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EVIDENCE THAT DIETERICH “OF BERN” IS HADDING

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Aug

23

EVIDENCE THAT DIETERICH “OF BERN” IS HADDING

Dietrich von Bern im Kampf mit Hagen

EVIDENCE THAT DIETERICH "OF BERN" IS HADDING. THE DIETERICH SAGA THUS HAS ITS ORIGIN IN THE MYTH CONCERNING THE WAR BETWEEN MANNUS-HALFDAN'S SONS. 

 

The appearance of Hamal and the Amalians on Hadding's side in the great world war becomes a certainty from the fact that we discover among the descendants of the continental Teutons a great cycle of sagas, all of whose events are more or less intimately connected with the mythic kernel: that Amalian heroes with unflinching fidelity supported a prince who, already in the tender years of his youth, had been deprived of his share of his father's kingdom, and was obliged to take flight from the persecution of a kinsman and his assistants to the far East, where he remained a long time, until after various fortunes of war he was able to return, conquer, and take possession of his paternal inheritance. And for this, he was indebted to the assistance of the brave Amalians. These are the chief points in the saga cycle about Dieterich of Bern (Þjóðrekr, Thidrek, Theodericus), and the fortunes of the young prince are, as we have thus seen, substantially the same as Hadding's. When we compare sagas preserved by the descendants of the Teutons of the Continent with sagas handed down to us from Scandinavian sources, we must constantly bear in mind that the great revolution which the victory of Christianity over Odinism120 produced in the Germanic world of thought, inasmuch as it tore down the ancient mythical structure and applied the fragments that were fit for use as material for a new saga structure - that this revolution required a period of more than eight hundred years before it had conquered the last fastnesses of the Odinic doctrine. On the one side of the slowly advancing borders between the two religions, there developed and continued a changing and transformation of the old sagas, the main purpose of which was to obliterate all that contained too much flavor of heathenism and was incompatible with Christianity; while, on the other side of the borders of faith, the old mythic songs, but little affected by the tooth of time, still continued to live in their original form. Thus, to choose the nearest example at hand, one might sing on the northern side of this faithborder, where heathenism still prevailed, about how Hadding, when the persecutions of Svipdag and his half-brother Gudhorm compelled him to fly to the far East, there was protected by Odin, and how he through him received the assistance of Hrútr-Heimdall; while the Christians, on the south side of this border, sang of how Dieterich, persecuted by a brother and the protectors of the latter, was forced to take flight to the far East, and how he was received there by a mighty king, who, as he could no longer be Odin, must be the mightiest king in the East ever heard of -- that is, Attila -- and how Attila gave him as protector a certain Rüdiger, whose very name contains an echo of Ruther (Heimdall), who could not, however, be the white Asa-god, Odin's faithful servant, but must be changed into a faithful vassal and "markgrave" under Attila. The Saxons were converted to Christianity by fire and sword in the latter part of the eighth century. In the deep forests of Sweden, heathenism did not yield completely to Christianity before the twelfth century. In the time of Saxo's father, there were still heathen communities in Småland on the Danish border. It follows that Saxo must have received the songs concerning the ancient Germanic heroes in a far more original form than that in which the same songs could be found in Germany. Hadding means "the hairy one," "the fair-haired"; Dieterich (Þjóðrekr) means "the ruler of the people," "the great ruler." Both epithets belong to one and the same saga character. Hadding is the epithet which belongs to him as a youth, before he possessed a kingdom; Dieterich is the epithet which represents him as the king of many Germanic tribes. The Þidreks Saga af Bern says of him that he had an abundant and beautiful growth of hair, but that he never got a beard. This is sufficient to explain the name Hadding, by which he was presumably celebrated in song among all Germanic tribes; for we have already seen that Hadding is known in Anglo-Saxon poetry as Hearding, and, as we shall see, the continental Teutons knew him not only as Dieterich, but also as Hartung. It is also possible that the name "the hairy" has in the myth had the same purport as the epithet "the fair-haired" has in the Norse account of Harald, Norway's first ruler, and that Hadding of the myth was the prototype of Harald, when the latter made the vow to let his hair grow until he was king of all Norway (Heimskringla, Harald Harfagri's Saga, 4). The custom of not cutting hair or beard before an exploit resolved upon was carried out was an ancient one among the Teutons, and so common and so sacred that it must have had foothold and prototype in the hero-saga. Tacitus mentions it (Germania, 31); so does Paulus Diaconus (Hist., III. 7) and Gregorius of Tours (V. 15).121. ( Tacitus, Germania, 31 "As soon as they arrive to maturity of years, they let their hair and beards continue to grow, nor till they have slain an enemy do they ever lay aside this form of countenance by vow sacred to valour. Over the blood and spoil of a foe, they make their face bare." (A. J. Church and W. J. Brodribb, 1877.)

