Summary of the Thidrekssaga

Search for chapters:

See all parts of the saga.

Hildebrand and Heime

18

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.

19

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.

20

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

82

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.

87

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.

88

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.

89

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.

90

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.

91

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.

Journey to Osning

96

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.

97

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.

Witig and Heime

108

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.

109

Heime went northward to the mountains, several days on unknown roads, and he wondered what kind of heroic deed he would do.

Then he heard of a man called Ingram, a powerful robber and warrior. He was mostly to be found in the Falsterwald, and had ten companions. This Falsterwald lies between Sachsenland and Denmark. Ingram had a feud with a duke in Sachsenland, and did as much damage as he could.

Heime decided to look for this Ingram, and when he found him Ingram took him among his companions. Now they lived in the forest and did many evil deeds.

110

It is said that some merchants traveled from Sachsenland to Denmark, nd they carried many goods, and they were with 60 men, and believed that no one would be able to attack them. They traveled into the Falsterwald.

When the robbers had discovered them, Ingram said: See, even though they are with many, those who call themselves heroes will be able to take their riches. So they armed themselves and rode to the merchants. The merchants readied their swords, spears, and shields, and battle begon.

It didn't take long before Ingram and his companions were victorious, and they had no dead on their side, but they didn't stop before all 60 people were dead. Then they took their wares, weapons, and horses, and were very content with their actions. And they considered themselves more famous than before, and that they had won against a great many more people Neatly sets the stage for 116. Heime, too, considered himself braver than before.

Detlef the Dane

116

That day Heime kept watch for Ingram and his companions, When he saw them, he reported back and said that their helmets were well-made, and that the robbers had their work laid out for them.

Ingram decided that they didn't all have to go, five men would be enough. But father and son fought mightily, and after a while all five lay dead on the ground. When Ingram saw that he ordered everyobody to attack, but Biterolf cleaved Ingram's helmet and head while Detlef killed two men. And they didn't stop until all robbers but Heime were dead. Now Heime hit Biterolf on the helmet so that he fell unconscious, but Detlef hit him on the helmet, and Heime sank to one knee. Quickly he recovered, sprang on his horse and rode as quickly as he could, all day long, and was glad he was still alive. He said, what many have proven, that the best piece of iron was the spur, since it saved him that day, and many others did the same.

But when Heime came to a river his stallion Rispa sprang so mightily that Heime flew off him. And it is said that there was a watermill there, and it was milling, but Heime heard the sounds as "hit, hit, strike, strike", and he rode day and night until he came back to Bern. Here he reconciled himself with Diet­rich, and became his follower again.

Biterolf and Detlef took all gear from the dead robbers, and took them home, and they had achieved great honour.

124

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.

125

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

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

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

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

126

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.

Witig and Heime

136

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.

146

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

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

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

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

147

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.

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.

Dietrich's feast

171

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.

174

Heime the Great mikilláti had a blue coat of arms, and on it a white horse. The colour blue denoted his cold breast and cruel heart, and the horse the craft of his relatives horsebreeding; see 18 as well as the fact he was the best rider riddari; or knight?.

175

Witig the Strong, Wieland's son, used a white colour in his armour, and on his coat of arms was a red hammer and tongs and three carbuncle stones to denote his descent, for his father was a smith, and the three precious stones denoted his mother. A dragon of red gold crowned his helmet.

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..

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.

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.

207

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.

221

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.

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.

273

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.

Dietrich's flight

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.

Status: summary of 36 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)