Anonymous: The Hildebrandslied

(761 words)
  • Christina Lee (University of Nottingham)

This fragmentary poem, depicting a conflict between father and son, is the oldest Germanic heroic poem extant, and moreover, it is the only one written in Old High German. Only one version of the poem is extant, which was copied by two different scribes in Caroline minuscule around 840 at the abbey of Fulda, Germany, on the first and last leaves of a Latin codex which contains biblical and patristic literature. The codex has been kept at Kassel since at least the seventeenth century. Fragments of the poem went missing after the second world war and were later returned to Germany. The manuscript is today in the Landesbibliothek Kassel (Cod. Theol. 2· 54).

The Hildebrandslied begins with the meeting of a father and son …

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Lee, Christina. "The Hildebrandslied". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 November 2003
[, accessed 27 November 2015.]