Study Guide

Nibelungenlied Historical Context

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While the version of the Nibelungenliedknown to twentieth-century readers was written around 1200, it deals loosely with historical and legendary events which occurred or were first recounted several hundred years before. The Huns (EtzePs people in the Nibelungenlied) were originally a nomadic tribe from Asia. They invaded Europe around 360. They eventually settled most of their kingdom in what is now Hungary. Attila (Etzel in the Nibelungenlied) became king of the Huns in 433. In Latin legends he was given the nickname of "Scourge of the Gods" for his cruelty, and this is the image that has survived most widely regarding Attila. However, in the Germanic legends, he is portrayed as hospitable and fair.

The kingdom at Worms is believed to have been founded in the year 406 by the Burgundians, a Germanic people. They were conquered by the Huns under Attila in a battle in which...

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This section contains 657 words
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Buy the Nibelungenlied Study Guide
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Epics for Students
Nibelungenlied from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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