Kriemhild


Kriemhild
/kreem"hilt/, n. (in the Nibelungenlied)
the wife of Siegfried and the sister of Gunther. Cf. Gudrun.

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In the Nibelungenlied, the gentle princess courted by Siegfried.

Her grief at Siegfried's death transforms her into a "she-devil"; she exacts revenge by marrying Attila the Hun and killing her brother (who ordered Siegfried's death). She herself is also killed. In Norse legend, as Gudrun, she appears in tales of revenge. Kriemhild's story may have originated in confusion over events in the life of the historical Attila.

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▪ German legendary figure
      in Germanic heroic legend, sister of the Burgundian kings Gunther, Gernot, and Giselher. In Norse legend she is called Gudrun, and the lays in which she appears are variant tales of revenge. In the Nibelungenlied, she is the central character, introduced as a gentle princess courted by Siegfried. He wins Kriemhild's hand by performing feats for Gunther in the wooing of Brunhild. When Siegfried is later killed on Gunther's order because of Brunhild's spite at his role in wooing her, Kriemhild's grief transforms her into a “she-devil” in the second part of the epic. She marries Etzel (Attila the Hun) for revenge on her brothers, which she achieves by inviting them to Etzel's court, where she has them killed. She herself is killed by Hildebrand, the weapons master of Dietrich von Bern.

      The origin of Kriemhild's legend may be traced to two historical events. In 437 a Burgundian king, Gundahar, and his followers were wiped out by Huns; and in 453 the Hunnish king Attila died in his sleep at the side of his new bride, a German girl named Hildico, or Ildico. These two events became fused in popular legend. In Old Norse legend, Hildico became Gudrun, who murdered Attila in revenge for his treacherous murder of her brothers. As the legend was reshaped in other Germanic regions where Attila was too much esteemed to be credited with atrocity, Etzel was pushed to the background, and Kriemhild became the murderess of her own brothers. See Atli, Lay of; Nibelungenlied.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Kriemhild — (»Kämpferin mit dem Helm«), nach dem Nibelungenlied (s. d.) die Tochter des Burgunderkönigs Dankrat zu Worms, die zuerst mit Siegfried und nach dessen Ermordung durch Hagen mit dem Hunnenkönig Etzel vermählt wurde. Sie benutzt darauf ihre Macht,… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Kriemhild — (Chriemhild, d.h. Kämpferin mit dem Helme), deutsche Sagengestalt, insbes. des Nibelungenliedes, Schwester des Burgunderkönigs Gunther, Gemahlin Siegfrieds, später des Hunnenkönigs Etzel in Ungarn, ward, nachdem sie den gefangenen Hagen,… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Kriemhild — f German: from an old Germanic female personal name composed of the elements grim mask + hild battle. In the Nibelungenlied this is the name of the sister of Gunther; she marries Siegfried, and later takes vengeance on her brother for her husband …   First names dictionary

  • Kriemhild — Kriemhild, Kriemhilde, Krimhild, Krimhilde althochdeutscher bzw. germanischer Ursprung, Bedeutungszusammensetzung aus: »Maske« und »Kampf«. Bekannt aus dem Nibelungenlied …   Deutsch namen

  • Kriemhild — [krēm′hilt΄] n. [Ger < MHG Kriemhilt < Gmc * grim , a mask (akin to Frank * grima: see GRIMACE) + * hild , battle (akin to HILT)] in the Nibelungenlied, the wife of Siegfried and sister of Gunther: see also GUDRUN …   English World dictionary

  • Kriemhild — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Gudrun (homonymie). Kriemhild et Gunther (Johann Heinrich Füssli, 1807) Kriemhild ou Krimhild, également appelée …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kriemhild — Kriem•hild [[t]ˈkrim hɪlt[/t]] n. myt (in the Nibelungenlied) a Burgundian princess, the wife of Siegfried and sister of Gunther: corresponds to Gudrun in the Volsunga Saga[/ex] …   From formal English to slang

  • Kriemhild — /ˈkrimhɪlt/ (say kreemhilt) noun the legendary heroine of the Nibelungenlied, wife of Siegfried and avenger of his death; the counterpart of the Scandinavian Gudrun …   Australian English dictionary


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