Note: This site is still under construction. Unfortunately, I think I'll have little time to expand it in the forseeable future. Therefore, it'll remain half finished for a while. Nonetheless, you can find interesting things here.
(Go to the table of contents.)
It is generally assumed that the great Germanic legendary heroes Dietrich von Bern and
the Nibelungen have their counterparts in history: Theodoric the Great and the
Burgundians of Late Antiquity.
Unfortunately, the stories told about these great heroes have no relation whatsoever to the known historical facts. In addition, the heroes might be identified in a radically different way.
Purpose of this site is to compare two theories:
In 1981, Ritter published his book Die Nibelungen zogen nordwaerts, in which he concluded that the 13th-century Thidrekssaga has retained many place-names which can be traced to the 5th-century Rhineland, thus making Dietrich, the Nibelungen and Siegfried Rhinelandic princes of the era of the Great Migrations.
Despite Ritter's passionate plea for revising the traditional identifications, scholars have largely ignored his work.
If Ritter is right,
All in all, enough points of interest to merit a website.
I advise new readers to follow the Introduction
first, since the subsidiary pages sometimes deal with very specialized matters
which can only be understood after reading all the introductory pages.
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any comments, suggestions or extra literature. Also contact me when the site appears not to be working as it should.
Start the Introduction.
Hereafter, follow the
I advise new visitors to read the Introduction first.
I have set out several story lines through my site to help new readers understand the various problems involved in identifying Dietrich, Siegfried and the Nibelungen.
Choose an interesting one, read each page and then follow the
large link at the bottom of the page. At the end, you will return
Of course, you can also stray to other story lines.
My main reason for thinking the Thidrekssaga an accurate fifth century source has nothing at all to do with topography or exact identifications.
I offer an extended version of the Thidrekssaga, which is excellently suited to get to know the saga.
You can also use the links in the Navigation-frame
on the right to load any page.