pierced, your helmet is broken, your shield split, and you yourself wounded, and you'll finish this fight with shame and dishonour, and that's what your pride bought you. So separate yourself if you can. And he will have the power to do to you what you sentenced him to i.e. hang him, although he might do better than that.

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When king Dietmar saw that his son would be defeated he took a red shield apparently an official sign of some kind and stepped between the two of them. Then Witig said: What do you want, lord king? If you're going to kill me with all your men no one will think you a better hero, and my death will not remain unavenged, because my mother's brother is as powerful a king as you are.

Then the king said: Good sir knight, I merely want to ask you to spare my son, because I see that when you fight on his end is near. And if you do I'll give you a castle or town in my lands and make you a count, and also give you a noble wife.

Then Witig said: I won't spare him; he will receive the same sentence he wanted to give me, unless you prevent me with your multitude of men.

Then the king stepped back and the fight recommenced, and Diet­rich defended himself bravely, but in the end Witig hit the helmet Hildegrim so hard that it was cut from left to right, and the upper part flew off Diet­rich's head and some of his hair with it.

When Hildebrand saw that Hildegrim had been broken he sprang between the two and said: My dear friend Witig, please give Diet­rich peace for the sake of our brotherhood, and take him as your companion, because when the two of you fight together, no one in the entire world will be your peer.

Then Witig said: Although he doesn't deserve it I will do as you ask for the sake of our brotherhood. Then they put down their weapons, shook hands, and became good friends and companions. They rode back to Bern and were all happy.

Journey to Osning

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King Dietmar was home in Bern, and his son Diet­rich with him, who was still suffering from his wounds. And these four heroes were with the king: Hildebrand, Witig, jarl Hornboge, and Heime.

When Diet­rich had healed he rode away from Bern alone, and nobody knew of it except for Witig. Because he had lost his fight, Diet­rich did not want to return to Bern before he had performed a heroic deed that would increase his fame.

He rode for seven days until he came to the forest called Osning, and he found lodging. There he heard of a castle on the other side of the forest called Drekanfils, and once this castle had been owned by king Drusian, who had died, and the queen had married or was engaged with; that's not entirely clear but it likely doesn't matter a man called Ecke. Ecke's brother was Fasold. It was Ecke's custom to ride in the forest hunting animals, but when he met someone who wanted to measure himself against him, he was willing to do so.

Diet­rich wasn't sure how to get through the forest without meeting Ecke. He didn't feel like fighting Ecke, since the wounds that Witig had given him still pained him, and he preferred to first fight a lesser man first.

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Now Diet­rich rode off at midnight, when it was darkest, and hoped to make it through the forest without Ecke noticing him. But Ecke saw him and asked who rode there. Diet­rich said: I am Heime Studa's son, riding to Bertangaland for my father, but I have nothing to do with you, and am not searching you out.

Ecke said that his voice sounded like Diet­rich von Bern, and if he was as brave a man as was said he shouldn't use a false name. Diet­rich acknowledged his name, but said he wanted to continue on his way. But Ecke had heard that he had lost his fight with Witig, and assumed he came here to find new honour. Also Diet­rich had lost good weapons in the fight, and here he could win others.

Diet­rich said he was not ready for a duel, and besides, how could they fight if they couldn't see one another? If it were day it would be another matter.

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Then Ecke said that nine royal daughters and their mother, his fiancée, had armed him for this battle, and he came here for their sake, and he went on to describe his armour in great detail, as well as his sword Eckisax, which was wrought by the same Alberich that made Diet­rich's sword Nagelring, deep under the earth, and when he was done he searched for the water to harden it in nine kingdoms, and found it in the stream called Treya. Blade and hilt are both made of red gold, and the sword was fitted with gemstones. And one had to search far and wide before one found a sword similar to it, but Alberich the dwarf, the great thief Compare 16; it appears that the smith Alberich and the thief Alberich are the same person stole it from his father under the mountain, and gave it to king Roseleif, and many princes after him carried it.

Then Diet­rich wondered aloud why he would flee for a sword he couldn't see, and from a man he knew nothing about except for his boasting. He had lost his way and his companions, and if Ecke wanted to keep his life he should not challenge him to a duel again.

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Ecke went on to describe his girdle and pouch with twelve pounds of red gold in great detail. Then Diet­rich said he would fight, not for the gold or the weapons, but for the honour of nine queens.

Diet­rich jumped from his stallion and said it was so dark he couldn't see anything. He drew his sword Nagelring and struck a stone so that sparks flew from it. In this light he saw an olive tree says Mb; A and B: linden tree to which he tied his horse. And he became angry.

Now that Diet­rich wanted to fight Ecke became happy and joyous, and he, too, struck a rock with his sword so that the heroes could see one another by the sparks.

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Now they fought, and sparks flew from their weapons as though it was lightning, and the sound of their blows sounded like thunder, and they cleaved each other's shields so that they became useless, and still they fought on. Then Ecke gave Diet­rich a terrible blow and he dropped down, and Ecke dropped on top of him and grabbed both of his arms, and said that in order to save his life Diet­rich should surrender himself, his weapons, and his horse, and come to the castle to be shown bound to the queens.

Diet­rich said he preferred to lose his life hear than endure the taunts of the nine ladies and their mother. He managed to free his hands and take Ecke by the throat, and they fought with all their power.

When Falke, Diet­rich's stallion, became aware that his master needed help, he tore his rein with his teeth, ran to the two, lifted his forelegs and struck Ecke as hard as he could in the back. Diet­rich struggeled back to his feet and cut of Ecke's head.

Then Diet­rich took Ecke's weapons and armour and armed himself.

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Diet­rich mounted Falke and rode out of the forest, and it was already first light. Diet­rich decided to ride to the castle of Drekanfils because he thought that, once the people of the castle knew he had overcome Ecke, he would get the same marriage or engagement with the queen and honour that Ecke had received An important passage in support of my theory — if a proper English translation shows the same meaning as this summary.

Now the queen had gone to a tower and she saw this man ride to the castle, and she was glad and went in and told her daughters that lord Ecke, who had left last night, returned on a good horse, and therefore he has defeated some good knight. And all of them took their jewels, dressed well, and went out to the rider. But when Diet­rich came near they saw that it was not Ecke who rode there, but another man. And when the old queen saw this, she understood what must have happened: she recognised the weapons and armour, but not the man, and Ecke would never have given them away. She fell unconscious. Then they went back in and told everything to the men of the castle, and dressed in their mourning garb and threw their jewels from them.

When the men heard Ecke had been killed they took their weapons and wanted to avenge him. When Diet­rich saw this overwhelming force he turned his horse and rode back into the forest as quickly as he could. He did not know where to go in this strange land, and since he had killed the lord of the land he knew that people would be unfriendly towards him. The men of the castle returned and were angry about Ecke's death.

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Now Diet­rich rode out of the forest and saw a man riding towards him. This was Fasold, Ecke's brother. Fasold thought he was seeing his brother because he recognised his armour, and called: Is that you, brother Ecke? Diet­rich replied it was not.

Then Fasold called: You murderer, you killed my brother Ecke while he was asleep, because if he'd been awake he would have defeated you. Diet­rich said that was a lie; Ecke challenged me to a duel, and when I refused he called upon his riches and the queen and her nine daughters and thus forced me to fight. And if I had known how great and strong he was, I wouldn't have fought, but I took these weapons and armour when he was dead, and you don't have to doubt that.

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Fasold drew his sword, rode to Diet­rich and hit him on his helmet so that he fell from his horse unconscious. Fasold decided not to hit a man further who had fallen with one blow, nor to take his weapons, and he rode back to the castle.

But when Diet­rich came to he sprang on his horse and rode after Fasold and challenged him, and said that if Fasold rode on he was a coward, and didn't he want to avenge his brother? Fasold held his horse and waited for Diet­rich.

Then both dismounted and fought. Diet­rich was wounded three times, but none of them were serious. But Fasold had received five wounds, all of them serious, and he became tired and saw he would lose. Therefore he chose life, surrendered, and promised to become Diet­rich's follower. Diet­rich gladly took his surrender, but refused his service because he had killed his brother. Diet­rich proposed them to become brothers blood brothers?, and Fasold accepted. Then they swore an oath, mounted, and rode on.

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Now it is said that Diet­rich wanted to go home because he had achieved his goal and knew that he would be no less famous than before. In the evening they came to Aldinsaela Ritter says that they formalised their oath here, since it was a place of justice and staid there for the night. In the morning they rode on and traveled through the wood called Rimslo, and there they saw an animal called elephant elefans; different word than in 118, which is the largest and strongest of all animals. Then Diet­rich asked Fasold if he would help him fight the animal, because when they could vanquish it they would have done a heroic deed.

Fasold excused himself because he still suffered from the wounds he had received in the duel. Besides, Diet­rich would be even more heroic if he'd kill the elephant by himself.

Thus Diet­rich dismounted, bound his horse to an olive tree, drew Eckisax, and attacked the animal. But the sword didn't bite, and the animal attacked him with its front legs, so that he fell. When Fasold saw this he decided to help as much as he could, dismounted, and attacked, but he couldn't wound it, either. Then he said to Diet­rich, who was laying under the beast: If you can get your hands free and take your sword, hit it in the belly near the navel, because I think it will bite there. But the beast pressed Diet­rich to the ground so hard that he could not move.

When Falke saw the danger his master was in he tore the rein, jumped on the animal and hit it with its front legs in the loin that the animal fell over. Now Diet­rich could free himself, took his sword and stabbed it in the belly to the hilt. Then Diet­rich jumped from under the animal, with blood on both his hands, and the animal fell over dead. Before, Fasold had given the animal many blows, but his sword didn't bite. Still, Diet­rich saw that Fasold wanted to help him loyally, Then they mounted on their horses and rode on.

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When they exited the forest they saw something unusual: a great dragon flying, with strong forelegs and big claws. It flew close to the ground, and wherever it touched the ground with its claws it was as if the ground was cut with the sharpest iron. In its mouth it bore a man, whose legs and torso it had eaten until just below the arms, and only his head and shoulders stuck outside the dragon's maw. The man was still alive, and when he saw the heroes he called for help, and told them the dragon took him from his shield when he was asleep.

When Diet­rich and Fasold heard this they dismounted, drew their swords, and struck the dragon. Diet­rich's sword bit somewhat, but Fasold's not at all. Although the dragon was strong, he was not able to fly while carrying the man, and could neither flee nor defend itself.

The man in the maw saw Fasold's problem, and told him to get the sword in the dragon's maw that he swallowed together with the man. Fasold drew the sword from the dragon's mouth, and it cut the dragon like a razor cuts a beard.

Careful! the man said, don't cut my feet, which are deep in the dragon's throat, and I don't want to be wounded with my own sword. And hurry, good heroes, the dragon pressures me so hard with its mouth that blood flows from my mouth and nose.

And they went on until the dragon was dead.

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Thus the man was freed from the dragon. The man thanked them, and asked if he could get his sword back from Fasold The man knows his name. Diet­rich asked who he was, and he said he was Sintram son of Reginbald, jarl of Wenden, and he was traveling to his relative Hildebrand and his foster son Diet­rich von Bern. He had stopped to rest here when the dragon captured him.

Diet­rich told him he could keep his sword and had found Diet­rich von Bern.

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Then they went into the forest and quickly found Sintram's shield, but for two days they searched for his horse and could not find it. They exited the forest and came to a castle called Aldinfils owned by a count called Ludwig, and here he Diet­rich is alone now saw the horse, which the count's men had found and brought to their lord. Diet­rich asked for the horse and told Ludwig whom it belonged to, but the count was unwilling to give it.

Diet­rich said that it could be that, if he didn't give the horse now, he might lose ten horses instead, as well as his life and realm. Ludwig took a good look at this man, and relented, offering the horse and a golden ring besides. And then he asked if this was Diet­rich von Bern. Diet­rich confirmed this, and thanked him for his gifts.

Then he took the horse, found his companions and gave the horse back to Sintram. Then they rode back to Bern.

Witig and Heime

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Diet­rich sat on his throne next to his father king Dietmar, and his companions were around him. And this day Heime served him and poured him wine. He filled a golden bowl and served him well. Then Diet­rich saw his sword Nagelring, showed it to his companion, and said: Good Nagelring, you have gone through a lot when I left Bern with you, both weapons and stone, and I don't think a better sword could be found; Heime, for your services I would grant this sword to no one but you, take it, friend, and use it.

Heime took Nagelring and thanked his lord for this gift. And there were many other people around who praised Diet­rich for this.

Then Witig spoke: You are served badly, Nagelring, and you should have been given to a better man. And as long as I have been in Bern I did not like your company more than a woman's, because when I was in need when two men rode into the house of five, and you sat on your horse and did nothing. Jarl Hornboge and Hildebrand could not come to me because the river was in the way, and when the jarl finally came I did not need you any more, and I don't owe you a lot of thanks See 89 for this episode..

Then Diet­rich said he had heard a great shame, that somebody would not help his companion when he was in need. You evil dog, he said, go from my eyes! It would be better if you were hanged in Bern before the day is over.

Then Heime left the hall, took his horse Rispa and all his weapons, and rode away.

Detlef the Dane

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Detlef rode further south, and encountered a man who came from Amelungenland on the way to Hunnenland. Detlef asked him about Diet­rich, son of Dietmar, the king of Bern. The man praised Diet­rich, and told Detlef Diet­rich had ridden to his uncle Ermenrik for a feast. Detlef asked the man if he knew of a route that would bring him to Diet­rich before Diet­rich had reached Rome. The man told him to go via Trident Ritter does not appear to have identified Trident. Detlef gave him a gold ring from his arm as thanks, and rode on.

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King Ermenrik had announced a great feast and had invited all manner of kings, princes, and jarls, dukes, counts, and barons, and also Diet­rich and his men.

Detlef knew Diet­rich was not at home, and when the road split he considered going to his grandfather, but in the end he decided he wanted to see Diet­rich and his heroes more, so he rode after Diet­rich.

He overtook Diet­rich in the town called Fritila-Burg in the home of Ake Harlungentrost, a brother of Ermenrik and Diether, and thus Diet­rich's uncle, but the saga doesn't mention that.

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Detlef took residence in the same house as Diet­rich and his men, and Diet­rich asked him who he was. Detlef said he was Amelrich Soti's son from Denmark. Diet­rich asked him where he was going, and Detlef said he was looking for a worthy lord who would allow him to care for his arms and horse, and if that lord were Diet­rich von Bern, it would be all the better. And in return he asked Diet­rich who he was and who his lord was.

Witig spoke up, and informed Detlef that he was looking at Diet­rich von Bern himself, and Heime, and many others with him. Detlef greeted Diet­rich, and offered his services. Diet­rich accepted, and told him he was riding to the feast, and that Detlef should care for his horse and arms.

The next morning they rode on, and Ake came with them, and they arrived in Rome right when the feast started. The heroes and other lords went to the king's halls, but the squires and servants were lodged in inns, where the horses were also stabled.

