Miðaldastofa Háskóla Íslands | University of Iceland Centre for Medieval Studies (2023)

Málþing á vegum Miðaldastofu Háskóla Íslands

Föstudaginn 28. október 2022 kl. 14.00-16.30
Fyrirlestrasal Þjóðarbókhlöðu — Landsbókasafns Íslands Háskólabókasafns

Dagskrá:

14.00-14.30

Mikael Males

The Earliest Old Norse Metrics

Miðaldastofa Háskóla Íslands | University of Iceland Centre for Medieval Studies (1)

Overviews of Old Norse metrics often focus on a classical stage, a kind of standard from which individual poems may or may not deviate. This practice has taxonomic and didactic benefits, but it has the drawback of suggesting that some early poetry deviates from a norm, whereas in fact, that norm had not yet been fully formed at the time of composition. In order to give an outline of the earliest Old Norse metrics in their own right, this talk focuses on the securely datable stanza on the Rök runestone and Bragi’s poetry. A close study of this small corpus reveals considerable continuity between a semi-skaldic brand of fornyrðislag on the Rök stone and a semi-eddic variety of dróttkvætt in Bragi. Through this approach, the organic development of Old Norse metrics becomes evident, and the search for external influences in the development of dróttkvætt appears to be futile.

Mikael Males is Professor of Norse Philology at the University of Oslo. He specialises in skaldic poetry and grammatical literature. In 2020, he published the monograph The Poetic Genesis of Old Icelandic Literature (De Gruyter).

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14.30-15.00

Bianca Patria

Odd and Memorable

Sievers’ Dróttkvætt Type Eε, Metrical Markedness, and Intertextuality

Miðaldastofa Háskóla Íslands | University of Iceland Centre for Medieval Studies (2)

The dróttkvætt line-pattern defined by Eduard Sievers as Eε consists of an E-line with a trisyllabic word in the three final positions. In the vast majority of the line-type’s occurrences, positions 4–6 are thus occupied by a nominal compound in an oblique case: e.g. bifkleif at Þórleifi (Þjóðolfr ór Hvíni’s Haustlǫng, st. 13, l. 8). The resulting metrical structure consists of two equal feet separated by a midline caesura: _́ _̀ x | _́ _́ x where the metrical ictus falls on positions 1, 4, and 5, although, linguistically, the latter is probably a secondary stress, not unlike the one of position 2. In early dróttkvætt, whenever the compound in positions 4–6 is a proper name (anthroponym or toponym), Eε lines are able to break Craigie’s prescription of short-stemmed nouns in position 4 (Craigie’s Law). And, in fact, this happens to be the case in the majority of this line-type’s early occurrences. The resulting Eε lines, with two ‘dactylic-like’ feet and internal rhymes often insisting not on the primary stressed syllables but on positions 2 and 5, are prosodically marked but relatively frequent, and in fact their peculiarity has the effect of highlighting the proper name occupying the second half of the line. It is arguably for this reason that Eε lines have been used since the earliest known skaldic poems in rhetorically marked functions, to give prominence to the poem’s dedicatee or as the poem’s stef. Another conspicuous feature of these lines is their frequent recurrence as formulaic tags and echoes across the skaldic corpus, as well as in conscious intertextual games. Metrical exceptions and licenses appear indeed to have attracted the skalds’ attention and to have played a key role in skaldic referentiality and these aspects will be addressed in the talk.

Bianca Patria is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oslo with the project Norrøn poesi og utviklingen av sagalitteraturen (Norges Forskningsråd). In 2021, she defended her Ph.D. in Old Norse Philology at the University of Oslo with a thesis on skaldic poetic diction. Patria studied philology and historical linguistics at the University of Pisa.

