Merovingians by the Svava
by Rolf Badenhausen

Date: 2014-07-16
| Update History |

The revising literary research into Old Norse and Swedish traditions, as initiated by the late Heinz Ritter-Schaumburg, PhD, might motivate not only experts in Late Antiquity and pre-medieval times to take note of some new interesting context: The Old Norse 'Þiðreks Saga' and Old Swedish 'Didriks chronicle', closely related to the saga of Dietrich von Bern, seem to throw back certain narrative light from Frankish history especially provided by Gregory of Tours, Fredegaire, and the 'Chronicle of Frankish Kings'.

'Svava' translation cover
Contradicting scholastic conviction, Ritter has evaluated the medieval Old Swedish texts he shortly called Svava, catalogued as Skokloster-Codex-I/115&116 quarto, E 9013 at the 'Riksarkivet' Stockholm, as more objective copy from an early but unknown archaic manuscript being prior to the longwinded narrating Thidreks saga which, however, is of surviving elder version and sometimes rendering more topographical information.(1) As the late expert was able to prove by means of his numerous German publications and lectures, these manuscripts cannot mean King Theoderic the Great mainly for topographical reasons, but rather provide narration related to an equally named Frankish king, the Old Swedish Didrik, who started his rise at 'Bern(e)' in the northern Rhine-Eiffel outland.(2)
Heinz Ritter's basic reference for his verbatim translation is SAGAN OM DIDRIK AF BERN efter svenska handskrifter by Gunnar Olof Hyltén-Cavallius, published at Stockholm, 1850–1854. Publisher of the Svava in German language: Otto Reichl Verlag, St. Goar, Germany. Hyltén-Cavallius classified at first the Old Swedish manuscripts as obvious prosaic krönikan. Henrik Bertelsen and Bengt Henning also shared this evaluation ('Didrikskroniken', 1905–1911; resp 'Didrikskrönikan', 1970).

Nevertheless, regarding a circumspect re-evaluation of the aforementioned and other known records of occidental antiquity, we have to contemplate a sharp natural limit that was previously forming the big border between the Roman Empire and Germanic tribes, and, especially in narrative sense later again, the Franks and more eastern folks: The Rhine. Apparently, our first Frankish chroniclers would hardly cross that river to have a look at the outlandish tribes beyond; and almost all their foreign colleagues seem to have left an almost blank sheet about their history, particularly from the times after the downfall of the Roman Empire to Charlemagne.

     The original narrative geography
Heinz Ritter's primal geographical terminology of Thidreks saga and Old Swedish Didriks chronicle represents an interesting result of his diligent verification of intertextual location and river names. With respect to the localization of Bern, the 1st Century Roman Eiffel Map (issued by Kurt Stade) provides a Roman based mining location nowadays called Breinig ('Breinigerbg.') at the exceptional Gallic-Roman temple site VARNE  (VARNVERNBERN).(3) Although the contemporary name of adjacent Breinig was not handed down, its current spelling could be based on derivation from eg Varneniacum → Bareniacum → Bereniacum.(4)
Some important locations of Didriks chronicle and Thidreks saga
Some important locations of Didriks chronicle and Thidreks saga. VARNENUM has been excavated at Kornelimünster, suburban location of Aachen (the Roman AQUAE GRANNI), place of residence of Charlemagne.
There is no passage in the Old Norse and Swedish manuscripts connecting Thidrek/Didrik of Bern genealogically with the so-called Amals or Amalings, as these texts do refer to this German Eiffel folk rather in geographical context! Regarding Dietrich's follower Amlung, son of Hornboge: cf Ritter, Dietrich von Bern, 1982, p. 296, en 77. Since the earlier and/or in Migration Period insufficiently recorded ancestors of Sayn-Wittgenstein dynasty have been estimated between Westfalia and the Confluentes, Widga (spelling by Fine Erichsen, cf Thule edition) must not necessarily come from the other side of the Alps; cf Mb 282–283.
As Ritter basically implies, the medieval scribes of Didriks chronicle and Thidreks saga preferred the usage of location names currently known or, related to available contemporary (con)texts of 5th–6th century, later known as. Some location names in these manuscripts are not provided by other records of Migration Period and Middle Ages, whereas many other geographical expressions can be recognized in several sources. For example Bardengau (→ Berdengau )Bertanga, the former localized on the Lower Elbe in connection with Saxon War campaigns of Charlemagne, the latter being used by the scribes of the Old Norse and, with some spelling derivation, Old Swedish texts. Örlunga ('Harlungen') region, as shown on this map, includes the former Brisiacum (Lat) which is in current German spelling (Bad) Breisig.
Regarding historical records with limitations to less comprehensive context, Ritter also subsumed that name giving to locations, their etymological history and early historical events could have taken place even before their  'first certified documentary mention' available.

Since Heinz Ritter has thoroughly translated the Old Swedish Didriks chronicle into German language and reviewed the Thidreks saga manuscripts, the regions of today's North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, Jutland, and western Baltic territories appear as the real locations focused by antique and medieval historiographers who enticingly forwarded lifetime events related to a king of obvious Franco-Rhenish descent.
Ancient Seal of Trier - 'Roma secunda'
An ancient seal of Trier on the Moselle, 11th century.

Nonetheless, we must carefully study their records to find some synchronous or completing passages about Frankish Rhine politics of 5th and the first third of 6th century. Regarding the Rhine again as dominant natural and cultural border, they seem to have had nearly the same limited geographical horizon of recitation as their Frankish colleagues vice versa. Thus, besides primal geographical terminology, we have to interpret the Old Norse and Swedish writers' farthest known southern centre ROME as 'Roma secunda', whose spelling, localization and significance is unmistakably provable as the Roman Augusta Treverorum(5) through both historical and geostrategical contexts. However, we should not expect a detailed recitation of the Merovingian bloodline from Didrik's 'biographers' who certainly were not crossing the Meuse westwards, therefore providing fragmentary views, and we also should keep an eye on the right sequence of more than 300 chapters written by the scribes of the Didriks chronicle and Thidreks saga.
Porta Nigra, Trier on the Moselle - 'Roma secunda'
Porta Nigra, Trier on the Moselle - 'Roma secunda'
Imperial Bathes of Roman Empire and Frankish Kingdom, Trier on the Moselle - 'Roma secunda'
Imperial Bathes of Roman Empire and Frankish Kingdom, Trier on the Moselle - 'Roma secunda'
The Emperor Hall 'Basilika', Trier on the Moselle - 'Roma secunda'
Trier on the Moselle with the Porta Nigra and the ruins of the Roman 'Imperial Bathes' which the succeeding Franks had taken and extended for their 'Kings Palace'. The Emperor Hall or 'Basilica', Throne Hall of Constantine I, is largest surviving single-room structure from Roman era. (All these buildings are declared World Heritage of the UNESCO.)

      King Theuderic I = King Didrik of Bern
Svava script
Transcript Gregory of Tours
A photocopy from 'Svava' MS, book page of medieval Skokloster folio.
Gregory's text, a book page of medieval copy.

Since the Didriks chronicle or the Svava and its derived epic novel Thidreks saga, as Ritter prefers this literary classification (cf Der Schmied Weland; posthumously published by Olms, Hildesheim 1999), like to put forward some coherent historical information and relations upon large territories of today's Central and North Europe, we should assume with him that these texts would basically not prefer depiction of any less important provincial antics against more reasonable reports on superior events. Evaluating Ritter's schedule and the momentous context of the Old Norse and Swedish manuscripts on such level, we finally will be confronted with the impasse of not enough geographical, temporal and personal space for Theuderic and (not or) Didrik!

It has been considered that

-   Didrik, Franco-Rhenish king, died c. 535 according to Ritter's estimation;
-   Theuderic, not only Franco-Rhenish king, died at the end of 533.

Kemp Malone, Franz Joseph Mone (reputed German historian of 1st half of 19th century) and Karl Simrock (well-known German translator of the Nibelungenlied and the Elder Edda) identify 'Dietrich von Bern' with Theuderic I. Hermann Lorenz, following Simrock who declares Theuderic as the prototype serving for Ostrogothic Dietrich epics, states [transl:] 'Theuderic utterly dragged into the cycle of the Gothic Dietrich saga'.  (GERMANIA 31 [19, 1886]: Das Zeugniss für die deutsche Heldensage in den Annalen von Quedlinburg; pgs 137–150, cf p. 139.) Karl Müllenhoff, another 19th-century scholar, tries to discern Thidrek of Bern as an amalgamation of Theuderic with Theoderic the Great (Die austrasische Dietrichsage; ZfdA 6, 1848; pgs 435–459). Regarding newer publications, Helmut G. Vitt renders short but astute initial intercessions for Didrik/Thidrek = Theuderic I and Samson = Childeric I : Wieland der Schmied; ISBN 3 925498 00 1, pgs 127–138.

However, all these authors do not provide detailed studies supporting their opinion.(6)

We must state deficient biographical information about that young Theuderic before 507 and, again, c. 523. He is mentioned as most talented son of C(h)lodovocar I or 'Clovis' in the texts written by Bishop Gregory of Tours, principal Frankish chronicler whom we obviously (seemingly?) have to credit with truth telling, and who might appear to some item more informative than the pseudonymous Fredegaire.

Unfortunately, Gregory has not left a line to find the answers to these urgent questions about this Franco-Rhenish king:

May a clerical raconteur punish Theuderic with a certain portion of ignorance, since he has taken him for a son of any heathen concubine?
Has that skilled young man kept a respectable distance to his rude and bloodthirsty father?

Fact is that King Clovis could rely on Theuderic for daring missions, eg against the Visigoths. On the subject of this operation, the history reveals that only the powerful appearance of King Theoderic the Great could stop the conquests made by Theuderic in 507/508. Nonetheless, we certainly may wonder how much Gregory did discriminate him against Clovis' sons Chlothar, Chlodomer and Childebert, whose mother was the honourable Saint Clotilde of Burgundian dynasty; and we may also wonder whether Theuderic trained his skilfulness and sophistication by keeping out of Clovis' gory ways. Thus, we may consequently ask: Did that young-aged man rather turn to an adventurous eastern border area of the Franks? We must think of great possibility that he could have received a certain part of Rhenish territory as operation base and place of residence from his father and/or the local leader of this area – that large region which Theuderic actually inherited later as part of eastern Frankish territory: Bern, apparently localized in the region covering German towns Aachen and Bonn, was an excellent geographical point of that area, good or the best place for Theuderic 'and' Didrik to start any exiting exploration into the dangerous depth of miraculous woodlands beyond the Rhine, where all those Roman Eagles were driven back or torn into bits and pieces just a few centuries ago. Bern was the eminent place for the young Theuderic to observe Franco-Rhenish residence of Cologne and same good location for King Didrik to ride out to his good friend King Atala (diminutive form of Ata = father; spelled 'Aktilius', 'Atilius' in the Old Swedish manuscripts; eg 'Attala' in Icelandic MS B residing some dozen miles away at one of the most important settlements on a territory of today's Westphalia: Susa (Susat) – Soest.
However, referring again to both questions above, we are leaving at this point Gregory's Frankish horizon of recitation for real barbaric outland.

     Some literary and historical environments 


The manuscripts report that one day King Ermenrik expelled Didrik from his Bern residence. He immediately fled to King Atala for that reason. After '20 years' (more likely 2 years → c. AD 510, Ritter by counting up these '20 years' → AD 515) Didrik goes out to meet martially his kinsman Ermenrik. Didrik's messengers finally find him at Roma II (Trier on the Moselle) where Ermenrik, being informed likely earlier than expected, prepares for the counter-attack (Sv 272–273, Mb 322–323). As all manuscripts unmistakably provide, Didrik has to take high losses in the battle on Moselle's location the literati call 'Gransport' or 'Gronsport'.

It seems not unproblematic to chronologize this campaign. The writers of the Old Norse and Swedish texts connect the age of Didrik's brother 'Thetmar', aged '20 years' at that time, with the interim period of exile. However, it appears less believable that Didrik would have waited  two decades for the first real opportunity to regain his kingdom. Since Sv 355 and Mb 413, both the last chapters numerically taking up Didrik's expulsion, are making this span unbelievable (see farther below), the age of Didrik's brother might have inspired the primary narrator to enlarge Didrik's interim period of exile on a grand scale.

Map of Koblenz, 1806
The Gänsefü(h)rtchen, diminutive form of 'Gänse-furt', is evident historical nickname of a notable historical rapid localized nearly one mile before the Moselle's mouth. Ritter underlines that this name cannot originally derive from a ford that geese (Gänse) formerly used to cross the river at that very place. He rather estimates the concave rock of the rapid filled or covered with stony grant (cf Engl: 'gravel', 'granule') for the original name based upon spelling like Grantfurt. Ritter also notes well that Rauenthal (Raven → Raben -tal) indicates the obvious real location for detracting epics dealing with the battle known as the Rabenschlacht.
(Cartographic detail by Tranchot & von Müffling, 1806. The rapid's name and position was added by Ritter who refers to the research of Dr Fritz Michel, eminent local historian of Koblenz.)

Confluentes: The panoramic copperplate engraving by Möbius (1820) provides a view from the east bank of the Rhine to the hills of traditional Hunnenkopf ('Huns Head' field) on the left. The Moselle's mouth on the right appears as a lake (= Germ: See) in high-water times. See also the author's comprehensive article catalogued at the National German Library DNB: Die Mosel im Licht von Thidrekssaga und Dietrich-Chronik.
Koblenz, 1820

      More literary facts:

Didrik's ancestor Samson started his expansive politics from the same area as Childeric I: North-eastern Gaul. Samson's region included also 'Appolij' (not Apulia!), nowadays the Dutch Peel north of the Hesbaye which is neither southern 'Hispania' nor Spain (!), as the authors of the Old Swedish and Norse texts certainly provide Hispania between the western foreland of the Eiffel and the northern fringe of the 'silva carbonaria', a woodland frequently mentioned in Roman and Frankish historiography. Samson was written down of 'Salerni', which can express corresponding relation to the Salian Franks and certain delicate affairs in their obvious 5th-century region being ascribed also to Childeric's activities. As the writers of the Svava and Thidreks saga relate in their early chapters, he seduced the daughter of a local ruler and went with her into an interim refuge for that reason. They also note well that Samson had remarkable black hair and an impressing beard.(7) He slew two noble brothers of 'Salerni', the literary Salvenerias by Ritter's research. Mentioned as dux and king of 'Salerni', at that time already grey-bearded, he decided to move martially to the Rhine-Eiffel lands. There he had impudently demanded 12 free-born virgins, daughter 'Odilia' of the Bern ruler, and some other tributes from him.
Samson, accompanied by his son and successor Ermenrik, died on his martial way to Roma II.

Considering the years 470 to 480 of Ritter's schedule, Ermenrik was capturing Roma II at the same time when the Franks were conquering Trier on the Moselle (c. 480).

In 486/487, for the first time, Clovis had good reason to call out 'Great Kingdom of the Franks' after the martial removal of Syagrius, last Roman governor of Gaul. Only a short time before and after this event Ermenrik called in his kinsmen, chieftains, mighty followers to his first and second 'Imperial Diet', a colloquium of obvious Frankish leaders and some jovial guests at the Roma 'cisalpina'.
'Imperial Diet':
 I: Sv 124, in greater detail Mb 123–124.
II: Sv 227, Mb 269.
Cf HISTORIA WILKINENSIUM, THEODERICI VERONENSIS... provided by J. Peringskiöld, ch 100 (cf Mb 123):
Convivii magnum apparatum, regia pompa celebrandum, instituerat Ermenricus, convocatis ad eam solennitatem primariae dignationis viris ex principum, Jarlorum, comitumque ...

The third writer of the Membrane remembers by Mb 246 an individual spelled 'Salmon' (Salumon) as mighty chief of a Frankish realm that extended into today's German Westerwald woodlands (cf Ritter). Thus, at the end of 5th century, the scriptor seems to regard an early Frankish acquisition of a Mid-German area.(8)

As Gregory of Tours narrates events between c. 488 and c. 492, King Clovis slew his cousin Ragnachar, king of Cambrai on the Schelde ('Scheldt'). Apparently anticipating this action of eliminating awkward Frankish chiefs and their potential successors, Sv 231–233 and Mb 278–280 remark the insidious removals of Ermenrik's sons Frederik, Regbald and Samson. As the texts provide, Ermenrik was induced to tolerate them no longer by counsel of his advisor 'Sifka'. Regbald, ordered to a mission apparently to the Anglo-Saxons and thus needing a watercraft, had to choose between three ships for that passage. He sank on most ramshackle ship deceitfully offered to him as best of all. Was it Frankish kingdom of already believable force to demand tribute from a ruler who was obviously dwelling in 'Ængland' (Anglo-Saxon territory)?

While Gregory mentions Theuderic's service for King Clovis in 507, Didrik already supported King Ermenrik against an obvious south-eastern leader called 'Runsten', Lat Rimsteinius (Sv 144, Mb 147). Ritter detected the place of that conflict between Frankish and Alemannic territories at the end of 5th century. At this point we remember Gregory's passage dealing with Alemannic-Frankish war, whose battles were certainly fought even on other locations than Zülpich, the obvious decisive or final place where King Sigebert of Cologne was wounded and became lame.

While King Clovis passes away about the year 511 at an age of 45 or 46 – as the chroniclers have not mentioned any attempt on his life – King Ermenrik dies of severe abdominal disease. His letal symptoms described by the Old Norse and Swedish scribes, not unlikely provided posteriorly for dramatic increase at Mb 401–402, Sv 345, seem to indicate cancer.

Didrik goes martially out to take revenge for severe humiliation, his expulsion from Bern by his kinsman Ermenrik, just at a time when King Clovis dies. The historical point in question is: Which Frankish heir apparent could attack one of the mightiest leaders of the Franks under such circumstance?

Immediately after the Soest Battle, as the texts provide, Didrik moved to Bern and recruited an army that won the decisive battle against 'Sifka', advisor of the late Ermenrik, on location called Greken, Graach on the Moselle in the Palatinate of Rhineland.

After the conquest of Roma Didrik certainly rose to a mighty leader of Frankish kingdom. This is translated text from Old Swedish version, Sv 356:
  He rode into Roma, got off his horse, went to take the same seat on which kings are inured to sit and to be crowned … they crowned him and appointed him King of great realm that King Ermenrik has had …

According to the Old Norse and Swedish texts (Mb 428, Sv 369) Didrik took over at least western parts of a region called nowadays Lower Saxony after the death of Atala/Aktilius (before 540, cf Ritter) who had lost there a dramatic number of his male subjects in the Soest Battle. This context does correspond with ethological and archaeological studies proving that the Franks moved to regions of today's Lower Saxony to settle there after that more or less characteristic point of time.

Clip CCCLXXX Latin script
Clip from Latin text provided by J. Peringskiöld: The beginning of ch CCCLXXX, cf 10th item above.

