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The Nibelungenlied   By: (1868-)

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In "The Nibelungenlied" by Daniel Bussier Shumway, readers are transported into a world of epic battles, complex alliances, and tragic love stories. This new translation of the renowned medieval German epic is a remarkable contribution to the genre, capturing the essence of the original poem while making it accessible to contemporary readers.

Shumway's translation skillfully captures the poetic beauty and linguistic nuances of the original text. Through careful word choices and an eloquent writing style, he successfully brings to life the vivid imagery and emotions described in the Nibelungenlied. The descriptive passages transport the reader to a time of knights and castles, while the intricate character development adds depth and complexity to the story.

One of the most notable aspects of Shumway's translation is his attention to detail in maintaining the rhythm and rhyme of the original poem. This meticulous approach not only preserves the musical quality of the Nibelungenlied but also enhances the reading experience. It allows readers to fully immerse themselves in the world of the poem, feeling the pulse and cadence of the ancient narrative resonating in their minds.

Furthermore, Shumway's extensive annotations and notes accompanying the text provide invaluable insights into the historical and cultural context of the Nibelungenlied. These explanations help readers grasp the significance of certain events, characters, and customs, ensuring a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of this medieval masterpiece. The inclusion of a glossary and index further aids in navigating through the unfamiliar names and places encountered throughout the story.

While Shumway's translation is certainly a triumph, it should be noted that "The Nibelungenlied" may not be suitable for all readers. The epic's complex narrative structure, numerous characters, and intricate plot may overwhelm those unaccustomed to the genre. However, for those willing to invest time and effort, this translation will prove to be a rewarding and enlightening reading experience.

In conclusion, Daniel Bussier Shumway's translation of "The Nibelungenlied" masterfully captures the essence of this timeless epic. With his impeccable language and attention to detail, he transports readers to a world of heroes and villains, love and betrayal, honor and tragedy. This book is a must-read for lovers of medieval literature, folklore, and epic tales, as it brings to life a monumental piece of German literary heritage in a way that resonates with contemporary readers.

First Page:


By An Unknown Author

Translated by Daniel B. Shumway

Originally written in Middle High German (M.H.G.), sometime around 1200 A.D., although this dating is by no means certain. Author unknown.

The text of this edition is based on that published as "The Nibelungenlied", translated by Daniel B. Shumway (Houghton Mifflin Co., New York, 1909).

PREPARER'S NOTE: In order to make this electronic edition easier to use, the preparer has found it necessary to re arrange the endnotes of Mr. Shumway's edition, collating them with the chapters themselves and substituting page references with footnote references. The preparer takes full responsibility for these changes. DBK.



Hatto, A.T. (Trans.): "Nibelungenlied" (Penguin Classics, London, 1962). Prose translation.

Ryder, Frank G. (Trans.): "The Song of the Nibelungs" (Wayne State University Press, Detroit, 1962). Verse translation.


Anonymous: "Kudrun", Translated by Marion E. Gibbs & Sidney Johnson (Garland Pub., New York, 1992).

Anonymous: "Volsungasaga", Translated by William Morris and Eirikr Magnusson (Walter Scott Press, London, 1888; Reissued by the Online Medieval and Classical Library as E Text 29, 1997).

Saxo Grammaticus: "The First Nine Books of the Danish History", Translated by Oliver Elton (London, 1894; Reissued by the Online Medieval and Classical Library as E Text OMACL 28, 1997)... Continue reading book >>

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