Although it had nearly ceased to be heard in the German saga cycle, still the name Hartung has there left traces of its existence. Anhangdes Heldenbuch122 mentions King Hartung "aus Reüssenlant"; that is to say, a King Hartung who came from some land in the East. The poem "Rosengarten" (variant D; cp. W. Grimm, D. Heldensage, 139, 253)123 also mentions Hartunc, king von Riuzen. A comparison of the different versions of "Rosengarten" with the poem "DieterichsFlucht" shows that the name Hartung von Riuzen in the course of time becomes Hartnit von Riuzen and Hertnit von Riuzen, by which form of the name the hero reappears in Þidreks Saga af Bern as a king in Russia. If we unite the scattered features contained in these sources about Hartung we get the following main outlines of his saga: (a) Hartung is a king and dwells in an eastern country (all the records). (b) He is not, however, an independent ruler there, at least not in the beginning, but is subject to Attila (who in the Dieterich's saga has supplanted Odin as chief ruler in the East). He is Attila's man ("Dieterichs Flucht"). (c) A Swedish king has robbed him of his land and driven him into exile. (d) The Swedish king is of the race of elves, and the chief of the same race that the celebrated smith Velint-- that is to say, Völund-- belonged (Þidreks Saga af Bern). As shall be shown later (see Nos. 105, 109), Svipdag, the banisher of Hadding, belongs to the same race. He is Völund's nephew (brother's son). (e) Hartung recovers, after the death of the Swedish conqueror, his own kingdom, and also conquers that of the Swedish king (Þidreks Saga af Bern). All these features are found in the saga of Hadding. Thus the original identity of Hadding and Hartung is beyond doubt. We also find that Hartung, like Dieterich, is banished from his country; that like him, he fled to the East; that like him, he got Attila the king of the East as his protector; that afterwards he returned, conquered his enemies, and recovered his kingdom. Therefore, Hadding's, Hartung's and Dieterich's sagas are one and the same in root and in general outline. Below it shall also be shown that the most remarkable details are common to them all. I have above (No. 42) given reasons why Hamal (Amala), the foster-brother of Halfdan Borgarson, was Hadding's assistant and general in the war against his foes. The hero, who in the German saga has the same place under Dieterich, is the aged "master" Hildebrand, Dieterich's faithful companion, teacher, and commander of his troops. Can it be demonstrated that what the German saga tells about Hildebrand reveals threads that connect him with the saga of the original patriarchs, and that not only his position as Dieterich's aged friend and general, but also his genealogy, refer to this saga? And can a satisfactory explanation be given of the reason why Hildebrand in the German Dieterich saga obtained the same place as Hamal had in the old myth?