Heinz Ritter estimates the birth of Didrik about 470, whereas King Clovis is believed to be born a half decade before him. Since this circumstance might appear as predominant item contradicting Didrik's literary reflection Theuderic I, revising research regards both Ritter and the Frankish chroniclers' genealogy about early Frankish kings Meroveus, Clodio and Childeric as unsharp and insufficient: As Gregory provides with his Frankish history, he seems to have no solid pedigree information especially about both first named kings, and so he rather uses a meagre 'Some People say'-phrase for them – which indicates his dependence on oral tradition. Nonetheless, it seems not unimportant to annotate that Ritter chronologizes Didrik's birth 'five years before the final conquest of Trier (Dietrich von Bern, 1982, p. 282). Since circumspect source research detects this event finished sometime between 480 and 486 (notably H. H. Anton: Trier im Übergang von der römischen zur fränkischen Herrschaft, Francia 12, 1984, pgs 1–52), Didrik's approximate date of birth would comply well with that of Theuderic in this case.

Gregory, whose genealogical colportages about Frankish kings up to 2nd half of 5th century are uncritically accepted, remarks Theuderic's son Theudebert being already sturdy at a time when King Clovis died (libri historiarum [hist] III, 1). Regarding Didrik's as well as Theuderic's bloodline over a band of three generations, all male names being recorded are strikingly beginning with 'Th', but not with any other letters. Theuderic's line (Theuderic → Theudebert → Theudebald) is outstandingly unique with a view to all the other early Merovingian branches wherein we typically meet kingly names formed with capital 'C'. Apart from the facts that Gregory would not mention Theuderic's date of birth, and the early Frankish kings habitually have not ascended the throne as son of any heathen concubine, we rather can effortlessly recognize corresponding 'Th…' name-giving in the bloodlines given by the Old Norse and Swedish scribes and Gregory's Frankish history through obvious clear-cut ancestral tradition. Matthias Springer, an author of the RGA considering name giving to Theuderich I, places at disposal that his maternal roots could be located at the Amals, gender of Theoderic the Great. However, it also seems noteworthy that both Theuderic's and Theoderic's name is basically related to a composition of the Gothic þiuda [= grouping of peoples or tribes as a nation, cf Indo-Germanic teuta] plus reiks [= 'rich' + 'ruler', cf 'reign'].

           Theuderic's disappearance after 507

His mission to the Visigoths to satisfy Clovis, a campaign in 507/508 with sizeable territorial gains which, however, were stopped and massively reverted by Theoderic the Great is related to that very time-frame of approximately one decade where Didrik was expelled according to Ritter's estimation.(9) He dates this event 495, but, strangely enough, ignoring an important item he already pointed out in 1982 (see below). Regarding the ambitions of Ermenrik, revaling Frankish relative of Didrik and mighty ruler of Roma II – the metropolis that only a short time before was known as largest colonia on the north side of the Alps –, consequently might have had good reason to follow Theoderic's standpoint and decision to put the Frankish Theoderic harshly in his new place. Ermenrik's advisor 'Sifka' was contributing this significant speech before Didrik's expulsion, as the Old Swedish chronicler shortly provides at Sv 238:

One day 'Sifka' talked to King Ermenrik: 
'It seems to me that you soon have to be on the lookout for your nephew, King Didrik of Bern. He is a faithless man and a mighty fighter. Watch out for him, see that he will not win your realm! He enlarges his realm every day, but making yours smaller.
I was told that it is your due to demand tribute from him. Your father won this land with his sword!' ...

[Translation: Ritter-Badenhausen.]

CAP. CCLIX.: Apud Ermenricum regem de rerum publicarum commodis in medium consulturus Sifka, multa de Theoderico rege sermocinari exorsus est. Hujus inprimis potentiam formidandam maximopere Ermenrico; jam multa magna moliri ipsum viribus confisum suis atque bellicarum claritudine operum, de palma etiam regni cum Ermenrico haud dubio disputaturum. Proinde non aliud magis idoneum sibi videri consilium, quam istud praesens nunc suggerendum. Nimirum, a suscepto regiminis tempore primo regni sui fines majorem in modum augendo extendisse Theodericum, etaim cum decremento commodorum ad Ermenricum pertinentium. Amlungiae quippe regno justis Ermenrici genitoris armis acquisito ...
[Latin text provided by J. Peringskiöld, p. 360.]

The advisor of Ermenrik, mighty ruler at Roma II from 2nd half of 5th century to 'c. 526' (roughly Ritter), certainly knew that Theuderic/Didrik would be vulnerable if his South Gaul campaign would be repelled. Incidentally, Gregory placed the removal of Sigebert of Cologne at nearly the same time. He has been identified with King Sigmund's son Sigurd (Sigfrid), another good friend of Didrik as well as brother-in-law of the Niflungi. The leaders of a folk between the Meuse and the Middle Rhine (cf Ritter's localization) might have had good reason to accept and serve the expansion politics of either Clovis or – as we can postulate for intertextual consistency – a potential loyalist at the former Colonia Treverorum for the opportunity to administrate the northern Eiffel lands of Didrik (cf Sv 319 + Mb 376, dialogue between Grimhild and Didrik; not less interesting: Guðrúnarkviða II (in önnur), 25, where 'Grimhild' claims herself authorized to dispose [a part of] Hlöðvés sali = Clovis' kingdom).

As far as we know, however, Clovis never turned to the former Belgica I with its eminent metropolis for enlarging his kingdom. Why? First of all, H. G. Vitt [op cit] and other analysts reasonably suppose Childeric already acting ahead in the political interest of his son Clovis in the last two decades of his life (c. 460–); cf David Frye 1992, Guy Halsall 2001+2007, moderately I. N. Wood 1994. Furthermore, it seems hard to accept that Childeric – or his parallel 'Samson' – were not appreciating or preparing to the Frankish conquest of that location known only a short time before as largest colonia on the north side of the Alps. Considering the Old Norse/Swedish texts and the Latin manuscript by Peringskiöld providing Samson Salernitana urbis imperium regiumque titulum adeptus est (ch VIII), as being chronologized between c. 460 (final Frankish conquest of Cologne and occupations of its surrounding regions) and 470, all sources deliver no other Franco-Rhenish leader mightier than Samson or Childeric at that time. If the latter had played actually a leading rôle for the conquest of the Treveri metropolis, his successor thereby had an adequate resource in prestige, population, economy and military crafts he certainly needed for his hefty campaigns.

Does the special value of this possibility correspond well with Trier's blank sheet of history perfectly covering the reigning period of Clovis '&' Ermenrik, alternatively prolongated up to Theuderic's '&' Didrik's first appearance and reconstitution of this metropolis?

Or asked in another way: For what reason should Clovis have renounced a geopolitical status symbol not less than a former imperial Roman seat?
There may be a sublime circumstantial evidence for Clovis' seat on the Moselle at least at the end of 5th century. Beginning with De baptismo Chlodovechi (hist II, 31), Gregory writes that the Queen arcessire clam sanctum Remedium Remensis urbis episcopum iubet: First, we therewith cannot solidify the baptism at Reims. Second, however, some words later Gregory seemingly makes a flashy local allusion with the phrase that Clovis procedit novos Constantinus ad lavacrum. As regards Gregory's and our sources, Constantine I has been ascribed to 'first baptized Roman emperor'. Drawing this parallel, Gregory may provide a covert local indication related to Constantine's western seat, thus making the locality's name expressis verbis superfluous. Since Remidius ('Remigius') sometime congratulates Clovis on taking over Belgica II (Epistulae Austrasiacae 2), we neither have material nor any plausible reason contradicting the authority of Childeric's successor over the superior adjacent province! As Gregory remarks twice later (hist II, 38+40), Clovis chose Paris for his new seat during or shortly after his more than hazardous South Gaul campaign.
Respecting the primary position of Clovis – who came to power just as the Franks took Trier – and Dietrich's dynastical plus geopolitical background by the Old Norse+Swedish manuscripts, the consequences of such potential context taken as authentic would concern nothing more than renewed nickname identification of Dietrich's close relative E r m e n r i k (OE yrman, ME (i)ermen: to grieve 'sb', cf  J. de Vries' Old Nordic etymological dictionary 'erma'), obviously the best placeholder the historiographers could choose for their distinctive (!) exposition of 'parallelism' in history.
Ritter correspondingly places at disposal:
Die Gestalt aber, welche vor allem geschichtlich eingeordnet werden müßte, ist König Ermenrik in Rom/Trier. Er herrscht hier nach der Ths ohne Unterbrechung mehr als 50 Jahre. Dies ist aber auch die Zeit Chlodwigs, welche wir leidlich gut zu kennen meinen [...] Man kann auch fragen, ob sich unter dem Namen »Ermenrik« etwa eine andere geschichtliche Persönlichkeit verbirgt, und man wird die Ähnlichkeit bemerken, wie Ermenrik alle seine männlichen Verwandten umbringt und wie ganz entsprechend Chlodwig das gleiche tut. Aber hier kann auch einer den andern nachgeahmt haben. Die Hauptquelle über jene Zeit, von ihr aber zeitlich schon weit entfernt, ist Gregor von Tours. Er ist ganz westfränkisch eingestellt. Den mittleren Bereich bis an den Rhein heran scheint er nur wie durch einen Nebel zu sehen, mit einzelnen Erhellungen.
(Dietrich von Bern, 1982, pgs 285–286, cf contextually pgs 59–65, p. 261 [chronological remark on Ermenrik and 'Sifka' ('Sevekin') by Sv 354, Mb 411], p. 282 [rough estimation by Ritter]).

Regarding the Frankish campaign against the Visigoths, it seems less plausible that the crafty Clovis and some other vigilant Frankish chieftains had no idea of the consequences of Theuderic's military operation, particularly after the intervention of the undefeated Ostrogothic protector. We thus may impute to the mightiest Frankish leader that he was certainly right to stay away, to have calculated upon Theuderic's failure, and to have reckoned with his potential follower/rival being finally deprived of his military power.

Theuderic had impudently violated the 'Pax Gothica' of Theoderic the Great.

And in fact, after 16 summers and 16 winters Theuderic successfully reconquered Auvergne – at that time the fading vigour of Theoderic being in religious conflict with his Roman subjects and Justin I – and actually Theuderic's next known 'Frankish' campaign after 507/508!(10) With or after his stopovers at Cologne (with Gallus) and Roma II !

The absence of Theuderic, designated king at least of the eastern Franks only a short time before 511, obviously meant a challenging or, more likely, just pre-planned situation for Clovis: Therewith he could take the chance to remove Sigebert, the leader of the Rhenish Franks, in order to enlarge his kingdom, obviously immediately after his unsuccessfully turning South Gaul campaign, in eastern direction now instead – and in so far without any involvement of Theuderic. Gregory, implying more indirectly this point of view, makes Clovis responsible for the elimination of King Sigebert of Cologne between 507 and 509 (hist II, 40). Although Gregory does not really indicate any conflict between Clovis and Theuderic, it seems not certain that Clovis ever intended to protect Theuderic! Gregory also documents that even after Clovis' death Theuderic's son Theudebert had to repulse a raid of a king called 'Chlochilaichus' invading Theuderic's paygo Attoarios (cf Liber historiae Francorum), a former Chattuari region scholastically estimated at that time (c.515–c.523) on the Lower Rhine and Lower Meuse. Regarding this special context, it might be now conceivable that, for example, neither Frankish nor Ostrogothic historiographers left any remark about Theuderic's coronation.

It may be considered also to Theuderic's political environment that almost two decades after his disappearance from both Gregory's and Eastern Roman eyes, regarding both Ritter's schedule and historical upheavals on the other side of the Rhine by means of archaeological discoveries at Westphalian Soest, the Niflungi – or Frankish invaders – felt strong enough to take over this important location beyond the big river.

This is basically a very significant historical event provided by the Old Norse/Swedish texts.

Regarding the chronological discrepancy between Theuderic's second Auvergnat campaign (523/524) and numismatic dating of the 6th-century burial chambers on Soest location (Justinian I solidus certainly not available before c. 528), the historiographer/chronicler at adjacent Wedinghausen monastery plus the Old Norse/Swedish scribes could have ignored Theuderic's successfully recruiting and warring far beyond the other side of the Rhine just a few years before. As the texts clearly provide, however, Didrik/Thidrek had not an own army at Soest when the Niflungi appeared there. Possibly of further attention to archaeological context, we should consider a special item for dating period remarked at, annotation 12.

All these events do not corrupt the exile of Theuderic's literary parallel Didrik/Thidrek, cf endnote 10 and

Regarding Old German counting of time, it seems apt to reconsider Hildebrand's and Thidrek's 'time of absence', as conveyed by the Thidreks saga (Mb 396). The manuscripts recite at Mb 415 German men telling that Hildebrand died at an age of 150 (MS B: 170 ) years, whereas German lays recounting his age 200 years ['... winters'] – time domain by numbers by far beyond other narrational ballpark of much shorter time counts. Hube follows Ritter on the subject of half-years counting related to the life of Hildebrand: Thidreks Saga, Wiesbaden 2009, p. 354, ann 1. Thus, these manuscripts obviously admit to comprehend Hildebrand's and Thidrek's »32 years« outside the country (Mb 396, eldest manuscript – triginta duobus annis, ch CCCLXIX of Latin manuscript provided by Peringskiöld) as

sixteen  summers  and  sixteen  winters  =  sixteen  years.

The scribe of the Didriks chronicle does not relay the length of their 'exile', see corresponding context at Sv 340–341, while the poet of the 9th-century Hildebrandslied, line 50: ih wallota sumaro enti wintro sehstic ..., seems to redouble uncritically to summers and winters sixty ...

Referring again to the Old Norse and Swedish texts, we can also stumble upon Sv 355 and Mb 413: Relating the death of 'Sifka', he had survived King Ermenrik certainly by some years, these chapters provide a contextual period of two decades (vicennium, ch CCCLXXIX Latin manuscript), while the Icelandic redactions recount that time span – ending by all texts just before Thidrek's appearance in Roma II – remarkably shorter. Regarding all these manuscripts in so far, the historiographical exile of Dietrich von Bern was lasting not less than nine and not more than twenty years; the latter number delivers also Mb 429 of redaction A, while B reads at the same passage '30 winters'.

                       Some receptions

Regarding early traditions of lesser connection with putative archaic Dietrich von Bern sources of historical or more credible background, the Waltharius comes with an obvious 10th-century narration about two champions known as followers of Didrik/Thidrek. This work, likely/possibly edited by Ekkehard I at Upper German St Gall(en) Monastery (now Switzerland), could have taken pattern from an early historiographical source of Thidreks saga and Didriks chronicle in order to transform interpretation, at least partially, to a legendary Ostrogothic environment (cf Hildebrandslied). Although either this Ekkehard or the real first author of this lay has (re-)localized the Nibelungs' Eiffel residence 'Vermintza' at 'Wormatia' on the Rhine, supposing 'King Atala of Hunaland' apparently as Attila the great Hun, he nevertheless calls the Nibelungs Gunter and Hagen heroes of the Franks (not of Burgundia as the literary Burgundy). The author of this work does also ascribe Hagen's father to a king called 'Aldrian'. The lay is widely known as the poem of Walter and Hildigund. ('Hiltgunt', daughter of Russian Duke Ilias of Gercekia (Livonia). She was handed over to Atala as personal deposit.) Hagen, trying to stop the fleeing two lovers, loses one eye in the fight against Walter who later falls as Duke of Waskenstein – most likely the papally mentioned Vosca on the lower Moselle (cf Ritter) – at Gransport, bearing there the banner of King Ermenrik. 'Ekkehard' implanted thrilling elements in his much embellished adaptation that some reviewer would judge between 'subtle' and 'oversubtle'. However, the archaic version seems to reflect the Didriks chronicle by Sv 222–225. The Latin text of the Upper German tradition, preserved at bibliotheca Augustana, is available at  (retrieved Aug 2008).

The Lament of Deor (Book of Exeter) conveys Þeodric's period as thirty winters, the author or his source supposedly neglecting the summer counts. Deor's lament likes to substantiate this relation to the 'Mær(ov)ingians':

Þeodric ahte þritig wintra
Mæringa burg; þætwæs monegum cuþ.
Þæs ofereode, þisses swa mæg! 
Theodric had thirty winters
Mæringa burg; that was known to many.
That went by ... !

Can this strophe provide a more or less tendentious retrospective view to Þeodric's location of 'exile'? Westphalian Soest, residence of King Atala by the texts, was certainly of ruling Frankish influence in the middle of 6th century.

The Wolfdietrich, an epic of different versions dated from 13th century to Late Middle Ages about a hero whom literary research identifies with both Theudebert and his father Theuderic I (the Lower Saxon 'Hug-Dietrich'), contradicts genealogically Dietrichs Flucht provided by the Ambraser Heldenbuch. The Wolfdietrich cycle suggests at least two significant parallels with Didrik/Thidrek of Bern: The dragon fight at Bergara/Brugara (cf 2nd part of the Ortnit) and Wolfdietrich's exile and return. The majority of elder and newer scholarship votes for a Frankish but not (Ostro-)Gothic origin of this epic, notably Joachim Heinzle 1999 not following Roswitha Wisniewski and other analysts who argue in favour of Roman Theoderic environment, as to (t)his geographical and personal complex the medieval authorship might have transformed their obvious Frankish protagonists (cf Lydia Miklautsch 2005). It is self-evident that the Dietrich von Bern epics, his Heldendichtung apparently nascent in medieval Upper Germany and North Italy on one side, contradicting on the other some very basic contextual relationship endogenously in this literary cycle, are definitely of insufficient historical credibility.

Widukind of Corvey, 10th-century historiographer of Saxony (Res Gestae Saxonicae – Rerum Gestarum Saxonicarum libri tres), disagrees with Gregory of Tours because of some genealogical item and, in particular, unequal paternal names related to Theuderic: Referring to Thuringian War, the Saxon historiographer provides Thiadricus as an illegitimate son of Huga rex Francorum and recounts Amal(a)berga as the daughter of the latter. She became instigating spouse of Thuringian King Irminfridus. This version by Widukind, possibly based on a memorabilis fama, provides a noblemann Iring serving both kinglys as emissary in conflict with Thiadricus who finally makes Iring to kill the Thuringian king (cf Gregory of Tours, hist III, 8).

It seems noteworthy that the primary author of the episode Grimhild and Irung, both appearing in the Niflunga battle on Susa location, might have transformed a mental outline of the Frankish Amalberga to the spouse of King Atala (Grimhild = Old Swedish Crimilla).

The scribe of Lower Saxon Annales Quedlinburgenses identifies Theuderic I as Hugo Theodericus, while the Old Norse and Swedish scribes provide his father's name 'Thetmar'. Interestingly, these Annales date the death of a ruler named 'Attila' – recounting that he was killed by a girl (!) he forcibly had taken from the side of her slain father – the same year (AD 532) when H. Theodericus came into power – about AD 531 or 532 finally just on the territory of that 'Attila'? At this point it seems implausible that the Quedlinburg chronicler had no idea of the cause of death or other fundamental detail in the vita of Attila the great Hun!

