Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
Related to Nibelungen: Nibelungenlied, Nibelungen Saga


(nē`bəlo͝ong'ən) or


in Germanic myth and literature, an evil family possessing a magic hoard of gold. The hoard is accursed. The Nibelungenlied (–lēt') [song of the Nibelungen] is a long Middle High German epic by a south German poet of the early 13th cent. It includes pagan legends and traditions but is patently the product of a Christian, courtly world. The story is set in Worms, capital of Burgundy, and at the court of Etzel (Attila the Hun). The warrior Siegfried, having won the Nibelung hoard, marries Kriemhild and captures the Icelandic Queen Brunhild for Kriemhild's brother King Gunther. Brunhild contrives Siegfried's death at the hands of Gunther's henchman Hagen, who takes the treasure and buries it in the Rhine. The rest of the poem recounts Kriemhild's vengeance. She marries Etzel and has a child by him. Lulled into security, Gunther accepts her invitation and visits her with his court, including Hagen. The poem ends with general slaughter and holocaust, which only Etzel and a few others survive. Although marred by stylistic flaws, the Nibelungenlied contains fine delineations of character, especially of Kriemhild, Siegfried, and Hagen. Its great strength lies in its acute depiction of the Germanic ideas of fate and loyalty to the chief. There are many English translations, e.g., by D. G. Mowatt (1962) and F. G. Ryder (1962). The Nibelungenlied has been the subject of many later treatments by German authors, including Friedrich Hebbel. The most noteworthy is undoubtedly the operatic tetralogy by Richard Wagner, Der Ring des Nibelungen [the ring of the Nibelungs], comprising the four operas Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung. The complete cycle was first produced in Bayreuth in 1876. It was based largely on Scandinavian legends from the Volsungasaga, on the Icelandic Poetic Edda, as well as on the Nibelungenlied.


See studies by A. E. Dickinson (1926), F. E. Winkler (1964), D. G. Mowatt and H. Sacker (1967), H. Bekker (1971), and W. McConnell (1984).

References in periodicals archive ?
Diese tragische Komodie wird hier verstanden als eine Parodie des Hebbelschen Dichtung Die Nibelungen.
Sifried and Brunhild (Wagner's Siegfried and Brunhilde) belong to a quite separate epic tradition, which merged with the lay of the Nibelungen only much later.
This spring there will ge three complete performances of Der Ring des Nibelungen.
Paret and Thieme, experts on Barlach and the German modernism of which he was part, examine Barlach's work in the context of the history of the Nibelungen as a medieval epic and later nationalist symbol.
The depths of Carsen's Nibelheim were portrayed in deep colors that evoked sweat and toil as Nibelungen scurried and scattered like rats cowering from Alber-ich's sadistic abuse.
Unravelling the tangled narrative strands of the Nibelungen tradition has long been a favourite sport of scholars.
The money will help finance the upcoming production of Richard Wagner's ``Der Ring des Nibelungen.
But instead Wedel is spending his fifth straight summer running the Nibelungen Festival in Worms, host to the four-hour production of "The Nibelungen--Siegfried's Women," which preemed Aug.
The books include: A signed copy of Die Nibelungen by David Levingthal, Snowblind by Robert Sabbag, a paperback edition of JFK Funeral Train by Paul Fusco, Welcome To A Slightly Grubby Heaven and The Best Kind Of Comedy both by Tony Tripp.
Cawn fwynhau rhai o'r amryw uchelfannau yn ei yrfa hyd yma, yn ogystal a chlywed sut y mae'n paratoi i ymgymryd a her fwyaf y byd operatig - chwarae rhan Wotan yn opera hirfaith Wagner Der Ring des Nibelungen, a hynny'n y ToeOpera Brenhinol yn Llundain.
His later work Die Nibelungen (1862)--including Der gehornte Siegfried ("The Invulnerable Siegfried"), Siegfrieds Tod ("Siegfried's Death"), and Kriemhilds Rache ("Kriemhild's Revenge")--grandiosely pictures the clash between heathen and Christian.
Among his plays are also the tragedy Judith (1841), about the biblical heroine; Herodes and Mariamne (1850); Agnes Bernaner (1855), a tragedy of love between a prince and a commoner; Gyges und sein Ring ( Gyges and His Ring, 1856), based on the story of Candaules; and Die Nibelungen (1862), a trilogy based on the story of the Nibelungenlied.