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It is generally believed that the Beowulf saga is of Scandinavian origin.

But whether the epic arose in Scandinavia or in England is a question that has not been decided.

Grimhild (Kriemhild), Siegfried's widow, marries another king, who actuated by greed, murders Hagen. This seems to be the bare outline of the old tale which was combined with a new historic saga, traceable to the destruction of the Burgundians by the Huns in 437, and the sudden death of the great Hunnish leader, Attila, after his marriage to a German princess, Ildico (i.e. Now, when the two sagas were fused, Ildico was conceived as a Burgundian princess who slew Attila in revenge for the destruction of her kin.

Sweeping changes in the action and the motives of the story were a necessary consequence of this fusion.

Once more the aged hero goes forth, to battle with a fire-breathing dragon that devastates the land.

He kills the monster, but dies of injuries sustained in the fight.

The Norse version ("Edda", "Volsungasaga") and the German version of the "Nibelungenlied" both tell of Grimhild's revenge.

But in the former she kills her husband, the slayer of her brother, as in the older form of the legend; in the latter version she kills her brothers, in revenge for the murder of her husband (see GERMANY, sub-title , III).

Gradually this tradition, passing from mouth to mouth, takes on a more definite shape and a more distinct outline, and finally it passes into literature and receives a permanent and fixed form.

The formation of legend relating to Charlemagne began even during the lifetime of the great ruler.

In the book of the so-called Monachus Sangallensis, which was written after 883 on the basis of oral tradition, he appears already as a legendary figure.

In the period of national origins history and legend are inextricably mingled.

In the course of oral transmission historic narrative necessarily becomes more or less legendary.

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