Anonymous: Waltharius

(780 words)
  • Hugh Magennis

Waltharius is a poem in Latin epic style about the Germanic heroic age, composed by a Frankish monk in the ninth or tenth century. It is written in the style of Virgil, in 1456 hexameters, and is strongly influenced also by the Latin poets Statius and Prudentius. It tells the story of the hero Waltharius (Walter) and of his escape, along with his betrothed, Hiltgunt, from the stronghold of Attila the Hun to his native Aquitania. There has been considerable scholarly discussion concerning the authorship of the poem and the specific period of its composition but there is still no consensus on these issues. Waltharius is recognised, however, as an important literary product of Frankish culture, combining in a unique way …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Magennis, Hugh. "Waltharius". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 April 2003
[, accessed 27 May 2015.]