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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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Now Diet­rich called Detlef and demanded his weapons and horse, and also those of his men. And Detlef said that he had to pay money first, since he had pawned them so that the servants and squires could also have a feast, and I didn't want to go to the king's dish to take food and drink, since the city is unknown to me Not entirely clear.

And Diet­rich said: Sure, but how much is it?

Well, Detlef said, not a lot, and the 30 marks I brought with me you don't have to pay, but I did pawn Heime's horse and arms, and Witig's, and your own, for 60 marks of gold. And I also gave your cloak to the chief minstrel, and also my golden ring. And when I came here the gate to the garden was locked, so that I jumped on the door with my left foot Detlef kicked the door open? and the door hit the man who was guarding it. And the men and kitchen boys who were there and offered me dishonour, so that I took one of them by the feet and killed two others with him, and I think that one is also angry at me. But I'm sure you'll understand and will talk to them on my behalf.

Now Heime thought he recognised this man from 116, but Detlef had recognised him immediately, and Heime said: Now it seems we have a servant who, even if he takes all our weapons and throws them in the latrine and then walks on them, we still have to endure.

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Now Diet­rich went to the king Ermenrik, and asked him to pay the money his servants and horses had spent while he was here. Ermenrik agreed, and told him to see his treasurer Sibich, but how much is it? Diet­rich asked him to ask Detlef.

And the king did so, and Detlef said he had spent 30 marks of his own, and he didn't need that back, but that Diet­rich's horse and arms, and those of two of his companions, would cost 60 marks to get back.

The king became angry and asked him what kind of man he was to spend so much in nine days. Or what great deeds have you done to be worth such a sum? Are you a fool or a changeling? Von der Hagen translates this to refer back to 111 where Biterolf calls Detlef the same. But the Old-Norse words are quite different.

Detlef said that it was custom for noble men to invite a guest for food and drink if they hadn't eaten yet. And the king orderded to bring him food and drink, and Detlef ate as much as three other knights. And a golden beaker with wine was brought that was so big that one servent could barely carry it, and Detlef emptied it in one gulp. And the king and Diet­rich looked at what he did, but he barely acknowledged them.

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Then a knight called Walther of the Waskastein spoke up, and he was the sister son of kings Ermenrik and Dietmar, and the best of all knights at court Ermenrik's court, I presume.. And he wondered what this man could do besides spending money and eating and drinking. Does he know anything about spear and stone throwing? Detlef said he did. Then Walther challenged him to a contest, and the wager was his head. And if Detlef refused, he would lose his life and honour, and thus he would never lose so much money or mock noble kings. And Detlef agreed, and said he would lose his life if he lost, but he didn't think that would happen.

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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.

Amelung, Wildeber, and Herbrand

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When they'd been home for a few days, a young man came there called Amelung, Hornboge's son, and he came there to his father and wanted to stay. Diet­rich received him well, and now he had nine companions.

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Now king Dietmar became ill and died quickly after, and he left life in full honour. Now his son Diet­rich took over his kingdom, and was now king of Bern, and he was the most famous prince on earth, and his name will never be forgotten in the southlands as long as the world stands.

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One day, when Diet­rich sat on his throne, and his heroes were with him, a man came there, large and strong, but without good clothes or weapons, and he wore a deep hat so that no one could see his face who does this remind us of?, and he went to the king and greeted him. King Diet­rich received him well, but asked who he was.

He replied: I am Wildeber, my family is in Amelungland, and I came here to offer uou my services and become your man. Diet­rich said that, although he was an unknown man, he still would take his service, and my good heroes here around me will admit you to their companionship.

And Witig said: No one will gainsay you, my lord, if you want to take him into your service, since it is better to take up a good knight than to refuse him.

And the king gave him a seat at his table, but before Wildeber sat down he want to the washbasin, and when he rolled up his sleeves Witig saw that he had a gold ring around his arm, and knew he had to be from a noble family, even though he looked poor.

Now Diet­rich gave him good clothes, a good horse and weapons, and he liked Wildeber. And Witig and Wildeber became good friends.

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Now king Diet­rich heard of a good man called Herbrand, who was one of the best-travelled of all men, and he had visited the great princes of the North Sea, and also in Greece, knew their customs, and spoke their languages. He sent a message to this man and invited him to come to Bern. And so Herbrand came to the king's court and became his knight, and also his counselor, and he carried the king's banner.

Witig and Heime

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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.

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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.

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King Osantrix also had a large army, and when he met the army that did not flee from him Did 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 Pole came to them and with his pole 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.

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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 separated Who? Osantrix and Hertnit, or Osantrix and Attila?, but Osantrix threw Witig in his prison.

Wildeber and Isung

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King Attila and king Diet­rich now rode home to Soest, which was king Attila's capital, and stayed there for the night. The next morning, however, king Diet­rich wanted to go home to Bern. He had lost 60 men, and Witig too.

Then Wildeber came to king Diet­rich, and requested permission to stay behind and find out if Witig was dead or alive. King Diet­rich allowed this, and thus Wildeber stayed with king Attila.

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A few days later king Attila rode to the Lurwald for a hunt, and Wildeber went with him, and many others. And when the day was done Attila went homeward.

But Wildeber staid behind with two large hunting dogs, and he found a forest bear and killed it. Then he peeld off its skin and rode home. He took the bear skin and hid it in a place only he knew about.

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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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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

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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..

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When Witig had been home for six days, king Ermenrik sent a message that Diet­rich should come with all his men to help him in a campaign against a jarl named Rimstein. This jarl owed tribute to king Ermenrik but refused to pay, and his castle was Gerimsheim. Diet­rich was happy to do so.

When Witig heard about the campaign he went to Heime and asked him to return Mimung. Heime said he was willing to loan Mimung to him for the campaign on the condition that Witig returned it to him when they had come home. Witig agreed.

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Now king Diet­rich rode from Bern with 500 men and his heroes, which he called his companions, and went to find his uncle. King Ermenrik had 6000 men with him, and then both kings with their armies entered the jarl's territory and burned everything they could find and killed many men. When they came to the castle of Gerimsheim they burned all buildings outside it, and made camp. King Ermenrik and his army lay before one tower, and king Diet­rich and his men before the other. They besieged the castle for two months but could not take it.

149

One evening jarl Rimstein and six knights rode from the castle to scout. Before he had commanded his men to arm themselves and stand ready inside the towers, and attack if it turned out the enemy was unarmed at the moment. When the jarl had found out what he wanted and was returning to the castle, he rode between the tents of Ermenrik and Diet­rich and the castle and encountered the man that Diet­rich had set on watch, and this was Witig. The six rode against him, and Witig was alone, and when they found out they were enemies they descended from their horses. Witig fought very well, and with one hew he split the jarl's helmet, head, and belly until his girdle, so that he fell dead. The jarl's men fled back to the castle.

150

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 said just now, when Witig returned had only been a joke. Witig accepted this apology, and they ended their strife for the time being It 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.

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The next morning king Diet­rich told his uncle king Ermenrik about the fall of the jarl, and Ermenrik blew the horns and stormed the castle. The men in the castle saw no solution except to surrender, and king Ermenrik granted them their life and goods, and set his relative Walther of Waskastein over them.

Then the kings rode home, and both said in their realm, king Ermenrik in Rome, and king Diet­rich with his heroes in Bern. And king Diet­rich sat at home quietly for a while, as he rarely did in his days, because he preferred to be involved in battles and duels that will be famous through all times.

Origins of the Niflungen

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A king named Aldrian ruled over Niflungenland, and his wife was the daughter of a mighty king. One day, when Aldrian was away, she was drunk with wine and fell asleep in a flower garden. A man came to her, and she thought she recognised Aldrian, but he left quickly.

The queen became pregnant, and when she once again was alone the same man came to her, and told her he was the child's father, and he was an elf. She should keep this a secret from everyone except the child, who would grow to become a great man. And when he would ever find himself in trouble, he should call upon his father. Having said that, the man disappeared.

The queen gave birth to Hagen, called Aldrian's son. When he was four winters old, the other children told him his face was like a ghost's, and when he looked at himself in water, he saw his face was as pale like ash. He went to his mother and asked why he was like this. His mother told him the truth about his father, but a woman stood nearby and overheard the conversation, and this woman later became a concubine of Diet­rich von Bern, and she told him the secret, and thus it became known.

King Aldrian and his wife had three sons and a daughter: Gunther, Gernot, and Giselher, who was still a child when these things happened I think Siegfried's death is meant here.. Their sister was Grimhild.

When king Aldrian left his realm and died, his oldest son Gunther took up the kingship.

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King Diet­rich was preparing a great feast, and invited all noblest men in his kingdom, and other men and leaders besides.

He had heard of a good warrior and king named Irung, who ruled Niflungenland. His wife was Ute, and she was the daughter of a mighty king. Once, when Irung was away, a man came to Ute and slept with her without her being aware, and she gave birth to a son, Hagen, and although he appared human, he was actually an elf.

King Irung had four sons and a daughter named Grimhild with his wife, and the king's sons were Gunther, Guthorm, Gernot, and Giselher. When Irung died his oldest son Gunther took up the kingship.

King Diet­rich had heard of him, and sent a message to king Gunther to invite him to the feast, and also his brothers Hagen and Guthorm This is the only mention of Guthorm anywhere; maybe he died from his illness?. Gunther accepted with thanks, and said he would come with Hagen, but Guthorm would stay home because he was ill. And then Gunther and his men went to the feast and were well received.

Dietrich's feast

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All these sat on one bench or platform; pall: king Diet­rich, king Gunther and Hagen, Hildebrand and jarl Hornboge. To his Diet­rich's left hand sat Witig and Amelung, Detlef and Fasold, Sintram and Wildeber, Herbrand the wise and well-traveled, and Heime the Cruel.

And everyone said that they had never seen such noble and brave men, so perfect in all virtues in one hall together.

172

King Diet­rich's coat of arms was as follows: red, with a golden lion whose head touched the top of the shield and its feet the rim. Now that Diet­rich was king he had added a golden crown to the lion's head. He had this coat of arms because the lion is the noblest of all animals, and all other animals fear it. Also it was custom that no one was allowed to carry a lion in his coat of arms who would ever flee.

173

Hildebrand the Old had a coat of arms in the same colour as Diet­rich, and on it a white castle with golden towers, and the castle looked like Bern. His armour and clothing was of the same colour as Diet­rich's red, which showed that he would never hide the fact he was Diet­rich's man.

176

Jarl Hornboge was a good warrior with sword, spear, and shield, but above all he excelled in archery and spear-throwing. Also he was an excellent horseman that he was never separated from his horse fell off it in battle or duel.

Jarl Hornboge had brown as his colour, and on his coat of arms a golden hawk before which two birds flew, and his son Amelung had the same coat of arms. It meant his knighthood, and how, like the hawk, he often pursued enemies with great speed.

Jarl Hornboge had many lands and castles, and many knights and a wealth of cattle ærit lausafé. Diet­rich von Bern had heard all this, and therefore he sent his man Hildebrand to him, and Heime with him, to invite Hornboge to come to him and on the way back they met up with Witig; 82..

177

Amelung, jarl Hornboge's son, looked a lot like his father [and carried the same coat of arms].

178

Sintram of Fenedi's colour was green, and on it a dragon that was brown on top and gold at the bottom. This was because Diet­rich had saved him from a dragon 105. And the green colour meant that his sword had a green shine, like grass.

188

Heime the Proud was a great warrior. After his duel with king Diet­rich 20 he remarked that Diet­rich's weapons and armour were wonderful, but not his horse, and offered to bring him a better one, and wagered his head that it was a much better horse than Diet­rich's current one. Diet­rich accepted, and promised that if Heime were to do this he would always be the first among all his men, except for master Hildebrand.

Then Heime rode home to his father Studa and took from his stud farm a filly, three winters old, named Falke. And this stallion he gave to king Diet­rich, and king Diet­rich rewarded him many times over.

189

Now king Diet­rich looked around him on both sides, and praised the heroes present at the feast. And he thought that, if they were all armed and on their horses, they could ride throughout the world peacefully, since no one would dare to fight against them. And if anyone was not afraid of them and attacked them, he would have condemned himself to death.

190

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.

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King Diet­rich said with great courage, that if all that was true, then stand up from this table, arm yourself, take my banner, and I and the eleven others will follow you, and go and ride to Bertangaland. And before I sleep in my own bed for another night I want to know whether they or we are the strongest, and one of us will vanquish the other.

The road to Bertangaland

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Then Herbrand went to his weapons, armed himself, mounted on his horse, and took king Diet­rich's banner, and rode into the king's court. Let's wait no longer, he said, I'll show you the way to Bertangaland.

King Diet­rich and all his men mounted, and Herbrand led them from Bern, with Diet­rich behind him and the rest behind Diet­rich, and they rode over long roads through wild woods, settlements and wilderness, to places where Diet­rich had never been, nor one of his men.

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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Although they did not cultivate it much, Witig and Etger the giant were related. Because Witig was the son of Wieland the Smith, whom the Northmen Væringjar call Völund fyrir hagleiks sakar Google Translate says 'for the sake of good fortune'. This part is missing from Von der Hagen's translation., and Wieland was a son of the giant Wade, and Wade was the son of king Wilkinus and a sea lady sjókona, as was said earlier 23. But king Wilkinus had another son with his own wife eiginkona called Nordian, who was also a king, but a lesser one than his father, and Nordian had four sons who were all strong giants: Aventrod, Widolf with the Pole, and the third was Etger, who lived in this forest, and the fourth was Aspilian, who was also a king, and he was like other children of men i.e. not a giant. In this way Witig and the giant Etger were related.

195

Now Witig rode into the forest, and he saw a man sleeping who was very large and terrible, and he snored so hard that the branches on the trees shook. Witig dismounted and tied his horse to an olive tree, drew his sword Mimung, and poked the giant with his left foot. Rise, giant, he said, and defend yourself. The man has come who will take your life. The one who guards this country for a rich chieftain should not sleep.

The giant awoke, and saw a man had come here, but he was not afraid. He said: I don't always sleep, I awake when there is need. But when you are concerned I can either sleep or wake i.e. I can kill you even in my sleep. But why did you wake me and who are you? I think you should go on your way and not threaten me, because it's too much trouble for me to straighten my legs and stand up just to kill you. And the giant went back to sleep.

Then Witig again poked him with his foot, so hard that two ribs broke, and now the giant jumped up and was angry. He took his iron pole and swung at Witig. Witig jumped aside, and the giant hit the ground so hard the pole was stuck between two rocks hanira.

Now king Diet­rich and the others heard a great crash when the pole came down, and Herbrand said: We may well have heard Witig's death, so let's ride away as quickly as we can, because if we don't we'll get killed as well.

The giant now took his spear and threw it at Witig, but Witig ran towards him and the spear went over his head and deep into the ground, where it remained stuck. And now Witig struck the giant on his thigh, and carved off a piece so large no horse could carry it, and then he struck another blow and another until the giant fell down with many wounds. And while he had no more weapons he saw he would be defeated in this duel, so he fell to the ground in such a way that he hoped to catch Witig under him and thus kill him. But Witig ran through his legs and thus escaped.