Rudolf von Fulda, German 9th-century historiographer who likely represents an important source of Widukind, remarks on Thuringian War, Translatio Sancti Alexandri, ch III, that a Saxon leader called Hadugoto overthrew the Thuringii. Adam von Bremen, another German chronicler of 11th century, basically conveys Rudolf's version: Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, ch III. It seems worth mentioning that any Saxon and/or Anglo-Saxon participation in Theuderic's Thuringian War, as provided at first by Rudolf, has been challenged to detect as fiction; notably M. Springer: Die Sachsen, 2004 (ISBN 3-17-016588-7).

In connection with Thuringian War and Widukind of Corvey, the author provocatively abstracts in his German publication Sage und Wirklichkeit, 2007 [pgs 359–360, transl]:
Widukind of Corvey endeavoured to enlighten this background by means of Gregory’s records, drawing a parallel between the Frankish Thiadrich and Dietrich von Bern with Lord Iring whom he had cognized as connective character.
[Widukind von Corvey hat sich mit Gregors Aufzeichnungen um eine Aufhellung von offensichtlich solchem Hintergrund bemüht und parallelisiert neben Ritter Iring, den er als intertextuelles Bindeglied erkannt hat, den fränkischen Thiadrich mit Dietrich von Bern.]

The Lower German tradition Koninc Ermenrîkes Dôt, published on a 16th-century leaflet under the title Van Dirick van dem Berne, clearly provides Dietrich's most evil antagonist as ruler of Franckriken. The lay has been estimated as an episodic work, appearing as legendary as an âventiure, in parts at least. It seems remarkable that this tradition would hardly harmonize enough with more or less immediate source context of the Thidreks saga or other available material (notably Joachim Heinzle 1999). Furthermore, the leaflet's text nowhere allows to cognize Ostrogothic ambiance. As regards Dietrich's expeller, locally titled van Armentriken, Heinzle remembers the proverb collection of Johannes Agricola, follower and, for a certain period, close friend of Martin Luther. As being noted in this 'anthology' of 1523, the 'Franks under Ermentfrid had conquered the »Lombardy« whence they killed the Harlungen'.

      How reliable is Gregory of Tours ?

Gregory apparently put forward unsatisfactory information about Theuderic's descent and vita: On the one hand, he considers him well as pre-eminent son of Clovis, but on the other, he would not satisfyingly recite a supporting scale of examples. The more we closely follow Gregory to Clovis and Theuderic, the more queries we get. Nonetheless, it seems plausible that the mightiest Frankish king kept an eye on the young designated king of an important eastern kingdom between the Meuse and the Rhine. Gregory actually appears credible if he calls Clovis at least political foster-father of Theuderic.

However, there is sound criticism of Gregory's general understanding of rendering history by ignoring or misrepresenting history (notably Ian N. Wood, Walter A. Goffart, Matthias Springer, Georg Scheibelreiter). See also Der Untergang des Thüringerreiches by Georg Scheibelreiter who in passing reveals some divergent suggestion by scribes of Late Antiquity (Die Frühzeit der Thüringer, de Gruyter 2009).

The historiographical dilemma of 5th to 6th century naturally encompasses the family of Clodio, head of a Frankish dynasty in the very dark shadow of Gregory's brightly shining early Merovingians, and Albero of Mons (420–491), whom Emil Rückert, PhD, cites as Clodio's most influential son and brother-in-law of Theoderic the Great – a fact that obviously forbids to underrate the historical position of that 'Auberon' or any of his close kinsmen, cf The Geography and History of Mons translated by John Mack Gregory at THE HARLEIAN MISCELLANY Vol XI (retrieved Oct 2010). Rückert identifies Frankish King Clodio as grandfather of Audefleda by means of other local tradition, and he compares genealogical information about the early Merovingians also with the records of Jordanes. He is known as less chronological writer of a Gothic historia that conveys Frankish King Lodoin (cf 'cLodio') as her father who, however, cannot be verified as Childeric or Clovis considering spelling derivation as well as the names of Lodoin's sons (Celdebert, Heldebert, Thiudebert) provided by the historian of the Goths. Thus, Jordanes forwarded obviously confusing context of Frankish kings offspring.

Following the research of Emil Rückert, Albero's relative Theoderic was called out King of the East Goths at that very time when Didrik was born according to Ritter's schedule – a correlation that seems to substantiate Theoderic as Didrik's godfather. And, actually, there is a trail from Clodio's son Albero to the ownership of Samson castle through old telling on Brabant and 'Hannonia' the author reconsidered in Die Nibelungen – Dichtung und Wahrheit from source research by Emil Rückert.

The author remarks at endnote 22 of his contribution Wadhincúsan, monasterium Ludewici, catalogued at the National German Library DNB:

Zumindest finden wir im Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde, Bd. 30 (2005), unter Theuderich I.  (S. 459–463) die völlig zurecht formulierte Quellenkritik, dass Gregor von Tours behauptet, T.s Mutter sei nur eine Beischläferin (concubina) Chlodwigs I. gewesen  (S. 460). Dort heißt es weiter über diesen Theuderich (S. 459), dass er vor 484 geboren sein soll und die erste Tat aus T.s. Leben, von der wir wissen sein nach 507 im Auftrag Chlodwigs I. unternommener südgallischer Feldzug war (S. 461). Nachdem Theuderichs Sohn Theudebert eine „Däneninvasion“ im väterlichen Auftrag zurückgeworfen haben soll, spätestens 520 – nach Chlodwigs Tod –, dokumentiert Gregor von Tours erstmals die monarchische Autorität Theuderichs aus der Kölner aula regia. Für die Interpretation von Vertreibung, Exil und Rückeroberungsberichten der Thidrekssaga ist also keineswegs ausgeschlossen, dass deren Protagonist Theuderich in einem Machtkonflikt unterlag, welcher entweder Konsequenzen aus seinem südgallischen Zug von 507/508 nach sich zog oder einen paternalen/maternalen und damit auch rheinische Gebiete tangierenden Erbrecht-Streit betroffen haben konnte. So, wie im subjektiv-subtilen Vorstellungskomplex ein scheinbar verlässlicher fränkischer Historiograf die Mutter Theuderichs bewusst verkannt haben mag, durfte dessen Vater von einem nicht minder verzerrenden mediävalhistoriografischen Konzept – das aus niederdeutschem Traditionspatriotismus nicht weniger als die Tilgung des primus rex Francorum der Lex Salica ausmachen konnte – mit einer in der Thidrekssaga überlieferten Ersatzgestalt unkenntlich gemacht werden.

[Transl.: The author of the article  Theuderich I.  in the  Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde (RGA), Vol 30, 2005, pgs 459–463, rightly issued: Gregory of Tours claims that the mother of T. was just a concubine of Clovis I. Furthermore, the encyclopaedist states op cit that Theuderic was born before 484 and the first deed of T. we know was a campaign to South Gaul after 507, serving as a general by order of Clovis I. After Theuderic's son Theodebert I had repulsed a 'Danish invasion' by order of his father, not after 520, but certainly after the death of Clovis, Gregory of Tours begins to document the first appearance of Theuderic as royal authority at the aula regia of Cologne. At that time, between 520 and 525, he was aged at least 36! Regarding the interpretation of humiliation, exile and reconquering related in Thidreks saga, it is certainly not out of the question that its protagonist Theuderic had to bear consequences of either his South Gaul campaign (507/508) or an hereditary conflict with a kinsman of his paternal or maternal line about territory even on the Rhine. When an apparently reliable but nonetheless subtle Frankish historiographer seems to have intentionally misjudged Theuderic's mother, the concept of a patriotic Lower German history fading out the primus rex Francorum of the Lex Salica, as a result provided by the Old Norse and Swedish manuscripts, could have made his father unidentifiable with a placeholder as well.]

It seems both subtle and flashy that Didrek's/Thidrek's father is named after Gregory's 'first known' rex Francorum whom he has recognized as Theudemar/Theudomer, as Eugen Ewig remarks well this ranking by disregarding Theudemar's father Richimer (hist II, 9) and Ostrogothic genealogy, cf Trojamythos und fränkische Frühgeschichte, RGA, Vol 19, 1998, p. 14. It also seems remarkable that the Guðrúnarkviða III (þriðja) consequently calls Þioþrecr's father Þioþmar!

Regarding reliable genealogical information about Frankish kings of times until the middle of 5th century, we only can say that Gregory left nothing more than assumption.

       Theuderic I or Didrik of Bern: »King of Bonn«

Theuderic might have known parts of regions called later Ripuaria and Austrasia already before the death of King Clovis I. Although Gregory of Tours is remarkably focussing on Clovis' vita, the appearance of this king was reported hardly ever on territory between the Meuse and the Rhine. Thus, we further may imagine that Theuderic, not only in mission for Clovis, kept an eye on the largest metropolis on the Rhine: the former Roman Colonia with adjoining Bonn, the ecclesiastical-based Lower German Verona on the Rhine.

After the death of King Sigebert of Cologne Gregory remarks Theuderic c. 523 at the aula regia of this metropolis. Since there is chronicler's tradition of 13th century strongly connecting Bern with Bonn »by Bunna, dat heisz man dô Berne«,(11) we should consider that another but lost historical source could have mentioned Theuderic or Didrik of Bern emphatically appearing there. Regarding both Gregory's report (Liber Vitae Patrum VI, 2) and the ecclesiastical history of Lower German Verona-Bern, it would not seem inconsistent that COLOGNE's nickname BABILONIA, the former (genitive singular) the obvious eastern seat of Theuderic, was given up after formative Christian missions on this eminent location. Regarding Gregory's demonstrative and believable words in this connection, the first and very remarkable 6th-century mission was undertaken by this Franco-Rhenish king in a region which Ritter called Berner Reich.

These items might qualify the historical Franco-Rhenish and Old German profile of Dietrich von Bern also by the Old Norse and Swedish manuscripts, at first sight rather shortsightedly than farsightedly isolated and redrawn by Ritter, in so far not committing a real faux pas.

Museum Burg Frankenberg, Aachen, Katalog Nr. 188.
A tabula ansata, found at archaeological explorations of VARNENUM between 1907 and 1924, connotes well the cultural and worshipping influence of this location on Roman Cologne (CCAA), while VERONA was connected thereafter with adjacent Bonn in Christian times.

Seal of Bonn, 13th century.
Inventory pieces shown on the left & below:
Stadtarchiv und Wissenschaftliche Stadtbibliothek Bonn.
VERONA-BONN, 1575 VERONA, nunc Bonna, Communiter;
Bonn Oppidum Supra Coloniam Agrippinam, ad Rheni flumen, (...)

Detail from an engraving of 1575.

       Which are the dynasties of the eastern Franks of 5th century ?

The records about local Hannonian history cited by Emil Rückert interestingly allow to be seen that the Merovingian kings Meroveus and, subsequently, Childeric have tolerated Clodio's descendants to administrate obviously no other regions than partially those of today's Netherlands and Belgium, and some Eiffel land between the Meuse and the Rhine. Early in the 6th century, however, the political status of Franco-Rhenish territory was insidiously challenged by Merovingian King Clovis who once had the right time to look over the lands beyond the Meuse and to engage the murderer(s) of King Sigebert of Cologne. Thereafter, as Gregory of Tours narrates, this region of unquestionable strategic importance was forwarded to a son of 'any heathen concubine', but not to any of King Clovis' legal sons!

Could a splendid planning Theuderic or Didrik, oath-breaker against Sigurd in a case of honour, take later revenge on his kinsman Ermenrik (cf the 8th item above) without using an army of his own folk? Did one of them pretend beyond the Rhine to be still an expelled king, since one of them could not motivate Franks to fight against Franks? The Old Norse and Swedish scribes report on Didrik's attack against Ermenrik at a place called Gransport to which he came with an army from King Atala.

Samson, the grandfather of Didrik as well as the German-Nordic spelled Salian location seem to be the key players. The records about the early Frankish history of Brabant and Hannonia let also raise the question whether Samson left 'Salerni' rather compulsorily as an important pioneer of a kingdom in an area that Gregory's translator W. Giesebrecht and other historians have ascribed to 'Ripuaria'.(12)

Fort Samson (1)
Fort Samson (2)

Visitor Info Samson
The Roman fort of Samson is an exceptional ancient building in Salian region. The text on the left is photographic quotation from the visitor information board at Samson village.

Some authors raise the objection that narration by Thidreks saga would not be related mainly to 5th century and first third of the next for the most part, rather referring to events to be dated earlier for at least one or two centuries. Regarding those Thetmars in Samson's line to this item, we actually can find an earlier Frankish king who was spelled fairly identically with those Nordic Thetmars: King Theudemer de Thérouanne (374–414). Possibly semi-legendary, as some historian would judge him, he was noted as spouse of Blésinde de Cologne. Theudemer, titled magister militum in 383 and consul in 384, is mentioned by both Gregory and Fredegaire as an early Frankish king – as Clodio's predecessor by Gregory. That Theudemer was supposedly congenial with Jovinus, Roman anti-emperor from 411 till 413, when he was captured and executed. Clodio's predecessor is believed to have shared the same fate with that Jovinus.

Olympiodorus the Elder, by quotations at the Bibliotheca of Photios, Byzantine historian of 9th century and Patriarch of Constantinople, recounts the Burgundian leader Guntiarius ('Gundahar') and Alan king Goar proclaiming Jovinus anti-emperor on location provided as Mundiacum, Moyndiakon. However, attentive researchers would not equate this geonym with Mogontiacum (Mayence, in the region of legendary Burgundy by the Nibelungenlied), rather identify as part of Germania inferior instead. Cf for instance:

J. P. C. Kent: Roman Imperial Coinage (RIC) X; p. 152.
R. C. Blockley (Ed): The Fragmentary Classicising Historians of the Later Roman Empire. Eunapius, Olympiodorus, Priscus and Malchus. II: Text, Translation and Historiographical Notes; p. 216, ann 46.
H. von Petrikovits (Ed: F. Petri, G. Droege): Rheinische Geschichte 1,1; pgs 275 & 288.
F. J. Schweitzer: Die ältesten literarischen Quellen zum rheinischen Burgunderreich und das MUNDIACUM-Problem. Annalen des Historischen Vereins für den Niederrhein (AnnHVNdrh) 203, 2000; pgs 7–22.
S. Seibel: Typologische Untersuchungen zu den Usurpationen der Spätantike. Thesis. University of Duisburg-Essen, 2004; p. 165.

Ritter has shown in both geographical and plausible strategical context of the Old Norse and Swedish manuscripts that the Mundia, which he also localizes in Germania inferior, covers residence location of the Niflungi. However, he does not connect the gens Burgundionum with that of Niflungicarum. The records on Burgundian kingdom do not provide a leader spelled G u n n a r, whereas both the Didriks chronicle and Thidreks saga nowhere mention spelling forms somehow related to 'Burgundia', 'Burgundy'. Ingo Runde, an author of the RGA, remarks [transl:] 'a legendary destruction of the Wormsian kingdom of the Burgundians':
Xanten im frühen und hohen Mittelalter. Thesis. Gerhard-Mercator-University of Duisburg, 2001. Reprint 2003, p. 84.

The Genealogy of Piat-Herrero provides the bloodline of Theudemer, son of King Richimer de Thérouanne, to a remarkable extent. The former was also captured and executed with his spouse by the Romans. That data notes Theudemer's son and successor Clogio (Clodio) as 'Le Cheveulu' ('the Longhaired'). Since his lifetime is roughly estimated from 400 to 450, he appears as contemporary of Samson by Ritter's schedule. Clodio is chiefly known as conqueror of some western lands on the Somme and of Cambrai which he later forwarded to one of his sons, notably E. Rückert. Would Clodio's environment thus be of interest in order to detect Samson on the subject of Piat-Herrero's and other sources comprehensiveness and reliability? Nonetheless, the political failure of both Jovinus and King Theudemer corresponds with the basic item that the Romans would not have tolerated those vast and manifested conquests – up to that point of time when Aëtius, the great Roman Magister militum, could destroy Burgundy in Germania superior – more likely: overwhelmingly the inferior – finally with Hunnish warriors.

A view to the time 'post Aëtius' nevertheless allows to detect the Roman Eagle being bled white on the upper and middle Rhine. Thus, at the beginning of the second half of 5th century, the first Franks in the area of the later defined 'Ripuaria' could seize the opportunity to self-govern and enlarge their territory by expeditions we can easily encounter in some early chapters of the Old Norse and Swedish manuscripts.

         King Sigebert = King Sigurd the Nibelung ?

Gregory let us know that King Clovis supported his cousin Sigebert of Cologne against the Alemannians on Zülpich location. The Old Norse and Swedish scribes inform us that Franco-Rhenish king Sigurd ('Sigord Sven') was brother-in-law and, obviously, the new neighbour of King Gunnar, ruler of the Niflungi, at the same place and time.

Helmut de Boor, 20th-century philologist and remarkable researcher across the Nibelungen and their Old Norse bibliography, rather shortly considers a possible historical connection of that Sigebert on the Lower Rhine with 'Siegfried the Hero': Hat Siegfried gelebt? PBB 63, p. 254, ISSN 1865-9373 (Walter de Gruyter). Alfred Carl Groeger, another contemporary German philologist, considers correspondingly in the epilogue of his booklet Nibelungensage:
Nicht ausgeschlossen ist es auch, dass historische Vorgänge um Chlodwig den Sagenstoff beeinflusst haben: Dieser ließ seinen Vetter, den niederrheinischen Frankenfürsten Sigibert (Siegfried?) im Jahre 508 auf der Jagd ermorden (...) Möglich, dass auch von hier aus Einflüsse zu suchen sind.
Publisher: Hamburger Lesehefte Verlag, Heft Nr. 137; ISBN 3-87291-136-8.

Cologne, 2nd to 3rd Century
Cologne at the beginning of 3rd century by a painting reprinted on an old postcard.
(Artist's name illegible.)

This is a passage dealing with King Sigebert of Cologne from Gregory's hist II, 40 :
When King Clovis was dwelling at Paris he sent secretly to the son of Sigibert saying: 'Behold your father has become an old man and limps in his weak foot. If he should die,' said he, 'Of due right his kingdom would be yours together with our friendship.' Led on by greed the son plotted to kill his father. And when his father went out from the city of Cologne and crossed the Rhine and was intending to journey through the wood Buchaw, as he slept at midday in his tent his son sent assassins in against him, and killed him there, in the idea that he would get his kingdom But by God's judgment he walked into the pit that he had cruelly dug for his father. He sent messengers to king Clovis to tell about his father's death, and to say: 'My father is dead, and I have his treasures in my possession, and also his kingdom. Send men to me, and I shall gladly transmit to you from his treasures whatever pleases you.' And Clovis replied: 'I thank you for your good will, and I ask that you show the treasures to my men who come, and after that you shall possess all yourself.' When they came, he showed his father's treasures. And when they were looking at the different things he said: 'It was in this little chest that my father used to put his gold coins. ' ' Thrust in your hand, ' said they, 'to the bottom, and uncover the whole.' When he did so, and was much bent over, one of them lifted his hand and dashed his battle­ax against his head, and so in a shameful manner he incurred the death which he had brought on his father. Clovis heard that Sigibert and his son had been slain, and came to the place and summoned all the people, saying: ' Hear what has happened. When I,'said he, 'was sailing down the river Scheldt Cloderic, son of my kinsman, was in pursuit of his own father asserting that I wished him killed. And when his father was fleeing through the forest of Buchaw, he set highwaymen upon him, and gave him over to death, and slew him. And when he was opening the treasures, he was slain himself by some one or other. Now I know nothing at all of these matters. For I cannot shed the blood of my own kinsmen, which it is a crime to do. But since this has happened, I give you my advice, if it seems acceptable; turn to me, that you may be under my protection.' They listened to this, and giving applause with both shields and voices, they raised him on a shield, and made him king over them. He received Sigibert's kingdom with his treasures, and placed the people, too, under his rule. For God was laying his enemies low every day under his hand, and was increasing his kingdom, because he walked with an upright heart before him, and did what was pleasing in his eyes. (English version by Earnest Brehaut.)

