[sig-nee, -ny]

Signe is the name of two heroines in two connected legends from Scandinavian mythology which were very popular in medieval Scandinavia. Both appear in the Völsunga saga, which was adapted into other works such as Wagner's Ring, including its famous opera The Valkyrie.

The first Signe was the daughter of king Völsung. She was married to the villainous Geatish king Siggeir who has her whole family murdered, except for her brother Sigmund. She saves her brother, has an incestuous affair with him and bears the son Sinfjötli. She burnt herself to death with her hated husband.

The second Signe is the daughter of king Siggeir's nephew Sigar. She fell in love with the sea-king Hagbard, and promised him that she would not live if he died. They were discovered and Hagbard was sentenced to be hanged. Hagbard managed to signal this to Signy who set her house on fire and died in the flames whereupon Hagbard hanged himself in the gallows, see Hagbard and Signy for more.

A third Signe is the daughter of a witch named Grid in Illuga saga Gríðarfóstra. They are both delivered from a curse by a young man named Illugi.

A fourth Signe was Hroðgar's sister in Skjöldunga saga and Hrólfr Kraki's saga. She is unnamed in Beowulf.

Signy was the daughter of Volsung and the sister of Sigmund. Her husband slew Volsung by treachery and captured his sons. One by one he chained them at night where wolves could find and devour them. Signy saved Sigmund from his horrible fate.

Famous People Named Signe

  • Signe Baumane- Animator
  • Signe Burke- Professional Lacrosse Player and Cross-Country Runner
  • Signe Hensel- Jazz Vocalist
  • Signe Larsson- Actress
  • Signe Tollefson- Songwriter

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