When they heard this mighty fall, Witig's companions said: Now the giant has surely killed Witig. But others said that maybe Witig had won and the giant had fallen.

196

Now Witig told the giant he would cut off his head unless he bought himself free. And the giant offered gold and silver for his head, and Witig told him to bring him to the treasure. Then the giant rose, tired and blood-soaked, and went further into the forest, where they came to a large stone that had an iron ring in it.

The giant said: now remove this stone, and you will find the treasure. Witig pulled with all his might, but the stone didn't move. Then Witig said: if you want to keep your life, remove this stone.

Then the giant perforce took the stone and removed it with one hand, and under the stone was a door, and the giant opened it and below it was a hole in the ground jarðhús. And the giant said: Now, good knight, take the the goods I told you about, because the stone no longer blocks your way.

Witig considered that, when he went into the hole, the giant might close the door behind him and put the stone on top of it, and then he might never escape. So he told the giant: Go in and bring me your treasure. The giant stepped down into the hole, and Witig swung his sword with both hands and struck the giant's neck so that his head was cut off. And thus the giant fell.

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Then Witig cut the giant's tongue out of his head and covered himself in the blood that flowed from it, then went to his horse and also covered it in blood, and he bound the tongue to his horse's tail, because he wanted to have it as evidence. Now he jumped on his horse and rode beack to his companions as quickly as he could.

Then he held up his sword as high as he could and crief: Away, my friends! The giant wounded me mortally, and you can expect the same when you don't flee now.

And when they heard this, all became afraid, and fled, except for king Diet­rich. He courageously turned his horse toward Witig, drew his sword, and called: Good friend, turn around and come with me. We must remember that we said we would never flee, even when it is certain we'll be killed, but it won't matter since we'll be together.

198

When they met each other Witig explained to king Diet­rich what he had done, and Diet­rich thought Witig had done well, as was to be expected.

When king Gunther he is probably mentioned here because he's the next highest in rank. and the other companions noticed that Diet­rich and Witig were not with them, and nobody was pursuing them, they thought Witig had fooled them, and returned to king Diet­rich and Witig, and misliked what they had done.

Then Witig said to king Gunther and the others: Dear friends, I beg you, don't hold it against me that I did not tell you the truth. I know that among you many are not less than me. But if I have done you a bad turn, then let me make up with gold and jewelry.

Then nearly One would like to know who dissented. Heime? all replied: We will forgive you, and you bear no guilt for our reaction, but we did it to ourselves.

199

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

200

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.

201

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.

204

Now king Diet­rich and Witig stood outside their tents and saw Amelung ride back. Witig said: Amelung has his horse back, and now I can guess that it was Sigfrid who came to us, because I believe Amelung asked for the horse as a gift, since they are related, and Amelung will have spoken quite humbly because he'd never have received the horse in any other way.

King Diet­rich said: He would not have taken the horse back against Sigfrid's wishes, but it could be that the man who came to us was another man, and thus by defeating a lesser warrior Amelung got what he wanted.

Now Amelung rode to the tents, and his father and his companions asked him how he'd got the horse. Then Amelung said: When I came to the foot of the mountain I found the man who had taken my horse, and I rode at him as hard as I could and hit his shield with my spear - and you can see the shield here - and my spear broke in two, but I still threw him off his horse, and I beat him with the pieces of my spear, and I bound him to a linden tree using his belt and shield strap, and I also cut my sword strap in pieces to bind him as tightly as I wanted. And I assume he still stands there, because he can't free himself. Now everyone agreed he had behaved quite knightly.

Then Witig said to king Diet­rich: I want to ride to where the man is bound, and when it is Sigfrid, as I suspect, then this was done with cunning, and if he still awaits me at the tree I'll be certain if it's Sigfrid or someone else Difficult sentence.

Diet­rich agreed, and Witig mounted and said: It's a great shame if the man you have bound can't free himself, and I want to free him. And he rode there.

But when Sigfrid saw that a man rode to him he tore apart his bonds and walked up the mountain, because he did not want to encounter the man. When Witig arrived he saw the staps lie there, and the broken spear shafts, and thought that everything Amelung had said was true, and that's what he told his companions.

205

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 Amelung said: "It was an unfortunate day ótímadagr when king Diet­rich decided on this expedition, since he himself and all his men would be bound and defeated. He should have staid home in Bern and defended his realm."

And now he called on his father jarl Hornboge and told him to bind his helmet onto his head as firmly as he could, and to bind his shield to his left hand as firmly as he could so that it could not be lost, and he swore that he'd rather be chopped as small as the smallest pieces that went into a kettle before he would be bound and the Bertanga-men would support his back with a spear shaft.

Now he took the field, and against him the sixth prince, and they fought with great courage for a long time. Amelung saw that the fight would take a long time if he didn't take some more risk. Despite his shield being bound to his left hand, he took his sword in both hands and hit the prince on the helmet as hard as he could, and the sword would not cut it, so hard was that helmet. But still the prince fell, and Amelung threw himself onto him and told him: If you want to keep your life, surrender your weapons and you'll be bound to a spear shaft like your brothers did to my companions. But if you want to free yourself, then they should let go my good friend Fasold and Herbrand.

The prince agreed, and it happened, and now each went back to his men; and the duel had gone as Sigfrid had thought it would. Manuscript A adds: And this prince was one of the least strong ones.

215

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 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

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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.

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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.

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When king Diet­rich and his men had made sure that no man in the world would dare to carry a shield against them attack them, they wanted to appoint powerful chiefs to their realms to rule and protect them.

Thus jarl Hornboge went home to Windland, and with him his son Amelung and his wife Fallburg, and they ruled their realm for a long time with honour and fame. And Sintram went east to Fenedi and became duke there, and was one of the most famous men, like his ancestors had been. And Herbrand went back to his realm, and also became a powerful duke.

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Then king Diet­rich and all his heroes rode with king Gunther to Niflungenland. And there the marriage was decided that later became famous, that Sigfrid would take Grimhild, sister to king Gunter and Hagen, as his wife, and with it half of king Gunther's realm.

And a great feast was given, and all the best and noblest men in the country were invited. And this marriage took five days and was wonderful in all things.

When king Diet­rich, king Gunther and Sigfrid sat together, Sigfrid said to Gunther, his brother-in-law: I know a woman who surpasses all women in the world in beauty and virtue frægð ok kurteisi allri, and she is above all women in wisdom and greatness, and she is called Brunhild and she rules over the castle called Seegard. This is the woman you should take for your wife, and I’ll help you This sentence is missing in Jónsson because I know all the roads that lead there. And king Gunther said he liked this counsel.

Gunther and Brunhild

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Then they rode away from the feast, king Diet­rich, king Gunther, Hagen and Sigfrid with all their men, and they traveled long and didn't stop before they reached Brunhild's castle.

Brunhild received king Diet­rich and king Gunther well, but Sigfrid not so much, since she already knew he had a wife, and the first time they met he had sworn not to take another woman than her, and she not another man than him See 168 for their earlier meeting, but no oaths were sworn by anyone..

Now Sigfrid went to Brunhild and told her why they had come, and that she should marry king Gunther. She replied: I heard how badly you kept your word, that we had promised ourselves to each other, and even though I can pick whichever man in the world I'd like, I still want you for my husband.

Sigfrid replied: What had been decided before fate? has happened now, but because you are the most wonderful woman I know, and we cannot do as we intended, I have brought king Gunther to you, since he is a mighty hero and a powerful king, and I think the two of you are well matched. And I took his sister instead of you because you have no brothers, but he and I have sworn brotherhood.

Then Brunhild replied: I see now that I cannot have you, so I will take your and king Diet­rich's counsel in this. Now king Diet­rich and king Gunther joined this conversation, and they did not part before king Gunther and Brunhild decided to marry.

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When the wedding had gone on for seven days and nights, they made ready to ride home. Now Gunther put a chieftain over the castle, but he rode home to Niflungenland with his wife Brunhild. And when he came home he sat quietly in his realm and ruled it in peace, and with him his brother in law Sigfrid and his brothers Hagen and Gernot. But king Diet­rich and all his man rode home to Bern, and they parted as good friends.

Dietrich's fellowship falls apart

240

One day king Diet­rich set out northward over the mountains, and Fasold and Detlef the Dane went with him and sixty knights, and he went to the castle Drekanfils. In this castle ruled the nine daughters of king Drusian, whose mother had died from grief about Ecke's death 100.

Diet­rich asked the oldest daughter, Gotelinde, to marry him, and the hand of the other sister for Fasold, and the hand of the third for Detlef. Drusian's daughters agreed to that.

And now a great and wonderful wedding was celebrated, and king Diet­rich and Fasold and Detlef the Dane married, and Detlef broke his engagement with Sigurd's daughter 121. The wedding took nine days, and every day more was spent than the previous one.

And then Fasold and Detlef took the realm into their possession that Drusian's daughters had held, and king Diet­rich gladly made them both dukes. But he himself rode home to Bern with his other men and his wife Gotelinde. And when he came home he sat in his realm for a long time.

Walther and Hildegund

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King Attila of Soest was rich and powerful, and subjected many lands. He concluded an alliance with king Ermenrik of Puli Why not Rome?. The two kings confirmed their alliance by exchanging hostages. King Attila sent his nephew Osid and twelve knights to king Ermenrik, while king Ermenrik sent his Walther of Waskastein, his sister's son, with twelve knights.

Walther was then twelve So say A and B; Mb. has four, but that seems too young winters old, and stayed there for seven winters. Two winters after his arrival came to Soest Hildegund, daughter of jarl Ilias of Greken, she was sent to the king as hostage and was then seven winters old. The two young people loved each other very much, without king Attila knowing about it.

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One day there was a wonderful feast and ring dance dans 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 kinsmen Unclear.

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 Reussen í 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 you retranslate.

She said: Now that I know your will truly, you shall know mine: I was four seven! 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 gate or 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.

Ake and Iron

269

Then jarl Iron rode home, but not long after his wife Isolde died.

King Attila of Soest Iron's lord rode south to Rome to a feast by king Ermenrik, and Iron went with him. Overnight they staid in the castle called Fritila, where they were received by duke Ake Harlungtrost, king Ermenrik's brother. Here Iron and Bolfriana saw one another for the first time, and they admired one another from afar, and Iron gave her the golden ring that had belonged to Herburg, king Salomon's daughter.

The next morning they went on to the feast, and Diet­rich von Bern and Witig and Heime were also there. This was the feast where Detlef the Dane battled with Walther of Waskastein 129, as has been written before.

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When king Attila went home he again staid at Fritila as a guest of Ake's. This time Iron managed to talk to Bolfriana, and they declared their love. Then king Attila and all his men rode back to Hunnenland, and jarl Iron sat in his castle Brandenborg with his men.

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A while after jarl Iron set out on a journey with his hunter Nordian and a few knights and many dogs, and they made sure they could stay away for two months. And they went hunting in the unpopulated areas, until they came in the realm of duke Ake.

Then jarl Iron heard that king Ermenrik would give a feast in Rome, and king Diet­rich had been invited as well as duke Ake. Then Iron sent a knight to the castle with a letter to Bolfriana and the message he'd come as soon as the duke had gone away.

The knight disguised himself as a minstrel and managed to give Bolfriana the right sign and the letter, and said jarl Iron would ride into the castle at nighttime.

When Bolfriana poured Ake's drink he offered her half, and she drank, and so it went throughout the evening, and she became drunk and fell asleep. The duke had some of his knights carry Bolfriana to bed, and he also went to bed. But he went through his wife's girdle and found the letter, that invited Bolfriana to come to him in the forest the night after Ake had left for the feast. But when Ake did not leave she should send Iron a message. When he had read the letter he went to sleep, and the next morning he woke Bolfriana and was friendly to her. Then he rode out to Rome.

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At first they rode south through the forest, but once they had ridden for a while Ake said that it would be incourteous not to invite king Diet­rich von Bern, who would pass through Fritila, to a meal. Thus they turned around and headed back home. They re-entered the forest, and after sunset they saw a man riding, and before him ran two dogs, and a hawk on his left hand, and he had a shield bearing a coat of arms of a hawk and a dog. Duke Ake recognised it had to be Iron, and he called out to him, and drew his sword and attacked him with his knights.

Jarl Iron recognised from the coat of arms, a red shield with a golden lion, that he was attacked by duke Ake of Fritila, and they attacked one another. Jarl Iron fought bravely, but in the end he fell dead from his horse.

Duke Ake rode away with his men, and left jarl Iron's body there, and went to a house he had in the forest to stay overnight.

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The same night king Diet­rich von Bern came to Fritila, and Witig the Strong and Heime were with him, and they staid there for the night. Early next morning they rode on, came to the forest and found a dead man, and also a horse with a knight's saddle, and the horse bit them and didn't want them to separate it from its lord. There were also two dogs who did not let them touch their lord, and two hawks came from the trees and screamed loudly.

Diet­rich remarked this had to be a great man, and then he recognised jarl Iron. They decided to bury him, and took a large tree Don't understand and made a grave and put jarl Iron and all his gear in it, and made a monument out of wood and stone.

And while they were doing this duke Ake and his men came by, greeted Diet­rich, and suggested they would all ride to Rome together. Diet­rich asked him who could have slain jarl Iron, and Ake replied he had done it. Diet­rich asked why, and Ake replied the jarl was hunting for a two-legged animal to his dishonour, with the cunning of both of them Iron and Bolfriana against his will. Then Diet­rich and Ake rode to Rome.

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Nordian and the three knights felt that jarl Iron had been away for too long, searched from him, and heard the howling of his dogs at Iron's grave. Nordian recognised the animals, and they opened the grave and found their lord Iron with many wounds, and they considered it likely Ake had done this.

They took the horse, dogs, and hawks, and staid in Amelungenland until they were certain Ake had done this. Then they rode home to Hunnenland and told king Attila the story. He set a new man over Brandenborg, that jarl Iron had once ruled.

275

Now news came to Longobardenland that a count by name of Ake Harlungtrost had died, who left behind a wife, Bolfriana, and two young sons, Egard and Ake. The older Ake was a half-brother of king Ermenrik.

Then king Diet­rich set out with a hundred knights and his good friend Witig to Rome to king Ermenrik. He proposed that Witig should marry Bolfriana of Drekanfils Bolfriana is apparently one of the Nine Daughters.. King Ermenrik agreed, provided Witig would be as loyal to him as he has been so far to Diet­rich, and he would get the castle as well and be a count. And thus Witig became king Ermenrik's count.

Dietrich's flight

281

One day Odilia, Sibich's wife, went to the queen, Ermenrik's wife, and they drank and were merry. But then she spoke of Egard and Ake Sons of the elder Ake and thus Ermenrik's nephews in Amelungenland, and how Egard wouldn't even spare the queen, and that she should be careful. And the queen became angry, and believed Egard had done her dishonour.

