The Rhinemaidens are the three water-nymphs who appear in Richard
Wagner's opera cycle Der Ring Des Nibelungen. Their individual names
are Woglinde, Wellgunde, and Flosshilde, although they are generally
considered as a single entity and act together accordingly. Of the
34 characters in the Ring cycle, they are the only ones who do not
originate in the Scandinavian Eddas. Other legends and myths on which
Wagner drew, notably the Nibelungenlied, include stories that involve
water-sprites (nixies) or mermaids, and it is likely that he created
his Rhinemaidens from these sources. The key concepts associated with
them in the Ring operas—their flawed guardianship of the Rhine gold,
and the condition (renunciation of love) through which the gold could
be stolen from them and transformed into a means of world power—are
wholly Wagner's own invention, and are the elements that initiate and
propel the entire drama. The Rhinemaidens are the first and the last
characters to be seen in the operas, appearing both in the opening
scene of Das Rheingold, and in the final climactic spectacle of
Götterdämmerung when they rise from the Rhine waters to reclaim the
ring from Brünnhilde's ashes. They have no relationship to any of the
other characters, and no indication is given as to how they came into
being, beyond occasional references to an unspecified "father".
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Kraków in Poland received city rights.
Raymond Bertrand de Got became Pope Clement V, succeeding Pope Benedict
XI who died one year earlier.
The June Rebellion, a anti-monarchist uprising of students, broke out
The Six-Day War began with an Israeli Air Force preemptive strike that
destroyed about 450 total aircraft of the Egyptian, Jordanian and
Syrian Air Forces on the ground.
Palestinian immigrant Sirhan Sirhan mortally shot U.S. Senator Robert
F. Kennedy inside the kitchen pantry of The Ambassador Hotel in Los
Angeles, an event that has spawned a variety of conspiracy theories.
A new phase of matter, the Bose–Einstein condensate, was produced for
the first time by Eric Cornell and Carl Wieman at the University of
Colorado at Boulder NIST-JILA lab.
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Wikiquote quote of the day:
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