The Didriks chronicle and Thidreks saga seem to complete Gregory's report on Clovis and Sigebert. These are the most important items considering the view of the Old Norse and Swedish scribes:

Sigurd as well as Sigebert were contemporary kings of rather smallest area between Cologne and Zülpich.
Sigurd had also a treasure hidden somewhere in the woodlands.
Sigurd had also to cross the Rhine to go there.
Sigurd, victim of a family plot, was also slain while on a trip into the 'Lyr' woodlands on eastern side of the Rhine. Incidentally, Buc(h)onia has to be regarded as less specific Frankish expression being used rather for any hilly woodland beyond the Rhine, cf Fr bûcheron: woodcutter.

The Guðrúnarkviða II, 7 likes to confirm that Sigurd was slain somewhere on the other side of the river, as Grimhild (Old Norse: Gudrun) remembers this detail:

Gunnar hung his head,
but Hogni told me
of Sigurd's cruel death.
"Beyond the river
slaughtered lies
Guthorm's murderer,
and to the wolves given ...

Intertextual exploration of Thidreks saga, Volsunga saga and the Nibelungenlied allows to conclude that 'Guthorm', slaughterer of Sigurd, was replaced with 'Gernoz' (the Upper German 'Gernot') for epic insertion and amplification of Hogni. Regarding his performance towards Sigurd, however, we should contemplate the Nibelungenlied, Thidreks saga and Didriks chronicle taking pattern from manslaughter's part of Gui and Bove in the poem of Daurel et Beton, obviously written in first half of 13th century. This literary work has been ascribed to the 'Cycle of Charlemagne'. (The author of the Volsunga saga could have taken the Sigurðarkviða II to transfer the place of murder to the hall of residence.)
Sigurd died also at the place of his treasure, as these circumstances seem to provide evidence:
Hagen must have known exactly its position because the mother of his son Aldrian could successfully forward the key and the route to that place to the boy. Hagen, he had told Brynhild ('Brynilda') that Sigurd's power would be stronger than his own, could only get the key to the lockable cave from Sigurd's dead body by choosing that safest as well as lethal way.

Thus, the dead Cloderic seems to be Gregory's and Clovis' subject, since the former retells us that the latter needs him for the folk to give them fallacious reasoning of the murderous plot, whereas the dead Sigurd appears as remaining subject to the assassins and the Old Norse and Swedish texts recounting that the murderers need his dead body to shock Grimhild with revenge.

The source of these manuscripts connects both the identity of the assassins and Babilonia with the large region of Cologne(13) that seems to be closely related to Sigurd and his realm on occasion of the Nibelungs' fatal march to their sister Grimhild: When their rearguard, commanded by King Gunnar and Hagen, was approaching the opposite bank of the Rhine at Duna Crossing just a few miles to the north of Cologne, Hagen slew the ferryman on board and apologetically said to his protesting half-brother Gunnar:

'He shall not tell where we are going to.'

A short time later Hagen met a guardian on the eastern banks of the Rhine, and that man called Eckivard warned him with these words: 

'I am wondering how you've come along here, because you are Hagen, King Aldrian's son, who has killed my lord, Young-lord Sigurd. Look out as long as you're in Hunaland (14).
Many people are keeping here hostility against you.'
(Mb 367 replacing missing chapter in the Old Swedish texts.)

Regarding the murderous plot on Sigurd and Sigebert, Gregory does not explicitly narrate the same circumstances of death as the Old Norse and Swedish manuscripts, however.

How far can we follow Gregory beyond the Rhine?

Both kings Sigurd and Sigebert were surely popular in large regions on both sides of the Rhine. The place of Sigurd's hoard, his 'treasure cave' as mentioned in the Old Norse and Swedish manuscripts, is geographically related to the Lurvald, largest woodland region of the later Westphalia. Incidentally, J. Baptiste Gramaye, chronicler of Antiquitates Brabantiae; Nivella p. 3 n. 9, notes 'Sigibertus et Moringus in vita S(anta) Wiberti'. Nevertheless, both Sigurd and Sigebert seem of Merovingian descent and thus kinsmen of Clovis who proclaimed the same to the folk in the region of Cologne. The Old Norse scribes correspondingly convey Sigurd's mother as daughter of King 'Nidung' who ruled the Hesbaye (cf Sv 148–152), a former Salian area that nowadays belongs to Belgium. As the author could remark in his book Die Nibelungen – Dichtung und Wahrheit by means of Emil Rückert's research into Frankish onomastics of the Merovingians,(15) the position of King 'Nidung', Old Nordic name for 'hater', seems to be reserved for King Meroveus ('Moroveus', 'Morung', 'Morvung'), the father of 'ORTVANGERIS', as this spelling can express a son of '(M)OR.VANGER'. Emil Rückert underlines that Childeric, son of Meroveus, appears as Jutlandish Hjalprek in both Volsunga saga and heroic lays of the Elder Edda. These texts mention him as an obvious mighty leader who cares for Sigurd after the death of his father Sigmund. A 'Cheldric' also appears as 'Saxon' chief in the Historia Regum Britanniae!

The Thidreks saga and Didriks chronicle provide an interesting geographical detail by chapter Mb 62:

A king named Nidung was ruling over Jutland, that part which is called Thiodi ...,

while the Old Swedish chronicler notes well in chapter 59:

He [Weland/Velent] was finally washed ashore Jutland; a king named Nidung was there ...

Has the first Merovingian already been ruling over some territory outside of Salia, particularly Frisian coastland up to the north-western cap of Jutland? Fredegaire, protagonist of unbelievable Greek descent of the Franks, nevertheless can provide an interesting unvoluntary metonymy. The founder of the Merovingian dynasty, as he writes about the origo of the Franks, was a bizarre individual that came across the sea to have a son with the spouse of Frankish King Clodio: The mythical Minotaur as the very best creature for the impressing horns on a furry alien helmet of a fierce or unfathomed Nordic chief, but not, as he suggests, that figure of Greek origin?(16) Thus, we should focus further interest also on that part of Jutland which the Old Norse scribes remarked as King Nidung's territory (see attachment Merovingian Origin Location).

A concerted effort to synchronize some apparently analogous or completing pattern from Frankish chronicles, Hannonian records of local history, and Svava plus Thidreks saga, may result in the following chart of early Merovingian and Frankish genealogy. Its predicate is also endorsed by Mb 9 (restored by the A/B MSS):

King Samson further fathered with his concubine another son who was named Thetmar after his [Samson's] father-brother ...

In so far the above remembered Theudemer seems to meet the demand on corresponding historical, chronological and genealogical environment.

   FILIATIONS  Synchronization Chart

Genealogical Synchronization of Didriks chronicle 'Svava' with Merovingians

 a Gregory of Tours has no idea of his date of death. Some research makes a difference between Meroveus 'the Elder' (disappearing about 457 in Frankish Salia) for a son of him called 'the Younger'.
 b  As regards Samson's vita, on almost every occasion the manuscripts (esp the Old Norse redactions) reemphasize Ermenrik some years elder than his brother Thetmar whom Samson entrusted with ruling the eminent BERN after its conquest between 460 and 470. Furthermore, apart from this obvious compensation to Ermenrik, these texts nowhere remark that Samson's son Thetmar died young. For contextual chronology on Thetmar's death cf Mb 131, Sv 131. By the way of contrast, the scribes provide the first appearance of three sons of Ermenrik not soon (!) after the conquest of ROMA = Trier on the Moselle, as Ritter estimates their removals AD 493 (1982:282). If Ermenrik were already having an elder son at that time, this potential scion would have been appearing more significant against the interest of 'Sifka' and Ermenrik! Principally, an authorship can make use of eye-catching recurrences in order to contradict opposite information by other tradition.

The genealogical perceptions of the Old Norse and Swedish texts and Gregory of Tours would not suggest to identify Thidrek/Didrik as Theuderic I at the first go. Eugen Ewig and the RGA estimate his mother descended from a family of Cologne (Eugen Ewig: Francia 18/1, p. 49). The first named manuscripts provide a Jarl Elsung the Younger, obviously a close relative of Elsung the Elder who formerly was slain by Samson. 'The Younger' is known as ruler of Babilonia that Ritter identified as Colonia-Cologne, 'the Elder' as father of Odilia who seemingly/possibly was introduced as Franco-Rhenish 'Evochildis' at the court of Theuderic's/Didrik's father. 

The pseudo-Fredegaire (c. 660) notes that

... the franks diligently seeking a long haired king from themselves as they had before … created Theudemer king, the son of Richemer, who was killed by the Romans in that battle which I mentioned above. His son Clodio, the most suitable man in his tribe, took his place in the kingdom.

However, the 'Chronicle of Frankish Kings', known as the Liber historiae Francorum or the Gesta regnum Francorum of 726/727, ascribes Clodio to son of Faramond, son of Marchomir to whom the liber's writer(s) draw on certain Trojan narrative from the Priam and Antenor Legend.

Christian Settipani, of Augustan Society Inc., genealogist of Charlemagne's Ancestry (Les Ancestres de Charlemagne; Editions Christian, Paris 1989), orders these Frankish records in accordance with this rating:

Nowadays, it is pointless, I hope, to say anything about the legend of the Trojan origins denounced by good scholars since 14th century as an absurd fable and which is only a literary creation… It is self-evident that Fredegaire had interpolated Gregory at this place, but he could have done so with good evidence or according to the oral tradition. So, if we had absolutely to choose between Fredegaire's and the Liber's version, we would prefer that of Fredegaire ...
(From Christian Settipani's addenda of 1990 at   retrieved Aug 2005.)

As modern research has been trying to point out, there might be some circumstantial evidence that Frankish historiographers of second half of 6th to first half of 7th century were premeditatedly replacing basic facts about early Frankish history by an absurd core of Trojan legends (notably Eugen Ewig: Trojamythos und fränkische Frühgeschichte, 1996, 1998; Troja und die Franken, 2009).

        Ermenrik and Samson

Alfred Anscombe, British Historian, already introduced Eormenric intriguingly by The Widsith, the Venerable Bede and some other source context. Anscombe recognized him on location somewhat close to later German Westphalia, that region which Ritter contextually specified half-a-century later. Regarding the conclusions initiated by Anscombe, Eormenric the Gotan appears as
an uncle of Theodric, king of the Franks, cousin of Aetla's maternal side, the latter the son of Budla, king of Germanic Hunas by the Widsith and Beda Venerabilis.
(Alfred Anscombe: The Historical Side of the old English Poem of 'Widsith'; Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, III. Series, Vol IX, pgs 123–165.)

The Times, literary supplement of May 20, 1920, thereupon published an expert's letter to the editor with these words: ‘Its consequences are poisonous to research.'

Therewith, the kinship between the Franco-Rhenish Theoderic and Atala, leader of the Lower Saxon 'Hunas', projects eg the mother of the latter as a daughter of Didrik's grandfather or Didrik's mother as a sister of Atala's father. While the scribes of the Didriks chronicle and Thidreks saga do not provide any consanguinity between Didrik and Atala, this connection nonetheless seems to substantiate the good terms and common interests of both kings.

Ritter has expressively considered the libri Teutonici of certain connotation, cf Dietrich von Bern, 1982, pgs 304–305, en 122. An author referring to this edition is Flodoard (894–966), historiographer and archivist at the cathedral of Reims for the most time of his life. He is known as creditable writer, especially by means of his ecclesiastical chronicle of Reims. Flodoard left a passage taken from a letter that archbishop Fulk of Reims wrote under political strain between Charles the 'Simple-minded' (called out by unction from Fulk for making him counter-king against Odo, king of Western Francia) and Arnulf of Carinthia, king of Eastern Francia, to the latter in 893. In it, Fulk forwards some warning arguments to Arnulf, regarding this example about the history of most likely Frankish kingdom:

... subicit etiam ex libris Teutonicis de rege quodam Hermenrico nominee, qui omnem progenium suam morti destinaverit impiis consiliis cuiusdam consilarii sui ...
... he (Fulk) subjects to further item from the Teutonic books a certain king named Hermenric, who destined all his progeny to die by impious counsel from one of his counsellors ...

Whom is Fulk remembering? Does he actually look back to an individual of Italian history? Or does he mean that potent chief of 'Roma secunda' who killed some of his offspring on recommendation of an impious advisor, and whom the Old Norse and Swedish texts provide as a mighty ruler on that very territory belonging both formerly and now to Frankish kingdom? If the archbishop bears in mind the latter, he could have given enough personal attributes.

Regarding Ermenrik's ancestry, the above given synchronizing chart complies with tradition that Albero of Mons, persistently claiming some Salian land as dominant son of Clodio by Rückert's research, was successively the right legal heir of Samson('s) castle, as this detail completes his great-uncle's emigration by means of the Svava and Thidreks saga. Another more or less significant buttress appears as ancestral name forwarding by an interesting nexus between Theudemer's father RICHEMER (related with Frankish spelling) and Samson's son Ermenrik (related with Nordic spelling) through simple half-word interchange: EMER-RICH (ch = k). Samson met accidentally 'Thetmar', the 'brother of this father', after the first had slain the noble brothers 'Brunstein' and 'Rodger'. This certainly kingly Thetmar, bearing a golden lion on his red shield (Mb 5 of A/B MSS), apparently came to aid his explicit nephew whose murderous coup had become known (Sv 4, Mb 5 of A/B MSS). Thus, Samson would have had good reason to remember him with name forwarding to one of his later born sons.

Samson's father does not correspond with that prototype of King Arthur whom the Samson saga fagra loves to expose to some light of Lancelot romance. Furthermore, regarding Ritter's schedule, we cannot reconsider here the Thidreks saga manuscripts mentioning a king spelled 'Arkimannus', the shortly called King Arthur, whose surviving but expelled two sons received new duchies or counties from King Atala. (The Samson saga fagra was recently published in 1953 by John Wilson who refers to the edition Samfund til udgivelse af Gammel Nordisk Litteratur, Vol LXV; Copenhagen 1880. Henry Goddard Leach left its summary in his publication Angevin Britain and Scandinavia; p. 232.)


He is mentioned in the heroic poem Waldere and in the appendix of the German Heldenbuch editions. An earlier remark on Weland provides The Lament of Deor, an elegy of 8th century. The Beowulf connects best armour with Weland's work.

The Weland part of Didriks chronicle and Thidreks saga, which both Ritter and the author have placed into the decades from 440 to 470 (see Ritter's schedule), provides that King Nidung was ruling not only over Salian territory Hesbaye ('Hesbania'), but also his realm on Jutlandish location. The manuscripts refer to his daughter called 'Heren' (Icelandic redaction A, intertextually to be identified with 'Beaduhild') and three of his sons living there. Weland, being cited in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Vita Merlini as 'Pocula que sculpsit Guielandus in urbe Sigeni', fled across Weser river and the North Sea to Jutland with a specially prepared trunk serving him well as a watercraft. In order to save his life, he had slain his outstandingly skilled masters for his father's unwillingly broken oath at 'Ballova' Smithy, a rather small location 30 miles far from Siegen town ('in urbe Sigeni'). Geoffrey of Monmouth never mentions Ballova in his literary work, but the Didriks chronicle and the Thidreks saga never Siegen! The Waltharius remarks Weland shortly with these words at lines 965 & 966:

Et nisi duratis Wielandia fabrica giris
Obstaret, spisso penetraverit ilia ligno.

Weland, grandson of King Vilkinus, was recorded as superb working smith and artist of his time, certainly appearing as an early predecessor of Leonardo da Vinci. However, Weland became victim of intrigues from some man of King Nidung, and so he secretly took murderous revenge on his two youngest but innocent sons for laming him by order of that probably unsuspecting big ruler. Thereafter Weland made his daughter pregnant at his forge and finally left the king with an aircraft that corresponds well with a simple modern windsurfing glider, as Ritter has explanatorily interjected (Der Schmied Weland, including a nautical expert's opinion of Weland's passage.). We naturally would remember at this point Daedalus of Greek mythology, the extraordinary inventor and master craftsman who devised the Cretan Labyrinth for the fierce Minotaur: King Mino, to whom Daedalus fled after he had committed murder, would not allow him to leave the Minotaur's special dwelling from which he could escape by artificial wings nevertheless. We thus may wonder if there were any better literary innuendo for Weland's literary biographer to confirm and analogize Fredegaire's Minotaur with King Nidung! Maurus Servius Honoratus, late 4th-century grammarian, left an interesting commentary on Virgil that the crippled Vulcan, metal-smith of the gods, attempted to 'use violence' on goddess Minerva when she met him for forging service. If the scribe of Weland's vita had transformed this anecdote, the manuscripts certainly would be basing on scholarly background!
The Franks Casket - Lid Panel
The Franks Casket - Front Panel
The whalebone made Franks Casket, Anglo-Saxon, first half of 8th century: Regarding the divided scenes on its front panel (smaller picture), ' ... the left is derived from the Germanic legend of Weland the Smith ...' as The British Museum points out briefly. Surprisingly, the front panel's right half shows historical adoration of the Magi. Carved scenes of quite similar style from the Thidreks saga and related Nordic narratives were also adorning the former church of Hyl(l)estad, Norway. The photo on the left, imaging the scene in the left half of the front panel, documents also Weland getting and feeding geese, as this action will clearly mark the most important first step for the
Creation of the Mimung (Sv 64, Mb 67).i The larger scene given by this smaller photo refers to Weland working at his smithy. He is depicted at a time when he had slain the two youngest sons of King Nidung, seemingly illustrated with one small human body laying on the ground behind Weland (Sv 73, Mb 74). This scene corresponds well with the appearance of King Nidung's daughter and a supernatural maiden serving Weland with a bottle of liquid to make her obedient. Thus, the artist seems to consider mythological tradition. The first panoramic image of the casket's lid '... shows another Germanic story about a hero named Ægili who is shown defending his home from armed raiders.' (Comment by The British Museum). Ritter regards this scene 'The Return of Odysseus', however.
The Smithy, carving at Hylestad church portal
Two carvings of Hylestad Stave Church.
Slaying the Smith, carving at Hylestad church portal
The redrawn scene above remembers well also Weland slaying Amelias, Master Smith of King Nidung.

i A method of refining iron by digestion of birds is believed to be traditionally kept as a secret in China and Tibet. Ritter remarks that the usage of bird excretion for making nitriding steel of astonishing high quality was scientifically verified by
Dr Karl Daeves, Technical Engineer:
Rundschau deutscher Technik, Nr. 26, 20. Jg., Germany 1940;
Dr J. Heddaeus, Technical Engineer:
Das Werk, Heft 9, Jg. 1936, published by Vereinigte Stahlwerke AG, Germany.
See linked reference titled
The Steel of Weland the Smith –
Summaries of Scientific Analyses.
Ritter provides on Weland another discovery being evaluated of 6th–7th century (!), thus of elder creation than the Franks Casket: The Gold Solidus of Frisian Schweindorf with its obverse estimated as facsimile of a typical Late Antiquity solidus. The reverse, however, shows the likeness of a person with runic symbols by enlarged Anglo-Saxon set of characters.
Jantina H. Looijenga, rune expert and author of the thesis ' Runes around the North Sea and on the Continent AD 150–700', classifies this solidus in her dissertation, available online at the Library of Groningen University, Netherlands, by this description:
Weland of Old Tradition Weland of old tradition. Painting by E. Nowack.
»... a cast gold solidus, found in Schweindorf near Aurich in 1948. Now in the Ostfriesisches Landesmuseum, Emden. Date 575–625.
Runes run left: weladu or þeladu.
The initial rune has a large loop, from the top of the headstaff to the bottom, so either w or þ may be read. As þeladu does not render something meaningful, generally the reading wela[n]du is preferred. This is a personal name Wela(n)du, cf Old English Weland, Old Norse-Icelandic Volundr, New German Wieland <
*wsla-handuz, nominative singular maskuline: u-stem, ‘trickster'. (Düwel/Tempel 1968/70; Beck 1981:69ff. with references). The first part of the compound is *wel – ‘trick, ruse' cf Old Nordic vél ‘artifice, craft, device' followed by the suffix -and < Germanic *handuz.
The name might refer to the well-known legendary smith Weland.«
We thus would adhere to consideration that coincident 'Lower Saxon' minting referring to mythological persons might be unprecedented. The Ardre VIII image stone of Gotland (8th century) and the Cross-shafts of Leeds (c. 11th century) provide other pictorial traditions of Weland the Smith.