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15.00-15.30
Kaffihlé — Coffee Break

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15.30-16.00

Haukur Þorgeirsson

Arriving in the Holy Land: the transmission and editing of a skaldic stanza

Miðaldastofa Háskóla Íslands | University of Iceland Centre for Medieval Studies (3)

By the 12th century, the Viking Age was supposedly over but an enterprising young Norwegian leader might still find opportunities abroad for violent and profitable adventure. In 1107, King Sigurd of Norway launched the “Norwegian Crusade”. After a couple of years of raiding in the Mediterranean, the king and his retinue arrived in the Holy Land in 1110. Einarr Skúlason, the greatest Icelandic poet of the 12th century, describes the event in a stanza beginning Húf lét hilmir svífa‘The king made the ship glide’.

Einarr’s stanza has some interesting variant readings in the manuscripts that preserve it. Most of the textual variation must have arisen as copyist mistakes during the scribal transmission but one variant seems to reflect oral variation or intentional editing — the king is either auðlestir‘wealth-destroyer’ or ulfnestir‘wolf-feeder’. The talk outlines the problems involved in editing this stanza and then tries to solve them, while drawing lessons for the editing of skaldic poetry in general.

Finally, Einarr’s stanza is a worthy subject as a work of art and its translation and interpretation will be discussed from the point of view of skaldic aesthetics.

Haukur Þorgeirsson is associate research professor at the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic studies. His research area is Old Norse poetry, prose and language. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Iceland.

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16.00-16.30

Klaus Johan Myrvoll

Poetry, onomastics, and the dynastic background of King Haraldr Halfdanarson of Norway

Miðaldastofa Háskóla Íslands | University of Iceland Centre for Medieval Studies (4)

According to the kings’ sagas, Haraldr hárfagri (‘Fairhair’) was the king who united Norway to one kingdom in the late ninth century. He is said to have been the son of a petty king in Eastern Norway called Halfdanr svarti (‘the Black’) and his wife Ragnhildr, the daughter of a certain Sigurðr hjǫrtr. Further, this Halfdanr is connected to the royal line of the so-called ynglingar in Vestfold, even though he is not mentioned in the main source for these kings, the skaldic poem Ynglingatal (c. 900).

(Video) The use and the abuse of history, national heritage and nationalism

As Claus Krag has demonstrated (“Vestfold som utgangspunkt for den norske rikssamlingen”, Collegium Medievale 3, 1990), the connection between Haraldr and the Vestfold kings is most likely an invention of the Icelandic historians of the early twelfth century. There is also reason to believe that the placement of Haraldr’s father Halfdanr as a petty king in Eastern Norway is a part of the strife to establish the later kings’ claim to the whole country. Most historians today (e.g., Krag in Aschehoughs norgeshistorie, 1995; Sverre Bagge in From Viking Stronghold to Christian Kingdom, 2010) regard Haraldr Halfdanarson as a purely Western Norwegian king, a limitation which is also implied by the place of the royal estates mentioned in the kings’ sagas, which are situated within the districts Hordaland and Rogaland.

What may, then, be said about the background of Haraldr? This paper will draw attention to the information that can be inferred from the study of names (Haraldr, Halfdanr) and contemporary skaldic poetry, foremost the report on the decisive battle of Hafrsfjord, Haraldskvæði, but also Egill Skallagrímsson’s Arinbjarnarkviða (c. 960). Combined with the scant information we get in Anglo-Saxon sources, and some of the probably relatively reliable pieces of information about Haraldr’s relatives and connections in the kings’ sagas, this will be used to produce a completely new picture of the background of Haraldr in some of the royal families of Denmark and the British Isles.

Klaus Johan Myrvoll is professor of Nordic linguistics at the University of Stavanger. His main fields of interest are skaldic poetry and metrics, language history, name studies and runology.

Málþingið fer fram á ensku og er öllum opið. — The symposium will be conducted in English. All are welcome to attend.