Hildebrand is, as his very name shows, a Hilding,124 like Hildeger who appears in the patriarch saga (Saxo, Hist., Book 7). Hildeger was, according to the tradition in Saxo, the half-brother of Halfdan Borgarson. They had the same mother Drott, but not the same father; Hildeger counted himself a Swede on his father's side; Halfdan, Borgar's son, considered himself as belonging to the South Scandinavians and Danes, and hence the dying Hildeger sings to Halfdan (Hist., Book 7): Danica te tellus, me Sveticus edidit orbis. Drot tibi maternum, quondam distenderat uber; Hac genitrici tibipariter collacteus exto. 125 "Thou art a son of the Danish land, I of the country of Sweden. Once, Drott thy mother had her breast swell for thee; she bore me, and by her I am thy foster-brother." (Oliver Elton translaton)126 In the German tradition, Hildebrand is the son of Herbrand. The Old High German fragment of the song, about Hildebrand's meeting with his son Hadubrand, calls him Heribrantessunu. Herbrand again is, Berchtung's son according to the poem "Wolfdieterich" (concerning Berchtung, see No. 6). In a Norse tradition preserved by Saxo, we find a Hilding (Hildeger) who is Borgar's stepson; in the German tradition we find a Hilding (Herbrand) who is Borgar-Berchtung's son. This already shows that the German saga about Hildebrand was originally connected with the patriarch saga about Borgar, Halfdan, and Halfdan's sons, and that the Hildings from the beginning were akin to the Germanic patriarchs. Borgar's transformation from stepfather to the father of a Hilding shall be explained below. Hildeger's saga and Hildebrand's are also related in subject matter. The fortunes of both the kinsmen are at the same time like each other and the antithesis of each other. Hildeger's character is profoundly tragic; Hildebrand is happy and secure. In his death- ong in Saxo (cp. Asmund Kappabane's saga), Hildeger complains that he has fought within and slain his own beloved son. In the Old High German song-fragment, after his return from the East, Hildebrand seeks his son Hadubrand, who believed that his father was dead and calls Hildebrand a deceiver, who has taken the dead man's name, and forces him to fight a duel. The fragment ends before we learn the issue of the duel; but Þidreks Saga af Bern and a ballad about Hildebrand have preserved the tradition in regard to it. When the old "master" has demonstrated that his Hadubrand is not yet equal to him in arms, father and son ride side by side in peace and happiness to their home. Both the conflicts between father and son, within the Hilding family, are counterparts and each other's antithesis. In his eagerness for strife, Hildeger, who passionately loves war and combat, inflicts a deep wound in his own heart when he kills his own son. Hildebrand acts wisely, prudently, and seeks to ward off and allay the son's love of combat before the duel begins, and he is able to end it by pressing his young opponent to his paternal bosom. On the other hand, Hildeger's conduct toward his half-brother Halfdan, the ideal of a noble and generous enemy, and his last words to his brother, who, ignorant of the kinship, has given him the fatal wound, and whose mantle the dying one wishes to wrap himself in (Asmund Kappabane's saga), is one of the touching scenes in the grand poems about our earliest ancestors. It seems to have proclaimed that blood revenge was inadmissible, when a kinsman, without being aware of the kinship, slays a kinsman, and when the latter declared his devotion to his slayer before he died. In every case, we rediscover the aged Hildebrand as the teacher and protector of the son of the same Halfdan who slew Hildeger, and not a word is said about blood revenge between Halfdan's and Hildeger's descendants. However, the kinship pointed out between the Germanic patriarchs and the Hildings has not excluded a relation of subordination of the latter to the former. In "Wolfdieterich," Hildebrand's father receives land and fief from Dieterich's grandfather and carries his banner in war. Toward Dieterich , Hildebrand himself performs those duties which are due from a foster-father, which, as a rule, show a relation of subordination to the real father of the foster-son. Among the kindred families to which Dieterich and Hildebrand belong, there was the same difference of rank as between those to which Hadding and Hamal belong. Hamal's father Hagal was Halfdan's foster-father, and, to judge from this, occupied the position of a subordinate friend toward Halfdan's father Borgar. Thus Halfdan and Hamal were foster-brothers, and from this it follows that Hamal, if he survived Halfdan, was bound to assume a foster-father's duties towards the latter's son Hadding, who was not yet of age. Hamal's relation to Hadding is therefore entirely analogous to Hildebrand's relation to Dieterich.

The core of that army which attached itself to Dieterich are Amelungs, Amalians (see "Biterolf"); that is to say, members of Hamal's race. The oldest and most important hero, the center of the core, is old master Hildebrand himself, Dieterich's foster-father and general. Persons who in the German poems have names which refer to their Amalian birth are treated by Hildebrand as members of a clan are treated by a clan-chief. Thus Hildebrand brings a princess, Amalgart, from Sweden and gives her as wife to a son of Ameloltserving among Dieterich's Amelungs, and to Amelolt, Hildebrand has already given his sister for a wife.

