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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Vol. II. Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: from c. 1035 to c. 1300

1. Sagas of the kings of Norway after 1035

1. Ágrip af Nóregs konunga sǫgum (Ágr) (KEG)
2. Fagrskinna (Fsk) (KEG)
3. Flateyjarbók (Flat) (KEG)
4. Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar (Hák) (KEG)
5. Hákonar saga Ívarssonar () (KEG)
6. Hauksbók (Hb) (KEG)
7. Heimskringla (Hkr) (KEG)
8. Hulda and Hrokkinskinna (H-Hr) (KEG)
9. Morkinskinna (Mork) (KEG)
10. The Legendary Saga of S. Óláfr Helgisaga Óláfs konungs Haraldssonar (ÓHLeg) (KEG)
11. The Separate Saga of S. Óláfr Óláfs saga helga in sérstaka (ÓH) (KEG)
12. Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar by Oddr Snorrason (ÓTOdd) (KEG)
13. Sverris saga (Sv) (KEG)

(Vol. II. Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: from c. 1035 to c. 1300 > 8. Introduction > 4. Sources for Skaldic Poetry Cited in the Kings' Sagas > 1. Sagas of the kings of Norway after 1035 > 7. Heimskringla (Hkr))

7. Heimskringla (Hkr) (KEG)

Stemma (from ÍF 28, xciv)

Manuscripts: The Kringla group (x)

K              Kringla, destroyed in the fire in Copenhagen in 1728. One leaf remains, Lbs frg 82, formerly Holm perg 9 I fol, in Kungliga biblioteket, Stockholm (Icelandic, c. 1258-64). Copies of Kringla made before the fire:

a) Kˣ: comprising AM 35 folˣ = Hkr I (used in SkP I), AM 36 folˣ = ÓHHkr (Hkr II; used in SkP I), AM 63 folˣ = Hkr III (c. 1675-1700; all in the hand of Ásgeir Jónsson). Normally considered to give the most reliable text (Jørgensen 2007, 318).

b) 521ˣ: Oslo UB521ˣ (c. 1700). Hkr I copied from Kringla, Hkr II from Jöfraskinna, but from K where J had lacunae (used in SkP I).

c) 70ˣ: AM 70 folˣ (c. 1675-1700; Hkr II only, used in SkP I)

d) papp18ˣ: Holm papp 18 folˣ (c. 1650-1700, in the hand of Jón Eggertsson).

39:           AM 39 fol (Icelandic, c. 1300). 43 leaves. The first ten leaves have defective and difficult text from the first part of Hkr. The remainder extends from ÓHHkr ch. 245 to HsonaHkr ch. 2.

F:              Codex Frisianus or Fríssbók, AM 45 fol (Icelandic with Norwegian features, c. 1300-25). Preserves Hkr I and III (not Hkr II, i.e. ÓHHkr) as well as Hák. Contaminated by a text from the y-branch.

Manuscripts: The Jöfraskinna group (y)

J:               Jöfraskinna, Holm perg 9 II fol (Icelandic, c. 1300-25). Four leaves from ÓHHkr extant. Other fragments in AM 325 VIII 3 d 4° (see Sv), NRA 55 A (see Hák). Copies of J:

a) J1ˣ: AM 37 folˣ (copy of J made c. 1700 and 1567-8). Ends at ÓHHkr ch. 74 (used in SkP I).

b) J2ˣ: AM 38 folˣ (c. 1675-1700; copy of J made by Ásgeir Jónsson).

E:             Eirspennill, AM 47 fol (c. 1300-25). Considered the best of this group. Contains the last chapter of ÓHHkr, Hkr III, Sv and Hák.

325VIII 1: AM 325 VIII 1 4° (c. 1300-25; fragment, used in SkP I).

325XI 1: AM 325XI 1 4° (c. 1300-25; fragment, used in SkP I)

G:             Gullinskinna. Destroyed in the fire of 1728. One leaf preserved in AM 325 VIII 5 c 4° (325VIII 5 c, c. 1400), which contains parts of Hák. G was copied in:

42ˣ:          AM 42 folˣ, c. 1675-1700; in the hand of Ásgeir Jónsson). Comprises Hkr III from Hharð (ch. 98) as well parts of Sv and Hák.

Facsimiles and editions: K 1895, F 1932, J 1895; Hkr 1893-1901, ÍF 26-8, Hkr 1991 (Modern Icelandic orthography), F 1871, E 1916.

The Hkr mss that are relevant to the editions in SkP II are the following: Kˣ (AM 63 fol), 39, F, E, J2ˣ, 42ˣ. Papp18ˣ has been consulted, but it has been used selectively. The y-branch of Hkr (represented by E, J2ˣ and 42ˣ) contains interpolated material from a version of Mork, and F has also been contaminated by a Mork text (see Louis-Jensen 1977, 66-94 and the stemma under Mork below).


Hkr III, the part of Hkr relevant for SkP II, comprises the sagas from Mgóð (1035) to MErl (1177) and contains 233 stanzas. For this part Snorri to a large extent relied on earlier written sources, notably on Ágr, the no longer extant *Oldest Morkinskinna (*ÆMork, see Mork below), Fsk, Orkn, Eiríkr Oddsson’s no longer extant *Hryggjarstykki (which is thought to have contained no poetry), , and a now-lost saga about the jarls of Hlaðir (*Hlaðajarla saga) (see Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson in ÍF 26, ix-xix, Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson 1937 and Fidjestøl 1982, 10). The bulk of the poetry contained in this part of Hkr is also preserved in the Mork redaction, but Snorri seems to have been selective in his adoption of the poetic material (see Andersson and Gade 2000, 25-57). The last stanza recorded in Hkr (Þskakk Erldr 3) describes events that took place in 1162. BjHall KálfflI, which is preserved in Hkr III, deals mostly with events prior to 1035 (BjHall Kálffl 1-5I) and has been edited in SkP I. Because F and the y-branch of the manuscripts have been interpolated with and contaminated by a Mork text, the order of the manuscripts in the critical apparatus may differ in some of the editions in SkP II (e.g. F may be grouped with Mork rather than with Kˣ and 39). Such instances are addressed in the Notes to the respective stanzas.

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