Then king Ermenrik came in, and drank with them. Odilia said: "Now we have west and south wind, and sunshine and warmth, and then light rain and it's clear in the east and north, what else would come but Egard and his brother Ake? No wild animal or forest bird will be safe from them." The king was silent and didn't reply.

Then the queen said: "They give peace to neither animal nor bird, and each time they come here the serving girls won't have peace, either." Still Ermenrik did not reply, though he thought about what the women were saying, and Fritila, Egard's and Ake's foster, was with him.

Then the queen said: "I myself should take care, and they would certainly do me dishonour if it were in their power."

Then the king spoke angrily: "If you are not safe from them, then they should not be safe from me. They'll hang so high no one will hang higher."

Then Fritila said that Egard and Ake would suffer because Witig Now their stepfather and protector has gone to king Diet­rich, and that if Witig would come home and find his stepsons hanged war would break out. And the king said they would hang even higher than he had planned. Fritila and his son fled.

282

King Ermenrik gathered his army. Meanwhile Fritila and his son came to the Rhine, and swam through the strong stream, and pulled their horses with them.

Trelinborg stands on the Rhine, and Egard saw them swimming, and he thought that Fritila was bringing word of trouble because he didn't want to wait for the ship.

Fritila told them Ermenrik was coming with his army, but Egard thought they would be reconciled, and he was not afraid of his uncle. Frtilia told them everything he had heard, and now the brothers sent for their own men.

King Ermenrik came to the castle, took his banner, rode to the dyke and shot the banner pole merkistöng, like Walther borrows from Attila in 129 across the dyke díki; maybe the moat, but I still find this sentence hard to interpret. Egard asked why he wanted to take their castle, and what they were guilty of. Ermenrik replied that whatever he blamed them for, they would hang from the highest tree he could find before the day was done. Ake said that they would defend themselves.

Now king Ermenrik had a throwing engine erected, and had fire flung into the castle so that it burned. Fritila said they should go out, so that they would die fighting instead of burning like mice. They went out with 60 men, and fought king Ermenrik, until Ermentik had lost 500 men. But the brothers were captured and hanged, and so they died, as Sibich had wanted. Then Ermenrik went home.

283

Witig came home, and found his castle burned, and he found his wife in a village hut. Then Witig took all his men and his possessions, and went to king Diet­rich to ask for advice. Together with Witig King Diet­rich went to Ermenrik, and asked why all this happened, and whether Witig was to blame for anything. The king replied that Witig was blameless, and that he would not think less of him. And he gave Witig the castle named Rana, and Witig ruled that castle. King Diet­rich went home, but was perturbed about how Ermenrik treated his relatives.

284

One day king Ermenrik and Sibich were talking, and Sibich said that Ermenrik should worry about his nephew Diet­rich, because Diet­rich was plotting high treason against him, and was a great hero besides. He has increased his kingdom by many cities, but refuses to pay tribute over the land your father took with his sword. While Diet­rich rules in Bern Ermenrik would get nothing.

The king agreed that his father had held the land, and that he was not of lesser birth than Diet­rich. Sibich counseled to send the knight Reinald to Amelungenland to demand tribute. The king took this counsel, and when the ambassadors reached Amelungenland they called all the men to a meeting þing, and Reinald told them about his errand.

The men said that they were already paying tribute to king Diet­rich, and that when he wanted to give Ermenrik some that was fine, but they would not give twice. And they send messengers to king Diet­rich, who came to the meeting and talked to them, and at the end he told Reinald to go home to tell Ermenrik he would never get tribute from Amelungenland as long as Diet­rich was king.

After Reinald told Ermenrik what had happened, Sibich said it was as he had feared: Diet­rich wanted to be equal to Ermenrik.

285

King Ermenrik replied that he now saw Diet­rich wanted to measure himself against him, and that he should hang before he could attain his goal, because everyone knew who was the most powerful.

Then Heime said that Ermenrik would pay for the evil he did to so many of his kinsmen, and that Sibich was the cause of it all. And Witig agreed that this was a great dishonour that would always be told as long as the world remained. And Witig jumped onto his horse and rode day and night as quickly as he could.

286

But king Ermenrik had his war horns blown, gathered his army, rode away and gathered even more men as he moved.

By midnight Witig arrived at Bern, and all doors were closed. The gurds asked who came there, and Witig named himself and asked the doors to be opened. And they did so, and warned king Diet­rich. When the two met, king Diet­rich asked what news he had, and if Witig knew why king Ermenrik demanded tribute from his lands. Witig told him Ermemnrik's army was coming, and that he wanted to kill Diet­rich, like all his other relatives. King Diet­rich called together all his men, and said they could either stay, fight, and be defeated and killed, or leave the castle, and God knows when we will get it back. And he wanted to do the latter.

287

Then Hildebrand his best friend agreed, even though it was unseemly, and king Diet­rich should prepare himself, because there was no time for more talk.

And when Hildebrand has spoken the women and children began to wail for their men, sons, and brothers, and fathers, while the knights took their arms and horses. And in that night there were loud sounds from calls and horns, and when all had armed themselves they went into the king's hall, sat there for a while, and drank wine.

Then Heime came to Bern, and told them king Ermenrik was now close by and had 5,000 knights with him, while king Diet­rich only had 800. And Heime said that they would leave the castle with dishonour, but king Ermenrik would receive more harm than good from them.

Then Hildebrand took king Diet­rich's banner, and told all to follow him. And now they, Hildebrand in front, rode to Langobardenland and Munia, into Ermenrik's realm, and they burned castles, villages, and farms, before they went north over the mountains.

288

Now Witig and Heime went back to king Ermenrik. Heime angrily confronted Ermenrik, and said that he had done many evils to his relatives, his sons Fridrich, Reginbald, and Samson, and his brother-sons Egard and Ake, and now his nephews Diet­rich and Diether, and his sister-son Wolfhart, and that Sibich was guilty of all of this.

Then Sibich said that Ermenrik had done wrong by raising Heime so high, and that it would be better if he sent him to the same forest where his father is, and minds your Ermenrik's horses.

Then Heime said that if he had had his good sword Nagelring Why doesn't he have his sword? Because he's in the presence of Ermenrik?, he would slay Sibich like a dog. And he hit Sibich on the cheek with his fist, and Sibich fell at Ermenrik's feet, and lost five teeth and his consciousness.

Then Ermenrik ordered his men to hang Heime, but Heime hurried away to where his weapons were, armed himself, saddled his horse Rispa, and rode away with sixty men. But Witig came to the doors, Mimung in hand, and no one but Heime himself dared ride through the doors. Now Heime rode into the forest, and wherever he found a farmstead or other property of Ermenrik or Sibich he burned it. But Sibich didn't dare to ride out with fewer than 60 men, and they still feared Heime.

289

Diet­rich rode northwards over the mountains until he came to the castle named Balakar that stood on the Rhine, and the mighty margrave Rodinger ruled there. And when Rodinger heard Diet­rich was coming he rode out with all his men and his wife Gotelinde. Gotelinde gave Diet­rich a banner, half green, half red, and a golden lion on it, and also a purple cloak. Margrave Rodinger gave him a horse and good clothes. Then Diet­rich rode into the castle.

290

Then king Diet­rich, together with the count Now greifi instead of markgreifi, rode to Soest and king Attila. When king Attile heard king Diet­rich had come he rode to him with his men, and with him his wife Erka, and many minstrels. King Diet­rich rode into Soest with king Attila, and sat down to a wonderful feast. And Attila offered Diet­rich to stay as long as he wanted, and to serve himself of whatever was available. Diet­rich accepted, and thus he staid with Attila for a long time.

The Wilkinen wars

291

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 now i.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.

292

When king Osantrix heard king Attila had arrived he rode out of 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 Amelungen Diet­rich'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.

293

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.

294

Now king Attila marched to Russland apparently Waldemar's kingdom, but it's a bit unclear; this is not Russia with his army, and he plundered the realms of Russland and Wilkinenland. When king Waldemar heard this he gathered his army, marched against Attila and met him in Wilkinenland, and he had a much larger army. And both armies made ready for battle. King Attila had his banner erected against king Waldemar's banner, but king Diet­rich would fight against Didrik, Waldemar's son.

295

Now the battle broke out, and they fought bravely. Diet­rich von Bern rode into the enemy army and killed Russen on both sides. But Didrik Waldemar's son rode against him, and they fought long and hard without help from anyone. Diet­rich received nine wounds, but Didrik got five, all of them serious, and in the end he was captured and bound.

Then they became aware that king Attila and his Huns had fled. Diet­rich rallied his men, and fought on.

296

Now Diet­rich and his men went to a place where a town had been destroyed, and here they stayed. King Waldemar besieged him, and they fought every day and killed many men.

Diet­rich had few men and little food. He found out when Waldemar's army had dinner, and at that moment he had five hundred knights made ready, and put half of them near each castle gate. And they sallied forth and shouted loudly.

Now king Waldemar and his men thought king Attila had returned, and they fled. Thus Diet­rich killed many men and captured food and wine. But Waldemar quickly found out which strategem had been used, and turned around and besieged the town again, until Diet­rich's men had no food but were forced to eat the horses.

297

Then Diet­rich said to master Hildebrand: We should send a messenger to king Attila, if we can find someone who is courageous enough to do so. And Hildebrand said: No one is better suited than Wildeber the hero. And Diet­rich asked Wildeber to take on this mission.

But Wildeber replied: I am seriously wounded, so I cannot ride through such a great army, although I will still fight for you. But ask your relative Wolfhart, he would be suitable.

So Diet­rich asked Wolfhart, who replied that Wildeber would be better suited, since he himself was younger and less experienced. But Diet­rich told him Wildeber was too wounded to travel. And Wolfhart agreed to the mission, but asked Diet­rich for his sword Eckisax and his helmet Hildegrim and his horse Falke, and Diet­rich granted him that.

298

Now Wolfhart rode from the town at midnight. He went straight to a fire and took a burning branch and thus rode through the army of his enemies. And the Russen thought he must be one of them, since he rode so fearlessly through their camp. When he came to the centre of the army he saw many tents, among which one that was very beautiful and expensive, and he threw the burning branch into it.

In this tent king Waldemar slept, and most of his chiefs. Now the tent started burning, and all that were in the tent rose. But Wolfhart jumped from his horse, entered the tent, and killed eleven chiefs, but he wasn't sure if he had killed the king himself, since the night was dark. Then Wolfhart mounted again and rode away as quickly as he could. King Diet­rich and master Hildebrand stood on the town wall, and were quite happy when they saw the tent burning, I suppose, and went to bed.

Now Wolfhart rode day and night until he came to Hunnenland to king Attila and margrave Rodinger. And when Rodinger saw his weapons he though Diet­rich had returned. But Wolfhart said: Welcome, margrave Rodinger, king Diet­rich sends his greetings. And now Rodinger understood it was one of Diet­rich's men, but not he himself. and he said: Thank God Diet­rich is still alive. We will ride to his aid as soon as possible. And then Wolfhart told Rodinger everything, and the margrave went to the king and told him the story.

King Attila now had his horns blown and tear down his tents Apparently they were still in the field, and turned around to help king Diet­rich and rode to the town.

King Waldemar's men noticed that a mighty army had entered Russland and told their king. And king Waldemar had his horns blown and gathered his men and rode away.

299

When king Diet­rich saw that king Waldemar rode away they sallied forth from the town and tode after them and killed many men.

And when king Diet­rich returned to the town he met king Attila with his army, and Attila was glad Diet­rich was still alive. And then the went up into town.

Margrave Rodinger said: We are sorry we could not come sooner to help you, since you were in so much danger.

And Hildebrand replied: I am now a hundred winters old Slight exaggeration, and I have never been in such danger. We had five hundred men at first, but the hunger was so fierce that we ate five hundred horses, and only seven are left.

Then king Diet­rich went to where Didrik was kept and showed him to king Attila, and said: This is Didrik Waldemar's son. I captured him in the battle, but because of our friendship I'll give him to you to do with as you please, either kill him or allow Waldemar to ransom him. And Attila said: You have given me a gift that pleases me more than two shippounds of red gold.

Then they went back to Hunnenland, and nothing more can be said about their travels until they came home. Diet­rich had many wounds and had to keep to his bed. But Didrik was thrown into prison, and he was also gravely wounded.

300

When king Attila had been home for half a year he decided on an expedition, had his horns blown, and sent messengers across his realm to gather all his men. When that was done he had eight thousands knights and many other people. But Diet­rich was so wounded that this time he could not go with king Attila to help him.

Now queen Erka went to king Attila and said: I would like to ask you to release Didrik Waldemar's son, my cousin Erka is Osantrix' daughter, and thus Waldemar's niece and Didrik's cousin from prison so I can take care of his wounds myself. And it could be that you and king Waldemar are reconciled, and then it would be better if Didrik was not dead.

But king Attila said: I cannot grant you this. If he is healthy again while I am away I may never get him in my power any more i.e. he might escape.

But Erka said: I give my head as security that he will not ride off even when he his healty. This annoyed the king, who said: Do you want to release my greatest enemy from prison and cure him? If he would get away to Russland I would lose more than if I lost Soest, because his relatives will buy his release with cities and realms. But since you offer your head as security, do not doubt that I will cut it off if you let him ride away.

Now Erka had her cousin Didrik taken from prison and had him put in a tower, and had him taken care of and personally kept watch and healed him.

Meanwhile king Attila went to Polen and Russland with his army, and he burned and looted king Waldemar's lands.

301

Now we should speak of what queen Erka did and how she healed her cousin Didrik. She gave him one of the best beds, and day after day brought him good meals, and bathed him, and gave him treasure. But she had one of her servant girls take care of Diet­rich von Bern, but she did not understand healing as well as the queen, and thus his wounds turned bad and he healed slowly, and an evil smell came from him.

When Didrik was healed he took his weapons and donned his armour, and put his helmet on his head. And he said to the helmet: You have received so many blows from Diet­rich von Bern, but I gave his as many, and he is still wounded while I am cured. And if anyone else had done this I'd have killed him, but he is such a good knight that I cannot do that when he is defenseless. But now I will ride from Soest to Russland, neither king Attila nor Diet­rich can prevent that.

When queen Erka became aware of this she asked him what he planned. And he said he had been in Hunnenland for too long, and would go home. Then queen Erka said: So this is how you will repay my kindness? I have given my head as security for you, but you don't care if I'm dead or not, as long as you get away.

Didrik said: You are a powerful queen, and king Attila cannot kill you, but when I wait for him to come home I will surely be killed. Then he went to Diet­rich and asked if his wounds were healed. Diet­rich said: My wounds are many and heavy, and they stink. I cannot ride nor go anywhere as long as I'm in this condition.

Then Didrik went to his horse, saddled it, and rode away. But that horse belonged to king Attila Odd. First the saga says his horse. Queen Erka managed to say to her cousin: Stay here, and I will support you in a reconciliation, but if you don't king Attila will cut of my head. But Didrik rode away and pretended he hadn't heard.

