Wolfdietrich and Talac de Rougemont

In the Arthurian Tale of Yder there come a Knight name Talac de Rougemont of the Castle Rougemont, to the Round Table. Talac means “table” the Table de Rougemont? The Rougemont name is forever a part of Arthurian legend, and the quest for the Sangraal. I have endured the doubt of those who love me, and the insults of my peers who have titled me ‘Mad’. Like the Man of LaMancha, I followed my dream, and have persevered.

In the legends of Dietrich and Wolfdietrich there are ROSE GARDENS. Have I found the roots of Briar Rose, awoken the Sleeping Beauty Princess, named, Rosamond?

Wolfdietrich is a Foundling, born during a star shower. This is why this famous wolf is associated with Revelations 12 ‘The Woman and the Dragon’. For this reason Wolf’s coat of arms depicts a boy being swallowed by a dragon.

I was born on the eve of the great star shower in Draco the Dragon. I am the grandson of Royal Rosamond, son of William Rosamond and Ida Rose. In Holland, the Rosemond coat of arms depicts a dancing wolf. In Switzerland the Rosenmund coat of arms shows two roses and a cross, that is a spindle to make thread. I did not write this wonderous genealogical story. I found it there, written in blood.

Above is a photo of Heather, Tyler, and myself making a snowman.

“All’s well, that ends well!”

Jon Presco

Copyright 2011

As we noted, Arthur, at the beginning, has been rescued by a young, unknown knight, who happens to be Yder8. Learning whom he has saved, Yder hopes to join Arthur’s court, but inexplicably, Arthur largely ignores the young man, forgetting to reward him or even to thank him. Yder’s anger and disappointment at this affront are exacerbated when Arthur soon makes what appears to be an irresponsible decision. A young woman arrives to say that her lady needs Arthur’s assistance, because her castle is besieged by the Black Knight (v. 67ff.). Arthur, who had given the castle to the lady and had sworn to protect her, readily agrees to offer assistance but insists that the task will have to wait. First he must besiege the castle of Rougemont, because its lord, Talac, refuses to accept Arthur as liege lord, and Arthur must remedy that. The messenger berates him, pointing out that his prior duty was to her lady, because Arthur had given his promise to her first. The king, though, insists that he must first besiege Rougemont, arguing stubbornly that « Dist l’ai, si ne m’en veil dedire » (v. 109)9. Yder soon leaves court, distressed to see that Arthur is not doing his duty (v. 129). The narrator does not indicate that either of Arthur’s tasks is unworthy or improper, but clearly the king’s priorities are disordered.

The text later offers a sequence that reflects and almost duplicates the one in which Arthur had to choose between defending a lady’s castle and fighting Talac. Yder’s ladylove, Guenloie, decides to besiege Talac’s castle ; since the latter is now Arthur’s vassal, the king will surely – so Guenloie thinks – come to his assistance, and just as surely he will bring Yder with him, enabling her thus to see the man she loves (v. 3399-551). But Arthur refuses to help Talac, or more precisely, he postpones the deed because, he says, he must first go and avenge the shame he has suffered at the hands of the Black Knight, now besieging the castle of the « orgoillose pucele » (v. 3485).

The Romance of Yder survives in a unique manuscript in Cambridge University Library, and has only once been edited; no translation survives. Yet it is a highly interesting work, reflecting a tradition which reaches back to the beginnings of Arthurian romance in the early 12th century; it is linked to the famous Arthurian sculpture on the cathedral at Modena, and contains an episode which foreshadows the temptation scene in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, while elsewhere Celtic material is much in evidence as the basis of the tale. It is also close in style and sometimes in content to the work of Chretien de Troyes. Dr Adams’ text provides a clear version of an often corrupt original, and the facing translation serves to illuminate the text further, enabling this neglected work to take its rightful place in the ranks of Arthurian literature.

