Classification of Works and Authors
Cited in this Dictionary.
N. B.—The authors of most of the Icelandic Sagas are unknown; the works are therefore died, not the authors, even where they are known.
- Poetry.—Kviða generally denotes a narrative poem; mál a poem in dialogue or didactic; ljóð, söngr a lay, song; tal a genealogical, drápa a laudatory heroic poem; ríma a rhyme or rhapsody.
- Mythical Poems :—Völu-spá, Háva-mál (mythical-didactic), Grímnis-mál, Vafþrúðnis-mál, Skírnis-mál, Alvís-mál, Loka-senna, Harbarðs-ljóð, Vegtams-kviða, Þryms-kviða, Hýmis-kviða, Hyndlu-ljóð, Forspjalls-ljóð (mod.) 2. Poems in the form of a ‘drápa,’ but upon mythical subjects:—Haustlöng, Hús-drápa, Þórs-drápa, Ragnars-kviða.
- Heroical :—Fáfnis-mál, Sigrdrífu-mál, Hamðis-mál, Sigurðar-kviða (in three poems), Guðrúnar-kviða (in three poems), Brynhildar-kviða, Atla-kviða, Atla-mál, Völundar-kviða, Rígs-mál, Helga-kviða Hjörvarðs-sonar, Helga-kviða Hundings-bana (in two poems), Helreið Brynhildar, Oddrúnar-grátr, Guðrúnar-hefna, Grotta-söngr, Gró-galdr, Fjölsvinns-mál, Ynglinga-tal, Háleygja-tal, Bjarka-mál, Getspeki Heiðreks, and other poems in Hervarar Saga, Darraðar-ljóð. Most of these poems (in I. II) are contained in the old collection commonly called Sæmundar Edda: the various editions differ in the distribution of the verses; in this Dictionary references are made to the edition of Möbius, Leipzig 1860; that of Sophus Bugge, Christiania 1867, has now superseded all former editions, and is cited in special instances.
- Historical :—Höfuð-lausn, Sona-torrek, Arinbjarnar-drápa (all published in the Egils Saga), Hákonar-mál (published in Hkr. i), Vell-ekla, Darraðar-ljóð, Rekstefja. 2. Poems later than the middle of the 12th century:—Kráku-mál (published in Fas. i), Hugsvinns-mál (paraphrase of Cato’s Disticha), Sólar-ljóð (published along with Sæmundar Edda), Hátta-tal (published along with the Edda), Jómsvíkinga-drápa, Íslendinga-drápa, Merlinus-spá (an Icelandic metrical paraphrase of Geoffrey of Monmouth), Málshátta-kvæði (collection of proverbs in a MS. Cod. Reg. of Edda), Konunga-tal (published in Flateyjar-bók ii. 520 sqq.), Placidus-drápa, Harm-sól, Leiðar-vísan, Líknar-braut (religious poems, edited by Dr. Egilsson, published 1833 and 1844), Geisli (published in Fb. i. beginning), Guðmundar-drápa (published in Bs. ii. 187 sqq.), Lilja or the Lily (published in H. E. ii. 398 sqq.), both poems of the 14th century. 3. Ólafs-ríma (published in Fb. i. 8 sqq.), Skáld-Helga-rímur (published in Grönl. Hist. Mind, ii), Þrymlur, Völsungs-rímur (edited by Möbius), Skíða-ríma (a satirical poem of the 14th or 15th century), etc.
- Poets Cited :—Bragi (9th century); Hornklofi, Þjóðólfr Hvinverski (9th or 10th century); Egill, Kormakr, Eyvindr Skálda-spillir (all of the 10th century); Hallfreðr (born 968, died 1008); Sighvatr, Arnórr (both of the 11th century); Einarr Skúlason (12th century), etc.
- Laws.—The Icelanders and Norsemen first began to write their laws at the end of the nth and the beginning of the 12th century; before that time all laws were oral.
