Walter of Aquitaine

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Walther fighting.

Walter of Aquitaine is a legendary king of the Visigoths. He figures in several epic poems and narratives in medieval languages:

The most complete of these is the second, the 9th-century Latin epic poem Waltharius, in which Walter fights single-handedly against the Burgundian king Gunther and his retinue, killing all attackers except for Gunther and Hagen. In later literature, Walter figures in Scheffel's novel Ekkehard (1887).

Walter is not a historical king, but the historical nucleus of the events lies in the 5th century (the reign of the Balti dynasty), after king Wallia established a Visigothic kingdom in Aquitaine in 417, clashing with the Vandals under king Gunderic. The Burgundians became neighbours of the Visigoths after being resettled to Savoy by Flavius Aëtius in 443 during the rule of Gunderic of Burgundy.


  1. ^ SECOLO XI, Abbazia de Novalesa website
  • Waldere ed. F. Norman (London: Methuen, 1933) pp. 7–13.

See also A. Ebert, Allg. Gesch. der Lit. des Mittelalters im Abendlande (Leipzig, 1874-1887); R. Koegel, Gesch. der deutschen Literatur bis zum Ausgange des Mittelalters (vol. i., pt. 11, Strassburg, 1897); M.D. Lamed, The Saga of Walter of Aquitaine (Baltimore, 1892); B. Symons, Deutsche Heldensage (Strassburg, 1905).

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