302

Queen Erka cried long and bitterly, and she tore her clothing, and went where Diet­rich lay, and said: Diet­rich, my hero, I need your advice. And she explained the matter.

King Diet­rich said: You were right to heal him, but you send an inexperienced woman to me, and she did not and could not heal my wounds, because she lay with a man every night, and that's not what doctors do. Now my wounds are half again as bad as when I received them. And I cannot even sit, let alone fight a man, and this is the first time you came to me as long as I laid here.

Then queen Erka cried, and she knew he was right, and she said: Good king Diet­rich, you are the best of all men in the world in courage and strength, and woe to me for not healing you, because now you cannot help me. And if I had done so Didrik wouldn't have left. Now I have no man in my realm who can help me, and king Attila will cut of my head and proclaim it throughout all lands. Oh king Diet­rich, if you were only healed I would keep my life and realm.

And afterwards she cried and repeated herself, and tore her clothing and her hair, and hit herself on the breast Symbols of mourning?.

303

Then king Diet­rich said: Bring my armour and weapons. And again: Bring my shield, for Didrik and I will meet today. When Diet­rich had armed himself he ordered his horse saddled and brought to him, and he mounted and rode as quickly as he could, but while he rode his wounds bled so that his armour and horse were all red.Now he rode to Wilkinenburg, where Fridrich Ermenrik's son had been killed 278 by Sibich's treason. On the tower of this castle stood the daughter of the jarl that ruled it, and she had seen Didrik travel, and now she saw a man ride after him, so she went to the tower as stealthily and quickly as she could.

And king Diet­rich came so close they could talk with one another, and he said: Lady, did you see a man ride past with a white armour and shield, and a grey horse? He is my companion, and I want to follow him to his realm. And she said she had seen him not long ago. Then Diet­rich spurred on his horse Falke and rode even faster than before.

Now the lady started to doubt that this man was a friend of the man that had come before, but rather wanted to kill him, and she deplored having said there was little distance between them. And she called out: Good lord, com here, I see that you are wounded. I will dress your wounds, and after that you can still ride after this man. Now your wounds bleed so much you may not reach him, but if you let me dress them you can overtake him all the quicker.

But Diet­rich didn't want to stop, and he rode off. And now she considered they were truly enemies, and that the one had wounded the other, and she didn't want to leave before she knew how the fight ended.

304

Now king Diet­rich rode to the forest called Burgwald; this forest lies between Hunnenland and Pulinaland. There Diet­rich saw Didrik and called to him: Return, and I will give you gold and silver as much as I have in Hunnenland, and I will secure friendship from king Attila.

But Didrik said: Why does my enemy offer me gold and silver? I will never become your friend. If I wouldn't be dishonoured by fighting you in this condition? you would never see queen Erka again. Now ride away, because a terrible stench comes from your wounds.

Diet­rich said: Return, there is no honour in riding from Hunnenland like this, because the head of queen Erka, your cousin, is at stake. And both of us will help you reconciliate with king Attila. But Didrik said the same as before.

Now Diet­rich said: If you do not want to return for gold or silver, or to spare queen Erka's head, then dismount and fight. And if you don't you will be called a coward by everyone, since you fled for a single man. But my horse is so good that I will overtake you anyway and kill you, and you will still be known as a coward.Then Didrik turned his horse and wanted to fight instead of flee, although he knew he was going to die. And now they dismounted and fought for a long time, and cut up one another's armour and shields. But Diet­rich became tired from the wounds he had received before and received now, and Didrik also became tired, and each put his shield in front of him and leaned on it to rest.

Then Diet­rich said: Now good friend and namesake, come back with me and we'll go home and you will reconciliate with king Attila, but if he refuses to, I will take my arms and men and follow you into your realm.

But Didrik did not want that at all. Now they fought again with great anger, and in the end Diet­rich cut off Didrik's head so that it flew leftward.

305

Now Diet­rich tied Didrik's head to his saddle and rode back to Wilkinenburg. And he saw the same lady as before that had offered to dress his wounds. And when she did so he put cloth over Didrik's head so that she wouldn't see it.

Then the jarl her father came, and asked who this man was. Diet­rich said: I don't know if I should tell you my name, because I suspect one of my relatives was killed here, but I'll still tell you I'm Diet­rich Dietmar's son of Bern.

When the jarl heard this he invited him for the evening, and Diet­rich accepted, since he was wounded and tired. And thus Diet­rich and the jarl's daughter lay together in one bed that night.

306

When day came the jarl went to his men and asked for counsel on what to offer Diet­rich for his relative i.e. what compensation to offer him.

One knight, who was a relative of Sibich, said: Since Diet­rich has come alone and is wounded, let's take his weapons and kill him, then we don't have to be afraid of him any more. But if we let him get away he could take all our towns and kill us all.

The jarl replied: If we kill king Diet­rich we will surely have war with king Attila as soon as he hears about this. And he is much more powerful that we are, so we will lose our town.

Then another chief said: Then let's invite Diet­rich to a feast and give him gifts of gold and silver, and many knights to bring him back to Soest, he will surely appreciate this. And the jarl followed this counsel.

307

Now the jarl had a feast laid out for king Diet­rich, and he stayed there for many days. Then the jarl had six of his best knights decked out in purple and other fineries, and said to Diet­rich: These knights I'd like to give to you in exchange for your good will. And Diet­rich thanked him and accepted. Then the jarl added: There is one thing I'd like to ask you, though. And Diet­rich asked him what, and said he would likely grant it due to the honour the jarl had done him.

And the jarl said: I would ask that you forgive me for killing your kinsman Fridrich due to Sibich's treason. I would not have done so if I had known the truth. And Diet­rich said: I forgive you, since you have received me so graciously. But if you had not done so I'd have avenged my cousin.

And now Diet­rich was ready to depart with his six knights. And the jarl went to Diet­rich's horse and took off the cloth and thus saw Didrik's head. Then Diet­rich mounted and rode to Hunnenland with the six knights.

And when he came home to Soest queen Erka came to him and, seeing the knights, thought that Didrik was also returning, and she was happy about that. But king Diet­rich took his namesake's head and threw it at her feet. Then queen Erka cried because so many of her relatives lost their lives because of her One would like to know about the others.

But Diet­rich went back to bed because he was still wounded, and the six knights served him from now on with honour and loyalty.

308

Now we have to speak of king Attila's expedition, and how he burned many towns and castles. But when king Waldemar heard of this he gathered all his men and rode against king Attila. Then a great battle ensued when the two kings met one another, and they fought for a long time. King Attila rode at the front and carried his banner himself. And Hildebrand led king Diet­rich's followers and carried his banner. But some of king Diet­rich's men followed margrave Rodinger. But king Waldemar had his horns blown and attacked, and many of king Attila's men fell and he had to flee.

Hildebrand and Rodinger saw this, and Hildebrand considered how well king Diet­rich's men could fight, and thus they went forwards and killed two thousand of king Waldemar's men. A count of Greken rode against them and hit Hildebrand with his spear so that he fell from his horse. When Rodinger saw Hildebrand had fallen he rode to his rescue. He caught Hildebrand's horse, brought it to him, and helped him back in the saddle. And when master Hildebrand was back in the saddle he fought with great anger, and the Reussen fled before him.

But king Waldemar had so much warriors that Hildebrand and Rodinger also had to flee. And they rode back to Hunnenland and they were not happy with their defeat.

309

Master Hildebrand went to where king Diet­rich lay, and told him: I'm happy you're still alive, but I'd be happier if you'd been healed. And Diet­rich asked him how things had gone in Reussland.

Hildebrand replied: Not well. You often told me how courageous king Attila is, but it seems to me he's no hero. As soon as we fought against king Waldemar and the fight was at its height, he fled like an evil dog, and his banner dropped down, and he took the entire Hun army with him. Rodinger and I turned against the enemy three more times, but a count of Greken, king Waldemar's brother, threw me from my horse, and Rodinger saved my life. But then we had to flee, and we had dishonour from this expedition.

King Diet­rich replied: Be silent, Hildebrand, and don't speak of your journey. But if I heal I will once more ride to Reussland and I will see for myself who will flee first, and the Reussen will not long enjoy their victory.

And king Diet­rich's wounds healed.

310

One day king Diet­rich said to king Attila: Do you remember which shame the Reussen did to us? Or do you not want to avenge yourself? Attila replied: I'd love to take revenge, especially if you'll help me. And king Diet­rich said: I'll help you. Gather your men, and king Waldemar will flee from us or die, or we will die.

King Attila gathered a great army, no less than ten thousand knights. And he commanded that everyone over twenty years of age should come to him, and thus he had twenty thousand more knights when he left Hunnenland.

He entered Reussland with this army and burned towns and castles, and laid siege before Palteskia. This town was so strong that they hardly knew how to take it. It had strong stone walls, high towers, and a broad and deep moat, and the town contained a large army, and the defenders didn't fear king Attila's army.

When king Attila saw how difficult it would be to take the town he divided his army into three: under his own banner he set ten thousand knights, and another ten thousands at another place, and he named Diet­rich their leader, and a large number of ribbalda followed them. And the third ten thousand he have to margrave Rodinger.

Now each leader made camp before the town, and they fought with the townsmen for many days, and both sides lost many men.

311

And when they had besieged the town for three months Diet­rich told Attila the entire army should not stay before this town any longer, and said: My lord, you should ride deeper into Reussland with your army, and Rodinger as well, but I will stay before this town and not depart before it is won. Or if you want to stay yourself we will go elsewhere.

King Attila replied courteously, but he considered that Diet­rich wanted to have the honour of taking this town for himself, and that the walls had already been weakened, since the siege equipment was working day and night. But on the other hand he thought that if he, king Attila, would stay behind by himself, it could be that king Waldemar could come to him to fight, and that he would lack the help of Diet­rich and Rodinger.

Therefore he replied: I have made such an effort to take this town that I cannot ride from here without placing my banner at the top of the tower, but I ask you and Rodinger not to go elsewhere, since the Reussen cannot move against us if we do not divide our army.

King Diet­rich replied: If we three remain before this town we will not gain a victory over the Reussen. So you stay before this town, and Rodinger as well, but let me go and conquer more places. And they agreed to that.

312

King Diet­rich tore down his camp and led his army further into Reussland. He laid siege to a town called Smaland, and fought with the townsmen. And when he had been there for six days king Waldemar came there with a great army, forty thousand men. King Diet­rich had his horns blown and ordered Amelungen and Hunnen to arm themselves, and they rode against king Waldemar. And they said that this day king Waldemar would die or flee, or king Diet­rich would die.

Now Diet­rich rode at the head of his army, and with him Hildebrand and Wolfhart his relative, and their friend Wildeber, and battle broke loose. King Diet­rich rode into the middle of the Reussen army, and killed men and horse on both sides, and his heroes followed him. And Diet­rich fought like a lion in a flock of cattle, and all feared his weapons, and he and his horse were covered with blood.

Finally he saw king Waldemar's banner before him, and rode to it, and hit the knight who bore the banner on his right hand so that it was hacked off, and thus the banner fell to the ground. And then he gave king Waldemar the death blow. A great cry went up from Amelungen and Hunnen, and the Reussen fled, but many were killed. The Amelungen and Hunnen fought all day, and all night, and the next day, and killed every man they saw, and only a small number escaped.

313

And three days after king Diet­rich had ridden away king Attila attacked the walls so strongly that they won the town. And the Hunnen went into town and killed many men, and took incredible riches, and they tore down the place almost to the ground, and thus was done what people who come to this town can see until today.

314

King Attila led his army deeper into Reussland to where he heard king Diet­rich was. And since king Diet­rich had gone against Smaland, king Attila came there as well, and told him what had happened.

In this town was jarl Iron, king Waldemar's brother, and he told his men this: I see two options. Either we fight king Attila as long as we can, but it's likely we cannot withstand his power. Or we give ourselves and this town into king Attila's power.

Then the jarl took off his shoes and his armour, and the chiefs did the same, and they went out of the town barefoot and defenceless and thus showed they had been defeated. And on this day the kingdom of the Reussen came into Attila's power.

Now king Attila discussed with king Diet­rich whether he should give jarl Iron peace. And Diet­rich said: I would counsel that you give peace to the jarl and his men, since he has given himself into your power, and the kingdom is now subjected to you. Do not kill them, since they are defenceless, but take the kingdom.

King Attila told the jarl: If you will serve us loyally we'll give you peace, on the advice of king Diet­rich and our other chiefs. And the jarl replied: Lord, if we'd had enough men to keep this town from your power we wouldn't have surrendered. Do what you wish with us, but we gave you the town and laid down our arms because we knew what great men you have with you. Also, the greatest leaders of the Reussen are dead, and we will serve you loyally. And now king Attila took jarl Iron and placed him among his chiefs.

315

Now king Attila called king Diet­rich and many other chiefs to a meeting landráða to decide how these realms they had won would be governed. And king Attila, with the agreement of king Diet­rich and the other chiefs, set jarl Iron over Reussland as a chief to rule the realm and dispense justice according to the laws of the land, but he would pay tribute to king Attila and give him aid as needed.

The battle of Gransport

316

King Diet­rich von Bern came to king Attila in Soest when he fled his realm for his uncle king Ermenrik. In Soest his brother Ritter postulates Diether may be his son Diether was with him. Diether was one winter old when he came to Soest, and spent twenty winters with Attila, and he was a great knight.

King Attila had two sons, Erp and Ortwin. These three boys were of the same age and they loved one another so much they were rarely separated. Queen Erka loved her sons very much, as well as her foster Diether, and so did king Attila.

317

One day king Diet­rich von Bern went to the hall where Erka lived Apparently the queen has her own hall; see also 343 with her women, and the queen received him well, offered him wine, and asked him what she could do for him. And again she asked: Why do you come? Do you have any business to discuss with us? Or do you have any new tidings?

But Diet­rich was full of grief, and water flowed from his eyes he cried, and he responded: My lady, I have no new tidings, only old ones. I remember how I left my kingdom, my good town of Bern and the wealthy Ravenna, and many other cities, and how it drove me into the mercy and protection of king Attila. And it’s been twenty years now.

Queen Erka replied: You have been in our realm for a long time and given us aid. Therefore, if you want to try to retake it, it is fitting that the Huns give you an army to help you. And I would like to be the first to offer you help, so I will send my twon sons Erp and Ortwin and a thousand knights, and I will also ask king Attila to send you help as well. And Diet­rich thanked the queen.

318

Now queen Erka took her cloak and went to the hall where king Attila sat apparently they have separate halls, and king Diet­rich followed her. When she arrived the king Attila offered her a golden bowl with wine, and asked her to sit on his throne with him, and asked her if she has any business to discuss.

Queen Erka replied: Lord, I do have business. King Diet­rich wants to go back to his lands and take revenge, if he gets help from you. King Diet­rich has been in Hunnenland for a long time and has suffered many perils for your sake, battles and duels, and has won many lands for you. So pay him back by giving him an army from your lands to reconquer his realm.