- Laws of the Icelandic Commonwealth :—Grágás (vide that word), a collection of the laws of the Commonwealth, published in two volumes by the Arna-Magnaean Legate, Copenhagen 1829. Parts or sections of the law are, Kristinna-laga-þáttr, Þingskapa-þáttr, Víg-slóði, Bauga-tal, Tíundar-lög, Landbrigða-þáttr, Arfa-þáttr, Ómaga-bálkr, Festa-þáttr, Lögréttu-þáttr, Lögsögumanns-þáttr, etc. These laws are chiefly contained in two private collections or MSS. of the 12th century, called Konungs-bók (marked Grág. Kb.) and Staðarhóls-bók (marked Grág. Sb.); the new edition (Copenhagen 1853) is a copy of the Konungs-bók; but the Arna-Magn. edition, which is cited in this Dictionary, is a compilation from both MSS., having however Staðarhóls-bók as its groundwork. The Kristin-réttr Þorláks ok Ketils (K. Þ. K.) is cited from a separate edition (Copenhagen 1775).
- Laws of Norway contained in a collection in three volumes, called Norges Gamle Love (published by Munch and Keyser, Christiania 1846, 1847). The 1st vol. is most frequently cited, and contains the laws of Norway previous to A. D. 1263; the 3rd vol. contains Réttar-bætr or Royal Writs, cited by the number. The Gulaþings-lög or Lands-lög, = the Code of King Magnus (died 1281), is contained in the 2nd vol. of this collection, but is cited from a separate edition (Copenhagen 1817).
- Icelandic Laws, given after the union with Norway:—Kristin-réttr Arna biskups (published at Copenhagen in 1777); Járn-síða (Copenhagen 1847), the Law of Iceland from A. D. 1272–1280; Jóns-bók (Hólum 1709) is the Icelandic Code of Laws of A. D. 1280 (still in use in Iceland).
- Histories or Tales of a Mythical Character.
- Edda or Snorra Edda :—In this Dictionary only the prose work of Snorri Sturluson (born 1178, died 1241) is cited under this name; the poems of the so-called Sæmundar Edda are all cited separately by their names (vide A). The Edda consists of three parts, the Gylfa-ginning or Mythical Tales (pp. 1–44), Skáldskapar-mál or the Poetical Arts and Diction (pp. 45–110), Hátta-tal (marked Edda Ht.) = a poem on the metres, and lastly, Þulur or Rhymed Glossary of Synonymes (marked Edda Gl.) The edition cited is that of Dr. Egilsson, Reykjavík (1848) in one vol.; the Arna-Magn. (1848 sqq.) in two vols. (the third is still in the press) is now and then referred to. The Edda is chiefly preserved in three vellum MSS., the Konungs-bók (Kb.), the Orms-bók (Ob.), and the Uppsala-bók (Ub.), which is published in the Arna-Magn. Ed. ii. 250–396. 2. The prose parts of the Sæmundar Edda (here marked Sæm.)
- Mythical Sagas or Histories :—Fornaldar Sögur, a collection published in three volumes by Rafn, Copenhagen 1829,1830 : the 1st vol. contains Hrólfs Saga Kraka (pp. 1–109), Völsunga Saga (pp. 115–234, again published by Bugge, Christiania 1865), Ragnars Saga (pp. 235–299 and 345–360), Sögu-brot or Skjöldunga Saga (a fragment, pp. 363–368), Hervarar Saga (pp. 411–533), Norna-Gests Saga (pp. 319–342): the 2nd vol. contains Hálfs Saga (pp. 25–60), Friðþjófs Saga (pp. 63–100 and 488–503), Örvar-Odds Saga (almost wholly fabulous) : the 3rd vol., Gautreks Saga (pp. 1–53) : the rest are mere fables, and belong to G below. Hemings-þáttr, from the Flateyjar-bók, 3rd vol., partly cited from MSS.; this tale contains a myth parallel to that of William Tell. 2. Ynglinga Saga by Snorri Sturluson, containing lives of the mythical kings of Sweden from Odin down to the historical time, cited from Heimskringla, 1st vol.