The question as to whether we find threads which connect the Hildebrand of the German poem with the saga of the mythic patriarchs, and especially with the Hamal (Amala) who appears in this saga, has now been answered. In the German saga-cycle, Master Hildebrand has received the position and the tasks which originally belonged to Hamal, the progenitor of the Amalians. The relation between the kindred families -- the patriarch family, the Hilding family, and the Amal family --has certainly been just as distinctly pointed out in the German saga-cycle as in the Norse before the German met with a crisis, which to some extent confused the old connection. This crisis came when Hadding-Þjóðrekr of the ancient myth was confounded with the historical king of the East Goths, Theoderich. The East Goth Theoderich counted himself as belonging to the Amal family, which had grown out of the soil of the myth. He was, according to Jordanes (De Origine Actibusque Getarum 14), a son of Thiudemer, who traced his ancestry to Amal (Hamal), son of Augis (Hagal).127 The result of the confusion was: (a) That Hadding-Þjóðrekr became the son of Thiudemer, and that his descent from the Teutonic patriarchs was cut off. (b) That Hadding-Þjóðrekr himself became a descendant of Hamal, whereby the distinction between this race of rulers -- the line of Germanic patriarchs begun with Ruther-Heimdall -- together with the Amal family, friendly but subject to the Hadding family, and the Hilding family was partly obscured and partly abolished. Dieterich himself became an "Amelung" like several of his heroes. (c) That when Hamal thus was changed from an elder contemporary of HaddingÞjóðrekr into his earliest progenitor, separated from him by several generations of time, he could no longer serve as Dieterich's foster-father and general; but this vocation had to be transferred to master Hildebrand, who also in the myth must have been closely connected with Hadding, and, together with Hamal, one of his chief and constant helpers. (d) That Borgar-Berchtung, who in the myth is the grandfather of HaddingÞjóðrekr, must resign this dignity and confine himself to being the progenitor of the Hildings, since he was not an Amal. As we have seen in Saxo, he is the progenitor of the Hilding Hildeger. Another result of Hadding-Þjóðrekr's confusion with the historical Theoderich was that Dieterich's kingdom, and the scene of various of his exploits, was transferred to Italy: to Verona (Bern), Ravenna (Raben), etc. Still the strong stream of the ancientmyths became master of the confused historical increments, so that the Dieterich of the saga has but little in common with the historical Theoderich. After the dissemination of Christianity, the hero saga of the Germanic myths was cut off from its roots in the mythology, and therefore this confusion was natural and necessary. Popular tradition, in which traces were found of the historical TheoderichDieterich, was no longer able to distinguish the one Dieterich from the other. A writer acquainted with the chronicle of Jordanes took the last step and made Theoderich's father Thiudemer the father of the mythic Hadding-Þjóðrekr. Nor did the similarity of names alone encourage this blending of the persons. There was also another reason. The historical Theoderich had fought against Odoacer. The mythic Hadding-Þjóðrekr had warred with Svipdag, the husband of Freyja, who also bore the names Óðr and Óttar (see Nos. 96-100). The latter name-form corresponds to the English and German Otter, the Old High German Otar, a name which suggested the historical Otacher(Odoacer). The Dieterich and Otacher of historical traditions became identified with Þjóðrekr and Óttar of mythical traditions. Since the Hadding-Þjóðrekr of mythology in his tender youth was exposed to the persecutions of Ottar, and had to take flight from them to the far East, so the Dieterich of the historical saga also had to suffer persecutions in his tender youth from Otacher, and take flight, accompanied by his faithful Amalians, to a kingdom in the East. Accordingly, Hadubrand says of his father Hildebrand, that, when he betook himself to the East with Dieterich, floh her Otachres nîd, "he fled from Otacher's hate." Therefore, Otacher soon disappears from the German saga-cycle, for Svipdag-Ottar perishes and disappears in the myth, long before Hadding's victory and restoration to his father's power (see No. 106.) Odin and Heimdall, who then, according to the myth, dwelt in the East and there became the protectors of Hadding, must, as heathen deities, be removed from the Christian saga, and be replaced as best they could by others. The famous ruler in the East, Attila, was better suited than anyone else to take Odin's place, though Attila was dead before Theoderich was born. Ruther-Heimdall was, as we have already seen, changed into Rüdiger. The myth made Hadding dwell in the East for many years (see above). The tenyear rule of the Vanir in Asgard must end, and many other events must occur before the epic connection of the myths permitted Hadding to return as a victor. As a result of this, the saga of "Dieterich of Bern" also lets him remain a long time with Attila. An Old English song preserved in the Exeter manuscript, makes Theodric remain þrittig wintra128 in exile at Mæringaburg. The song about Hildebrand and Hadubrand make him remain in exile, sumarô enti wintrô sehstic, 129 and Þidreks Saga af Bern makes him sojourn in the East thirty-two years.