        Other connections

A maternal line in the synchronizing chart related to the early Merovingians can reveal that an important political relationship between the emerging Franks and their eastern neighbours, whose common Germanic ancestors were severely subjugated by the Romans, was hereditarily sealed in the Hesbaye in the middle of 5th century between King Nidung and King Sigmund, cf Sv 148 and Ritter's schedule: King Sigmund married King Nidung's daughter 'Sissibe'. After an epic insertion dealing with the birth and vanishing of their son Sigurd, obviously an adaptation of Franko-German Saint Genevieve Legend enriched with motives of the birth of Moses and the saga of Romulus and Remus, the third writer of the oldest available manuscript relates the hero's youth at Mime the Smith. In this period Sigurd fell in (hot) love with Queen Brynhild 'the Virgin' on location quoted as 'Svava': The Harz, certainly most attracting Lower German region.(17) On recommendation of Brynhild, Sigurd moved to King Isung and his gorgeous sons the Old Norse scribes know as strongest fighters – actually a mighty ruler family of a very important political and economical territory: King Isung's land between the Harz and the mouth of Elbe river, the latter nowadays pertaining to Hamburg, was both bordering on the territories of martial Baltic tribes and guaranteeing enormous toll and tax profits for Scandinavian trade routes.

Didrik's 'Grand Banquet Mission', a trip to big fighting event at King Isung (Sv 177–209, Mb 190–226), rather appears as tricky political campaign for making Sigurd submissive to think about his father's connection with the family of a Salian ruler: It certainly was already some good land around the Eiffel the eager Niflungi were administering – did Didrik need an extraordinary trustee for holding them in check?

Sigurd's name can surely express his special thick skin that even Theophanis the Confessor knew as characteristic hereditary mark going with the Merovingians: an obvious ichthyosis hystrix, striking form of skin disease. Abbot Theophanis, most important Byzantine co-author of a world chronicle from 284 to 813, allows to conclude 'bristles of swine growing on Merovingian spine'. Referring to the translation of C. Mango and R. Scott, Edward G. Fichtner quotes Theophanis' entry for the year 723–724 with these words:

The descendants of that line [the Merovingian line] were called Kristatai, which means 'hairy backs' [trichorachatai]: for, like pigs, they had bristles sprouting from their back. 
(Edward G. Fichtner: Sigfrid's Merovingian Origins, 2004, p. 335.)

Jan de Vries, editor of Old Nordic etymological dictionary (Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, ed 2000), seems to enlighten us on Sigurd's name and nature:

sigg = bacon rind (from primal Nordic 'segja')
sigg (Modern Norse) = rind
sigg (Shetlandic) = hard skin
segg (Modern English dialectical) = skin with gristles

Thus, German affix -fried or -frid seems to accomplish best nicknaming, since it is old suffix for strong male nature or property, cf 'Burgfried' for biggest tower of a castle or fortress.

        Early activities in Baltic lands and Western Russia

Regarding Thidrek's and Atala's operations in these regions, eg the political interests of the latter holding Hildigund hostage, the daughter of Ilias af Gercekia ('Grecia', 'Greka'), H.-J. Hube annotates [op cit, p. 34, ann 2] that Adam von Bremen [am] provides Graecus and Graecen as general expression for the Slavs.

While the Old Norse and Swedish texts report on several campaigns of Dietrich and Atala in Baltic regions between Western Pomerania and Byelorussia, Procopius of Caesarea makes an insertion related to the marriage of a sister of Theodibert and, in so far, likely a daughter of Theuderic I. She became spouse of Hermegis ('Hermegisclus') and his son Radigis, kings of the Varnii. These people (Germ 'Warnen') have been connected with Mecklenburg locations Warnemünde and Warnow, likewise Warnow river, in Migration Period. After the death of his father Hermegis, as Procopius continues his report in Gothic Wars IV, 20, Radigis cancelled intended marriage with a princess of 'Brittia' in order to marry his father's spouse due to dynastic convention. Procopius completes that the 'Brittian' princess thereupon confronted Radigis martially with her fleet and finally made him to keep his former promise. Since Procopius has introduced and integrated 'Brittia' island with some confusing description obviously related to 'Britannia' (Great Britian), he or the composer(s) of his source could have mislocated possible participation of Bertanga on the Elbe, location of Didriks chronicle and Thidreks saga.

                  Ostancia, queen of Vilkinaland, Baltic Sea Region

Flying Dragon, medieval painting
A medieval motif.
Source: Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen.
(Ritter: Dietrich von Bern, 1982, pgs 241–245, Abb. 26.)
As Ritter disenchants the magic arts of Osta(n)cia the Sorceress, spouse of King Her(t)nid of Vilkinaland, she managed the installation of special kites to shock the warriors of King Isung. The HISTORIA WILKINENSIUM, THEODERICI VERONENSIS..., CCCXXVIII (cf Sv 299, Mb 352) relates: ...Isthaec vero secretas per artes convocavit in medium feras omnimodas, utpote leones, ursos atque dracones horrendae magnitudinis, quos voci suae obsequentes hostium agmini propulsando obmisit...
Gregory of Tours also considers this obvious 6th-century warfare method for confusing the enemy; hist IV, 29: Chuni vero iterum in Gallias venire conabantur... Cumque confligere deberent, isti magicis artibus instructi, diversas eis fantasias ostendunt et eos valde superant...
[The Huns were again endeavoring to make an entrance into the Gauls ... And when they were about to fight, the Huns, who were versed in magic arts, caused false appearances of various sorts to come before them and defeated them decisively... (English version by E. Brehaut.)]


The Thidreks saga appears as being based on a chronicle or historia rendering an eulogy of most important 'Austrasian' king Theuderic. Nevertheless, Didrik's biography has to be regarded fragmentary: Just at that time when he was celebrated King of Roma II, Sv 356 and Mb 414, his curriculum vitae provided by the Old Norse and Swedish texts is drawing to an end. The remaining last parts of these manuscripts relate Aldrian's Niflunga revenge – that ends on the last sheet of the oldest available redaction – and two epic implantations: The first deals with 'Bergara' (Sv: 'Brugare') that the author identifies with Bergen, place of translation by the Old Norse scribes who traditionally were editing epic stuff and, regarding German transmission, therewith leaving their narrative imprint in this way. The second is Heimir's episode at Wadhincusan monastery which Roswitha Wisniewski recognizes as the literary signature of the Lower German chronicler Ludewicus, a provable 13th-century scriptor and copyist of a precious bible at Wedinghausen monastery.(18)

Gregory relates Theuderic acting not before 507. Thereafter our Frankish chronicler mentions him on campaigns against the Auvergne (523/524), Thuringia (c. 530), and a Frankish chief called Mundericus (532/533). The Thuringian War, however, might stand in strategical connection with the Niflunga downfall at Soest dated between 527 and 530 for some archaeological item. Considering Theuderic's biographical gap between 507/508 and 523/524 plus his following actions, the vita of this Frankish king rather appears completed by the Old Norse and Swedish manuscripts.

As regards the exposition of Didrik's exile, we obviously have to consider the ethical side of his humiliation that might have been lasting as long as he was unable to compensate his expulsion. Although he could not regain all his former land from his kinsman 'Ermenrik' (1st quarter of 6th century), he could have been able to make a campaign somewhere else. This context also comprehends Gregory's suppression of contemporary history of Roma II and some area between the Meuse and the Rhine – as he actually did for his very fragmentary reports on both Theuderic and, especially, the significant region of Belgica I. As to another item raising from this spatio-temporal context, Gregory's readers tend to believe that Theuderic was crowned in no time after Clovis' death, thereafter residing on locations called Mettae and Remi – though Gregory does not say a word about the date and place of Theuderic's coronation. According to archaeological research, however, Roma II was definitely larger and more precious colonia of the eastern Frankish regions by far when Theuderic ascended the throne. Thus, the elder scholarly conclusion does not correspond with basic political principles of Late Antiquity and Migration Era. More to this basic point, we cannot substantiate neither Metz nor Reims as Theuderic's residence (notably Roger Collins 1983).

Listening to the Didriks chronicle, Thidreks saga, and Gregory for an important historical occurrence in Lower and Central Germany, however, Didrik was back in the Eiffel at that very time when Theuderic

indeed had returned to his property and sent for Hermanfrid ...

(Idem vero regressus ad propria, Hermenefredum ad se data fidem securum praecipit venire, quem et honorificis ditavit muneribus. Factum est autem, dum quadam die per murum civitatis Tulbiacensis confabularentur, a nescio quo inpulsus, de altitudine muri ad terram corruit ibique spiritum exalavit. Sed qui eum exinde deiecerit, ignoramus; multi tamen adserunt, Theudorici in hoc dolum manifestissime patuisse.)

and ... one day, as they were standing on the walls of Tulbiacum [Zülpich] and talking ...
(hist III, 8)

A fatally shrinking space for homeland of two different Frankish individuals at this certainly significant political event!

A fragment of a Roman wall, supporting Gregory's localization, has been archaeologically proved at Zülpich by Ursula Heimberg (Publisher: Landesmuseum Bonn, Sonderheft Rheinische Ausgrabungen '78, Köln/Bonn 1979, p. 90). The geostrategical importance of Zülpich from Roman times to 5th century underlines Eugen Ewig (Rheinische Geschichte Bd. 1,2, p. 15). Interestingly in Frankish-Thuringian context, a fragment of Saxon chronicle De origine Sueborum relates that Hermanfrid fled in 531 to a leader called 'Attila' after a lost battle against the Franks. This message might supplement the entry made by the scribe of the Annales Quedlinburgenses (see above)!

When Didrik/Thidrek returned home to his residence in the outer Eiffel, he knew that the western part of an area called later Lower Saxony was too weak to repulse any further attack coming from the other side of the Rhine (Sv 340–341, Mb 395–396). When Theuderic was back on home location in the outer Eiffel, c. 531, he removed the deprived last king of Thuringia. Furthermore, the Old Norse and Swedish texts clearly provide that Thidrek/Didrik took over the later Westphalia – part of Hunaland with its capital Susa/Susat – after the death of its ruler (cf Sv 369 with Mb 428). This is indissoluble political strategy of Frankish expansion related to first half of 6th century, rightly considering subtle positions of the historical Dietrich complying with the crafty character of Theuderic.

Moreover, we again must state an incredibly shrinking area for two different Theoderics when turning once more to the vitae of Didrik/Thidrek and Theuderic. This is encyclopaedic quotation referring to Theuderic I. who in third decade of 6th century reconsolidated Trier = Roma II after its period of obvious destructive arbitrary rule:

It was while abbot that King Theoderic I (511–534) learned to know and esteem him, Nicetius often remonstrating with him on account of his wrong-doing without, however, any loss of favour. After the death of Aprunculus of Trier, an embassy of the clergy and citizens of Trier came to the kingly court to elect a new bishop. They desired Gallus, but the King refused his consent. They then selected Abbot Nicetius set out as the new bishop for Trier, accompanied by an escort sent by the king, and while on the journey had opportunity to make known his firmness in the administration of his office. Trier had suffered terribly during the disorders of the Migrations.  (retrieved March 2009)

Hans Hubert Anton, expert in ecclesiastical Gallo-Roman and Frankish history, constates [transl]:

The accumulation of names in the Episcopal Registry of Trier at the end of 5th and beginning of 6th century (...) suggests a period of politically troubled times, the weak testimonies of the afore named allow to conclude an (undoubtedly politically-based) isolation.
[Die Häufung der Namen in der Trierer Bischofsliste am Ende des 5. und zu Beginn des 6. Jahrhunderts (...) deutet auf politisch unruhige Zeiten, die schwache Bezeugung der Aufgeführten läßt dabei auf eine (zweifellos politisch bedingte) Isolierung schließen.
Hans Hubert Anton: Die Trierer Kirche und das nördliche Gallien in spätrömischer und fränkischer Zeit. In: Beihefte der Francia, 16,2 (1989) p. 61.]

The amassing of names in the Episcopal Registry of this Roma cisalpina ended with Theuderic's appearance. Regarding King Didrik's arrival on this location, within a difference of c. 2 years by means of Ritter's schedule, he (had) liberated this metropolis from Ermenrik's successor 'Sevekin', the Old Nordic 'Sifka'(19).

This is nothing less than a further compelling parallel pointing out another very important political event in the vita of Didrik-Theuderic. Incidentally, the Old Norse and Swedish manuscripts annotate King Didrik's conversion into Christianity in accordance with that moment when Bishop Nicetius talked seriously with Theuderic I.

The scribe(s) of the Old Swedish texts left a chronicle, neither one of those 'fornaldarsögur', sagas written before Iceland's ethnological starting point, nor one of those 'riddarasögur', chivalrous tales written thereafter by Old Norse 'fabulatores' for amusement at medieval courts. Roswitha Wisniewski, whose postdoctoral work about the Niflunga downfall by Thidreks saga has been either attacked unconvincingly or ignored enormously by her colleagues, does not follow wrong methodological principles of elder and newer scholarship to classify Thidreks saga. Although Wisniewski unconvincingly regards 'the Italian conqueror Samson' as a brainchild ('Erfindung') of Thidreks saga, she provides persuasive evidence that its obvious comprehensive Lower German source is based on narrational identities unquestionably belonging to the first category [transl]:

The literary design of Thidrekssaga is characterized by natures known from chronicles, historiographies and gestae (Droege, Wisniewski). The title »Dietrichschronik« for the Swedish version thus might be chosen not by chance. In contrast to heroic lays and epics, as they are personalizing and depolitizising sagas, politicizing is especially typical for chronicles and related literary forms.
[Für die Gestaltungsweise der Thidrekssaga sind Eigenheiten kennzeichnend, die aus Chroniken, Historien und Gesten bekannt sind (Droege, Wisniewski). Die Bezeichnung »Dietrichschronik« für die schwedische Fassung dürfte nicht von ungefähr kommen. Im Gegensatz zu Heldenliedern und Heldenepen, die Sagen personalisieren und entpolitisieren, ist für Chroniken und verwandte Formen gerade die Politisierung typisch.
Roswitha Wisniewski: Mittelalterliche Dietrichdichtung, 1986, p. 79; p. 35 on 'Samson'.]

Hans-Jürgen Hube, expert in Nordic literature (Humboldt Universität Berlin, Nordeuropa-Institut, em), correspondingly estimates the manuscripts based on a chronicle written in 12th–13th century,(20) and he reasonably detects some basic conviction provided by Susanne Kramarz-Bein, of the bunch around Heinrich Beck and other questionable researchers across the Thidreks saga, as spitzfindig.

Theoderic the Great, however, whose historical vita is certainly more in detail than the biographical material we have on the Frankish Theuderic and his intimate advisor dux Hilpingus/Hildingus (cf Dietrich von Bern & Hilprant in the keenly compiled 'World Chronicle' by Heinrich von München), had no confident or follower roughly named alike – a relationship to compare with King David and Jonathan by the ecclesiastical scribe of Mb 15 –, although we urgently should expect this for the incontrovertible literary connection of both! Furthermore, Wisniewski quite rightly queries the missing scholarly consistency in the cardinal questions and answers on the historical starting point of Dietrich von Bern saga tradition and the mental process for/of converting an historical Italian conqueror so emphatically into an Italian refugee! Referring to prevailing opinion, she cognizes the conquest of Italy by Theoderic the Great and the assassination of Odoacer, but she cannot provide a good reason why Dietrichdichtung, categorized 'of southern origin', transforms such basic biographical context into extensive fabulous exile tradition [op cit, pgs 44–45]. Joachim Heinzle correspondingly states [transl]:

Nonetheless puzzling is what matters most: How did come the conversion of Italy's historical conquest by Theoderic into Dietrich's expulsion from Italy?
[Rätselhaft bleibt indes die Hauptsache: wie es zur Verwandlung der historischen Eroberung Italiens durch Theoderich in die Vertreibung Dietrichs aus Italien kommen konnte.
Joachim Heinzle: Einführung in die mittelhochdeutsche Dietrichepik, 1999, p. 6.]

The Ambraser Heldenbuch already includes the eminent verse form poetry Dietrichs Flucht and Rabenschlacht, inter alia misleadingly classified as  H I S T O R I S C H E  DIETRICHEPIK by elder scholarship (cf endnote 18.2). Comparing the basic source context of the prose version known as 'Anhang zum Heldenbuch' (AHB), provided as either prologue or, more commonly, addendum in the 'Books of Heroes' released by Diebolt von Hanowe and some other editors, Joachim Heinzle concludes [transl]:

It is out of the question that the author of the 'Heldenbuch prose' had an access to the 'Thidreks saga': Saga and prose must, independently of each other, have selected eclectically from the same old narrative tradition.
[Es ist ausgeschlossen, dass der Verfasser der 'Heldenbuch-Prosa' Zugang zur 'Thidrekssaga' hatte: Saga und Prosa müssen unabhängig voneinander aus der gleichen, alten Erzähltradition geschöpft haben.
Op cit, pgs 79–80.]

This statement implies significant divergences for intermediate and/or final edits basing on 'the same old narrative tradition'.

