Anonymous, Nibelungenlied

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When Johann Jakob Bodmer rediscovered the Middle High German epic poem


in the middle of the eighteenth century, neither scholarship nor the public immediately realized that he had stumbled upon a monumental heroic poem, which soon after the Enlightenment period gained the same recognition as Homer's




, among other world classics. The


was written around 1200 and was subsequently copied many times far into the sixteenth century, eventually experiencing a considerable transformation process of trivialization represented by the chapbook version,

Hürnen Seyfried

(ca. 1530 seqq). Although the Prussian king Frederick II (the Great), to whom Christoph Heinrich Müller dedicated his first edition in 1782, scoffed at the


, this heroic…

2280 words

Citation: Classen, Albrecht. "Nibelungenlied". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 April 2003 [, accessed 25 July 2024.]

11785 Nibelungenlied 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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