Mæringaburg of the Anglo-Saxon poem is the refuge which Odin opened for his favorite, and where the former dwelt during his exile in the East. Mæringaburg means a citadel inhabited by noble, honored, and splendid persons: compare the Old Norse mæringr. 130 But the original meaning of mærr, Old German mâra, is "glittering" "shining" "pure," and it is possible that, before mæringr received its general signification of a famous, honored, noble man, it was used in the more special sense of a man descended from "the shining one," that is to say, from Heimdall through Borgar. However this may be, in the Anglo-Saxon version of the Hadding saga, these "mæringar" have had their antitheses in the "baningar," that is, the men of Loki-Bicke (Bekki). This appears from the expression Bekka veóldBaningum, in Codex Exoniensis. 131 The Banings are no more a historical name than the Mærings. The interpretation of the word is to be sought in the Anglo-Saxon bana, the English bane. The Banings means "the destroyers, "the corrupters," a suitable appellation of those who follow the source of pestilence, the all-corrupting Loki. In the German poems, Mæringaburg is changed to Meran, and Borgar-Berchtung (Hadding's grandfather in the myth) is Duke of Meran. It is his fathers who have gone to the gods that Hadding finds again with Odin and Heimdall in the East. Despite the confusion of the historical Theoderich with the mythic HaddingÞjóðrekr, a tradition has been handed down within the German saga-cycle to the effect that "Dieterich of Bern" belonged to a genealogy which Christianity had anathematized. Two of the German Dieterich poems, "Nibelunge Nôt" 132 and "Klage,"133 refrain from mentioning the ancestors of their hero. Wilhelm Grimm suspects that the reason for this is that the authors of these poems knew something about Dieterich's descent, which they could not relate without wounding Christian ears; and he reminds us that, when Thidrek (Dieterich) teases Högni (Hagen), in the Þidreks Saga af Bern, by calling him the son of an elf, Högni answers that Thidrekhas a still worse descent, as he is the son of the devil himself. The matter, which in Grimm's eyes is mystical, is explained by the fact that Hadding-Þjóðrekr's father in the myth, Halfdan Borgarson, was supposed to be descended from Thor, and in his capacity of a Germanic patriarch he had received divine worship (see Nos. 23 and 30). Anhang des Heldenbuchs says that Dieterich was the son of a "böser geyst." 134 It has already been stated (No. 38) that Hadding received a drink from Odin which exercised a wonderful influence upon his physical nature. It made him recreatum vegetiori corporis firmitate, 135 and, thanks to it and to the incantation sung over him by Odin, he was able to free himself from the chains afterwards put on him by Loki. It has also been pointed out that this drink contained something called Leifnir's or Leifin's flames. There is every reason for assuming that these "flames" had the effect of enabling the person who had partaken of the potion of Leifnir's flames to free himself from his chains with his own breath. Groa (Gróugaldur 10) gives her son Svipdag "Leifnir's fires" in order that if he is chained, his enchanted limbs may be liberated (leifnis elda læt eg þér fyr leggum kveðinn).136 The record of the giving of this gift to Hadding meets us in the German saga, in the form that Dieterich was able with his breath to burn the fetters laid upon him (see "Laurin"), nay, when he became angry, he could breathe fire and make the cuirass of his opponent red-hot. The tradition that Hadding by eating, on the advice of Odin, the heart of a wild beast (Saxo says of a lion) gained extraordinary strength, is also preserved in the form, that when Dieterich was in distress, God sent him eines löwen krafft von herczenlichen zoren ("Ecken Ausfarth").137 Saxo relates that on one occasion Hadding was invited to descend into the lower world and see its strange things (see No. 47). The heathen lower world, with its fields of bliss and places of torture, became synonymous with hell in the Christian mind. Hadding's descent to the lower world, together with the mythic account of his journey through the air on Odin's horse Sleipnir, were remembered in Christian times in the form that he once rode to hell on a black diabolical horse. This explains the remarkable dénouement of the Dieterich saga; namely, that he, the magnanimous and celebrated hero, was captured by the devil. Otto of Friesingen (first half of the twelfth century) states that Theodoricus vivus equo sedens ad inferos descendit. 138 The Kaiser chronicle139 says that "many saw that the devils took Dieterich and carried him into the mountain to Vulcan." In Saxo, we read that once, while bathing, Hadding had an adventure which threatened him with the most direful revenge from the gods (see No. 106). Manuscripts of the Þidreks Saga af Bern speak of a fateful bath which Thidrek took, and connects it with his journey to hell. While the hero was bathing , there came a black horse, the largest and stateliest ever seen. The king wrapped himself in his bath towel and mounted the horse. He found, too late, that the steed was the devil, and he disappeared forever. Saxo tells that Hadding made war on a King Handuanus (Handvan), who had concealed his treasures in the bottom of a lake, and who was obliged to ransom his life with a golden treasure of the same weight as his body (Hist., Book 1). Handuanus is a Latinized form of the dwarf name Andvanr, Andvani. The Sigurd saga has a record of this event, and calls the dwarf Andvari (in Reginsmál.) The German saga also tells of a war which Dieterich waged against a dwarf king. The war has furnished the materials for the saga of "Laurin."140 Here, too, the conquered dwarf-king's life is spared, and Dieterich gets possession of many of his treasures.