Then king Attila answered angrily, and he didn't like being asked to do so. He said: If king Diet­rich wants help, why doesn't he ask me? Or is he so proud that he doesn't want our help unless we offer it?

The queen replied: King Diet­rich can discuss this himself, but I spoke instead of him because we believed that you would more readily accept than if he had asked alone. But I will give him my not our! sons Erp and Ortwin and a thousand kinghts, and now you can tell us what you will give him.

Then king Attila said: What you said is true, and it is fitting that we offer him help now. Since you have given him your two sons and a thousand knights, I will give him margrave Rodinger and two thousand knights.

Then king Diet­rich said to king Attila: It went as I thought, that queen Erka's help would be of benefit to me, and I will take your offer with many thanks and gladness, and may God reward you.

Now this army prepared all winter, and nothing was forged in Hunnenland but swords and spears, helms and armour, shields and saddles, and all other things knights need when they go on an expedition. And in early spring the army gathered in Soest.

319

And when that army was ready it happened that king Attila's sons Erp and Ortwin, and Diether with them as well as other young knights, sat in a garden, and queen Erka came to them and said: My dear sons, I want to arm you for your expedition with king Diet­rich.

And she had armour brought to them, light as silver and hard as steel and inlaid with red gold, and helmets shining like swords, and all the nails had red gold on them, and two thick shields, and they were red with a golden banner with pole on them; and that they did not have an animal or bird on them was because they weren't yet of age to have received their knighthoods.

Then queen Erka said crying: Now I have prepared you for battle, my sons, and I have never seen two king's sons bear better arms. Now, be brave, and although I hope you will return safely, it is more important to me that you'll be called brave men and good warriors when you've been to battle.

320

Now she called her foster son Diether and threw her arms around his neck and kissed him, and said: My dear foster son Diether, see here my sons Erp and Ortwin who I have prepared for war. The three of you love each other much and always help one another in games; now do the same on this expedition.

Diether replied: My lady, your two sons and me are ready for battle, and may God help me to bring your sons back safe, but when they fall in battle, I, too, will not come home. You will not hear that they are dead while I am alive. And the queen said she hoped he would keep his promise. Then she had steel armour brought, and a helmet, and a red shield with a golden lion on it.

And now the three boys were aremed, and it is said in ancient sagas probably meant in general, and not referring to a specific saga that nobody ever saw three king's sons armed thusly, with more gold and precious stones.

321

Now Soest was filled with sounds of weapons, and shouts, and neighing of horses. The entire town was so full of men that no one could pass through, and no one could hear anyone unless they were close to them.

Now king Attila went up into a tower and called loudly: Hear me, men, and be quiet, and hear my commands. And the town fell silent.

Then the king said: Now a great army has gathered here, and now you must go as I will tell you. King Diet­rich will travel alone with his army, and my man margrave Rodinger will go with another part of the knights that I have given to king Diet­rich, and all the other men will follow my sons and young Diether. And all did as king Attile had commanded.

Now margrave Rodinger rode forth from Soest with his army. And Erp and Ortwin mounted, and in their following were duke Nudung of Walkaburg, who bore Diet­rich's banner presumably because of Diether's presence in this group?, and Wolfhart and Helfrich, both Diet­rich's relatives Helfrich's relation is not mentioned anywhere else, and the details of Wolfhart's are unclear..

And when the latter mounted queen Erka said: Good friend Helfrich, guard my sons well, and let them ride beside you when the armies meet. And Helfrich said: I swear by God, I won't come home from this war if I lose your sons. And queen Erka thanked him.

Now duke Nudung rode from Soest, and next Diether, and then Erp and Ortwin and the good knight Helfrich, then Wolfhart, and then all their warriors. Now king Diet­rich mounted his horse Falke, and master Hildebrand bore his banner and went before king Diet­rich, and then Wildeber and the warriors who followed Diet­rich's banner i.e. the personal retainers Diet­rich brought with him on his flight. And in these three groups there were no less than ten thousand knights which would give Diet­rich 7,000 knights; seems rather too much to me and a great lot of other people.

322

Now they traveled over the roads with their armies, and there is nothing to say about their travel.

When king Diet­rich had traveled with his army for a while he called two of his men and told them to travel to king Ermenrik as quickly as possible, day and night, and tell him that king Diet­rich, and his brother Diether, were coming home to Amelungenland with a great army, and when king Ermenrik wanted to defend him self, they should meet at Gransport According to Ritter the Gänsefürtchen where the Mosel runs into the Rhine at Koblenz.

And these two men rode away and didn't find Ermenrik until they came to Rome. And they delivered the message, and berated Ermenrik for his faithless grabbing of Diet­rich's realm, and warned the army was already on its way.

Then king Ermenrik had two good horses brought, and two good men's cloaks, and gave them to the messengers, and told them to ride back and thanked them for warning him, because he wasn't afraid of the Hunnish army as long as it didn't catch him unprepared. And with this message he sent the messengers back.

323

But king Ermenrik sent messengers over all his realm to gather all of his warriors, young or old, who could carry weapons and had the courage to fight. And three days and three nights passed.

And when that time was up sixteen thousand knights had gathered in Rome, ready for battle, and their chief was duke Witig Wieland's son of Fritila, and the army was equipped with strong horn bows the same as jarl Hornboge's name and black helmets and white armour.

Then Witig said to king Ermenrik: All my men have come here, and I've never brought together a larger army in less time, and they are willing to fight the Huns, but I myself will not fight Diet­rich von Bern or his brother Diether, but I must still or: will otherwise? do as you tell me.

324

And now Rome was filled with calls and shouts throughout the city, and weapons clanging, and horses neighing, and all the streets were full with warriors.

Then king Ermenrik went on to the highest tower and said: My good friend Sibich, you will carry my banner and my personal guard, and no less than six thousand warriors. And when you get to the battle, you shall stand against Diet­rich von Bern, and your men will attack his men, and it would be best if you carried his sword in your hand when the battle ends.

Then he said: My good relative Reinald Their exact relation is unknown, you will be duke over five thousand knights, and you will lead them against the Huns, and my nephews Diet­rich and Diether should be killed in this battle.

And now hear, my good friend Witig, my best duke, you shall have six thousand knights and you should not return in defeat. I would like to see Diet­rich and Diether killed in this battle, and do not let king Attila's sons get away with their lives. May God grant you victory, and may you have great fame from this war.

Then Witig replied that he was quite ready to fight the Huns and Attila's sons, but he would not harm king Diet­rich when it was in his power. Now they blew all their horns, mounted on their hroses, and rode with shouts and calls and horns from the city.

325

They followed the road northward over the mountains, and did not stop until they came to Gransport, and there they saw king Diet­rich and his army on the northern side of the river. Then the Amelungen Ermenrik's army erected their tents on the south side of the river, but the Huns on the north side, and thus they spent the night.

This night master Hildebrand was king Diet­rich's watchman, and when everyone was asleep he rode down to the river, alone and stealthily, until he found a ford in the river. He rode through the river, but before he found it don't know what that means; from 328 it becomes clear he crossed the river a man rode to him, and the night was so dark that neither saw the other until they were on top of one another.

Master Hildebrand said Von der Hagen gives this first line to Reinald Who are you, man, and why do you ride so fiercely?

Reinald Von der Hagen: Hildebrand replied: I do not need to tell you my name, since you ride alone, like I do, but I do not have to ask for your name, because I know it, even though we haven't seen each other for twenty winters. Von der Hagen adds: The man said You are master Hildebrand, king Diet­rich's follower.

Then Hildebrand replied: You are right, I am truly Hildebrand, king Diet­rich's best friend, and I will never hide that. And welcome to you, my friend Reinald, please tell me news about your army.

Reinald said: The first piece of news is, that king Ermenrik's army is led by duke Witig, your good friend, and the next Sibich, your great enemy, and I can also tell you that I rode away so silently that everybody thinks I'm still in bed, but I wanted to ride to king Diet­rich and tell him all this if I hadn't met you, and I truly wish that he will do well, even though I will lead my men against him, but I do not want to hide from Diet­rich whatever he desires to know.

328

Now Hildebrand and Reinald came to the river bank opposite the Hunnish army, and Hildebrand said: You can see a tent with five poles, and golden knots on every one, that is king Diet­rich's tent. And on the right you can see a tent of red silk with nine poles and nine golden knots, and that is king Attila's tent, where his sons and Diether sleep. And to the right of king Diet­rich's tent you can see a green tent, which is margrave Rodinger's, who wants to aid king Diet­rich nd Diether. Now I have told you how our tents are ordered. And Sibich will find out that king Diet­rich will lead his banner mostly against him, oh yes he will.

Then Reinald said: Sibich has also decided to fight against king Diet­rich. But I will lead my banner against margrave Rodinger, because the Huns who follow him are not our friends. But Witig, your friend, will attack Diether and Attila's sons, although he is loath to fight against Diether because he is king Diet­rich's brother, but it must be done.

And now they separated, and wished each other safe travel.

329

Hildebrand rode back through the ford. But when Reinald came to his tent he found there Sibich with many of his men, ready for battle. He had heard about Hildebrand's mission and wanted to ride after him and kill him.

Then Reinald said: If you want to kill my good friend Hildebrand I can get no fewer men than you have in a short time, and then you'll have to fight me rather than him, and you'll have many fewer men before you catch up with him. And it is more likely than not that he will ride his way, whether you pursue him or not likely means: he will kill the lot of you even if I don't.

Then Sibich replied: Reinald, do you want to become king Ermenrik's enemy, who made me chief of this campaign? Do you want to help our enemies?

Reinald said: I don't want to become king Ermenrik's enemy. Instead, I will fight for him, even though I fight against my relatives and friends, but I will not let you kill Hildebrand while he rides alone. You will have plenty of opportunity to kill him before the day is over, and when he leads his men I will not prevent anyone from riding against him. But it could be that he defends himself. And these words stopped Sibich and his men from riding after Hildebrand.

But Hildebrand rode to king Diet­rich's tent and told him all he had learned that night. And the king said he had done well, as before.

330

And when light came king Diet­rich rose and had his horns blown, and then Diether did the same, as did margrave Rodinger. And now all rose and armed themselves. And when they had mounted master Hildebrand rode in front with king Diet­rich's banner pole in his hands, and close behind him king Diet­rich with all his men. And they rode to the same ford that Hildebrand had used during the night.

And when the Amelungen saw this, Sibich had king Ermenrik's horns blown, and Witig and Reinald did the same, and all their men armed themselves. Witig mounted his horse Schimming and was ready to fight; and so too Reinald with his army.

Walther of Waskastein bore king Ermenrik's banner in his hand, this banner had the outer part in black like a raven's, and the next part gold, and the third one green as grass, and seventy golden bells were sewn into this banner, so that one could hear it throughout the entire army as soon as the banner was moved or touched by the wind. And behind him came Sibich with his men.

And when king Diet­rich saw king Ermenrik's banner and knew Sibich followed it, he called on master Hildebrand to carry his banner that way; and this banner was made of white silk, and had a golden lion with a crown, and no fewer than seventy bells hung from it; queen Erka had had this banner made and gave it to king Diet­rich. So these two armies rode to one another.

Then rode Reinald with his troupe; and his banner was red silk like blood, and on the tip of the pole were three golden knots. And he led his army against margrave Rodinger.

Then rode Witig with his army, and his banner was carried by the strong Runga - no giant was found with equal strength - and this banner was black, and a white hammer, tongues, and anvil on it. Against him rode duke Nudung, and he bore a white banner with a golden lion, and this banner queen Erka had given to Diether. And after him rode Diether and Erp and Ortwin, Attila's sons, and the good knight Helfrich. Their shoes were covered with red gold so that they had a glow as if of fire.

331

Now the six army groups met. Diet­rich rode in front on his good stallion Falke with his sword Eckisax, and killed men and horses on both sides, and before him rode master Hildebrand carrying his banner and slaying men with his free hand, and their companion Wildeber followed them, and many Amelungen from Sibich's army fell.

Then king Diet­rich called loudly: You have fought against the Reussen and Wilkinenmen, and we were usually victorious, but in this battle we fight for our lands and realm, so let's win great fame by reconquering it.

Now king Diet­rich rode in the middle of Sibich's army and slew man and horse, and when he had come in the middle he went back by another way, and he was much feared. And by another route Wildeber rode through the Amelungen army, and no man held against him.

Walther of Waskastein saw how much damage Wildeber was doing to the Amelungen, and how they fled for him, and rode against him and hit him with his spear in the breast so that it exited between the shoulder blades. And Wildeber struck off the spear's shaft and struck Walther's thigh in the saddle, and pierced the armour and his sword got stuck in the saddle, and both fell dead from their horses It is unclear to me why Walther would die instantly of this wound..

When Sibich saw that his banner had fallen, and the strong Walther with it, he turned his horse and fled, and his men with him. But king Diet­rich and his men pursued the fugitives for a long time and killed them all day long, and it took quite a while before he returned.

332

Witig saw that Sibich fled, and knew the Amelungen would lose if the same happened elsewhere. Therefore he pressed the attack and rode against duke Nudung, who had killed many men. Quickly a fight ensued, which ended when Witig hacked the banner pole in two with his sword and the banner fell to the ground. And then he gave Nudung a blow on the neck that pierced the armour so that head and body fell to the ground.

And the three young men saw this, and Ortwin said to Helfrich: Do you see how that evil dog Witig kills duke Nudung? Let's ride to him and not let him get away.

333

Then Ortwin bravely rode against Witig, and Helfrich with him, and against them came the strong Runga, and a fight broke out, and before it ended Ortwin and Helfrich fell dead on the ground.

And when Erp and Diether saw that the rode forward and Diether and Runga fought with great bravery, and Diether hit Runga on the helmet and went through helmet and head to the shoulders, so that Runga fell dead. But in the mean time Witig had killed Erp, and when Diether saw that both his friends were dead, he rode against Witig and wanted to either lose his life or avenge his foster brothers, and hit Witig hard and often.

But Witig said: Aren't you Diether, king Diet­rich's brother? I know you, now ride elsewhere, because for his sake I will not harm you, so go fight other men.

But Diether replied: God knows, since you killed Erp and Ortwin, you vile dog, I'll take revenge for them. and one of us will die. And again he hit Witig as strongly as he could.

Witig said: God knows I hate to do this, for your brother Diet­rich's sake. Then Diether hit Witig on his helmet, but the helmet was so hard that his steel could not penetrate it, and the sword sprang from the helmet down along the saddle bow and hit the head of his horse, and thus Schimming, Witig's war stallion, died.

Now Witig said, when he stood on the ground: Great necessity forces me to do something I'd rather not do. And now Witig took his sword Mimung in both hands and hit Diether in the back so that armour and body were rent apart and he fell to the ground in two pieces. And now the battle continued, and Witig killed many men, but also lost many men from the Amelungen.