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Skafti Ingimarsson

„Þá var mikill vetur“

Um skipaákvæði Gamla sáttmála og fall íslenska goðaveldisins

Fimmtudaginn 20. október 2022 kl. 16.30
Lögbergi 101

Miðaldastofa Háskóla Íslands | University of Iceland Centre for Medieval Studies (5)

Gamli sáttmáli eða Gissurarsáttmáli, eins og hann er stundum nefndur vegna aðkomu Gissurar Þorvaldssonar jarls að sáttmálanum, var samningur milli Íslendinga og Hákonar Hákonarsonar Noregskonungs, sem fyrst var skrifað undir í Lögréttu á Alþingi árið 1262. Sáttmálinn er stundum talinn örlagaríkasta skjalið í sögu Íslendinga. Þá er litið svo á að hann marki upphaf hnignunar sem á að hafa byrjað þegar íslenskir höfðingjar gengust undir vald Hákonar gamla á árunum 1262–1264. Sáttmálinn hefur verið rannsakaður vandlega. Eitt af því sem vakið hefur athygli er hið svokallaða skipaákvæði hans, en þar segir orðrétt: „Skulu sex skip ganga af Noregi til Íslands tvö sumur hin næstu, en þaðan í frá sem konungi og hinum bestu bændum landsins þykir hentast landinu.“

Fræðimenn hafa túlkað skipaákvæðið á ýmsa vegu. Ákvæðið hefur þó aldrei verið sett í samhengi við lýsingar á árferði á Íslandi um það leyti er goðaveldið féll undir vald Noregskonungs. Í fyrirlestrinum verður bætt úr þessu, en greint verður frá lýsingum á árferði hér á landi árin 1258–1262, eins og þær birtast í miðaldatextum, einkum annálum og Sturlunga sögu. Sýnt verður fram á að heimildirnar benda eindregið til þess að mikil harðindi hafi gengið yfir landið árin 1258–1261 og að legið hafi við hungursneyð meðal landsmanna. Um leið verður sett fram tilgáta þess efnis að hnattræn kólnun í kjölfar Samalas-eldgossins á eyjunni Lombok í Indónesíu árið 1257 hafi verið orsök harðindanna og að hallærið, sem af þeim leiddi, hafi verið ein helsta ástæða þess að Íslendingar gengu Hákoni gamla Noregskonungi á hönd með gerð Gamla sáttmála á árunum 1262–1264. Tilgangur skipaákvæðis sáttmálans, þess efnis að sex skip skyldu sigla milli Noregs og Íslands næstu tvö sumur, hafi verið sá að tryggja að vistir og varningur bærust landsmönnum, sem voru hjálparþurfi.

Skafti Ingimarsson lauk doktorsprófi í sagnfræði frá Háskóla Íslands 2018 með ritgerðinni Íslenskir kommúnistar og sósíalistar: Flokksstarf, félagsgerð og stjórnmálabarátta 1918-1968 en sérsvið hans er íslensk stjórnmála- og félagssaga á 20. öld. Skafti er nú nýdoktor í sagnfræði við Háskóla Íslands og vinnur að ritun ævisögu Einars Olgeirssonar, fyrrverandi alþingismanns og formanns Sameiningarflokks alþýðu – Sósíalistaflokksins.

Fyrirlesturinn verður fluttur á íslensku og er öllum opinn.

Rosemary Power

Iona: abbey and nunnery in a Norse-Gaelic context

Fimmtudaginn 6. október 2022 kl. 16.30
Lögbergi 101

Miðaldastofa Háskóla Íslands | University of Iceland Centre for Medieval Studies (6)

The ancient abbey of Iona, situated in what are now the inner Hebrides of Scotland, has a long and rich history, occupying a significant role in the history of Ireland, as the head house of the Columban familia of monasteries, and housing a major scriptorium. It may also have had, in pre-Viking times, a small female community as well the large male one. By the twelfth century, though much diminished due to repeated raids and the move of the headship to inland Kells in Ireland, accompanied by many of the relics, it continued to be a significant centre, in terms of Irish, mainland Scottish, Hebridean, and by extension Norwegian, areas of influence. It became part of the Diocese of Man and the Suðreyjar, which was based at Peel on the Isle of Man, and after 1153 was part of the archdiocese of Niðaróss. Nevertheless, there was an attempt to re-orientate it toward Ireland in 1164.

