The name for Atilla, ruler of the Huns, introduced in the Nibelungenlied (part ii). He ruled over three kingdoms and more than thirty principalities. Being a widower, he married Kriemhild, the widow of Siegfried. Unlike the historical Atilla, Etzel is not a personage of significance and sees his liegemen and even his son struck down without any effort to save them, or avenge their deaths.

In the Volsunga saga, there is a king called Atli, who corresponds to Etzel.



  • Cobham Brewer, E. (2001). The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. Cassell reference.
  • Cooper, J.C., ed. (1997). Brewer's Book of Myth and Legend. Oxford: Helicon Publishing Ltd.