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Manuscript Detail

AM 243 a fol.

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Speculum regale — Konungs skugsjá; Iceland, 1450-1475

Name
Árni Magnússon 
Birth
13 November 1663 
Death
07 January 1730 
Occupation
Professor, Arkivsekretær (Secretary of the Royal Archives) 
Roles
Scholar; Author; Scribe; Poet 
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Name
Skálholt 
Parish
Biskupstungnahreppur 
County
Árnessýsla 
Region
Sunnlendingafjórðungur 
Country
Iceland 
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Name
Kålund, Kristian Peter Erasmus 
Birth
19 August 1844 
Death
04 July 1919 
Occupation
Librarian, scholar 
Roles
Scholar 
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Name
Møllmann, Bernhard 
Occupation
 
Roles
Owner 
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Name
Kall, Johan Christian 
Birth
24 November 1714 
Death
06 November 1775 
Occupation
Orientalist 
Roles
Scholar 
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Name
Finnur Jónsson 
Birth
29 May 1858 
Death
30 March 1934 
Occupation
Professor 
Roles
Scholar; Scribe; Donor 
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Name
Holm-Olsen, Ludvig 
Occupation
 
Roles
Scholar 
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Name
Þorvarður Erlendsson 
Death
1513 
Occupation
Attorney 
Roles
Owner 
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Name
Þórður Jónsson 
Birth
1672 
Death
21 August 1720 
Occupation
Priest 
Roles
Poet; Owner 
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LATIN SMALL LETTER O WITH CURLLATIN SMALL LETTER O WITH CURL

Special character shown similar to its original form.

Name
Wedervang-Jensen, Eva 
Birth
26 March 1974 
Occupation
 
Roles
Cataloguer 
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Contents

(1ra-44vb)
Speculum regaleKonungs skugsjá

Physical Description

Support

Parchment

No. of leaves
44; fol. 44 is blank. 310 mm x 240 mm.
Foliation

Modern foliation and pagination. The manuscript is foliated 1-44 in the middle of the upper margin on the rectos and is paginated 1-86 in the upper left hand corner of the versos and the upper right hand corners of the versos. The originally blank fol. 44 is not paginated.

Collation

The manuscript was originally made up of six gatherings of eight leaves apiece, but the two innermost pairs of the fifth gathering are now missing.

Condition

There is a lacuna between fols 34 and 35. Otherwise the manuscript is complete from Prologue to end.

Layout

The manuscript is written in double columns. The number of lines per column varies from 38-46. Gatherings 3-5 (fols. 17ra-36vb) have majuscules entered in red and blue and rubrics in red. The scribes do not appear to have taken the possibility of rubrics into account either in this part or elsewhere in the manuscript, however. Spaces are left for initials in gatherings 1, 2, and 6 but nowhere filled in.

Script

The first and longest part, fols 1ra-37va, seems to be the work of a single hand, Hand 1. If it were to judge by visual impress alone, we might well conclude from a comparison of the opening and the final pages of this section that we have two different scribes to deal with. On the first pages the script is clear and firm, virtually straight up and down and with few ornamental hair strokes. On the last pages it has a more cursive character, more hair strokes, and a slight lean to the left. Closer paleographic analysis shows that most probably it must all be attributed to one scribe.

The rest of the codex, fols 37vb-43vb is mostly in a second hand, Hand 2, but here and there in his section 6 (or 5?) other scribes have written short passages. It is a firm clear script, but rather smaller than Hand 1 with the consequence of increased numbers of lines to the pages in this part. He uses the same letter forms throughout and, with some exceptions, is consistent in his spelling.

Hand 3 has written fol. 37vb:1-5.

Hand 4 has written fol. 38rb:35-39.

Hand 5 has written fol. 38vb:35.

Hand 6 has written fol. 41ra:36-45.

Hand 7 has written fol. 42vb:6-22. The script and spelling is very similar to Hand 2, the letters are smaller at the start but gradually grow more and more like those of Hand 2, who certainly resumes from line 22 - if it is not his work in any case. But there are some discrepancies. It is hard to decide whether this is really a new hand or not.

Hand 8 has written fol. 43rb:37-40.

Decoration

Ornamentation or fabulous beasts are introduced in a few places where rubrics are omitted, to fill the small gaps left between chapters. The ornamentation are found on fols. 24va:30 and 24va:37, 25ra:21, 26ra:19, 58a:1, 67a:19. A small fabulous beast is inserted as decoration at 42va:28, and two more occur at 30va:8.