This paper concerns the late-twelfth-century foundation for Augustinian canonesses, the re-foundation of the abbey as Benedictine in 1203; the roles, if any, played by the archdiocese; the politics of the Hebrides at this period, and the consequences. Of especial interest is the way in which Iona may have been one conduit for information from the Gaelic world to the Norse, alongside those provided by the secular powers and the bishopric. It will also consider apparently incidental contact, such as the storm-bound visit of the bishop-elect Guðmundr Arason to Iona’s outlying dependencies in 1202,just before the change from Columban to Benedictine Rule.

Rosemary Power completed a D.Phil. from The New University of Ulster (1982) with a dissertation titled The Quests in the Fornaldarsögur Norðurlanda and has published on Gaelic and other influences. She then wrote on historical links and oral transmission in the 12th and 13th centuries. She also publishes on folk tradition and writes books for the general reader. Her current work concerns folklife and folk tradition in Vatnsdalur. She edits the journal The Other Clare published by the Shannon Archaeological and Historical Society and works on the reclamation of ancient pilgrim routes from north-west Ireland to ey in helga, Iona, in the Hebrides.

Fyrirlesturinn verður fluttur á ensku og er öllum opinn.

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UncategorizedHaraldur Bernharðsson

(Video) Sundrung og svik: Sturlungaöldin sem vopn í stjórnmálabaráttu okkar daga - Guðni Th. Jóhannesson

Elizabeth Walgenbach

Translating the Kristinréttr Árna Þorlákssonar

Fimmtudaginn 15. september 2022 kl. 16.30
Háskólatorgi stofu 101 (HT-101)

Miðaldastofa Háskóla Íslands | University of Iceland Centre for Medieval Studies (7)

This paper discusses the ongoing project to translate the Kristinréttr Árna Þorlákssonar into English and document its sources. This code, the “new” Christian laws compiled for Iceland and accepted at the Alþingi in 1275, has remained relatively understudied and inaccessible for readers not familiar with Old Norse-Icelandic. This project, which is funded by the Icelandic Research Fund (RANNÍS), aims to make the Kristinréttr accessible to a wide audience of scholars and students. We intend the translation to be useful for those specifically interested in medieval Iceland as well as students and scholars of medieval canon law and medieval studies more broadly, who might have no knowledge of Old Norse-Icelandic.

After briefly introducing this law text and the reasons for our project, I will discuss several examples to highlight some of the challenges we have faced in bringing these laws to a modern audience.These issues include the translation of specific legal concepts that might be alien to modern readers, how to translate from a language that has grammatical gender into one that does not, and the ways to preserve the style and character of the language while producing a translation that is readable and useful to a modern audience.

Elizabeth Walgenbach is a historian and post-doctoral researcher at the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic studies. Her work focuses on legal history, manuscripts, and sagas as historical sources. She holds a Ph.D. from Yale University.

Fyrirlesturinn verður fluttur á ensku og er öllum opinn.

Málþing til heiðurs Margaret Cormack

Laugardaginn 27. ágúst 2022 —Háskóla Íslands, Odda 101

11.00 – 11.15
Setning ráðstefnu
GUÐRÚN NORDAL

11.15 – 11.30
Some words of welcome and thanks
DALE KEDWARDS, RYDER PATZUK RUSSELL, JON WRIGHT

11.30 – 12.00
Did Icelandic authors of Latin hagiography draft their texts in Icelandic? The case of Gunnlaugr Leifsson’s Vita S. Johannis
GOTTSKÁLK JENSSON

12.00 – 12.30
Mary of Oignies in Medieval Iceland
TIFFANY NICOLE WHITE

12.30 – 13.30
Hádegisverður

13.30 – 14.00
Girl, Interrupted: Revision and Reduction of the Magdalen in Jón Þorsteinsson píslarvottur’s Iðrunardiktur
NATALIE M. VAN DEUSEN

14.00 – 14.30
Hinn íslenski draumur (í þulum síðari alda)
YELENA SESSELJA HELGADÓTTIR

