The localisation and dating of medieval icelandic manuscripts

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The localisation and dating of medieval icelandic manuscripts - Webcam desi sex chat room

Traditionally, stemmatic methods have been a means to the end of establishing which surviving manuscripts of a text are most representative of the text's putative lost ancestor, and thereafter to reconstruct the likeliest form of that lost text.This remains an important agenda in some scholarly traditions, and an appropriate response to certain scholarly questions and scribal traditions.

Old Norse studies enjoy a distinguished place in the history of textual criticism: the earliest known stemma was drawn for the Old Swedish Västgötalagen (Collín and Schlyter 1827--77, ii table 3; cf.

The transparency and verifiability of my work arises from a couple of simple features which capitalise on electronic publication: In both cases, the attainments of this article are limited.

I do not attempt, for example, to create the kind of sophisticated, cohesive and flexible database of which the Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages project is an outstanding example.

Rather than imagining that stemmatology is about perfection, then, what is really important is for scholars to establish stemmas with a tolerable degree of probability, and there has been little effort previously to gauge what this might be, or to quantify it.

This can provide a sound---if imperfect---basis for future research into the whens, whos, wheres and whys of scribal transmission.

Konráðs saga keisarasonar, the focus of this paper, is a case in point: Gustaf Cederschiöld provided a stemma for five early manuscripts of the saga (1884, clvi--clxxiv) which Zitezelsberger, en route to his meticulous 1987 edition, both revised and extended nearly a century later in a series of articles producing one of the best documented stemmas of any Icelandic saga (1980, 1981, 1983).

Nevertheless, complete stemmas, including every surviving manuscript of a given saga, have seldom been produced (researchers focusing instead on the earliest manuscripts), and no-one has undertaken an independent verification of a stemma on this scale.

This paper contributes to remedying the lack of methodological discussion on Old Norse-Icelandic stemmatology by working to establish transparent, verifiable, and efficient methods for filiating the manuscripts of Icelandic sagas, while undertaking what is to my knowledge the first independent verification of a full saga-stemma.

This is not to say, of course, that there has been no verification of stemmas previously: the painstaking editorial work of the last century epitomised by the Editiones Arnamagnaeanae series and, more recently, the Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages project, has led to a progressively better understanding of our Old Norse manuscript records, and has accordingly involved reassessments of past textual criticism.

sagas, textual criticism, stemmas, romances, iceland This article has depended on the hospitality and assistance of the National Library of Iceland, the Stofnun Árnamagnússonar in Reykjavík and the Arnamagnæanske Håndskriftsamling in Copenhagen, and the research has benefited from the insight and benevolence of many scholars in these institutions.

For the sharing of their unpublished work, help with technical problems, and discussions about stemmatology, however, I owe especial thanks to Andrew Wawn, Davíð Ólafsson, Haukur Þorgeirsson, Lenka Kovárová, Samu Niskanen, Sheryl Mc Donald, Silvia Hufnagel, Susanne Arthur, Teemu Roos, and Tereza Lansing.

Such analyses are beyond the scope of this article, but they indicate the importance of stemmatology as a scholarly method.