Alpharts Tod, seemingly the 'trilogical' or, at least, further outstanding rhyme epic dealing with Dietrich's explusion and his attempt to regain his kingship, conveys a Franco-Rhenish paper manuscript of 15th century, while the text itself seems to be generated in 13th/14th century. Joachim Heinzle does not follow estimations pleading for an author based in Upper Germany [transl]:

It seems hopeless to determine the native location of the text. The circumstancial evidences brought forward for the Bavarian and – at last – Alemannic space as linguistic area are all through unuseable.
[Hoffnungslos scheint es, die Heimat des Textes bestimmen zu wollen. Die Indizien, die man für den bairischen und – zuletzt – für den alemannischen Sprachraum beigebracht hat, sind durchweg unbrauchbar.
Op cit, p. 90.]

As regards medieval Dietrich epics apparently of Upper Germany and/or North Italy, some of their authors seeing a necessity not least for compensation and thus mystifying for glorifying the pragmatic Ostrogothic politician, eg by replacing Dietrich's/Theuderic's grandfather with nothing more than an alluding surrogate Amelunc generated from an 550 years living HugeDietrîch, scholarly authorities as Kemp Malone and other researchers in medieval literature rather place at disposal the literary North-South mainstream (Malone at least for Thidreks saga) and rightly deduce the Frankish king and/or his best companion as the prototype(s) serving for some southern-based heroic lay or epic work.

Addressing undiscerning and intentionally ignoring communis opinio, Ritter's general research inter alia provides convincing arguments that the Old Norse and Swedish texts cannot meet the conditional framework to ascribe them to any Ostrogothic saga on Theoderic the Great. Since there is actually no evidence to the contrary, it now seems clear that acknowledged historical plus historiographical contexts of Migration Period in Eastern Frankish, North German and Baltic regions cannot disprove both the basic political contents of these manuscripts and Ritter's conclusions. Following his validations, advanced explorations of these texts do not necessitate polemic protection by de facto obsolete research suggesting an oral-based 'process operative' called 'localization' for 'transmitted events', therewith arguing in favour of a special kind of 'pseudo-localization' for 'pseudo-history'. However, such dubious hermeneutical approach and solidification pays no attention to any further provision of evidence, but deducing smartly an overestimation of the exactness of history as preserved in oral traditions instead. Pretty statements emending themselves significantly to scholarly level of medieval German-Norse source transmission. (Cf Wikipedia's Legends about Theoderic the Great; retrieved 2011-05-17 and 2013-03-24. As already remarked by Ritter and other researchers, there are in all manuscripts only two or possibly three Ostrogothic geonyms contextually appearing as erroneous attributes delivered by the Old Norse and Swedish scribes.)

Title Peringskiold Edition, Stockholm 1715
Johan Peringskiöld clearly distinguished in 1715 between Old Norse literary category SAGA and the script he provided under the title
Ritter has demonstrated that the fundamental literary problem of Thidreks SAGA has been carried by its title, and he conclusively states that we cannot ascribe the texts obviously translated from a German 'Großwerk' (notably Roswitha Wisniewski, cf eg Hermann Reichert 1992 for problematic source context of oral transmission connected with the eldest manuscript)(21) to neither a 'saga' because of available renditions of Migration Period history – recognized records about its era are characteristically depending on biased manners of narrational performance – nor Legends about Theoderic the Great.

Re-evaluating Ritter's work, we have to concede that he plausibly left a rational philological reconstruction of some very basic account provided by Thidreks saga.

In all this respect, veritable modern research in Thidreks saga and the Old Swedish texts would not longer ascribe neither unwritten content nor any clearly different context to Ostrogothic saga environment of Theoderic the Great (notably eg Walter Böckmann 1981, Helmut G. Vitt 1985, Ernst F. Jung 1986/87, Hanswilhelm Haefs 2004). Considering circumspectly the literary categories of Old Norse bibliography, the Thidreks 'saga' rather has to be regarded as an   i m p o r t e d   h i s t o r i c a l   s o u r c e. A material of literary gender that King Hákon's scribes might have translated with same trustworthiness as, for instance, the Trójumanna saga, Alexanders saga, Rómverja saga, Gyðlinga saga, Veraldar saga. Friedrich Heinrich von der Hagen, translator of German edition of Thidreks saga, mentions in his foreword a Latin manuscript whose missing direct speech can be detected in the prosaic text, cf Johan Peringskiöld 1715. Its source, not unlikely post-edited by a Norse Latin writer, is exposed to further discussion in the author's contribution Wadhincúsan, monasterium Ludewici. Regarding this cleric as the primary author and provider of the Old Norse and Swedish renditions, he certainly could have either compared or  r e c o n f i r m e d   his manuscript with German lays: segja þýðersk kvæði (eg Mb 433).

As already mentioned, both the Thidreks saga and the Old Swedish manuscripts do not connect the Niflungi with any Burgundian context! Conclusively, source research has been rightly considering an archaic material for the works written by the postulated Lower German and the Old Norse/Swedish scribes and, definitely, those Upper German authors, because the Nordic ones do augment with some receptive detail provided by the Nibelungenlied resp its suggested earlier version Ältere Not, cf endnote 19, last paragraph.

Clip CCXCVIII Latin script

Clip CCCXXVIII Latin script

Clip CCCLXVII Latin script

Clip CCCLXXXII Latin script
Clips from the Latin version provided with the Peringskiöld edition of 1715: Passages referring to German sources. Although marked as 'translation', this script hardly seems retranslated from any available redaction of Thidreks saga. Cf an example for circumstancial evidence at Die Mosel im Licht von Thidrekssaga und Dietrich-Chronik (Bild 4), [].
Interestingly, the writers of the Old Norse redactions notice Mænstrborg or Mynstrborg for Westphalian Münster (recorded as one location of contemporary witnesses), whereas the Latin scribe places at that very passage (2nd clip from below) Monasterienses. This spelling appears in medieval German records on the civitates of Münster. Its locality is based on the former Mimigernaford, estimated as settlement of 6th century.
Even so we may ask: If Gregory or the pseudonymous Fredegaire, both of them rather moralistic than conscientious raconteurs, had a solid idea of a large extant record relating the contents of Thidreks saga and Didriks chronicle: Which accounts could they omit at first for saving renditions by own local sources?

1  See Appendix A2: Evaluation of Thidreks saga Manuscripts. The contents of fragmentary Old Swedish K45,4° manuscript is closely affiliated to Skokloster manuscript. back to text

2  As H. Ritter died in 1994, he had proved the real topographical and geographical accuracy (up to nearly 99% of all key-words) of the Thidreks saga manuscripts that subsequently seemed to have changed from a legend to a historia or chronicle. Thereupon, finally aged 92, he recommended to draw conclusions from the entire context of these texts.  back to text

3 The given small cutting from Kurt Stade's comprehensive Roman map of Germanic territory was published in various editions of educational German history maps. (Today's current names of former Roman locations are printed in blue, Roman routes in red.)  back to text

4 The historical localization of Didrik's Bern by means of some first introduced probatory pictorial material is subject to verification in largest appendix chapter of the author's publication Die Nibelungen – Dichtung und Wahrheit, published by Monsenstein und Vannerdat, Münster 2005. Apart from own research based on the finds of Varne, the author mainly refers to publications by Wilfried M. Koch, archaeological director of German state office LVR (Landschaftsverband Rheinland).  back to text

5 Today: Trier on the Moselle.  back to text

6 The author stated in 2007:
Die Geschichtsforschung hat die Hauptfigur der Thidrekssaga wiederholt mit Theuderich I. in Übereinstimmung bringen wollen. So kein Geringerer als Karl Simrock, der sich allerdings nicht detailliert mit einer fundierten Gestaltensynopse befasst hat. Ihm folgte, wiederum ohne ausführliche Behandlung, Kemp Malone. Somit äußerten beide Forscher einen impliziten Vorbehalt gegenüber Gregors Herkunftsangabe von Theuderich. (Sage und Wirklichkeit, 2007, p. 352.)
    Simrock, Malone an other analysts naturally could proceed on the assumption that either Gregory or the Thidreks saga or both sources combine different genealogical perception with the Franco-Rhenish protagonist. In contrast to the Thidreks saga that allows to detect its definite geographical limitation, the Wolfdietrich represents an example that fades over its obvious Frankish based characters to the large area being connected with the appearances of Theoderic the Great.
    The author points out this example of historical identification at (en 10):
    Unter Berücksichtigung erkennbar korrespondierender Überschneidungen, darunter die ostfränkische Expansion in den mittel- und niederdeutschen Raum sowie später die Konsolidierung der Treverermetropole mit hervorgehobener Hinwendung des Königs auf christliche Wertvorstellungen, konzentrieren sich fränkische Historiografie und die altnord./altschw. Überlieferungen auf zwei unterschiedliche Altersabschnitte von Theuderich I. (Midlife–Alter) und Dietrich (Jugend–Midlife).
    Mit deutlicheren Worten aus dem Blog eines Historikerforums (Auszug):
    Es war Theuderich I, unter dem die fränkische Übernahme des vordem niedergermanisch-sächsischen Soest angegangen wurde und die er, neben seinen mitteldeutsch-thüringischen Ambitionen, sicher ebenso geschickt eingefädelt und z. T. miterlebt hat. Der Vorlagenautor der Thidrekssaga führt uns diesen Vorgang mit keinem anderen als dem von süddeutscher Heldendichtung aufgeschnappten Nibelungenschicksal vor Augen – welch schockierende Metaphrase! Zwar verlieren nach beiden Varianten die angerückten Gaste nur knapp gegen die Streitmacht des Gastgebers, jedoch weisen die altnordischen und altschwedischen Handschriften zu den Susater Darstellungen absolut zutreffend darauf hin, dass Thidrek das fortan ausgeblutete Reich des "Attila" übernimmt.
    Es war Theuderich I, der noch während der Osterweiterung seines Frankenreiches mit einer weiteren Großtat die Moselmetropole Trier = Roma secunda von despotischer Gewaltherrschaft befreit hat. Und es sind wiederum die altnordischen und altschwedischen Textzeugnisse, die nicht nur dieses Ereignis grundsätzlich bestätigen, sondern dazu auch Vorgeschichte und Hintergründe vermitteln wollen.
    Zwei Höhepunkte aus der Herrschervita dieses Theuderich. Zwei unverkennbare Höhepunkte aus der Thidrekssaga. Wie unverfroren überliefern deren Verfasser oder der von einer Germanistin in einem Atemzug als Bibelscriptor und Geschichtsfälscher gebranntmarkte Epos-Urheber wirklich? ...
    Nach verfügbaren fränkischen Quellen wissen zwar nicht, warum Theuderich den Ort Trier erst um 525 – als er noch einige hundert Kilometer südwestlich der Treverermetropole mit massivem militärischen Einsatz einen Reichsanspruch durchsetzen wollte – christlich rekonstituieren und somit auch grundlegend konsolidieren konnte. Anhand zuverlässiger Quellen ist jedoch weitestgehend unbestritten, dass sich dieser Moselort über mehrere Jahrzehnte – zumindest von ca. Ende des 5. bis Anfang des 6. Jhs. – in einer auf offensichtlich erheblich unruhige innenpolitische Zustände zurückzuführenden klerikalen Instabilität befunden hat.
    So sehr zu Thidreks Exil das Hildebrandslied und die Rabenschlacht als Rezeptionsgrundlage der altnordischen Handschriften bemüht werden, so wenig überzeugende Parallelen lassen sich dabei aus der historischen Vita des ostgotischen Theoderich aufzeigen. Oder mit Wikipedias Worten zu dessen Rezeption: Die Sagenbildung stellt dabei die historischen Tatsachen geradezu auf den Kopf ... (Wikipedia am 02.07.2010 unter Theoderich der Große) – forschungsbibliografische Anmaßung über den altnordischen Vermittlungsstoff par excellence!  back to text

7 Cf Old Nordic 'samr' = black. Although it seems not uncomplicated to identify Samson with Childeric I, a real named 'Samson' was son of Chilperic I, King of Soissons, and Fredegund. Thus, we may wonder if their early died son should remember a merited ancestor of the early Merovingians.
    Scholarly research into source material about Childeric I has been producing controversial or at least divergent redrawings of his remarkable fragmentary and hazy vitae. Since we know about Childeric's activities especially in north-eastern Gaul, insufficiently, some of them obviously pro-Roman against invading tribes, source contexts seem to reveal him playing nonetheless a pro-Frankish rôle, too. In so far we cannot exclude his important influence on the former Germania inferior – on anti-Roman consolidations and final Franco-Rhenish conquests.
    Referring to Childeric’s sexual profligacy, Gregory of Tours colports a king called Bisinus as contemporary Thuringian king. As noted well in scholarly discussions, this constellation appears less authentic. Did Gregory rather mean the king of Tongres? A corresponding emendation was already provided by a scribe (copyist) of Gregory’s work, cf I. N. Wood 1994. Not less interesting: Eugippius equating the Thuringii (Thuringians) with Toringi (Commemoratorium 27,2 & 31,4), cf G. Scheibelreiter 2009. Gregory's dubious genealogical horizon of 5th century does also question the real dynastical identity of Clovis' mother!
    Besides, the Blómstrvalla saga remembers some chapter of Thidreks saga when forwarding narration related to the heroes from the bloodline of Samson's first son Duke Ake. The Samson saga fagra, especially its first part, is based on chivalrous French epics on Samson by Lancelot pattern, while the Karlamagnús saga as well as Vilhjalms saga mention 'Samson' rather shortly. Although Henry Goddard Leach regards the Samson saga fagra originated in 13th century, its compilation seems to meet rather 14th-century sagas, as Rudolf Simek estimates. Nonetheless, this saga should not be left out for a glance at Samson's action space. Its last chapter tries to give an historiographical outlook peculiarly dominated by events in Lower German and Westphalian lands ('Vestfal') exaggeratedly ascribed to Samson's conquests: Valltari, recited as a son of Samson, received from his father a Westphalian realm, married 'Gertrud', daughter of a Duke of Brunswick 'Brunsuik', and finally became Duke of Holstein 'Hollzsetu landi'.
    Actually, there is a Salian resp 'Salernian' location called Samson: This Wallonian village can be found approximately 6 miles east of Namur, Belgium. Its ruined Roman fort, partially restored to a castle with a surviving impressing limestone wall on the rocks 'Les rochers de plus de 80 mètres avec une formidable muraille de calcaire', is surrounded by Germanic war graves of 2nd half of 4th century. Sauvenière is today's name of a location that also pertains to its district. Considering obligatory historical relevance of contemporary Sauvenière, a former Roman estate of 2nd century has been proved on its Plateau d'Arlansart at the highest spring of Orneau river. This place is mentioned as »Salvenerias villa« in a copied deed certification of Emperor Otto the Great, issued on September 20, 946. The Salernitana urbis, as mentioned in the Latin script provided by Peringskiöld, might represent nothing more than a temporary place of residence on Salian territory.
Map of Sauveniere
    Ernst F. Jung, German historian of Roman Era and Late Antiquity, additionally remarks a Samson sword type that classifies weapon foundlings of definitely Childeric's time in that region of Namur where Sambre river meets the Meuse. As regards this sword type, Jung refers in his book Der Nibelungen Zug durchs Bergische Land (published by Haider-Verlag company, Bergisch Gladbach 1987) to the expert Wilfried Menghin who notes in his book Kelten, Römer und Germanen (published by Prestel-Verlag Company, Munich 1980) the corresponding catalogue no 16/17 of time group A, 'the same to which the Nordic Snartemo sword has been classified'.  back to text

8 The scribe of Mb 246 locates Walslanga at certain 'western border' of Franka riki, cf German Thidreks saga translation by F. H. von der Hagen. Ritter identified Walslanga ('Valsløngva') as German Westerwald, a woodland which, as the Thidreks saga provides, partially belonged to the realm of that 'Salmon'. A western or north-western border of his land actually seems plausible if the Franks had already taken their first new regions on the Lower Lahn and Main river ('Frank-furt').
    From second quarter to the middle of 6th century, the Franks invaded Thuringia on a Mid-German territory extending from the upper Main to the upper Weser and the Elbe. In so far the medieval writer certainly means an area known today as '(Unter-)Franken' with regional inhabitants still called 'Mainfranken'. The author of Mb 250 remarks that King Salmon attended a colloquium of apparently 'Ripuarian Franks'* at King Ermenrik's Roma [secunda]. Ritter has placed this event at the end of 5th century. Thus 'Salmon', a nickname for a mighty Frankish chief seemingly given by a sophisticated clerical author, appears synonymous with the first (or an early) Frankish conqueror and new ruler of lower and mid Main regions. The ford ('furt') of Main river on an obvious outstanding former location related to the Franks – today the metropolis of a large area –, from the MS to be roughly determined in eastern position of the former Walslanga centre, was an important strategic passage presumably after the withdrawal of the Romans and certainly after Migration Period.
    The Walslanga incident might have been another good reason for Clovis to remove a few years later Franco-Rhenish king Sigibert of Cologne whose territory seemingly was ranging to confluentes region; see also en 27.1 in the author's article Wadhincúsan, monasterium Ludewici [German].
*  Although some modern research would criticize the usage of this expression for an eastern Frankish tribe or territory on the Middle and Lower Rhine of 5th century, many elder historians seem to have applied this term incorrectly in ethnological and chronological context, eg Wilhelm Giesebrecht, German translator of Gregory of Tours. Nonetheless, a certain number of authors might just geographically regard 'Ripuaria' or 'Ribuaria', considering nothing more than a region of unknown borders around the former Roman based 'civitas' of Cologne. Regarding late Migration Period resp early Merovingian era, this region has been traditionally suggested from the Middle and Lower Moselle to the Middle and Lower Rhine. (See RGA Vol 24, 2003, or the more comprehensive analysis by Matthias Springer: Riparii - Ribuarier - Rheinfranken ...; RGA, Vol 19, 1998.)
  back to text

9 The Franks and Burgundian allies invading South Gaul territories of the Visigoths were repelled at first from Septimania and the Provence by Theoderic's general Ibba, 508–c.510. Gregory's  'summary'  for the Franks: hist III, 21.  back to text