14.30 – 15.00
Kaffihlé

15.00 – 15.30
The Aura of Vellum: Calfskin, Antiquity and Magic in Post-Paper Manuscript Production
KATELIN PARSONS

15.30 – 16.00
„Þessa bók á Þuríður Þorleifsdóttir, því hún hefur erft hana eftir föður sinn“: Eigendasaga AM 657 a–b 4to
VÉDÍS RAGNHEIÐARDÓTTIR

16.00 – 16.15
Heilagatún and other holy and unholy place-names / Heilagatún og önnur helg og vanhelg örnefni
EMILY LETHBRIDGE

16.15 – 17.15
Móttaka

Málþingið fer fram á íslensku og ensku og er öllum opið.

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Styrkt af Stofnun Árna Magnússonar í íslenskum fræðum og Miðaldastofu Háskóla Íslands
Myndir: Heilög Margrét í Kaupmannahöfn, Den Arnamagnæanske Samling, AM 429 12mo (1490-1510)

(Video) Claiming the North / Tilkall til norðursins - panel 1

Erik Kwakkel

Ephemera from the Middle Ages

Fimmtudaginn 18. ágúst 2022 kl. 16.30
Lögbergi 101

Miðaldastofa Háskóla Íslands | University of Iceland Centre for Medieval Studies (8)

While medieval manuscripts were generally produced for posterity, not everything written down in the Middle Ages was intended to be kept forever. Some written text was regarded disposable and acted as a sort of short-term memory. Such ephemeral material makes for exciting research, because it shows a side of medieval life not witnessed in manuscripts or official documentary sources such as charters and account books. This lecture introduces three different kind of ephemeral artifact from medieval culture: scrap parchment with scholarly notes, paper slips with domestic messages sent within a household, and name tags worn by orphans. While highlighting the context in which these transitory objects were used, the lecture engages with their materiality, querying how the brevity of their lifespan is reflected in their physical features.

Erik Kwakkel is Director and Professor in the History of the Book at the School of Information (iSchool) at The University of British Columbia (UBC). His research interests are related to the design of medieval manuscripts, and he has published several monographs and edited volumes devoted the culture of the medieval book, including The European Book in the Twelfth Century (Cambridge University Press, 2018, co-edited with Rodney Thomson), Books Before Print (Arc Humanities Press, 2018), a textbook for undergraduate teaching, and Medicine at Monte Cassino (Brepols, 2019, co-authored with Francis Newton). In 2015, Kwakkel was appointed to the Comité International de Paléographie Latine (CIPL).

Fyrirlesturinn verður fluttur á ensku og er öllum opinn.

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Zrinka Stahuljak

Medieval Fixers: History, Politics, Literature

Fimmtudaginn 19. maí 2022 kl. 16.30
Lögbergi 101

Miðaldastofa Háskóla Íslands | University of Iceland Centre for Medieval Studies (9)

Ever since the western involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq, and then Syria, the term “fixer” became commonplace. It designates almost exclusively men who perform a range of services for foreign journalists and armies. Acting as interpreters, local informants, guides, drivers, mediators, brokers, these men are intermediaries, enablers who posess multiple skillls and bodies of knowledge. Fixers existed already in the Middle Ages, in situations of multilingual encounter, such as crusades, pilgrimages, proselytization, trade, translation. Fixers are the invisible men and women of history, then as now. This talk aims to restore their presence in a productive conversation between the fixers of the past and of the present. To look at history, literature and politics through the lens of fixers changes our relationship to the world and how we structure it.

Zrinka Stahuljak is Director of the CMRS Center for Early Global Studies (CMRS-CEGS) and Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Her most recent books are Les Fixeurs au Moyen Âge: Histoire et littérature connectées (Seuil 2021) and a forthcoming book Fixers: Agency, Translation, and Literature in the Middle Ages (UP Chicago).

Fyrirlesturinn er einnig hluti af Fimmta íslenska söguþinginu.