334

The good knight Wolfhart fought with great courage all day, and he carried margrave Rodinger's banner and had ridden far into the Amelung army. And margrave Rodinger followed him. In the same way Reinald rode into the Hun army and killed many men. Now he saw what great damage Wolfhart his relative did, and his men wanted to flee from Rodinger and Wolfhart. So he rode against them and hit his relative Wolfhart in the breast with his spear, so that it exited through the shoulder blades and he fell dead from his horse.

Margrave Rodinger was close by and took the banner pole and carried his banner himself, and attacked Reinald's banner bearer and beheaded him and also cut the banner pole so that the banner fell to the ground. When Reinald's men saw their banner fall and Sibich had fled they fled as well, and when Reinald saw that he went after them.

335

Then one of Diet­rich's followers rode after the king and called: Good lord Diet­rich, turn back, that vile dog Witig has killed first duke Nudung, then Ortwin and Erp, then Helfrich, and now your brother Diether. Go back, my lord, and avenge them.

Then king Diet­rich said: What have I done that God grants me such an evil day? No weapon hit me today, and I have no wounds, but the princes are dead and so is Diether. I can never return to Hunnenland now. I will avenge them or be killed myself.

336

Then he turned his stallion Falke, spurred him on, and his entire army followed him, and he rode so quickly that nobody could keep up with him, and he was so angry that fire came forth from his mouth, and nobody dared to stand against him.

And when Witig saw that he fled, like the other men unclear which ones are meant. He had taken Diether's horse and fled to the Mosel river, but king Diet­rich rode after him. And he called to Witig: You evil dog, wait for me, I'll avenge my brother and you won't live much longer. If you have the courage to stand against one man, wait for me.

But Witig pretended he hadn't heard Diet­rich, and continued his flight. Diet­rich called again, and now Witig replied: I killed your brother out of necessity, and did it only to stay alive, and if I can pay you back with silver and gold I will.

But still he fled as quickly as his horse could go, but Diet­rich came after him. And thus Witig rode into the lake according to Ritter the lake where the Mosel flows into the Rhine, and Diet­rich had come very close. In this moment Witig sank into the lake, and king Diet­rich threw a spear at him, and the spear shaft struck the river mouth, and stayed there until this day, and anyone who goes there may see it.

337

Now king Diet­rich rode back to the battlefield, and he saw how many of his relatives and friends had fallen. And he went to where his brother Diether lay, and said: There you lay, Diether, and I rue what has been done to you. And Diet­rich took Diether's shield and threw it away, because it was all hacked up and useless.

And then he went to where the princes lay, and he said: My dear princes, losing you is the gravest harm I could have had, because how can I now return to Soest? I'd rather be severely wounded if you had been healthy.

Then king Diet­rich went away from the bodies, I suppose, and all his men had now come to him, and he said: Listen, margrave Rodinger, now bring my greetings to king Attila and queen Erka, and tell them that I will not come back to Hunnenland now that king Attila has lost so many warriors for my sake.

The margrave replied, and many other chiefs with him: Don't do that. It often happens in war that leaders lose their best warriors and still win the battle, as has happened here. So recognised you were victorious here even though you lost the princes. We will ask queen Erka to be content with that, even though she has lost her sons, and we will all make sure that king Attila won't be less of a friend to you than he was before.

Diet­rich said he would never return as matters stood now, because he had promised queen Erka to return her sons, but had not kept his promise. But then all chiefs and knights went to king Diet­rich and said: Good lord Diet­rich, come back with us to Hunnenland, we will support you before king Attila and queen Erka. But if you do not want to return, then we will follow you to reconquer your realm, and we will fight against king Ermenrik, and we will never return until you have your realm back.

King Diet­rich replied: I truly do not wish to lead king Attila's army any more, now that I have lost his two sons, and I would prefer to go home with you.

And now the entire army turned back and rode on the roads that brought them back to Hunnenland to king Attila in Soest.

338

When king Diet­rich came to Soest he went into a cooking house a small house separate from the main structure meant for baking bread and other food that required fire and refused to see king Attila and queen Erka.

But margrave Rodinger went into Attila's hall and greeted him. And Attila asked for news, and whether they had won, and if king Diet­rich had survived.

And margrave Rodinger replied: King Diet­rich is alive and the Huns have won, but still it was an evil dau, since we lost your sons Erp and Ortwin. Then queen Erka cried, and almost all who were in that hall. And king Attila asked: Who else of the Huns fell along with my sons?

And Rodinger replied: Many good warriors, young Diether von Bern, and your good fried Helfrich, and duke Nudung, and Wildeber, and many other good men and chiefs, but the Amelungen lost half as many men, and those who live had to flee.

Then king Attila said, and he was courageous under these tidings: Now it happened as before, those who are fated will fall, and good weapons and strength do not help when you have to die. And we have seen that in this expedition, because Erp and Ortwin and Diether all had the best weapons, but still they all lie dead. And then he asked: But where is my good friend king Diet­rich?

Someone replied: In a cooking house sit king Diet­rich and master Hildebrand, and they put down their weapons and do not want to come under your eyes, my lord, so bad they feel about losing the princes.

Then king Attila said: Two of my knights, go there and ask my friend king Diet­rich to come inside. He should still be close to me, despite all that has happened.

The two knights went to where king Diet­rich sat, and gave him the message. But king Diet­rich replied that his mood was so heavy and sad that he did not want to meet other people. And the knights went back to king Attila and told him what had happened.

339

Then queen Erka rose crying, and went to king Diet­rich followed by her ladies. And when she entered the cooking house she said: Good king Diet­rich, how did my sons fight before they died?

And king Diet­rich said with great sorrow: My lady, they were good warriors, and fought well, and did not want to be separated from one another.

Then she went to him, put her hands around his neck, and kissed him, and said: My good friend, now come with me to king Attila's hall, and be welcome and glad. It has often happened that men fell in battle, and those who survive must still take care of themselves. It helps nothing to bewail the dead check translation. Now come with me.

Now king Diet­rich rose and went after queen Erka into the hall. And when he came before king Attila the king rose, welcomed Diet­rich, and kissed him, and offered him a seat on the high table. And king Diet­rich accepted, and he stayed with king Attila for a long time, and their friendship was no less than it had been.

340

Two winters after the battle of Gransport queen Erka fell ill, and she knew she did not have long to live. And one day she sent a message to king Diet­rich to come to her. And he did so.

And Diet­rich said that it would be a great loss for Hunnenland if the illness would take her, and he would have lost his best friend feminine. Queen Erka said: Dear Diet­rich, you have always been my and king Attila's best friend. It could be that my illness separates us, and therefore I want to give you fifteen marks of red gold in a beaker, and a purple cloak for your festive garb. And also lady Herrat, my relative, you should marry her.

Then king Diet­rich replied: Good lady, your illness is dangerous, but may God cure you. You have shown great friendship to me, but it will be worse for King Attila; he would rather lost most of Hunnenland than miss a wife like you. And so full of sorrow was Diet­rich that he wept like a child, could not say more, and went out.

Then Erka asked: And where is master Hildebrand. Here am I, he said, and went to her, and she took her best gold ring from her hand and said they should separate as friends, and stay friends when we meet again. And Hildebrand thanked here, started to cry as well, and all who were there with him.

Then Erka had her knights call king Attila, and he went to her, and she said: Great king Attila, it could happen that we are separated and you become a widower. But you won't stay one for long, and you should take a good, worthy woman. But, good king Attila, do not take a wife from Niflungenland and Aldrian's family, because if you do you will pay for it, and great harm will come to you and your children if you do so.

And when she had said that she turned away from him and passed away.

And when it became known that queen Erka had died all people in Hunnenland wailed and cried, and all said, that a woman as good as she had never come to Hunnenland, and that no one had done as much good for as many people as queen Erka, and that no one had cried for more people than she had.

341

King Attila had queen Erka's body buried beneath the town wall, and over her grave stood king Attila and king Diet­rich and all best men in Soest, and they again bewailed her death.

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.

Grimhild's revenge

358

Quickly after king Attila prepared his journey to Niflungenland to his fiancée Grimhild, and he took five hundred knights with him. When king Gunther heard kings Attila and Diet­rich had come to his realm he rode to them with his best men, and when they came near king Gunther rode to king Attila and greeted him, and his brother Hagen rode to Diet­rich and they kissed one another, and welcomed one another as the best friends.

Now they all rode to the town of Vernica, and there a most glorious feast was prepared, and at this feast king Gunther gave his sister Grimhild to king Attila.

And when the feast had ended king Attila and king Diet­rich rode home. And when they departed king Gunther gave Grani, Sigfrid's horse, to king Diet­rich, and the sword Gram he gave to margrave Rodinger the saga just says 'the margrave', and to king Attila and Grimhild as much silver as he thought right, and they separated as good friends.

King Attila and king Diet­rich From the rest of the sentence it's clear that 'and king Diet­rich' was added' rode home to his realm, and guarded the kingdom for a while. But his wife Grimhild cried every day for her dear husband Sigfrid.

371

Now nothing more is said of their travel than that they rode on day after day, and when they entered Soest it was rainy and windy, and all Niflungen were wet. And when they came to Thorta Dortmund they met a messenger from king Attila, who had been sent to Bakalar to invite Rodinger to the feast. And Rodinger asked him news from Soest.

The man replied: The latest news is that the Niflungen have come to Hunnenland, and king Attila is preparing them a feast, and I was sent to invite you, but I could just as well return with you, since I have done my errand. And then Rodinger asked how many men king Attila expected to receive. And the messenger said: I think there are no fewer men in this company than king Attila has invited i.e. Attila has roughly as many men as the Niflungen, but queen Grimhild has about half again as many of her friends, and is gathering men across her realm Does she have her own realm? Unclear to help her. And there will be many men at this feast, and it will go on for a long time.

Then Rodinger told the man to ride to king Attila and tell him that the Niflungen and he had arrived. Then king Attila ordered that all houses in the town should be prepared, some with tents or draperies?, others with fires, and there was a big bustle in Soest.

Now king Attila asked king Diet­rich to ride out and meet them. And he did so, met the Niflungen, and they all went to the town.

372

Queen Grimhild stood on a tower and saw her brothers coming into Soest, and she said: Now it is a nice green summer, and my brothers come here with many new shields, white armours, and brave heroes, and I still remember Sigfrid's great wound. And she cried bitterly over Sigfrid.

Then she went to the Niflungen and welcomes them, and kissed those who were nearest to her standing closest to her, or those she loved most? If the latter we'd like to know who, one after the other.

And now the town was filled with men and horses, and even before there were many hundreds of men and horses in Soest i.e. it is a large, important town so that they could not be counted.

373

King Attila led his brothers in law to his hall, and had fires made, but the Niflungen did not take off their armour, and did not lay down their weapons. Now Grimhild came into the hall where her brothers were drying near the fires, and she saw their armour under their cloaks.

Then Hagen saw his sister Grimhild, and he took his helmet, put it on his head, and tightened it, and Volker did the same. Then Grimhild said: Hagen, did you bring he the Niflungen treasure that Sigfrid once had?

But Hagen replied: I bring you a strong enemy who follows my shield and my helmet with my sword, and I will never take off my armour. Then king Gunther said: My sister, come and sit here. And then Grimhild went to her young brother Giselher and kissed him, and she sat down between him and king Gunther Some manuscripts have Gernot; don't know which one(s); figure out, and cried bitterly.

Then Giselher asked: Why do you cry? And she replied: That I can tell you. I am pained most by the great wounds Sigfrid received between his shoulders, and no weapon has touched his shield.

Then Hagen replied: Let's not remember Sigfrid's wounds for now. King Attila should be as dear to you as Sigfrid used to be, and he is half as much richer, but it is not possible any more to heal Sigfrid's wounds, and what has happened has happened. Then Grimhild rose and went away.

Now Diet­rich von Bern came to invite the Niflungen to the meal, and he was followed by Aldrian, king Attila's son. King Gunther took Aldrian on his arm and carried him with him.

But king Diet­rich and Hagen were such good friends that they took each other's hands Thus Diet­rich indicates to everyone he will not fight Hagen, and thus they went all the way to the hall. And on every tower and every window, and in every garden, and on the town wall there were noble kurteisar women who wanted to see Hagen, so famous was he in all lands for his bravery. Thus they came to the hall.

374

King Attila now sat on his throne, and to his right sat king Gunther, and next to him young Giselher, then Gernot, then Hagen, then their relative Volker. On Attila's left sat king Diet­rich von Bern, then margrave Rodinger, then master Hildebrand, and these sat at king Attila's high table.

And in the hall were also the noblest of men one next to the other, and they drank good wine and feasted. And such a large amount of people were in town that all houses were filled. And they all slept in peace this night.

375

The next morning they got up, and king Diet­rich and Hildebrand and many other knights came to the Niflungen. Diet­rich asked how they had slept, and Hagen said he had slept well, but that his mood was still average.

Then king Diet­rich said: Be merry, good friend Hagen, and be welcome; but be aware that your sister Grimhild still grieves for Sigfrid, and you will notice that before you go home. And thus Diet­rich was the first man to warn the Niflungen One manuscript adds 'in Soest', which is correct, because this is certainly not the first warning.

Then they went out into the courtyard or garden; út í garðinn, and king Gunther walked on one side of king Diet­rich, and Hildebrand on the other, and with Hagen went Volker, and now all Niflungen had awoken and they walked through town.

And now king Attila went onto the balcony or window; í svalirnar and looked at the Niflingen. And many men went to see their walk, but most of all everyone asked where Hagen went, because he was that famous. King Attila looked for Hagen and Volker, but he did not see them, because they wore deep helmets helmets that hid their faces, I assume, and he asked who came with Diet­rich and Gunther. And Osid said that he thought they were Hagen and Volker. And Attila replied: I should have recognised Hagen, because I and queen Erka made him a knight Not otherwise attested; maybe around 241-244?, and he was our good friend back then.

Now Hagen and Volker went forth through the town, and they each had their hand around the other's shoulder, and they saw many well-bred women. And how they took off their helmets and showed themselves. And Hagen was white like ash, and he had but one eye.

Now the Niflungen stood out by the town wall and saw the town, but Diet­rich von Bern went back to his court, where he had business to do.

Now king Attila saw how many people there were in town, and he could not fit them all into his great hall. But since it was nice weather he had a feast prepared in his garden apaldrsgarðr; seems to mean crab apple garden.

376

Meanwhile queen Grimhild entered Diet­rich's hall to speak to him. And she wailed and wept and said: Good friend Diet­rich, I have come to ask for your help to avenge Sigfrid, I want to pay back Hagen and Gunther and their brothers. If you help me I'll give you as much gold and silver as you want, and I will also help you when you go back over the Rhine to avenge yourself on Ermenrik. But Diet­rich said: Lady, I will not do that, and if you do so it will be against my will, because they are my good friends.

Then she went away weeping and went to the hall where duke Osid was, and again she spoke: Lord Osid, don't you want to help me avenge my grief? I want to pay the Niflungen back for the death of Sigfrid, and if you do so I'll give you a large realm and anything you should ask for. But Osid said: If I did that, I would have king Attila's enmity, since he is a good friend of them.

