As she appears in the Nibelungen legend, however, Kriemhild would seem to have an historical origin, as the wife of Attila, king of the Huns, as well as sister of the Nibelung kings.
Herr Abeling identifies Siegfried (Sigurd) with Segeric, while - according to him - the heroine of the Nibelung sagas, Kriemhild (Gudrun), represents a conf.usion of two historical persons: Chrothildis, the wife of Clovis, and Ildico (Hilde), the wife of Attila.
The Rhine-daughters have been teasing the Nibelung Alberich, and are rejoicing in the light of the Rhine-gold which shines at the top of a rock as the sun strikes it through the water.
Another legend states that the Nibelung treasure is hidden hereabouts in the Rhine.
The success of the opera was very great; but the production of the Nibelung tetralogy as a whole still remained impracticable, though Das Rheingold and Die Walkiire were performed, the one on the 22nd of September 1869 and the other on the 26th of June 1870.
It has been suggested (Symons, Heldensage, p. 55) that when the legend of the overthrow of the Burgundians, which took place in 437, became attached to that of the death of Attila (453), Hild, the supposed sister of the Burgundian kings, was identified with the daemonic Grimhild, the sister of the mythical Nibelung brothers, and thus helped the process by which the Nibelung myth became fused with the historical story of the fall of the Burgundian kingdom.
What it becomes in the mind of the Nibelung is grimly evident when Alberich uses his ring in Nibelheim.
Theodor Abeling (Das Nibelungenlied, Leipzig, 1907) traces the Nibelung sagas to three groups of Burgundian legends, each based on fact: the Frankish-Burgundian tradition of the murder of Segeric, son of the Burgundian king Sigimund, who was slain by his father at the instigation of his stepmother; the Frankish-Burgundian story, as told by Gregory of Tours (iii.