Fyrirlesturinn verður fluttur á ensku og er öllum opinn

Dorottya Uhrin

The Spread of Saint Dorothy’s Cult in Central Europe and Scandinavia

A Comparative Analysis

Fimmtudaginn 31. mars, 2022, kl. 16.30
Lögbergi 101

Miðaldastofa Háskóla Íslands | University of Iceland Centre for Medieval Studies (10)

Saint Dorothy was a young virgin, who during the reign of Emperor Diocletian suffered martyrdom in Cappadocia in the late Antiquity. Her cult was highly popular in the fifteenth-century Central Europe and Scandinavia. She was, however, almost unknown a hundred years earlier. This phenomenon is not unique and not limited only to this particular saint and territory. The fourteenth century seems to be the period when the cults and legends of virgin martyrs were rediscovered in Europe. How did their cult re-emerge in these regions? Why did a late-Antique saint become popular in the late Middle Ages? How did her cult spread from Central Europe to North an East?

In my presentation, I will concentrate on how the general changes in society contributed to the birth of a special type of saints, the holy helper, and why did their cults become popular in the above-mentioned regions. By the fourteenth century, the network of parish churches has already been developed, thus the devotees had to find other ways to express their veneration. Thus, her cult’s traces mostly appear as altar dedications, mural paintings and legends. Beside the medieval vernacular German translation of the legends, there are Hungarian and Icelandic translation of her holy life. Thus, the presentation analyzes which circumstances contributed to the proliferation of the cult of virgin martyrs, especially to Saint Dorothy’s cult with interdisciplinary method. Historical, art historical and liturgical sources will help to reconstruct the birth and the spread of the cult.

I will argue, that besides the growing importance of women, the general changes in the cult of saints facilitated the spread of the cult of virgin martyrs. The growing importance of images and sermons contributed to the spread of the old saints’ cult, whose venerations were not connected to certain locations. Moreover, their intimate relationship with the Virgin Mary made them effective intercessors which also subsidized to their popularity.

Dorottya Uhrin is an assistant lecturer at the Medieval History Department of Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. She graduated in history, religious history and Mongolian studies and earned a Ph.D. from the same university. Also, she has a master’s degree in medieval studies from Central European University. Her main research area is religiosity in medieval Central Europe.

(Video) Landscape, Maternal Space, And Child Exposure In The Sagas Of Icelanders - Robin Waugh

Fyrirlesturinn verður fluttur á ensku og er öllum opinn

Ben Allport

“To Explain the Present and Promote its Values”

Evolving Strategies of Elite Legitimisation in the Variants of the Frá Fornjóti Origin Myth

Fimmtudaginn 24. mars, 2022, kl. 16.30
Lögbergi 101

Miðaldastofa Háskóla Íslands | University of Iceland Centre for Medieval Studies (11)

The origin myth Frá Fornjóti ok hans ættmönnum survives in two variants, Fundinn Noregr and Hversu Noregr byggðist, both of which are preserved in Flateyjarbók. Both variants describe the descent from a primordial being named Fornjótr to the siblings Nórr, Górr, and Gói and the brother’s quest to find their sister after she is abducted. Along the way, Nórr conquers the mainland of northwestern Scandinavia and creates the kingdom of Norway, which he bequeaths to his sons. Górr conquers Norway’s coastal islands, becoming a sækonungr ‘sea-king.’ Despite this shared narrative core, significant differences in detail between the two variants attest to their differing histories. Fundinn Noregr survives as the preface to Orkneyinga saga, and is thus dated to, at the latest, that saga’s second production phase in the 1220s or 30s. Hversu Noregr byggðist is attested much later, and in the form preserved in Flateyjarbók shows signs of extensive expansion in the fourteenth century.

Each stage and variant of the Frá Fornjóti myth introduces new themes and political dimensions into the tradition; Fundinn Noregr provides an origin for the jarls of Orkney, who are positioned as the descendants of Górr. The core of Hversu Noregr byggðist explores the dissemination of the regional dynasties of Norway and anticipates the kingdom’s supposed reunification by Haraldr hárfagri; the expansion phase emphasises the importance of female dynasts in connecting the primordial dynasty of Nórr to prominent Icelandic and Norwegian progenitors.

