Kirtlan Appendix Sigmund

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SIGMUND

Sigmund (page 65) is the father and uncle of Fitela. He is stated in Beowulf to have killed a serpent who kept guard over a hoard of treasure. In the Icelandic saga known as the V�nga Saga, Sigmund is represented as the father of Sigurd, and it is Sigurd who rifles the treasure of the Niblungs and kills the serpent (Fafnir), its guardian (Arnold, p. 69), and he carries it away on the back of his horse Grani. Sigmund is represented as the son of a V�ng; that is, as Beowulf has it, the heir of Waels. Waels was afterwards [206]forgotten, however, and Waelsing was regarded as a proper name instead of a patronymic denoting descent from Waels. In a similar way, as Arnold points out, Sigmund is pushed into the background to make room for his son Sigurd (Siegfried). And so in the German Nibelungen Lay it is Sigurd (Siegfried) who wins the hoard, but does so by defeating and killing its former possessors Schilbung and Nibelung (Arnold, p. 70). Attempts have been made to claim a German origin for this saga, but in face of the evidence of Beowulf and the V�nga Saga and the Edda there is, I think with Arnold, little doubt but that its origin was Scandinavian. Possibly and probably we owe the later elaboration of the saga in the Nibelungen Lay to German influence. For discussion of the whole question see Arnold s Notes on Beowulf, pp. 67–75, Edit. 1898, cap. v.

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