10  i. Thus, it seems less likely that Theoderic the Great, guarantor of the Pax Gothica, had accepted the Franks as sovereigns of Auvergne and, consequently, Aquitaine with the Albigeois and the Rouergue after the death of Clovis (510/511). With Gregory's words accordingly: Gothi vero cum post Chlodovechi mortem multa de id quae ille adquesierat pervasissent, Theudoricus ... Cf eg Jonathan J. Arnold: Theoderic, the Goths, and the Restoration of the Roman Empire. Thesis, p. 241, fn 170.
        Gregory involves Theuderic in very dubious context with the Auvergnat episcopates of Quintianus and Apollinaris (c. 515), notably I. N. Wood 1983, an author of the RGA, and E. James 1985. Frankish authority over the Auvergne at that time appears less believable considering Theuderic’s extensive military action of 523/524 by Gregory’s reports. He might have either misdated Theuderic who became by this impressing expedition sovereign of that territory or mistaken him for a plausible protectorate of Theoderic the Great up to that point of time. Moreover, it is strikingly evident that Gregory has suppressed the name of the enemy whom the Frankish king defeated with this obvious forceful military campaign – against the Gothi protected once by a great leader whom Gregory tries to mention as less as possible? Interestingly, Gregory remarks a dux Hilpingus (an 'Hildingus' in Carolingian bibliography) as Theuderic's intimate advisor to this conquest (Liber Vitae Patrum IV, 2)!
        As Gregory inserts at hist III, 4, Theuderic had preliminarily finished his first unsuccessful Thuringian operation – its historical reality remarkably doubted by the RGA – before his second Auvergnat campaign. Gregory's hist III, 3–5 apparently date from c. 515 to c. 523. Within this span Theuderic is supposed to have not been able to take possession of the half of Baderic's Thuringian realm which his brother Hermanfrid had promised him. Nevertheless, in case of creditibility considering also Didrik's/Thidrek's Gransport campaign (c. 510), it would not seem inconceivable that Theuderic therewith was depending on limited armed forces possibly strengthened insufficiently by an ally.
        Following Gregory's Liber Vitae Patrum VI, 2, reporting on Theuderic and the cleric Gallus from Cologne (c. 523), there was serious menace to their obvious short Christian mission to most important Lower Rhineland area in the first half of 6th century. This item does not question the 'Return of Didrik' dangerously crossing the region of Babilonia and defeating its ruler Elsung the Younger (Sv 341–346, Mb 399–406).
        Furthermore, critical research in Gregory's texts neither suggests nor conclusively propagates Theuderic's participation in Burgundian War, hist III, 6; cf Theuderich I. : RGA, Vol 30, 2005, p. 462 for dubious hist III, 4. While this latest edition of the RGA does not confirm Theuderic's active involvement in this war, moreover Wood 1994 constates Theuderic ostentatiously avoiding the Burgundian campaign.
        Regarding the basic understanding of the protagonists' 'exile', the sources just allow to conclude that Theuderic was driven out of Auvergne (since 507/508) and thereafter could not rule over this most attracting Gaulish region (seemingly suggested by Gregory) until 523/524. Not contradicting this item, the other north-eastern sources of stronger limited geographical horizon relate that Didrik/Thidrek was coincidentally chased away from his Bern location by a kinsman ruling over Roma II.
    ii. See Ritter's explanation of counting the years of Hildebrand: Dietrich von Bern, 1982, pgs 205–207. Notably also H.-J. Hube 2009.
    iii. Regarding Frankish territories at the death of Clovis I, E. Ewig, I. N. Wood and other analysts do not follow some dubious mapping by Vidal de la Blache as redrawn or published by English, French and German Wikipedia, eg 'Theuderic I', 'Clovis Ier ', 'Thierry Ier ', 'Chlodwig I.' – retrieved 2012-08-17.
    iv. With a view to an apparently corresponding spouse of both Didrik/Thidrek and Theuderic the author remarks at (retrieved June 2012):
   Zu Dietrichs Vermählungen dankt der Verfasser dem Lektorat für einen nachträglichen Korrekturhinweis zu Bild 7 auf S. 179 in „Sage und Wirklichkeit“: Nach Mb 240 heiratet der junge Dietrich zuerst eine Tochter Gudilind (Gudelinda – Got(h)elinde) des verstorbenen Königs Drusian, siehe Osning-Berichte der Thidrekssaga. Diese Partie erscheint manchem Leser als pointierte Anspielung auf die Gemahlin SuavegottaSuavegotho von Theuderich I., deren Name und definitive eheliche Beziehung mit diesem Frankenherrscher bei Flodoard von Reims auftaucht. Die Forschung möchte sie als Tochter aus der Verbindung des Sigismund von Burgund mit Theoderichs Tochter Ostrogotho-Ariagne identifizieren, was jedoch zu einem erheblichen chronologischen Problem mit Suavegotho (* um 504) als Mutter der regina Theudechildis führt. Siehe dazu die Vita von Theuderich I. Die geografische Interpretation des Eigennamens der Gemahlin Theuderichs würde auf deren blutsverwandtschaftliche Herkunft außerhalb von Burgund hindeuten. Siehe zum Zeitstellungsproblem z. B. unter sowie ausführlicher Eugen Ewig 1991:50–52.  back to text

11 This equation is provided by the rhyme chronicle of Cologne being ascribed to Gottfried Hagen, clericus coloniensis, municipal clerk and clergyman of Cologne in 13th century. The author of this chronicle mentions the appearance of Dederich van Berne, Dederige van Berne, Dederich der Wise in some reparteeing contexts. The newer transcription of line 61 is by Bunna, dat heis man do Berne. Note well that the Old German by (Neo Germ bei) does correspond with English nearby!
    The first ecclesiastical testimony equating Bonn on the Rhine with Verona, which local medieval transmission also connects with Bern, is provided on an altar memorial plate that archbishop Folkmar (965–969) dedicated to St. Pantaleon Church of Cologne. This donation indicates a special historical relationship between both locations.
    Cf Heinz Ritter-Schaumburg: Dietrich von Bern, 1982, pgs 52–56. Rolf Badenhausen: Sage und Wirklichkeit, 2007, pgs 346–348.  back to text

12 The first chronological appearance related to 'Ripuaria', the terra Riboariense, provides the Liber historiae Francorum in the context of the final quarrel between Theuderic II and his brother Theudebert II, as this event has been dated 612 by an author writing in 726/727. Equivalent expressions in the meaning of ethnological or geographical 'Ripuaria' can not be found in the manuscripts written by Gregory of Tours! back to text

13 Babilonia as an apposition for Cologne, related to a retrospective view, can be found in an official clerical document of 11th-German century, see for more details en 27 in the author's article Wadhincúsan, monasterium Ludewici.
    This Babilonia, that Roman history about Germania inferior reveals in figurative sense as the Babylon of luxury and vice, is provable as Cologne even in geographical context: For example, Duna Crossing pertains to Jarl Elsung the Younger who is mentioned as ruler of Babilonia. Note well, interestingly, that Elsung the Elder was the former ruler of Bern!
    Following Clovis' control of power, he certainly would not nominate the Niflungi for King Sigebert's or Sigurd's successor if they had been already rewarded with the administration of Didrik's realm after his expulsion from Bern.
    If Zülpich that Gregory obviously calls Tulbiacum, s. hist II, 37 + III, 8, had been remarkably destroyed in Alemannic-Frankish war, the Niflungi could have been forced to take a new place of residence nearby. 'Vernica' or 'Verminza', as the original texts mention, is only a few miles far from Zülpich = Tulbiacum which has been equated with Tolbiacum. The manuscripts note brightest full moon night when the Niflungi met the Rhine at Duna Crossing: Since important campaigns were usually planned to start at full moon in Late Antiquity as well as medieval times, the Niflungi with polished armour underneath their garments could have covered only c. 30 miles from their capital place.  back to text

14   i. Hunaland or Humaland, Hymaland, appearing related to Lower German hûne, Middle High German Huine (= large human, cf historical Hünengräber as impressing burial places characteristically in Lower Germany), are contemporary names for a large territory centered between Lower Rhine and Lower Elbe. Correspondingly, the Venerable Bede ascribes a folk called Hunni to Lower German(ic) tribes:
...quarum in Germania plurimas noverat esse nationes, a quibus Angli vel Saxones, qui nunc Britanniam incolunt, genus et originem duxisse noscuntur; unde hactenus a vicina gente Britonum corrupte Garmani nuncupantur. Sunt autem Fresones, Rugini, Dani, Hunni, Antiqui Saxones, Boructuarii; sunt alii perplures iisdem in partibus populi, paganis adhuc ritibus servientes, ad quos venire præfatus Christi miles, circumnavigata Britannia... (Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum V,9)
Translation by J. A. Giles:
...many of which nations he knew there were in Germany, from whom the Angles or Saxons, who now inhabit Britain, are known to have derived their origin; for which reason they are still corruptly called Garmans by the neighbouring nation of the Britons. Such are the Fresons, the Rugins, the Danes, the Huns, the Ancient Saxons, and the Boructuars (or Bructers). There are also in the same parts many other nations still following pagan rites, to whom the aforesaid soldier of Christ designed to repair, sailing round Britain...
     Altfrid, bishop of Münster in 9th century, annotates in the vita of his uncle, the eminent Saint Ludger, that Charlemagne constituted him cum doctorem in gente Fresonum ab orientali parte fluminis Labeki super pagos quinque, quorum haec Bunt vocabula Hugmerthi, H u n u s g a, Fivilga, Ernisga, Fediritga et unam insulam ...
     Regarding corresponding spelling structures of the area enclosing the former Westphalian Soest, the Old Norse and Swedish manuscripts as well as the sources of Suffridus Petrus, 16th-century historian, provide that a Frisian invader conquered Soest in Late Antiquity. Thus, its surrounding area appears being named after his homeland, cf Who is King Atala?
     ii. Young-lord (Germ 'Jungherr', 'Junker') was Sigurd's previous noble title corresponding with a squire, as he was rightly known for his service at King Isung.   back to text

15  Emil Rückert: Oberon von Mons und die Pipine von Nivella; Weidmann'sche Buchhandlung, Leipzig, Germany, 1836.  back to text

16 Fertur, super litore maris aestatis tempore Chlodeo cum uxore resedens, meridiae uxor ad mare labandum vadens, bistea Neptuni Quinotauri similis eam adpetisset. Cumque in continuo aut a bistea aut a viro fuisset concepta, peperit filium nomen Meroveum, per quo reges Francorum post vocantur Merohingii.
    Regarding that passage from Fredegaire, the Thidreks saga seems to have a complementary literary pattern in its Weland part. This episode alleges Weland's father Vade as son of a 'mermaid' or 'sea-goddess' that the nautically crossing King Vilkinus (s. appendix A4) made pregnant at a compulsory stopover somewhere in a coast forest of the Baltic Sea (Mb 23). The Svava, however, will contribute less mystified narration, since its redactions allow easier to conclude that Vade's mother was an attractive 'sailor woman', who, after the intercourse, could follow and stop King Vilcinus with her possibly better fitted or trimmed vessel (Sv 18).  back to text

17 The original texts as well as geological and topographical studies indicate contemporary large lake(s) or sea(s) at the residence of Queen Brynhild whose castle is (nick-)named Sägard ('Seaguard') in the Didriks chronicle, MS A. (Incidentally, a Virgin in the Sea, being crowned in the rendition by the Wappenbuch von Waldeck 1987, is pointed out in the heraldic banner of BADENAUSEN Ancestry that has its roots in the Harz.) Walter Böckmann and the author localize the 'Seaguard' as Ilsenstein castle seemingly mentioned as Burg Isenstein in ownership of King Hermanfrid's brother Berthar (cf German Wikipedia at  (retrieved Feb 2006). Gregory of Tours recites Berthar's daughter Radegund (518–587) as niece of King BADERIC. She became second spouse of Chlothar I and devoted her life to self-sacrificing clerical service. A rather contrarily depicted RADEGUND von BADDENHAUSEN is appearing as female warrior in the monumental German epic DREIZEHNLINDEN written by F. W. Weber who certainly implanted historical elements in his work.
The Badenhausen banner by Hessen-Waldeck
Regarding Sigurd's literary genealogy, a noteworthy remark seems to come from the author of the Volsunga saga who calls a daughter of Sigurd and Brynhild Aslaug, and he mentions Svanhild and Sigmund II as children of Sigurd and Gudrunback to text

18.1   See the author's contribution Wadhincúsan, monasterium Ludewici. This article regards also the Iron and Isold episode (Mb 245–274) which has been compared and equated with medieval minstrel tradition; cf contextually en 8! All Thidreks saga redactions do not provide the revenge-based epic depiction of Didrik's death, as Sv 383–386 might be basing on a later edit.
   Young-Thidrek's fight against Hilda and Grim (Sv 13, Mb 16–17) and the Fasold story at the Osning complete the account of fabulous or apparently less credible passages in the manuscripts. The former narration, likely misunderstood by the Old Norse/Swedish translators, seems to relate the destruction of an anthropomorphized machine belonging to an ore mine and forge (Sage und Wirklichkeit, 2007, pgs 427–428). Generally, medieval historiographers may equate large or very large individuals with giants; the small, Lilliputians and, potentially, individuals of lower social class with dwarves (notably Peringskiöld 1715).
   The historical background of latter episode at Rimslo is based on the authentic appearance of large prehistoric animals a few miles north of Riemsloh, cf Sv 105, Mb 104. The impressing tracks of such reptiles, officially found in 1921 (!) near Barkhausen village and classified as 'Elephantopoides barkhausensis and Megalosauripus barkhausensis', inspired the primary author to enrich the story of Didrik and Fasold with a 'horrifying fil and a flying dragon', the former likely an animal of the kind called an elephant (Haymes). Ritter adverts that Didrik and his follower Fasold (onto ancestral items of the latter: Sage und Wirklichkeit, 2007, pgs 424–426) could have originated this story when encountering these traces on their Osning expedition, as in this case they were ready to show an 'everlasting evidence'.
Prehistoric Animal Tracks Barkhausen The preserved wall of the prehistoric tracks at their original place, 52.278333°N 8.413889°E.

18.2   In contrast with Peringskiöld's short consideration of sources that render interpretations of dwarves and giants (1715, 'fŏretal'), the Addendum Writer of the Heldenbücher editions ('Books of Heroes', prose part) inter alia establishes nothing less than a special kind of biblical genesis. In this way providing 'proof of origin', he institutes this figment of the poetry's suggestive imagination:
  There is further to know why God created the small dwarves and the large giants and, after that, the heroes. First, he created the dwarves because the lands and mountains were wild and unexplored1, and there was plenty of good ore, silver, gold and pearls in the mountains. Therefore, God made the dwarves even witty and wise, so that they could distinguish evil from good and know about the right use of all things. They also knew about the use of gemstones. Many of them gave huge strengths, while quite a few made the bearer invisible. This does a so-called fog cap2. Therefore, God gave the dwarves artisanship and wisdom. Thus, they made fine hollow caves, and nobly given to them kingship and upper class the heroes alike, and given to them great wealth.
  And then God created the giants because they had to slay the wild beasts and big worms3, so that the dwarves were more safe for exploring the land. Then, after a few years, the giants caused the dwarves much suffering, as they even became evil-minded and unfaithful.
   After that God created the strong heroes, of middle rank within these three folks. And there is to know that the heroes were faithful and befitting4 for many years. And so they were helping the dwarves against the unfaithful giants, the wild beasts and worms. In those times the land was totally unexplored5. For this reason God created strong heroes, and gave them such nature that their boldness and sense were based upon honourable manfulness for quarrels and wars. There were many kings under the dwarves who had to serve the giants in some waste world, rough land and mountains near their dwellings. Furthermore, the heroes saw women of discipline and honour all around, and were obliged to the rightfulness to protect widows and orphans. They did not harm the women unless becoming destitute themselves, and came always to help the women in distress. On insult and severity, the heroes performed many deeds for the women’s sake. There is further to know that the giants were in all positions, emperors, kings, dukes, counts, and lords, vassals, knights und servants. They all were noblemen, and a hero never was a peasant. Therefrom came all lords and noblemen.
Translation of chapter  Wŏ den gezwergĕ, cf 'Dresden' edition printed with added prose text at Hagenau, 1509.
1  Neo-Ger  unbebaut  (cf Eng 'unbuilt').
2  See annotation Neffel in the author's online article The Nibelungen Saga: The True Core by the Svava?
3  Commonly equated with dragons.
4  Neo-Ger  bieder.
5  See above.
The so-called 'Historische Dietrichepik', keenly fabulating epics included eg in the Ambraser Heldenbuch, significantly contradict some important relation in acknowledged vitae of 'apparently comparable individuals' who were participating in or forming real historical events.
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19   His name forms by all texts – but none of his contextual actions being connected with 'Ermenrik' and Didrik/Thidrek – seem to remember 'Seafolan' by the Widsith and/ or/ 'who is' the Byzantine commander (consul) Sabinianus Magnus. The latter finally attacked successfully the rear part of Theoderic's army in 479, but he was nowhere recorded as plotting advisor of Odoacer or any other historical foe of Theoderic the Great! Marcellinus Comes, chronicler of the Eastern Roman Empire, regards Sabinianus as a severe military disciplinarian of the old school, cf PLRE. Interestingly, both Sabinianus  a n d   Clovis (cf his South Gaul campaign) can be easily interpreted as antagonists of Theoderic the Great.
     The Widsith (115–116):
Seccan sohte ic ond Beccan, Seafolan ond þeodric,
Heaþoric ond Sifecan    Hliþe ond Incgenþeow.
   There are at least obviously two different 'Sifkas'. Who is the right one? The apparent hero or very important individual at the beginning of 116 has been not satisfyingly identified; notably R. W. Chambers 1912 and J. de Vries 1941 not agreeing with Heiþrekr/Heiðrekr, an half-hero of Hervarar saga. He captured a female 'Sifka', daughter of a king Humli of Húnaland. Thereafter, Heiþrekr seems responsible for the death of either her or, by confusing later edit, 'another female Sifka', as she was not willing to keep a fateful secret received from him. Called Sváfa in redaction U, her vita has consequently nothing to do with all those plots provided by Thidreks saga and Didriks chronicle. Nonetheless, Ritter remembers the interesting rôle of Sifka's wife submitting that Ermenrik had used violence on her (Dietrich von Bern, 1982, p. 299, en 96).
   As already noted well by A. Raszmann 1858, J. de Vries 1957, and H. Ritter 1982, Seafolan or 'Sifka' seems to represent nothing more than the 'repetition' of the Nordic Bikkja, cf the English bitch. Regarding the bandwidth of historiographical forwarding, 'Sifka' appears in our context as Nordic originated curse word for an advisor as a literary supplement. The hard sounding beginning of its second syllable does contradict a derivation basing on the Roman 'Sabinianus', however.
   A medieval historiographer may augment in rhetorically sophisticated manner, to a certain extent even speculatively or untrustworthily, as we can regard this as an either subjective emendation or just an endeavour to achieve narrative complexity. However, these kinds of amalgamation must not necessarily corrupt the basic narrative consistency of a historical exposition.  back to text

20 ... so, wie die Einzelsagen nunmehr erscheinen, fügen sie sich doch eher zu einer Chronik aus dem 12. und 13. Jahrhundert zusammen. Op cit 2009:406. After the translations by F. H. von der Hagen 1814, A. Raszmann 1852 and F. Erichsen 1924, Hube provides the fourth German publication of the saga's contents ('Nacherzählung') with geographical annotations generally complying with Ritter's localizations.  back to text

