The name “Odolghes” appears twice
in the Fanes’ saga: first, it identifies the mythical king
of Contrin nicknamed
“Sabja da Fek” (Sword of Fire) who breaks
the gates of the Aurona
and marries princess Sommavida;
second, it again designates a mythical king of Contrin
who, however, now fights against the “Trusani”,
here very probably the Romans, and prefers setting the town on
fire when he realizes that most of his citizen have become collaborationists.
Kindl taught us that the Ladinian name “Odolghes”
derives from that of the legendary Bavarian duke Adelger,
through the Lombard form “Adalgais”.
Adelger’s Bavarian legend shows
him triumphant over several peoples and eventually defeating and
slaying the Roman emperor Severus. As a result of this victory,
the Bavarians acquire the right to occupy the Romans’ territories.
So, Adelger becomes the mythical founding father, who
legitimates the Bavarian conquest of the upper Adige valley.
The emperor Severus mentioned by the legend is almost certainly
Libius Severus, a puppet put on the throne in 461 A.D. by the
Suebian-born general Ricimerus, who got rid of him just four years
later. Only eleven years still later, the Western Empire would
have been even formally over.
Obviously, neither the Odolghes of the Aurona
nor that of the Trusani
have anything to share with the Bavarian duke, whose name must
have become a sort of passepartout, like Dietrich von Bern
(it. Teodorico da Verona), who was attributed every sort
of deed; an evident indication that the kings of the previous
myths may not have been named at all, like for instance the Fanes’
or the Caiutes’ kings.