In the German as in the Norse saga, Hadding-Þjóðrekr's rival to secure the crown was his brother, supported by Otacher-Ottar (Svipdag). The tradition in regard to this, which agrees with the myth, was known to the author of Anhang des Heldenbuchs. But already in an early day, the brother was changed into an uncle on account of the intermixing of historical reminiscences.

The brother's name in the Norse tradition is Gudhormr, in the German Ermenrich (Ermanaricus). Like Þjóðrekr, Ermenrich-Jörmunrekr means a ruler over many people, a great king. Jordanes already has confounded the mythic Jörmunrekr-Gudhormr with the historical Gothic King Hermanaricus, whose kingdom was destroyed by the Huns, and has applied to him the saga of Svanhild and her brothers Sarus (Sörli) and Ammius (Hamðir), a saga which originally was connected withthat of the mythic Jörmunrek. The Sigurd epic, which expanded with plunder from all sources, has added to the confusion by annexing this saga. In the Roman authors, the form Herminones is found by the side of Hermiones as the name of one of the three Germanic tribes which descended from Mannus. It is possible, as already indicated, that -horm in Gudhorm is connected with the form Hermio, and it is probable, as already pointed out by several linguists, that the Germanic irmin (jörmun, Goth. airmana) is linguistically connected with the word Hermino. In that case, the very names Gudhormr and Jörmunrekr as such already point to the mythic progenitor of the Hermiones, Herminones, just as Yngvi-Svipdag's name points to the progenitor of the Ingvaeones(Ingævones), and possibly also Hadding's to that of the Istaeones(see No. 25). As already shown, the Anglo-Saxon Hearding, the old German Hartung correspond to the name Hadding. The Hasdingi(Asdingi) mentioned by Jordanes were the chief warriors of the Vandals (Goth. Orig., 22), and there may be a mythic reason for rediscovering this family name among an East Germanic tribe (the Vandals), since Hadding, according to the myth, had his support among the East Germanic tribes. To the form Hasdingi (Goth. Hazdiggós) the words istævones, istvæones, might readily enough correspond, provided the vowel i in the Latin form can be harmonized with a in the Germanic. That the vowel i was an uncertain element may be seen from the genealogy in Codex La Cava, which calls Istævo Ostius, Hostius. 141 As to geography, both the Roman and Germanic records agree that the northern Germanic tribes were Ingævones. In the myths, they are Scandiniavians and neighbors to the Ingaevones. In the Beowulf poem, the king of the Danes is called eodor Inguina, the protection of the Ingaevones, and freâ Inguina, the lord of the Ingaevones. Tacitus says that they live nearest to the ocean (Germania, 2); Pliny the Elder says that Cimbrians, Teutons, and Chaucians were Ingaevones (Historia Naturalis IV. 96, 99, 100).142 Pomponius Mela143 says that the land of the Cimbrians and Teutons was washed by the Codan bay (III. 3). As to the Hermiones and Istævones, the former dwelt along the middle Rhine, and of the latter, who are the East Teutons of mythology, several tribes had already before the time of Pliny pressed forward south of the Hermiones to this river. The German saga-cycle has preserved the tradition that in the first great battle in which Hadding-Þjóðrekr measured his strength with the North and West Teutons he suffered a great defeat. This is openly avowed in the Dieterich poem "Die Klage." Those poems, on the other hand, which out of sympathy for their hero give him victory in this battle ("Die Rabenschlacht")144 nevertheless in fact acknowledge that such was not the case, for they make him return to the East after the battle and remain there many years, robbed of his crown, before he makes