Frequent economical, political and cultural exchanges between German and Scandinavian people during the Middle Ages led to the large scale changes that affected many parts of people’s lives and resulted in the appearance of German-Scandinavian frontier culture with its specific features.
This article, using the example of Middle German heroic epic “Das Nibelungenlied” (“The Lay of the Nibelungs”) and the corpus of adjoining texts that comprise “the legend of Nibelungs / Nibelungenlegend” aims at describing how literature transgresses boundaries, how frontier literature and folklore function in their new space, how canon texts are restructured following the effects of migration and how the ancient and the new plots can be blended in new works of art.
The article begins with a short review of the existing manuscripts of the medieval German heroic epos ""Das Nibelungenlied”. The most characteristic features of the manuscripts are briefly described. Special attention is paid to the so called m and n-versions dating back to the XIV-XV centuries (Darmstadt manuscripts) of the poem, as they can be regarded the marginal versions, containing a specific mixture of oral and written traditions of the Nibelungen legend.
The article proceeds with description of how Nibelungen legend is reflected and transformed in the folklore of Faeroe Islands. Further the article discusses the contents of medieval Danish ballads of the Hven island "Grimhild’s Vengeance” (“Grimhildis Hæven”), the history of creation and the publication of these ballads is briefly described. The content-analysis of texts allows the author to draw a number of conclusions on the sources which formed the basis of these works of folklore, and more widely – about the ways of evolution of Nibelungen legend within the space of medieval German-Scandinavian frontier.
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