When Arthur is first mentioned in the early thirteenth-century French romance Yder, the young knight Yder has saved the king’s life, but without knowing the identity of the person he has rescued. When, the following day, he asks someone who that stranger was, the reply is an entirely traditional and expected….

“The Huguenot tradition in the family, confirmed by such sources as
O’Hart’s Irish Pedigrees and Agnew’s French Protestant Exiles,
suggests a French origin also and this has been found in the
name “Rougemont”, still perpetuated by the name of a village in
southeastern France, near Switzerland, and another village in
southwestern Germany. Why this source seems preferable for our origin
will be mentioned again.
Book shows end of PAGE 3 here
“Such a name, transported to other countries and dealt with in other
languages, was certain to be changed and even distorted. Our own
people have at times adopted the form “Roseman”, or “Rosman”,
or “Rossman”, or “Rosmond”, or “Rosmon”. The first three forms are
common in Germany although wholly unconnected with our family. Elders
in the family have held the view that the presence of the “d” is
significant and, since it is the equivalent of the “t”
in “Rougemont,” that seems reasonable. As many as thirty variations
are found, and yet the name in any form is not a common one in this
country if the German forms above are to be disregarded.

Leland E. Rosemond
March, 1938
Scarsdale, N. Y.
THE NAME ROSEMOND

Dietrich und Wenezlan has only survived in a single, incomplete and fragmentary version of about 499 rhyming couplets. Dietrich is at the court of Etzel, when Wolfhart, who, along with Hildebrand, has been captured by Wenezlan von Bôlân (Poland; possibly inspired by Wenceslaus I or II of Bohemia) arrives to tell him that Wenezlan wants to engage Dietrich in single combat – if Dietrich wins, then Wenezlan will release Wolfhart and Hildebrand. Initially, Dietrich seems reluctant, but when Wolfhart grows angry and accuses Dietrich of cowardice, saying that if Dietrich refuses Wenezlan will attack Etzel with an army, Dietrich says he had been joking and of course would fight to free his vassals. There is then a lacuna. The combat between Dietrich and Wenezlan begins in between their two armies and in the company of courtly ladies. When they have dehorsed each other, they fight on foot all day. The fragment ends before a conclusion is reached.
The poem only loosely fits into the category of “historical Dietrich poems,” with the single combat being more reminiscent of the fantastical poems. Dietrich’s initial refusal to fight and the accusation of cowardice (zagheit) also has more in common with the fantastical poems, where this is a frequent occurrence. His admission that he was merely playing a joke may be a game played by the author.

The historical poems can loosely be connected with the life of the historical Theodoric and concern his expulsion from Verona by his uncle Ermenrich (Ermanaric) and his attempts to regain his kingdom with the help of Etzel (Attila). The fantastical poems concern his battles with dwarves, dragons, giants, and other mythical beings, as well as other heroes such as Siegfried. In addition to these two categories of poems, he appears as a supporting character in some poems such as the Nibelungenlied and Biterolf und Dietleib

Hildebrand tells Dietrich where he can find such an adventure: the dwarf Laurin has a rose-garden in the Tyrolian forest. He will fight any challenger who breaks the thread surrounding his rose garden. Dietrich and Witige immediately set off to challenge Laurin; Hildebrand and Dietleib follow secretly behind. Upon seeing the beautiful rose-garden, Dietrich relents and decides that he does not want to harm anything so lovely. Witige, however, says that Laurin’s pride must be punished, and not only breaks the thread, but tramples the entire rose garden. Almost immediately the dwarf Laurin, armed so wonderfully that Witige mistakes him for Michael the Archangel, appears, and demands the left foot and right hand of Witige as punishment for the destruction of the garden. He fights and defeats Witige, but Dietrich then decides that he cannot allow his vassal to lose his limbs, and fights Laurin himself. Initially, Dietrich is losing, but Hildebrand arrives and tells Dietrich to steal the dwarf’s cloak of invisibility and strength-granting belt, then fight him on foot (the dwarf had been riding a deer-sized horse) wrestling him to the ground. Laurin, now defeated, pleads for mercy, but Dietrich has become enraged and vows to kill the dwarf. Finally, Laurin turns to Dietleib, informing him he had kidnapped and married the hero’s sister, so that he was now Dietleib’s brother-in-law. Dietleib hides the dwarf and prepares to fight Dietrich, but Hildebrand makes peace between them.

