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The Germanic Edda?

By: Hjuka Harugari



> I was reading in a small write up on "the northern tradition" in a book on alternative religions the other day and it called the Niebelungenlied(sp?) the germanic version of the eddas. Would anyone care to comment on the accuracy of this statement?



the Germanic Edda, eh? ..interesting.

well, I don't think that I could agree with that- to me -and this is with me 'not' seeing the article- it sounds as if the author has a Nordic-centric attitude (or anti-Germanic) bias when it comes to his/her perceptions on the Heathenry of Northern Europe...not to mention, a lacking in true understanding of what the Eddas are, rather of the origin for a large portion, if not a majority of the material which makes up the collection... there is a great amount of material preserved in the Old Norse/Old Icelandic sources, and what many folk fail to realize is that so much of that material isn't native to those regions/cultures...the Hervarar Saga, which was never translated into English (I started on that last year, but haven't really worked on it much) is a tale of the Goths... and a significant portion of the Eddaic material (if not most) can be traced with confidence to German, specifically Gothic origin- one obvious example within the Edda is the mention of Gaut, who is the progenitor of that tribe, Wodan himself...

other not-to-obvious examples: quoting Micheal Moell: 'Gu­run's Lament' and 'The Lay of Ham­ir', which conclude the Elder Edda, are very old stories which can be tied to historical circumstances in the homeland of the Ostrogoths in the 4th century.. it tells the tale of AÝrmanareiks (Ermanaric) who punished Svanhild by having her trod under horses. Her kinsmen then took vengeance on the king by wounding him, and between the wound and his inability to defeat Attila, the old king met his end...'
the Sigurd Cycle within the Eddas likewise are of German(Gothic) import...they deal with the history (as does Hervarar Saga) between the Goths and Huns...Atli is Attila's name in Norse...Attila, in all reality isn't a Hunnish name, but is the name the Goths under his rule gave to him in a bit of sarcastic recognition- it means 'little father'...both AÝrmanareiks and ■iudarieks (Theodoric the great-king of the Ostrogoths,and the only German to ever rule Rome) are associated to the Sigurd lays (which, properly are Gothic-Burgundian material)...

perhaps the most popular tale within the collection would be the myths of WÚyland the Smith (on Volund)...Weyland's ancestors were Goths... just to name a few... is das Nibelungenlied their 'Germanic Edda'? no, I'd say the Edda was the 'Germanic Edda', given the origin of the material presented...

Hjuka Harugari