- Íslendinga Sögur or Histories referring to the Icelandic Commonwealth and the time following the union with Norway.
- Sagas or Histories of the General History of Iceland :—Landnáma or Landnáma-bók, a History of the Discovery and Settlement of Iceland, originally written by Ari Fróði (born 1067, died 1148), but worked out into its present form by Sturla Þórðarson (born 1214, died 1284); this important work is cited from the Copenhagen Ed. of 1843, where the figures are separated with a (·); the first figure marks ‘a part’ (þáttr), the second a chapter. Landnáma (Hb.) denotes the text of the vellum MS. Hauks-bók. Landnáma Mantissa means an appendix affixed to the book in the printed editions. Íslendinga-bók by Ari Frófti, from the Ed. of 1843 (published along with Landnáma). Kristni Saga (Introduction of Christianity), cited from Biskupa Sögur, vide below. Sturlunga Saga or Íslendinga Saga hin mikla by Sturla Þórðarson, relates the history of Iceland, especially of the 13th century up to the union with Norway, cited from the Ed. of 1817–1820, in four volumes; the last volume however, containing the Arna biskups Saga, is quoted from the Biskupa Sögur below. The chief MS. of this work is in the British Museum, II, 127 ; the letter C after the figures denotes the vellum MS. Arna-Magn. 122, fasc. A.
- Sagas or Lives of Men or Families referring to the Icelandic ‘Saga time,’ i. e. the 10th century down to about A. D. 1030 or 1050, properly called Íslendinga Sögur. 1. The Larger Sagas :—Njála or Njáls Saga, published at Copenhagen in 1772 ; the Latin translation by Johnsonius, Copenhagen 1809 with Icelandic various readings, is cited now and then; cp. Burnt Njal by Mr. Dasent. Laxdæla Saga, Copenhagen 1826; the later part of Laxdæla also exists in a better form in a vellum MS. Arna-Magn. 309, but is not as yet published. Egils Saga or Egla, Copenhagen 1809. Eyrbyggja Saga or Eyrbyggja, Ed. 1787, and Leipzig 1864, where the pages of the old Ed. are marked in the margin. 2. The Smaller Sagas:— Ljósvetninga Saga, Valla-Ljots Saga, Svarfdæla Saga, Reykdæla Saga, Víga-Glúms Saga, all five cited from the octavo volume called Íslendinga Sögur, 2nd vol. Copenhagen 1830: Harðar Saga (pp. 1–118), Hænsa-Þóris Saga (pp. 121–186), Gunnlaugs Saga (pp. 189–276), Heiðarvíga Saga (pp. 320–392), all four cited from the collection called Íslendinga Sögur, 2nd vol., Copenhagen 1847: Gísla Saga Súrssonar, Bjarnar Saga Hítdæla-kappa, Hrafnkels Saga, Droplaugar-Sona Saga, Vápnfirðinga Saga, Þorsteins Saga hvíta, Þorsteins-þáttr Stangar-höggs, all seven cited from the small editions, 1847,1848; the chapters in Gísla Saga, when quoted, refer to the old edition, Hólum 1756: Kormaks Saga, edited separately, Copenhagen 1832: Vatnsdæla Saga (pp. 1–80), Flóamanna Saga (pp. 117–161), Hallfreðar Saga (pp. 83–115), all these three Sagas are published and cited from a collection called Forn-sögur, Leipzig 1860: Bandamanna Saga, Hávarðar Saga, Grettis Saga (an A after the figures denotes the vellum MS. Arna-Magn. 556 A), Ölkofra-þáttr, all these four Sagas are cited from the quarto