The Large Rose Garden)

Dietrich and Siegfried from a 15th century manuscript of the Rosengarten zu Worms
Der Rosengarten zu Worms is attested in numerous manuscript and printed copies from the early 14th century until the late 16th century, with several principle versions of the story are usually recognized, A, D, P, F, and C. The story probably predates its appearance in manuscripts, with Heinzle assuming an origin in the early 13th century. The story connects characters surrounding the legend of Dietrich von Bern with those of the Nibelungenlied, and is closely connected with the similar epic, Biterolf und Dietleib.
The basic outline of the story is this: Gippich is the lord of the rosegarden in Worms, and as Kriemhild’s father, Gippich dares any wooer to defeat the garden’s twelve guardians. Dietrich von Bern and Etzel, king of the Huns take up the challenge together. They travel to Worms with their retinue, and face each of the guardians in single combat. Dietrich von Bern fights and defeats Siegfried. Except for one draw (Biterolf refuses to fight his kinsman Walther of Aquitaine), all fights end with Dietrich’s side victorious. Dietrich fights against Siegfried, initially doing poorly and complaining of Siegfried’s hardened skin. Hildebrand tells Wolfhart to falsely tell Dietrich of the tutors death, after which point Dietrich’s rage causing him to breathe fire and Hildebrand must intervene so that Dietrich does not kill Siegfried.
Finally, Gippich has to submit to Dietrich and Etzel, and the victors are honoured with garlands and kisses.
A connection between this poem and Dietrichs encounter with Siegfried in the Thidrekssaga is usually speculated: either the author of the Thidrekssaga knew of the Rosengarten and altered it for his work (meaning that the Rosengarten existed in the 13th century) or there was an even older tale of Dietrich’s encounter with Siegfried which diverged into the story found in the Thidrekssaga and that of the Rosengarten. Especially noticeable is the fact that Kriemhilt and Gunther’s father has the name Gibich, corresponding to the Norse tradition and the Waltharius, which in the Nibelungenlied has been replaced by another name.

The text is thought to have originated no later than 1300, probably in Swabian-Alemanic territory. However, elements seem to be much older. Dietrich’s captivity among giants is referenced in Waldere, for instance. The saga of the man half-swallowed by a dragon is also thought to be older, and is probably connected with the coat of arms of the Visconti, a family which owned the castle of Arona (Arone) at the time of the tale’s composition, and whose coat of arms depict a man being swallowed by a serpent. The same story is also told in the Thidrekssaga, where the knight rescued is named Sintram. This difference of names means that the two texts are not directly related, but are probably both descended from a lost oral story. Interestingly, Sintram also appears as the name of the man being swallowed by the dragon also in a 15th century Swiss chronicle, the Berner Chronicle of Konrad Justinger, which relocates the action to Bern, Switzerland, and does not include Dietrich’s name. It is thus not clear if the motif was transferred onto Dietrich from an independent legend or whether the Swiss version had lost the original connection with Dietrich.

According to the text, Dietrich is the grandson of Wolfdietrich and son of Dietmar. During her pregnancy, Dietrich’s mother was visited by the demon Machmet (i.e. Mohammed imagined as a Muslim god), who prophecies that Dietrich will be the strongest spirit who ever lived and will breathe fire when angry. The devil (Machmet?) then builds Verona/Bern in three days. Ermenrich, here imagined as Dietrich’s brother, rapes his marshal Sibiche’s wife, whereupon Sibiche decides to advise Ermenrich to his own destruction. Thus he advises Ermenrich to hang his own nephews. Their ward, Eckehart of Breisach, informs Dietrich, and Dietrich declares war on Ermenrich.

