Hagen (legend)

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For other people named Hagen, see Haguna. For other things named "Hagen", see Hagen (disambiguation).
The Dwarf Alberich talks to Hagen, by Arthur Rackham.

Hagen (German form) or Högni (Old Norse Hǫgni, often anglicized as Hogni) is a Burgundian warrior in tales about the Burgundian kingdom at Worms. Hagen is often identified as a brother or half-brother of King Gunther (Old Norse Gunnarr). In the Nibelungenlied he is nicknamed "from Tronje".

Etymology of the epithet "Tronje"[edit]

From the main manuscripts of the Nibelungenlied write the main representatives of the two versions, B and C, always "Tronege" ("from Tronege Hagene", "Hagen of Tronege", "geborn of Tronege", "helt of Tronege"); significantly less carefully written and later handwriting A usually writes "Trony" (also "Troni" and "Tronie"). "Tronje" is the appropriate modern German form. In the main sources B and C, the name of its origin is in the dative case, the nominative is "Troneg". "Tronje" is therefore - but common - mistake.

All following experiments, whether they concern an interpretation of the name or the home of Hagen, are highly speculative, but backed by more or less insightful arguments. Although the Nibelungenlied has a historic center, written down but it was only centuries later, in 1200, the medieval-knowledge and the intentions of the author were incorporated within it.

There are suggestions that the epithet discontent with more or less similar-sounding place names to tie. In particular, names that have only phonetic similarity, but rejected any meaningful link with the legend of the specialized science. The probability that such appeals are random, is great, and they mainly give her nothing for the interpretation of the literary figure. It is believed that the poet of the Nibelungenlied Tronje for a real place names in the dominion of the Burgundians held; but if he himself knew exactly where this place was to locate, is questionable. He knew the area around Worms not particularly good and made mistakes in the localization of locales.

Is nevertheless discussed the link Hagens with the following places:

The suffix "of Tronje" could be a descent from the Greek Troy mean there in the late antique and early medieval Europe was fashionable to attribute such ancestors. So they sat down to the Romans the same. There is a place name which in its Celtic form was called "Truncinas" and the following over the centuries Romanesque spellings had "Truncinas" (820-822), "Truncinis" (1040) and "Troncinium" (1198). Today, its French name is "Tronchiennes". If you french pronounce the last name, so you have almost the name "Tronje". In Neuniederländischen the place is called now Drongen and is located in the district of Ghent ( Belgium ). In this area neuniederländische authors locate the Kudrunsage because there find townscape and landscape names from the Kudrunsage as "Wulpe Tenenbaums" (Tenemarke, Tenelant). According to this interpretation of Hagen of the Nibelungenlied could be identical with the Hagen of Kudrunliedes.

Hagen and the Undine of Danubius, painting by Johann Heinrich Füssli "Tronje" could also be on the Colonia Ulpia Traiana point, a Roman city founded towards the right of the Rhine Germans near Xanten , the area from which also Siegfried came. Similarly sounds also the name of the small village of Castle Dhronecken in the Hunsrück , the name was in the Middle Ages "Troneck" and lay in the historic kingdom of the Burgundians. In the not too great distance from it, there are place names that hinted at further figures of the Nibelungenlied: A relative Hagens is Ortwin of Metz, two of his colleagues Hunold and Volker von Alzey . When calling in castles from around Dhroneckens to Ortwin leave Metz , Hagen Dhronecken, Hunold Hunoldispetra (now Hunolstein and Volker) Alzey assign. These are places that traveling for a traveler, about coming from Xanten and Metz and Worms to Passau, along the way were. If the respective in the etymology pronunciation involves the words, is an interpretation of the name "Hagen of Tronje" as "Haakon of Trondheim" possible. Trondheim is still in Norwegian pronounced "Tronjem", the name Haakon is widespread there. Apart from the phonetic difficulties but offers the Nibelungen saga is no substantive link with Trondheim. This possible explanation is thus worthless.


In the Nibelungenlied, he is called Hagen of Tronje (perhaps Drongen in Ghent). In German tradition, Hagen is especially grim, implacable, and violent and in two accounts one-eyed. According to the Thidreks saga, Hagen was not fully human, being fathered by an elf on the king's wife. In these accounts, it is Hagen who kills the hero Siegfried during a hunt, wounding him on the only part of his body which was not invulnerable. This version of the character appears in Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. In Norse tradition, Hagen's counterpart Högni is less extreme and the actual slayer of Sigurd (the Norse counterpart to Siegfried) is Gutthorm, a younger brother of Gunnar and Högni. But Gutthorm does so when egged on by his elder brothers.

In German accounts, Gunther and Hagen are the last survivors of the fall of the Nibelungs. Hagen refuses to reveal the hiding place of the Nibelung treasure to Kriemhild as long as his king Gunther lives. When Gunther is slain, the mortally-wounded Hagen continues his refusal with sure knowledge that Gunther cannot now weaken and betray the secret.

Norse Accounts[edit]

In Norse accounts, however, it is Gunnar who refuses to tell the secret to Attila the Hun as long as Högni lives, and so brings about Högni's death, as his heart is cut out.

In Atlamál, Hniflung a son of Hagen/Högni avenges his father's death and the deaths of his kin together with his aunt Guðrún. This work also states that Hogni had a wife named Kostbera and two other sons: Solar and Snævar. The Drap Niflunga mentions a fourth son named Gjuki (named after Hogni's father).