volume Margfróðir Sögu-þættir, Hólum 1756 (of Grettis Saga a new edition appeared in 1853, and of Hávarðar Saga in 1860; of Bandamanna Saga an earlier and better text is preserved in a vellum MS: 2845 Royal Libr. Copenhagen, cited Band. (MS.), but is not published) : Þorfinns Saga Karls-efnis, cited from Grönland’s Historiske Mindesmærker i. 352–442, a part is also published in Antiquitates Americanae : Þorsteins Saga Síðu-Hallssonar, cited from Analecta, by Möbius, Leipzig 1860, pp. 169–186 : Gull-Þóris Saga by Maurer, Leipzig 1857, cited by the pages of the MS. which are marked in the margin of the Ed. : Fóstbræðra Saga, Ed. 1822, new Ed. 1852 : Njarðvíkinga Saga or Gunnars-þáttr Þiðranda-bana, published at the end of Laxdæla, pp. 363–384 : Þorvalds Saga Víðförla, published in Biskupa Sögur i. 33–50. Many of these Sagas were undoubtedly written in the 12th century, although preserved in later MSS.; some, although old, have been worked out into their present shape by historians of the 13th century (e. g. Eyrbyggja, Laxdæla, and Njála); some few of them have only reached us in the more modern and artificial style of the 13th or 14th century.
- Sagas or Lives of the Icelandic Bishops from A. D. 1056–1330, collected and edited under the title of Biskupa Sögur:— Vol. i, Copenhagen 1858, contains Kristni Saga, pp. 1–32, vide above; Hungr-vaka or Lives of the First Five Bishops of Skalholt, pp. 59–86; Þorláks Saga, pp. 89–124, 263–332; Jóns Saga, pp. 151–260; Páls Saga, pp. 127–148; Guðmundar Saga, pp. 407–618 ; Árna Saga, pp. 679–786 (bishop Arne died 1298); Laurentius Saga by Einar Hafliðason, the last Icelandic historian of the olden time, born 1307, died 1393, pp. 789–914 (bishop Laurentius died 1330); Rafns Saga and Arons Saga are printed as an appendix, vol. i, pp. 639–676, 619–638. Vol. ii, pp. 1–230, contains another recension of Guðmundar Saga, written by Abbot Arngrim, who died 1361 : the following pages (ii. 230 sqq.) are lives of the bishops of the Reformation period.
- Annals :— Íslenzkir Annálar or Annals of Iceland, containing Konungs-annáll or Ann. Regii, an important vellum in Gamle Kongel. Saml., 2087,4to, published in Langebek’s Script, rerr. Dan. vol. iii; cp. also the Hauks-annáll, Hóla-annäll, Flateyjar-annáll, Lögmanns-annáll, etc. A collection of Annals embracing the time from the settlement of Iceland up to A. D. 1430 was published at Copenhagen in 1847, and is cited by years.
- Skrök-Sögur or Fabulous Sagas :— Bárðar Saga, from Ed. Hólum 1756, new Ed. 1860; Víglundar Saga, Ed. 1756, new Ed. 1860; Þórðar Saga hreðu, Ed. 1756, new Ed. 1848, and 1860 (partly) ; Kjalnesinga Saga, cited from Íslendinga Sögur, Ed. 1847 ; Króka-Refs Saga, Ed. 1756; Finnboga Saga, Ed. 1812, along with the old Ed. of Vatnsdæla : Þorsteins-þáttr uxafóts, Orms-þáttr Stórólfssonar, Þorleifs-þáttr Jarlaskálds, all three in Fb. i. and in Fms. Iii : Brandkrossa-þáttr, Ed. 1847 : Bolla-þáttr, published along with the Laxdæla : Stjörnu-Odda Draumr, Ed. 1780, new Ed. 1860.
- Konunga Sögur or Lives of Kings, Princes, and Earls of Foreign Countries, etc.