Wolfdietrich is a German hero of romance. The tale of Wolfdietrich is connected with the Merovingian princes, Theodoric and Theodebert, son and grandson of Clovis; but in the Middle High German poems of Ortnit and Wolfdietrich in the Heldenbuch.
Wolfdietrich is the son of Hugdietrich, emperor of Constantinople. Repudiated and exposed by his father, the child was spared by the wolves of the forest, and was educated by the faithful Berchtung of Meran. The account of his parents and their wooing, however, differs in various texts. After the emperor’s death, Wolfdietrich was driven from his inheritance by his brothers at the instigation of the traitor Sabene. Berchtung and his sixteen sons stood by Wolfdietrich. Six of these were slain and the other ten imprisoned. It was only after long exile in Lombardy at the court of King Ortnit that the hero returned to deliver the captives and regain his kingdom.
Wolfdietrich’s exile and return suggested a parallel with the history of Dietrich von Bern, with whom he was often actually identified; and the Mentors of the two heroes, Hildebrand and Berchtung, are cast in the same mould. Presently features of the Wolfdietrich legend were transferred to the Dietrich cycle, and in the Anhang to the Heldenbuch it is stated in despite of all historical considerations that Wolfdietrich was the grandfather of the Veronese hero. Among the exploits of Wolfdietrich was the slaughter of the dragon which had slain Ortnit.
He thus took the place of Hardheri, one of the mythical Hartung brothers, the original hero of this feat. The myth attached itself to the family of Clovis, around which epic tradition rapidly gathered. Hugdietrich is generally considered to be the epic counterpart of Theodoric (Dietrich), eldest son of Clovis. The prefix was the barbarian equivalent of Frank, and was employed to distinguish him from Theodoric the Goth. After his father’s death he divided the kingdom with his brothers. Wolfdietrich represents his son Theodebert (d. 548), whose succession was disputed by his uncles, but was secured by the loyalty of the Frankish nobles. But father and son are merged by a process of epic fusion in Wolfdietrich.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to Wolfdietrich and Talac de Rougemont

  1. Reblogged this on rosamondpress and commented:

    The Battle for the Rose Garden is an ancient one. This grandfather can no longer linger in the world of drunken fools who create problems without solutions. My Dutch ancestors lie dead in a field in the Ukraine they brought down from the sky by Putin’s ‘Night Wolves’, his drunken motorcycle gang. “Hildebrand tells Dietrich where he can find such an adventure: the dwarf Laurin has a rose-garden in the Tyrolian forest. He will fight any challenger who breaks the thread surrounding his rose garden. Dietrich and Witige immediately set off to challenge Laurin; Hildebrand and Dietleib follow secretly behind. Upon seeing the beautiful rose-garden, Dietrich relents and decides that he does not want to harm anything so lovely. Witige, however, says that Laurin’s pride must be punished, and not only breaks the thread, but tramples the entire rose garden. Almost immediately the dwarf Laurin, armed so wonderfully that Witige mistakes him for Michael the Archangel, appears, and demands the left foot and right hand of Witige as punishment for the destruction of the garden. He fights and defeats Witige, but Dietrich then decides that he cannot allow his vassal to lose his limbs, and fights Laurin himself. Initially, Dietrich is losing, but Hildebrand arrives and tells Dietrich to steal the dwarf’s cloak of invisibility and strength-granting belt, then fight him on foot (the dwarf had been riding a deer-sized horse) wrestling him to the ground. Laurin, now defeated, pleads for mercy, but Dietrich has become enraged and vows to kill the dwarf. Finally, Laurin turns to Dietleib, informing him he had kidnapped and married the hero’s sister, so that he was now Dietleib’s brother-in-law. Dietleib hides the dwarf and prepares to fight Dietrich, but Hildebrand makes peace between them.”

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