‘‘Laurin’’ (or ‘‘Der Kleine Rosengarten’’)
A Tyrolese romance of the late thirteenth century, attached
to the saga-cycle of Dietrich of Bern. Laurin, a dwarf, possessed
a magic rose-garden into which no one could enter without losing
a hand or a foot. Dietrich and his follower Witege entered
the garden, and Witege rode through the rose bushes. Laurin
appeared on horseback and dismounted Witege. He was challenged
by Dietrich and, because he wore his cloak of invisibility,
Laurin wounded him.
Dietrich then persuaded him to try a wrestling match, during
which he wrenched off Laurin’s belt, the source of his superhuman
strength. Thus Dietrich overthrew Laurin. Laurin
invited Dietrich and his followers to his mountain home, prepared
a banquet for them, made them tipsy, and threw them
all into a dungeon. They were eventually released by Künhild,
a mortal woman, who also returned their weapons. They took
Laurin prisoner and carried him to Bern, where he converted
to Christianity and received Künhild in marriage.
MacDowall, M. W. Epics and Romances of the Middle Ages. London
S. Sonnenschein, 1896.

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