Siegfried

(2 syl.). Hero of the first part of the Nibelungen-Lied. He was the youngest son of Siegmund and Sieglind, king and queen of the Netherlands, and was born in Rhinecastle called Xanton. He married Kriemhild, Princess of Burgundy, and sister of Günther. Günther craved his assistance in carrying off Brunhild from Issland, and Siegfried succeeded by taking away her talisman by main force. This excited the jealousy of Günther, who induced Hagan, the Dane, to murder Siegfried. Hagan struck him with a sword in the only vulnerable part (between the shoulder-blades), while he stooped to quench his thirst at a fountain.

(Nibelungen-Lied.)

Horny Siegfried. So called because when he slew the dragon he bathed in its blood, and became covered all over with a horny hide which was invulnerable, except in one spot between the shoulders, where a linden-leaf stuck. (Nibelungen-Lied, st. 100.)

Siegfried's cloak of invisibility,
called “tarnkappe” (tarnen, to conceal; kappe, a cloak). It not only made the wearer invisible, but also gave him the strength of twelve men. (Tarnkappe, 2 syl.)

The mighty dwarf successless strove with the mightier man;
Like to wild mountain lions to the hollow hill they ran;
He ravished there the tarnkappe from struggling Albric's hold,
And then became the master of the hoarded gems and gold.

Lettsom: Fall of the Nibelungers, Lied iii.

Sieglind (2 syl.). Mother of Siegfried, and Queen of the Netherlands. (The Nibelungen-Lied.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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