A saga is literally “something said,” that is, a story or history. The Volsunga Saga is the story of the legenday or mythological Volsung family, of which the two most important heroes are Sigmund and his son Sigurd (Siegfried in Germany). The Volsunga Saga is a thirteenth-century prose epic-like tale based on much older material. Essentially the same tale is told in Germany as the Nibelungenlied. Opera lovers will recognize the tale in Richard Wagner’s opera cycle known as Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung).
Illustration by Arthur Rackham of the hero Sigmund, a direct descendant of the Norse god Odin.