Then the queen went to king Attila and said to him: Lord king, where is the gold or silver that my brothers brought here? And the king said he had not seen any gold or silver, but he would still treat them well as guests in his house. And Grimhild said: Then who will avenge my disgrace if you won't? Sigfrid was murdered! Now help me, and you can win the Niflungen treasure and all of Niflungenland.

The king said: Do not speak of that any more. How could I betray my brothers in law? They have come here in good faith, and neither you nor anyone else should offend them. Then she went away and she felt quite bad.

377

Now Attila went into the garden where the feast would take place and called all others in. And the queen told the Niflungen: Now give your weapons to me for safe keeping. No one should bear arms here, and you will see the Huns do so as well.

Then Hagen said: You are a queen I think he means: you are a woman, what would you do with my weapons? My father taught me never to trust my weapons to a woman, and as long as I am in Hunnenland I will never let my weapons far from me. And Hagen put his helmet on his head and bound it as tightly as he could. And all saw how angry Hagen was, and did not know what that meant.

Then Gernot said: Hagen was never in a good mood since we set out on this journey, and it could be he will prove his courage even today. And now Gernot, too, started to suspect betrayal, and recalled that Hagen had said so before they ever went on this journey, and he, too, bound his helmet tightly on his head.

Now king Attila, too, saw this happening, and he asked Diet­rich who those were that bound their helmets so tightly. And Diet­rich told him they were Hagen and Gernot, and both are brave heroes in foreign lands, Von der Hagen adds: 'And the king said'; presumably Attila and they do so from great courage. And again Diet­rich spoke, and said: They are brave heroes, and it is likely that they will show it even this day, if things go as I suspect.

Now king Attila went to king Gunther and Giselher, and took their hands, Gunther's in his right hand, and Giselher's in his left, and called to Hagen and Gernot, and he placed them all on the high table to his right, as was said before 374. A great fire had been made in the garden, and around it were tables and seats.

And all Niflungen had come to the garden in their armour with their swords, but their shields and spears they had given to their squires for safe keeping, and twenty squires were set by the door to the room where the shields and spears were kept? to warn them of treason. Hagen and Gernot had decided this.

Volker sat with the foster of Aldrian, Attila's son, and Grimhild had her chair set opposite king Attila, and duke Osid was with her.

378

At this time queen Grimhild went to the knight who was set over her other knights and who was called Irung. And she said: Good friend Irung, don't you want to avenge my dishonour? Neither king Attila wants to do so, nor king Diet­rich, nor any other of my friends. Irung asked: What should we avenge, my lady, and why do you cry so bitterly Irung is not what you'd call clued in?

And the queen replied: I remember how Sigfrid was mudered, and I want to avenge him, if anyone wants to help me. And she took his gold-plated shield and said: Good friend Irung, do you want to avenge my dishonour? I will fill this shield with red gold if you do, and you'll also have my friendship. And Irung replied: Lady, your friendship is worth more than gold. He got up, armed himself, called his knights, and unfurled his banner.

The queen told him to first go to the squires and kill them, and then make sure none of the Niflungen entered the garden, and that those who were already inside would not escape with their lives.

379

Quickly the queen went to the garden and sat on the high table. And her son Aldrian ran to her and kissed her. Then the queen said: My dear son, if you want to be equal in courage to your relatives, then go to Hagen and when he leans over the table to take something from a plate, then hit him with your fist as hard as you can. Then you will be a hero.

The boy ran over to Hagen, and when Hagen leaned forward the boy struck him with his fist on the chin Ms. A adds: so that Hagen's blood streamed from his nose on to the table, and this blow was stronger than one would expect from such a young man.

Then Hagen took the boy by the hairs with his left hand, and said: You did not do this of your own accord, and also not at the command of your father king Attila, but this is an idea of your mother's, and you won't enjoy it for long. And with his right hand he drew his sword and beheaded the boy, and he hurled the head to Grimhild's breast.

Then he said: In this garden we drink good wine, but it will now turn out to be expensive. I now pay the first part of the price to my sister Grimhild. And again he struck, right over Volker's head, and beheaded the boy's foster, and said: Now the queen has been paid as she deserves, and how you brought up this boy.

King Attila jumped up and called: Arise, Huns, all my men, arm yourselves and kill the Niflungen. And everyone in the garden jumped up, but the Niflungen now drew their swords.

At queen Grimhild's command raw, wet cow skins had been placed outside the door to the garden, and when the Niflungen ran out of the garden they slipped on the skins, and thus many men were killed, because Irung and his men stood there and killed many good hero, and already many hundreds lay dead in the garden This last clause is missing from mss. A and B.

380

Once the Niflungen understood that they lost the men who managed to get out of the garden, they turned around and fought the Huns still in the garden, and they slew every one of them that didn't flee.

King Attila stood on a tower and spurred on his men to fight against the Niflungen. But king Diet­rich von Bern went home to his hall with all his men Thus he declares his neutrality, although he was sad that so many of his good friends fought one another.

But queen Grimhild did nothing all day but bring armour and helmets and swords and shields, as many as king Attila had, and thus armed many men. And sometimes she went out into the city and told everyone to attack, and that everyone who desired gold, silver, and jewelry to attack and kill the Niflungen. This she did all day.

381

Now a sharp battle ensued, when the Huns tried to enter the garden but the Niflungen defended it; and this garden was called the Holmgarten, and even to this day the saga writer's day it is called the Niflungen's Holmgarten. Many men from both sides fell here, but from the Huns half more than from the Niflungen. But from the countryside and other twons more men arrived in Soest, so that the Huns had an army half greater than before.

Now Hagen said to Gunther: It seems to me that many of the Huns and Amelungen Diet­rich's people, but Diet­rich is not yet fighting. Besides, he doesn't have that many warriors. Odd. have fallen, but more and more Huns come in from the countryside, and their heroes don't show themselves; we only fight with their servants þræla þeira. But our biggest problem is that we can't get out of this garden. If we did, we could decide whom to fight ourselves, but without escaping the Niflungen must fall to the Huns' spears and arrows, since we cannot use our swords agains them This makes clear that the Niflungen now fully occupy the garden, but the Huns are shooting from the tower and maybe the walls around the garden.

A stone wall stood around this garden, as strong as a city wall, and this same wall is still around today in the writer's days. Now Hagen and the others went to the west side of the garden, where the wall was weakest, and they started to tear down the wall until an opening was made. Quickly Hagen jumped through the opening, and there was a wide street there with houses on both sides. Gernot and Giselher followed him with many Niflungen, and advanced between the houses. But duke Osid and his men came against them, and fighting commenced.

382

Now the Huns let their horns sound, and shouted that the Niflungen had escaped the garden. All Huns hurried to the fight so that all streets were filled with them, and the Niflungen were outnumbered and driven back into the garden.

But Hagen sprang up to the hall A hall generally has a kind of veranda around it, higher than the ground, and Hagen is standing on it. It's unclear which hall this is, though and put his back against the doors, and put his shield in front of him, and he struck one man after the other with his hand sword, I presume and chopped off hands, feet, and even some heads, and some were hacked in two, and no one came near him without meeting such a fate non-literal; at eigi hefir þvílíka kaupferð, and there was such a great throng of people that those who fell barely had space to reach the ground, and Hagen defended himself so well with his shield that he was not wounded.

And to the left side of the Niflungen To the left of the garden where the Niflungen were driven back in to, or to the left of Hagen? stood Diet­rich's hall, and he himself stood on the battlements, with his men all armed still neutral, but observing the battle.

Now Gernot, Giselher and Volker turned from the street to the hall Diet­rich's hall and put their backs against it, and defended themselves and killed many men.

Then Gernot said to king Diet­rich: When will you come with your men to help us? You cannot let so few fight against so many! And Diet­rich replied: My good friend Gernot, it saddens me to see this storm i.e. battle take place. I will lose a good many friends here, but I can't do anything. I do not want to fight against the men of king Attila, my lord, but I also do not wish to harm the Niflungen in any way.

383

Now king Gunther knew that Hagen, Gernot, and Giselher, his brothers, had sallied forth from the garden, and also that a much larger army of Huns had attacked them. All of them except for the heroes, who are with their backs against halls now fled back into the garden. King Gunther had been defending the eastern gate i.e. the one that had been there all along, with the raw cow hides where Irung and his men stood. When king Gunther heard that Hagen needed his help he went out of the west opening with his men. But outside were many fully armed Huns remember: the Niflungen are still not fully armed; they never got their spears and shields, and had to scavenge them from the battlefield, something the men inside the garden had been unable to do and a sharp battle ensued. King Gunther advanced, but none of his men were so strong that they could follow him.

Now duke Osid, king Attila's nephew, came against king Gunther, and they fought long and hard until night fell. And because king Gunther was all alone in the middle of the Hun army, and had to fight against their greatest hero, he was overwhelmed and taken prisoner. He surrendered his weapons and was bound. And when the Huns had scored this great victory they started a great shouting. And king Attila and the queen called that they should not kill Gunther but bring him to them, and Osid led Gunther before Attila's knees i.e. Gunther was forced to go to his knees. And at the queen's counsel the king stood and with a great many people brought Gunther to a tower Ms B: snake tower and threw him in; and there were poisonous snakes there, and here Gunther died. This tower still, add mss. Sv and A stands in the middle of Soest.

384

Now Hagen and Gernot heard the Huns call that king Gunther had been taken prisoner. Hagen became so angry that he jumped from the doors down onto the street and struck Huns with both hands, and no one dared to stand before him. When Gernot saw that he also jumped on to the street and hewed Huns with both hands, and his sword stopped nowhere but in the ground. And Giselher followed him and killed many men with his sword Gram. And they distinguished themselves so much that no Hun dared to stand before them, and they fled. And now the Niflungen came forth from the garden on to the street, and they shouted that the Huns were cowardly dogs who ran when the Niflungen wanted to avenge themselves. And they spread through the town and killed them men they encountered, and it was night and quite dark. And the Huns fought them only? in groups.

King Attila went to his hall and had the house closed and guarded, so that the Niflungen could not do anything there. And margrave Rodinger went to king Diet­rich's hall thus indicating that he, too, was neutral and stayed there for a while. And duke Osid and his men and Irung and his men also went to halls. That night, a multitude of men Hunnic reinforcements? Or the Niflungen on their killing spree? rushed into town. And now it was dark.

389

Now king Diet­rich saw that margrave Rondinger was dead, and he called loudly: Now my best friend is dead I can no longer keep still. Take your arms, men, and I will now fight against the Niflungen.

Now Diet­rich went forth from his hall, and in German songs it is said that worthy men were not there something like: made sure not to be around; but this is a difficult sentence when Diet­rich and the Niflungen clashed. And all over town they heard how Eckisax sang on Niflungen helmets, and Diet­rich was very angry. The Niflungen defended themselves well and killed many of the Amelungen, king Diet­rich's men, but they themselves also fell in this battle This sentence is missing from Von der Hagen.

Now Diet­rich advanced so much with his men that Hagen von Troja First time this nickname appears; clearly related to the Nibelungenlied's von Troneck retreated with his sword into the hall. With him where Giselher and Gernot and Volker, and king Diet­rich and master Hildebrand went towards them.

Now king Diet­rich entered the hall, and Volker stood in the door and defended it, but Diet­rich's first stroke hit his helmet so that his head flew off. Then Hagen attacked him and their duel started.

And master Hildebrand attacked Gernot, and they fought, but Hildebrand killed Gernot with strong Lagulf Apparently his sword's name; not attested elsewhere.

And now there were only four in the hall who carried weapons: Diet­rich and Hagen in their duel, and Hildebrand and Giselher.

390

Now king Attila descended from his tower and went to the fighting. And Hagen said to him: It would be a brave man's work, king Attila, if you gave young Giselher peace. He is innocent of Sigfrid's death, because I alone gave him the fatal wound. So do not hold Giselher responsible for it, he could become a good warrior if he lives.

But Giselher said: Don't tell me not to defend myself. My sister knows that I was but five years old when Sigfrid was killed, and I was in bed with my mother, and I am not to blame for this struggle. But I do not want to live alone among my brothers.

And Giselher jumped to master Hildebrand and gave him one blow after the other, but their duel ended as one could suspect, that master Hildebrand gave him a fatal wound. And so Giselher fell.

391

Then Hagen said to king Diet­rich: It seems our friendship will end like this, and one of us most lose his life here. But let us fight bravely, and let neither of us insult the other with his ancestry See 169 for Hagen; an unusual ancestry is not mentioned anywhere for Diet­rich, but see Hagen's remark later. And Diet­rich replied: I want no man's help in this duel; now let's fight with art and courage með list ok drengskap.

They fought long and hard, and it was difficult to see which one would win, and the duel went on for so long that both became wounded and tired. And now king Diet­rich became angry at having to fight one man for so long, and said: This is truly a great shame, that I stay here all day to fight with an elf's son.

And Hagen replied: What's worse, an elf's son or the devil himself?

And now king Diet­rich became so angry that fire came from his mouth, and Hagen's armour became so hot that it glowed, and it did not protect him, but burn him instead. And Hagen said: Now I will give up my arms. I burn through my armour, and if I had been a fish instead of a man, I'd be so fried that my flesh would be edible.

Then king Diet­rich gripped him and tore off his armour.

392

Grimhild took a big branch from where the hall had burned above Hagen, and went to her brother Gernot, and put the branch in his mouth to find out if he was dead or alive, but Gernot was truly dead. Then she went to Giselher and did the same, but he wasn't dead yet, and so Giselher died.

Now king Diet­rich von Bern saw what Grimhild was doing, and said to king Attila: See how this devil Grimhild, your wife, torments her brothers, and how many have died for her sake, Huns and Amelungen and Niflungen, and if she can she will kill you as well.

And king Attila said: She is truly a devil, so kill her, and it would have been better if you'd done so seven nights ago. And king Diet­rich went to Grimhild and cut her in two.

393

Now king Diet­rich went to Hagen and asked if he could still be healed, but Hagen said he might live a few more days but there was no doubt he would die from these wounds.

Now king Diet­rich had Hagen carried to his hall, and had his wounds tended to. And he gave Hagen his relative Herrat to tend to his wounds. And in the evening Hagen asked Diet­rich for a woman for his last night, and Diet­rich did so.

And in the morning Hagen told this woman: It could happen you get a son from me, and he should be called Aldrian. And here are keys you will keep and give to the boy, for these keys go to Sigfrid's cellar, where the Niflungen treasure is Foreshadowing 423-427. And then Hagen died.

And thus the Niflungen had ended their lives, and also the most powerful men in Hunnenland except for king Attila, king Diet­rich, and master Hildebrand. In this struggle a thousand Niflungen fell, and four thousand Hunnen and Amelungen. And German men say that no battle has been more famous in old sagas than this one. And after the battle Hunnenland was empty of men for king Attila's remaining days.

Now queen Erka's prophecy 340 was fulfilled, that the Huns would lose greatly if Attila married a Niflung.

Status: summary of 194 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)