21 The so-called Prologue of Thidreks saga is not provided with its eldest manuscript. That preface, basing on assumption of an unknown author, has been challenged early by Frantzen (Neophilologus 1916:208), see also Ritter 1989:743-744 (Reprint of German translation by F. H. von der Hagen) and Hube 2009:410.
    The author deduces at (retrieved 2012-03-31):
    Die rund sieben Jahrhunderte betragende Spannweite zwischen Ritter-Schaumburg und jener unkritisch akzeptierten Vorstellung eines mittelalterlichen Prologverfassers über ,,Sagengenese“, Stoffgeschichte und Berichtgebung (nur im Sammlungsbestand der jüngeren A/B-Handschriften) ist ein anschauliches Beispiel für kaum zu überbrückende Forschungsgegensätze.ii Hierzu mag ein Kausalzusammenhang insoweit bestehen, als dieser mittelalterliche Kommentator die (von Ritter-Schaumburg auch zu deren Ursachen begründend aufgezeigten) toponymischen und buchstäblich literalen Übertragungsfehler aus dem mutmaßlich niederdeutschen Quellenmaterial dieser Handschriften nicht hinlänglich verifizieren konnte. Nach der für uns und ihn verfügbaren altnordischen Bibliografie muss insofern jedoch auch mit den zweifellos berechtigten Möglichkeiten gerechnet werden, dass einerseits zu den chronikalisch und detailliert überlieferten niederdeutschen Ortsangaben, andererseits zur eigennamentlichen Unterscheidung, genügenden Identifizierung und Lokalisierung der Hauptfigur der Thidrekssaga weder frühmerowingische oder rheinfränkische Überlieferungen noch eine zeitadäquate ostrheinisch-niederdeutsche Geografie und Historiografie greifbar waren. (Siehe dazu die hauptsächlich von H. Ritter-Schaumburg neu determinierte Geografie der altnordischen und altschwedischen Handschriften.)
   Insoweit scheint also durchaus nachvollziehbar, dass der nordische Scriptor zu seiner stoffgeschichtlichen, wegen für ihn uneindeutiger historischer Ausgangslage jedoch nur spekulativen „Thi(o)drek“-Exkursion unter Hinweis auf diverse orale Traditionen die von Theoderich d. Großen geprägte Ära fokussierte, sich wegen dieser sardonischen Überlieferungslage viel zu breitbandig und somit längst verzerrend um historische Muster und Analogien bemühte. Je mehr die gegenwärtige Lehrauffassung diesen vormals und hier offenbar nicht zu Unrecht von manchem Analysten als „Sagamann“ eingestuften Literaten auch weiterhin mit nicht überzeugenden Vorstellungen zu interpretieren versucht, desto weniger wird sie nach den Beiträgen von Ritter-Schaumburg fähig sein, sich im Interesse dringend erforderlicher Emendationen von ihrem dogmatischen Forschungskollegialismus und -protektionismus zu lösen. Eine Grundsatzproblematik, deren Wurzeln, Dimensionen, Exempel sich bis in die mittelalterliche Scholastik zurückverfolgen lassen.
    Der Verfasser vermerkt in seinem Netzbeitrag Zur Schuldfrage von „Attila“ und Grimhild, Atli und Gudrun:
    Trotz einiger irriger inhaltlicher Interpretationen heißt es im altnordischen Prolog zur Thidrekssaga (Sammlungsbestand jüngere A/B-Handschriften), dass sie  in der Zeit entstanden ist, als Kaiser Constantinus der Große gestorben war, welcher beinahe die ganze Welt zum Christentum bekehrt hatte; aber nach seinem Hintritte verfiel das Christentum wieder und erhoben sich allerlei Irrtümer, so dass in dem ersten Teil dieser Saga niemand war, der den rechten Glauben hatte ...
    Flavius Valerius Constantinus starb in der ersten Hälfte des 4. Jahrhunderts. Vergleicht man mit dieser Zeitangabe die inhaltlichen Darstellungen der ersten Berichte der Thidrekssaga und Dietrich-Chronik, so fallen nach Ritter-Schaumburgs Zeitmarken sowohl die Geburtszeiten von Samsons Vaterbruder Thetmar als auch Hildebrands Großvater Ragbald in die zweite Hälfte bzw. in den Endbereich des 4. Jahrhunderts.
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A1   Related Links

       A1.1 Who is King Atala?
       A1.2 Summaries of Scientific Analyses: Weland's Steel
       A1.3 Merovingian Origin Location(s)

A2   The Evaluation of Thidreks saga Manuscripts (Extract from A6)     

Ritter's method of dealing with Thidreks saga is principally based on his answer to the cardinal question whether a tradition assumed being remarkably pregnant with historical facts may be dissected in twilight mixture of mythological narratives. As Ritter has expressively underlined at his lectures, rather less significant as well as detectable non-contemporary adapting implementation by an evident group of Old Norse editors might have induced scholarly evaluation especially of the Membrane texts to evaluate Thidreks saga basically as less authentic or fabulous pool of originally unrelated single tales. Beside other indication, Ritter regards the source of the Old Swedish manuscripts principally 'guiding' Thidreks saga, and he considers these texts of such recognizable literary selectivity that subsequently will allow efforts to estimate them as historiographical sources.
    Theodore M. Andersson, reviewer of a symposium-based supplement edited by Susanne Kramarz-Bein for Walter de Gruyter's encyclopaedia of Germanic antiquity, comments the current contradicting cataloguing of Thidreks saga. Andersson, incidentally seeing a clear literary difference between 'Norse' and 'of Norway', was obviously remembering Ritter's publications by this introductory remark of 1996:
  »... Þiðreks saga, which had not received much scholarly attention for several decades, came back into fashion about ten years ago ...«

   This English review, available at  (retrieved May 2005), follows Heinrich Beck's position by means of his paper Þiðreks saga als Gegenwartsdichtung? who, stringently against Ritter's postulation and reasoning, notoriously exposes Thidreks saga to the light of poetry somehow inspired by history. Andersson:
 ... Heinrich Beck's "Þiðreks saga als Gegenwartsdichtung?" ... points out that Þiðreks saga ... synchronizes events from legendary prehistory with near-contemporary events in the twelfth century (campaigns against the Slavs on the eastern frontier of Germany). Time in Þiðreks saga is thus a variable quantity ...«
   Moreover, Heinrich Beck classifies the message of Þiðreks Saga expressively more subtle than its naïve reader would imagine. Addressing Ritter, he will underpin Germanism's fundamental attitude towards the general understanding of SAGA with this manifesto:
    »Germanistic saga research has recognized long since (...) that saga tradition is not an ancient forwarding but derives from topic adoption.« (Translated quotation from Zur Thidrekssaga-Diskussion; Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie, 112, 1993, pgs 441–448.)
    The Germanistic and other scholastic strategies against the research of Ritter obviously ignore the fact that the Old Norse scribes evidently processed to translate, title and catalogue historiographies as 'saga'.
    Ritter's translation of the Old Swedish Didriks chronicle was not called in question on literary subject. For elaborating research he therein left his comparing analysis of both chronological and historiographical structures of the Svava and Thidreks saga manuscripts. In the addenda provided with his translation (pgs 399–455) he exemplarily scrutinises and finally refutes the Svava's dependency from the Membrane and Icelandic manuscripts against scholastic evaluation of Scandinavian researchers. Ritter also implemented into his posthumous publication Der Schmied Weland a supplementary analysis that points out the different literary style of these texts anything but less insignificant through exemplary synoptic studies providing Thidreks saga's special predilection for certain subjective notional forwarding and, as a result, also for mythologizing, cf Quotations from 'Der Schmied Weland' (German).
    Seasoned practitioners have not rejected Ritter's methodical deciphering of 'the geographical and ethnic names in the Didriks Saga', a work of noteworthy terminological consistency considering rational contemporary circumstances of time and location. In 1959 William J. Pfaff had already introduced an equally titled book with 'a study in Germanic heroic Legend', who, however, failed in the geostrategical plausibility of such important places originally spelled 'Bern' or 'Drekanfils'. Ritter rather found out that the right geographical operation area related to the Didriks chronicle (subsequently also to the 'saga') does extend diagonally from South Sweden and Jutland to German Moselle river and, west-to-east, from Belgium to Baltic countries. Thus, the revising research would hardly believe that the Old Norse editors had done more than a mere translation of an imported tradition, mainly a Lower German Historia Dietrich von Bern; especially considering that, apart from only a very few cases of Ostrogothic misunderstanding and misinterpreting, the translators obviously never attempted to change any location name there.
    To boot, it seems implausible that the Old Norse scribes of King Hákon IV would have had any good reason to implant any own narration or compilation on such unfamiliar small locations as Vernica, Thorta or Brictan, such rivulets as Duna, Wisara or Eydissa, such mountain forests as the Osning or (by Ritter:) Valslanga.

Literary stemma of Dietrich von Bern
    The Upper German stem on the left represents epic tradition detracting Burgundian fall to the homeland of a fictive 'Hungarian king' called Etzel. Roswitha Wisniewski notes well that her so-called 'Zweite Quelle' has to be regarded as principal source of Thidreks saga, while she regards the 'Ältere Not' only rendering epic influences of Duna crossing, recovery at Margrave Rodinger's ('Rüdiger') Bakalar ('Bechelaren'), and the arrival of the Niflungi at Susa (Soest), the residence of King Atala ('Attila'). Nonetheless, we also have to consider the 'Ältere Not' providing the Nibelungen character Giselher (notably Leon Polak and Roswitha Wisniewski). He seems to be connected with special kind of synonymy derived from dynastic names in the 'Lex Burgundionum' in order to boost the Old Norse Gunnar with an accompanying actor originally spelled Gislahar(ius).
   Thus, further progressive research will also concentrate upon Roswitha Wisniewski's postdoctoral thesis by which she provides extrapolative evidences of Thidreks saga's sources. The scholar in literature, now emeritus professor, reminds us on the subject that James Westfall Thompson has given the fundamental characteristics of both narrative forms:
    »The medieval  C h r o n i c l e  was neither a mere table of dates nor the representation of a time; it was a detailed arrangement of events in the order of time. The medieval H i s t o r y was neither a generic term encluding all classes of materials nor the simple narration of a spectator. Whether according to its earliest use, it may have been an exposition of the results of research, or of the process of research itself, it was now understood to mean an exhibition of events in their deeper relations of cause and effect, in their moral and political bearings, and in an approach to a dramatic or pictorial form. The history was a work of art, the chronicle a faithful narration of acts and an orderly arrangement of dates.«.

A3   Edward R. Haymes' translation The Saga of Thidrek of Bern

Haymes provides a verbatim translation of Thidreks saga. Thus, regarding any considerable difference between the Membrane, the younger Icelandic redactions and Old Swedish Didriks-krönikan, it does not concern Haymes' excellent work.
    His introduction to the translation nonetheless considers scholars who apparently want to promulgate any medieval manuscript including narration of hunting a deer or winning a bride as unbelievable historical source. Haymes writes that the Thidreks saga in particular seems to propagate an image of kingship based on the support of the nobility and turns to suspect Artistic Achievement which, however, would basically lose rational ground of reality when ascribing a numeral quantity of a dozen to poetic dimension (notably Andersson). He is certainly right in case of some evident incongruity the saga bears in its texts, but he would not specify the major contradictions in the story apart from two different deaths in King Osantrix' vita. Incidentally, the Old Swedish texts do not provide the second death of Osantrix provided by Mb 292. Regarding Sv 247 instead, that relates the battle at ‘Brandingaborg', the Old Swedish chronicler conveys this only notice on Osantrix:
    'Osantrix king had a brother's son in Vilkinaland called Hernid. He was made King of Vilkinaland.'
    Of course, there is also some literary influence mainly of Greek antiquity (notably Roswitha Wisniewski) that 'contaminates' the original purport of both the 'saga' and the Old Swedish texts – just as the bulk of chronicles from or referring to Late Antiquity and Migration Era. Such amalgamation, however, can be recognized in the Thidreks saga, eg the birds advising Sigurd to slay his foster father (cf Greek Augur and Melampus).
   Haymes furthermore notes conservative scholars who obviously have no idea of neither Germanic Hunas nor linguistic origin of 'Ata-la', who would not allow the historical roots and appearance of these ancient people in that time Haymes rightly calls 'Period of Migration', who turn a blind eye to Frankish actions of 6th century in that large area he already specifies as part of today's Lower Saxony.
  The history of editing Thidreks saga as provided by Haymes follows current scholastic research. Nonetheless, we have to agree with Theodore M. Andersson who justly understands the manuscripts essentially representing a translation, though he obviously judges them a heterogeneous collection of heroic epics. On the subject of geography, Haymes remarks William Pfaff's excellent study of geographical and ethnic names in the saga which, however, identifies for instance 'Drekanflis' as the Drachenfels on the Rhine – thus making unbelievable routes for Didrik's trip to the Osning!
   One of the most incredible points Haymes conveys is scholarship's opinion that the Swedish texts have to be regarded as translation of the Old Norse texts, though he states that the Old Swedish version
                provides useful information when the other sources disagree.
   If he had explored the source he lists as Roswitha Wisniewski's postdoctoral thesis under his Select Bibliography even in this connection, he would have been able to conceive the significance of her so-called 'Second Source' and draw his conclusions more exactly against the work of Horst Pütz and other authors supporting the fundamental position of Heinrich Beck, Susanne Kramarz-Bein and other scholars. William J. Pfaff, another protector of some obsolete Germanistic bibliography about Thidreks saga through Ritter's research, does not agree with Westphalia as location of clerical recording of historical events related to the vita of Dietrich von Bern which, however, Roswitha Wisniewski tried to query as 'pseudo-chronicle'. Thus, the very difference between Ritter and the encyclopaedists is that he indicates a fairly homogenous rendition of history basically fitting in a Frankish and Lower Saxon lacuna of 5th to 6th century, whilst other scholars ascribe the Thidreks saga to either fundamental poetry or unbelievable or at least very suspect depiction of history.

A4    Remarks on the Old Swedish manuscripts

The treatise Ritter added as epilogue to his translation of the Old Swedish manuscripts provides strong indication that the chronicle Didrik af Bern cannot be a mere translation from Thidreks saga. As Ritter points out in his book Die Nibelungen zogen nordwärts, for example, the Old Swedish 'Haghen' cannot be taken from a Old Norse source that spells 'Hogni', while 'Goroholth' may not represent a translated 'Gernoz', 'Gislher' not result in 'Gyntar' (!). Regarding the original source context of/for the Swedish scribes, the lingual pattern shining through their work rather shows Danish than Norwegian influence, as Ritter cites Bengt Henning who found out that the so-called 'Norvagism' are playing almost no role against the 'Danism' of remarkable quantity. While Henning nonetheless votes for the Old Norse-Norwegian manuscripts as the source of the Old Swedish scribes, Ritter judges this opinion of Henning and other analysts not convincing.
    Regarding both a Thidreks saga manuscript evidently brought early enough to an Old Swedish monastery (convent) and the certainly further important source of the Old Swedish redactions, which are so consequently dealing with both 'Gyntar'  a n d  'Gunnar' in all chapters, it seems less likely that this special narrational configuration could be based on an unintentional permutational action by all Swedish scribes providing the available manuscripts, cf R. Wisniewski 1961 and Ritter contradicting with different point of views such and other arbitrary assumption on this subject. As already concluded by more convincing research, the Old Swedish writers might have been referring to an historiographical (con)text that does not agree with any appearance of the two younger Nibelungenlied brothers of Burgundia for anachronistic reasons. Interestingly, however, Ritter has not cognized this item appearing as subtle emendation in the Old Swedish editions.
    Thus, we obviously have to postulate the aforementioned important source which the Old Swedish scribes have been using besides the Thidreks saga texts; cf Hermann Reichert 1992, Rolf Badenhausen 2007, cf (continued) 2008: Zur Transmission der Thidrekssaga und altschwedischen Didrikskrönikan. Although that source, apparently closely related to the material translated in medieval Norway is physically missing, we consequently have to regard also strong indication that the writers of King Hákon IV were working more willingly as translators of imported stuff. Therefore Roswitha Wisniewski rightly introduces her thesis that the source of the Old Norse manuscripts came as a comprehensive work from Lower Germany, as she reasonably votes for a chronicler at Wedinghausen monastery near Soest (Wadhincúsan, see the author's contribution Wadhincúsan, monasterium Ludewici).
Progressive survey of Old Norse (A), Swedish (B ), and Icelandic (C) manuscripts. Cf Rolf Badenhausen 2007:56 referring to Kay Busch: Grossmachtstatus & Sagainterpretation. Thesis, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, 2002.

A4.1   Historicity of Vilkinaland

The scribes of the Old Swedish texts have been charged with ascribing 'Vilkinaland' to Swedish territory. For example, Einhard, the 9th-century author of the Vita Karoli Magni, regards the Welataben, an ethnic group identified with the Vilkinians, as an historical tribe. More comprehensive research by means of other sources focussing Migration Era provides their historical appearance on the Lower Elbe (South Jutland) and, thereafter migrated eastwards, in parts of Pomorze ('Pomerania'). These are the chapters of the Old Swedish chronicle providing geographical information about Vilkinaland:
         Sv 17.
A king was called Vilkinus. He was a gorgeous man. He won Vilkinaland by fighting for this land that now is called Sweden, Gotland, Schonen, Sealand and Winland. It was called Vilkinaland, because it was named after King Vilkinus. At that time there was tradition to name a land after the name of its ruler ... 
        Sv 297.
Herding, king in Vilkinaland, that is now called Great Sweden, was a rich man and a mighty fighter. He had a spouse called Ostancia; her father was Unne, king of eastern realm ...
(Translation: Ritter-Badenhausen.   HerdingHernid→ Old Norse/Icelandic Hertnid.) 
    Ritter detects Winland as German Wendland. The ascription of 'Vilkinaland that is  n o w  called Great Sweden' was consigned to the text of the Didriks chronicle, as its primary scribe left that kind of choosing words which cannot refer to archaic tradition. Thus, we obviously are able to distinguish between the geographical levels of early report and the later 'patriotic edition'.

A5   Appended Links

Synopsis Vitae Thidrek of Bern vs Theuderic I
Who is King Atala?
Summaries of Scientific Analyses: Weland's Steel
Merovingian Origin Location(s)
Roman Eiffel Map 1st Century AD
Geographic Glossary of Thidrek Saga – Svava
The Ritter Schedule of Thidrek Saga – Svava
Verbatim Translation: Niflunga Parts of Didriks chronicle

German contributions:

Zur Zeitordnung der Thidrekssaga: Zitate Ritter-Schaumburg 1982 und 1999
Dietrich von Bern – Chronicle or Poetry?
Ritter about his Principle and Position of Researching the Thidreks saga
Ritter's Priority of the Old Norse and Swedish texts – An extract from Der Schmied Weland
Zur Schuldfrage von „Attila“ und Grimhild, Atli und Gudrun
Swanhilds Spuren in der Thidrekssaga?
Zwölf um Dietrich von Bern – Heldenphysiognomie aus der Retorte?
Zur Transmission der Thidrekssaga und altschwedischen Didrikskrönikan
Die Mosel im Licht von Thidrekssaga und Dietrich-Chronik
Wadhincúsan, monasterium Ludewici
Theuderich I, Vita Rex Francorum

A6   The Nibelungs – The True Core by the Svava?

Books by the author:

Die Nibelungen - Dichtung und Wahrheit
ISBN 3-86582-044-1
Extract with table of contents, pgs 3–16 (German).
Sage und Wirklichkeit. Dietrich von Bern und die Nibelungen. Ritter Samson • König Artus
ISBN 978-3-86582-589-6

Extract with table of contents, pgs 3–23 (German).