Zenaide Alexeievna Ragozin - Siegfried The Hero of the North And Beowulf The Hero of the Anglo Saxons (19.6 MB)
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The hero of the Nibelungenlied. Siegfried was the son of Siegmund (Sigmund), the king of the Netherlands, and Sieglind (Sisibe or Hjordis). His counterpart was the hero Sigurd, who appeared in many of the Icelandic and Scandinavian sagas, such as the Volsunga Saga. Siegfried was knighted at the age of eighteen. Siegfried hearing of Kriemhild's great beauty, the hero decided to woo Kriemhild. Siegfried also hoped to win fame and glory through his own prowess in warfare. Siegfried became lord of Nibelungland, after killing the... More >>>
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The hero of the Nibelungenlied. Siegfried was the son of Siegmund (Sigmund), the king of the Netherlands, and Sieglind (Sisibe or Hjordis). His counterpart was the hero Sigurd, who appeared in many of the Icelandic and Scandinavian sagas, such as the Volsunga Saga. Siegfried was knighted at the age of eighteen. Siegfried hearing of Kriemhild's great beauty, the hero decided to woo Kriemhild. Siegfried also hoped to win fame and glory through his own prowess in warfare. Siegfried became lord of Nibelungland, after killing the two brothers, Schilbung and Nibelung. Siegfried gained the Nibelungs' treasure and the cloak of darkness (Tarnkappe) from Alberich, the dwarf and Nibelungs' treasurer. Siegfried also possessed the sword Balemung and the horse. Siegfried skin became invulnerable when he killed a dragon and was bathed in the dragon's blood. The only vulnerable spot on his body was on his back where a large leave covered fell on his back between his shoulders. Only Kriemhild knew of her husband's weakness. Hagen would later tricked Kriemhild to reveal this weakness to him. When Siegfried arrived in Worms, a city in Burgundy, Gunther won his friendship. Though he sought to woo Gunther's sister, he did not see her until a year later. They were only formerly introduced, after helping the king to win the war against the Saxons and the Danes, when Siegfried captured the two kings. Siegfried fell in love with Kriemhild, and her brothers approved of the marriage, if the hero would help Gunther win Brunhild in marriage. Siegfried does so by defeating the warrior-queen, using his magic cloak, Tarnkappe. Brunhild thought she was contesting Gunther. There was a double wedding. Whereas Siegfried's marriage was happy, Gunther was humiliating. When Gunther had tried to make love to his new wife, Brunhild fought him, bound the king, and hanged the king up on the wall. Gunther was no match for Brunhild's superhuman strength. Again, Siegfried had to secretly overcome Brunhild for Gunther. When Brunhild finally submitted to husband, Siegfried stole her ring and girdle, gave them to Kriemhild. The ring and girdle became symbols of their deception over Brunhild.
A man of great strength, Beowulf, pits himself in struggle against a monster, Grendel. Hero defeats Monster, and is rewarded with treasures and his praises are sung. Then the plot twists, even in the ancient manuscripts of yore, Grendel's mother seeks revenge. She is a demon from the line of Cain, cursing humanity and hating all that brings happiness to mankind. Beowulf must also slay her to free the land from it's curse and to allow the people in it to rejoice and enjoy life in the mead hall. Later ,in old age, Beowulf must don his armor once again. he must wear the fine web mail to face yet another monster. A fierce dragon attacks his kingdom,and Beowulf faces his last battle. He Kills the dragon, but is himself fatally wounded. His kingdom falls into disarray , without it's strong hero to protect the people they are soon overrun by neighboring tribes. In the latest incarnation, however, it is mans own weakness,and lust that is the down fall of all great heroes. The monster of pride, arrogance, greed, and lust is the most terrifying opponent, and it is our own internal weakness that brings us all down, preventing us all from being heroes.
Zenaide Alexeievna Ragozin (1835 - 1924) was a Russian-American author.
Zenaide Ragozin was educated in Russia. She had no regular education, but studied by herself. After traveling widely for several years in Europe, in 1874 she emigrated to the United States. She was a member of the American Oriental Society, of the Societe Ethnologique and Athenee Oriental, of Paris, and the Victoria Institute, London.
Works of Zenaide Alexeievna Ragozin:
In the Story of the Nations series ("The Story of Chaldea" (1886), "The Story of Assyria" (1887), "The Story of Media, Babylon, and Persia" (1888), "The Story of Vedic" India (1895))
She did five volumes of biography for the "Tales of the Heroic Age" series. Among them were: ("Siegfried, the Hero of the Netherlands" (1898), "Roland, the Paladin of France" (1899), "Salammbo, the Maid of Carthage" (1899))
She wrote A History of the World, Earliest Peoples, and A History of the World, Early Egypt and translated from the French Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu's The Empire of the Tsars and the Russians. She also wrote numerous articles for Russian and American magazines.
Her personal copy of A History of the World, Earliest Peoples, ed 1899 contains the following autograph: "This is the work I love best & think will prove of real benefit. It is also by far the most difficult I have ever planned & undertaken. There is only one thing about it that troubles me: it is that, in the course of nature, I cannot live to do the whole of it, & I am anything but sure that whoever will take it up where I leave it, will fully grasp and carry out my idea. If I could devote the rest of my life to it, I might accomplish the whole, down to the French Revolution. But as it brings me no return, and will not for years, I am compelled to do it, so to speak by stealth, in the hours that I can spare from bread & butter work. One cannot help, at times, regretting the ages of "patrons of letters & sciences." signed, Z A Ragozin.