Additions

There are a few marginal entries in AM 243 a fol. On the top margin of fol. 1r a seventeenth century hand has written: “Speculum” and Árni Magnússon has added “regale”. The note “Hallkell er godur piltr” is on 13v. At the end of the text on 43v a hand of about the same date as the codex wrote: “Þuiad vier Werdum ad taka huilld epter langa mædu”. A hand of about 1700 wrote some words below this; they are almost obliterated but one can make out the name “Þordr”. At the top of the originally blank fol. 44r we find: “Þorvardur logmadur Erlendzson aa mik” On the same page, 44r, “Suerir” is written. Lower down on the page there is this entry, hardly written much before 1600: “Hier er j þessari Bok Suerrers saga og Hakonar saga og enn er hier Spekulus og hird Sider”. It was probably this note in particular which led Árni Magnússon to conclude that 243a was once bound with Sverris saga and Hákonar saga from the cathedral at Skálhollt, i.e. with the manuscript preserved as AM 81a fol., Skálholtsbók yngsta. At the bottom of p. 88 in the codex, the manuscript's final blank page, there is a drawing of an animal with a human head, a crude representation of the manticora, one of the many preternatural creatures described and illustrated in medieval bestiaries. The manticora has a man's head and a lion's body, with a tail that can inflict a deadly sting. Another drawing of a fabulous beast is found in the bottom margin of fol. 41r. Here we see a lion with eagle's wings.

Binding

All the leaves have a pair of holes at the bottom of the inner margin, through which a ribbon of green silk was threaded and attached to the inside of the back cover with two sealing-wax seals. The manuscript was rebound in 1886, and again in 1936, but part of the earlier cardboard cover from c. 1770, with the ribbon and seals adhering, was preserved by Kristian Kålund. He labelled it “Brudstykke af det gamle bind.” and inserted it loose between the last leaf and the new blackboard, where it still remains. The signets show the initials of B. Møllmann and J. C. Kall, two of the five managers of the Árni Magnússon Foundation (Det Arnamagnæanske Legat) in 1772 and trustees of the endowment in 1760. In all probably they sealed the codex in this way when it was issued on loan for use in the preparation of the 1768 Sorøe edition.

History

Origin

The manuscript is written in Iceland, most likely in Eyafjörður. Kristian Kålund has dated the manuscript to the fifteenth century (Katalog p. 216.), and so has Finnur Jónsson (Konungs skuggsjá: Speculum regale p. 26.). Ludvig Holm-Olsen yet dates it more precisely to the third quarter of the fifteenth century (The King's Mirror: AM 243 A Fol p. 24).

Provenance

At the top of the originally blank fol. 44r we find: “Þorvardur logmadur Erlendzson aa mik” Þorvarður Erlendsson lived c.1466-1513.

Acquisition

In his catalogue of Icelandic parchment manuscripts, now catalogued as AM 435 a 4to, Árni Magnússon says that he got the codex from the Revd. Þórður Jónsson in 1697, and adds that the manuscript was at one time bound with Sverris saga and — Hákonar saga from the cathedral of Skálhollt: “Speculum Regale folio komid til min 1697. fra Þorde Jons syni. hefr einn hvern tima fyrrum vered i Volumine med Sverris Sogu ok Hakonar sogu fra Skalholltzkirkiu, sem eru med þeirri somu hende” (i.e. AM 81 a fol).

Additional

Record History

Catalogued 15 May 2000 by EW-J.

Surrogates

microfilm (master) Neg. 739 1985 microfilm (archive) Pos. 682 1985 70 mm 70mm21 s.d. plate plade8 s.d. diapositive AM 243 a fol. May 1984 b/w prints AM 243 a fol. 1962 b/w prints AM 243 fol. January 1960 Supplementary photograph of fol. 37v.

Bibliography

AuthorTitleEditorScope
Katalog over Den Arnamagnæanske Håndskriftsamlinged. Kristian Kålundp. 216
Konungs skuggsjá: Speculum regaleed. Finnur Jónssonp. 26
The King's Mirror: AM 243 A Fol, Early Icelandic Manuscripts in Facsimileed. Ludvig Holm-Olsen1987; XVII
1985
1985
1984
1962
1960
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