This talk outlines the history of the Frá Fornjóti tradition from the early thirteenth to late fourteenth centuries, summarising and updating previous scholarly interpretations of the tradition. It explores the tradition’s evolving themes and the various interests—Norwegian, Orcadian, and Icelandic—that they served. Medieval origin myths served as a tool by which members of different medieval elites (spiritual, intellectual, political) aimed to legitimise their present social role by marrying their ancestry (sometimes literally) into the origins of the communities they sought to rule. As the late Susan Reynold’s wrote, the primary purpose of such myths was “to explain the present and promote its values.” These words serve as a mantra for my own endeavour to understand and interpret the shifting themes and forms of the Frá Fornjóti myth.

Ben Allport is a researcher on the ELITES-project at the University of Oslo. He was among the first cohort to study the Viking and Medieval Norse MA at the University of Iceland and University of Oslo and received his Ph.D. from Cambridge in 2018. His research focuses on the creation of community in medieval narrative sources

Fyrirlesturinn verður fluttur á ensku og er öllum opinn

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Annett Krakow

Peculiarities of the Flateyjarbók version of Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar en mesta

Fimmtudaginn 17. mars, 2022, kl. 16.30
Lögbergi 101

Miðaldastofa Háskóla Íslands | University of Iceland Centre for Medieval Studies (12)

Flateyjarbók (c.1387–1394/95) preserves a version of the younger redaction of the so-called longest saga of the Norwegian king Óláfr Tryggvason. Compared with the older redaction and also AM 62 fol., another manuscript of the younger redaction, the Flateyjarbók version differs with regard to two aspects: First, interpolations related to the retainers who fight with King Óláfr in the decisive sea battle at Svǫlðr. Second, the last part of the saga, which covers the subsequent period of the king’s alleged survival until his death in a monastery.

In my talk, I will in particular focus on the first aspect. Even the older sagas of Óláfr Tryggvason by Oddr Snorrason and Snorri Sturluson named the men who fought on the king’s side, especially on his ship Ormrinn langi. In these sagas and in Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar en mesta, comparatively few of these men are referred to in other parts of the saga. In Flateyjarbók, attempts were made to diminish this discrepancy and to portray selected retainers. The modifications comprise additional stories in which they feature (for instance in the case of Þorsteinn uxafótr) and interpolations of names in the lists of retainers. A certain Hallsteinn, for example, is in Flateyjarbók explicitly identified as the son of Hrómundr halti and one of the protagonists in the interpolated Hrómundar þáttr halta. In the þættir, one learns that Hallsteinn and (partly) Þorsteinn uxafótr are of Icelandic descent. The same also holds true for Þorsteinn skelkr, whose name was added in the enumeration of retainers, and who is a character in an interpolated þáttr. Thus, Icelanders are among those men in Óláfr’s last battle, who are granted an intensified presentation in the saga.

Concerning the second aspect, modifications in the last part of the saga, one can, for example, note that chapters on Saint Óláfr and Haraldr harðráði were omitted. Moreover, the position of chapters related to the rule of Eiríkr Hákonarson was changed: placed after Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar en mesta, they create a transitional passage to Óláfs saga helga. In this transitional passage, one can find further interpolations. One of these is Orms þáttr Stórólfssonar, the eponymous hero of which participates in a ‘re-enactment’ of the fight on Ormrinn langi.

Annett Krakow works at the University of Silesia in Katowice (Poland). She holds an MA in English and Scandinavian Studies (2004) and a Ph.D. in Scandinavian Studies (2009) from Humboldt University, Berlin (Germany). Currently, her research focuses on Yngvars saga víðfǫrla and its reception in studies on Yngvarr’s expedition.

Fyrirlesturinn verður fluttur á ensku og er öllum opinn

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