his second and successful attempt to regain his kingdom. Thus the "Rabenschlacht" corresponds to the mythic battle in which Hadding is defeated by Ingaevones and Hermiones. Besides, from a Germanic standpoint, the "Rabenschlacht" has a trait of universality, and the German tradition has upon the whole faithfully, and in harmony with the myth, grouped the allies and heroes of the hostile brothers. Dieterich is supported by East Germanic warriors, and by non-Germanic people from the East - from Poland, Wallachia, Russia, Greece, etc.; Ermenrich, on the other hand, by chiefs from Thuringia, Swabia, Hessen, Saxony, the Netherlands, England, and the North, and, above all, by the Burgundians, who in the genealogy in the St. Gaelen Codex are counted among the Hermiones, and in the genealogy in the La Cava Codex145 are counted with the Ingaevones. For the mythic descent of the Burgundian dynasty from an uncle of Svipdag, I shall present evidence in my chapters on the Ivaldi race. The original identity of Hadding's and Dieterich's sagas, and their descent from the myth concerning the earliest antiquity and the patriarchs, I now regard as demonstrated and established. The war between Hadding-Dieterich and GudhormErmenrich is identical with the conflict begun by Yngvi-Svipdag between the tribes of the Ingævones, Hermiones, and Istævones. It has also been demonstrated that Halfdan, Gudhorm's and Hadding's father, and Yngvi-Svipdag's stepfather, is identical with Mannus. One of the results of this investigation is, therefore, that the songs about Mannus and his sons, ancient already in the days of Tacitus, have, more or less influenced by the centuries, continued to live far down in the Middle Ages, and that, not the songs themselves, but the main features of their contents, have been preserved to our time, and should again be incorporated in our mythology together with the myth in regard to the primeval time, the main outline of which has been restored, and the final episode of which is the first great war in the world. The Norse-Icelandic school, which accepted and developed the learned hypothesis of the Middle Age in regard to the immigration of Odin and his Asiamen, is to blame that the myth, in many respects important, in regard to the olden time and its events in the world of gods and men -- among Indo-European myths one of the most important, either from a scientific or poetic point of view, that could be handed down to our time -- was thrust aside and forgotten. The learned hypothesis and the ancient myth could not beharmonized. For that reason, the latter had to yield. Nor was there anything in this myth that particularly appealed to the Norse national feeling, and so could claim mercy. Norway is not at all named in it. Scania, Denmark, Svithiod (Sweden), and continental Germania are the scene of the mythic events. Among the many causes co-operating in Christian times, in giving what is now called "Norse mythology" its present character, there is not one which has contributed so much as the rejection of this myth toward giving "Norse mythology" the stamp which it previously has borne of a narrow, illiberal town mythology, which, built chiefly on the foundation of the Prose Edda, is, as shall be shown in the present work, in many respects a caricature of the real Norse, and at the same time in its main outlines Germanic, mythology. In regard to the ancient Indo-European elements in the myth here presented, see Nos. 82 and 111.

 

 

Excerpt without footnotes from paragraph 43 of “ Investigations into Germanic Mythology “, Volume 1 by Viktor Rydberg  Chapter III:THE MYTH CONCERNING THE GERMANIC PREHISTORY AND THE EMIGRATIONS FROM THE NORTH.

Click to access UGM1NEW20-43.pdf

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