For the present reviewer, whose first close acquaintance with the poems dealing with Dietrich von Bern
goes back to the acquisition, more than forty years ago, of the two-volume set of Friedrich Heinrich von der Hagen's Heldenbuch: Altdeutsche Heldenlieder aus dem Sagenkreise Dietrichs von Bern and der Nibelungen (Leipzig: Schultze, 1855), the appearance of this, the first volume of a new series of editions of the historical epics, is most welcome, and indeed the book may expect a warm reception generally.
Dietrich von Bern
Heroic figure of Germanic legend, apparently derived from Theodoric the Great, an Ostrogothic king of Italy who reigned from 493 to 526 AD.
It seems a long time since we had a readable introduction to the extensive corpus of medieval poems dealing with Dietrich von Bern
. To be sure, in 1964 de Gruyter themselves published Roswitha Wisniewski's revision of Hermann Schneider's Deutsche Heldensage (Volume 32 in the old Sammlung Goschen), a work that replaced Otto Jiriczek's Die deutsche Heldensage in the same series, first published in 1894, revised in 1897, and even translated into English in 1902.
One group deals with the Ostrogothic sagas of Ermenrich (Ermanaric), Etzel (Attila), and Dietrich von Bern
, who is its central figure and the ideal type of German medieval hero.