Hildebrand, Lay of

Hildebrand, Lay of,

fragment of an epic in mixed Low and Old High German composed c.800 in the monastery of Fulda. Hildebrand, armorer of Dietrich of Bern (Theodoric the GreatTheodoric the Great,
c.454–526, king of the Ostrogoths and conqueror of Italy, b. Pannonia. He spent part of his youth as a hostage in Constantinople. Elected king in 471 after his father's death, he became involved in intrigues in which he was by turns the ally and the
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), returns home after many years on the battlefield and is insulted by his son Hadubrand, who does not recognize him. The inevitable tragic ending, in which Hildebrand must kill his warrior son, is confirmed by a later "Hildebrandslied" manuscript of the 13th cent.
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