- Sagas or Lives of the Kings of Norway and Denmark, contained in a great collection published in twelve volumes, Copenhagen 1835–1837, under the title of Fornmanna Sögur :—Vols. i-v contain the lives of the kings of Norway from the end of the 9th century to A. D. 1030 : vol. vi contains Magnús Saga Góða and Haraldar Saga Harðráða (died 1066) : vol. vii goes down to A. D. 1176; the best text of both vols. vi and vii are contained in a great Icelandic MS. called Hulda (cited now and then) : vol. viii contains the Sverris Saga by Karl Ábóti (Abbot Carle), who died 1213; the king Sverrir died 1202 : vol. ix, pp. 229–535, and vol. x, pp. 1–154, contain Hákonar Saga by Sturla Þórðarson, king Hacon died 1263 : vol. xi contains the lives of the kings of Denmark, viz. Jómsvíkinga Saga (pp. 1–162, a shorter recension of the Saga is preserved in an Icelandic MS. at Stockholm, and cited from the Ed. 1824) ; Knytlinga Saga (pp. 179–402) = lives of the Danish kings from king Canute down to the end of the 12th century : in the 10th vol. there are besides, Ágrip (pp. 377–421), a compendium of the lives of the kings of Norway; Ólafs Saga Tryggvasonar by Oddr Munkr, who lived in the 12th century (pp. 216–376), another recension of the same work is edited by Munch, Christiania 1853 (and here marked Ó. T.) : vol. xii contains registers, etc. Heims-kringla, vols. i-iii, cited from the folio edition, Copenhagen 1777–1783, contains the lives of the kings of Norway in a text mostly identical with Fornmanna Sögur vols. i-vii, and is therefore sparingly cited; but the Heimskringla alone gives the Ynglinga Saga, vide C. II: a new edition by Unger has been published, Christiania 1868. Codex Frisianus, a vellum MS. of the Heimskringla, fasc. I, Christiania 1869. Ólafs Saga Helga by Snorri Sturluson, who died 1241, cited Ó. H., Christiania 1853, is identical with Fornmanna Sögur vols. iv, v, and Heimskringla vol. ii, but contains the best text of this Saga. Fagrskinna, Christiania 1847, contains a short history of the kings of Norway down to the end of the 12th century. Morkinskinna, an old vellum containing the lives of king Harald Harðráði and the following kings, by C. R. Unger, Christiania 1867. Ingvars Saga by Brocman, Stockholm 1762. Eymundar Saga, cited from Fb. ii. and Fms. v; the Saga is given in Antiquités Russes. Ólafs Saga Helga (O. H. L.), a legendary life of St. Olave, Christiania 1849. Flateyjar-bók, edited in three volumes, Christiania 1860–1868, contains the text of Fornmanna Sögur, besides many other things, and is often cited (Fb.) Here may also be mentioned Skálda-tal or Catalogue of Ancient Poets and Kings, published by Möbius in his Catalogus, Leipzig 1856; but again edited by Jón Sigurdsson in Edda iii. pp. 251–286 (still in the press).
- Sagas referring to other countries :—Orkneyinga Saga, also called Jarla Saga, the Lives of the Earls of Orkney from the earliest time down to the end of the 12th century, cited from the new edition of Mr. Dasent, not yet issued, the old Ed. A. D. 1780; the whole Saga is given in the Flateyjar-bók. Magnús Saga Eyja-jarls, the Life of St. Magnus, Ed. 1780. Færeyinga Saga, the History of the Faro Islands, Copenhagen 1832, from the Flateyjar-bók. Grænlendinga-þáttr or Einars-þáttr Sokka-sonar, cited from Flateyjar-bók iii. 445–454. Játvarðar Saga, the Life of Edward the Confessor, Ed. 1852, also contained in Flateyjar-bók iii. 463–472. Ósvalds Saga, the Life of King Oswald, Ed. 1854. Thomas Saga Erkibiskups, the Life of Thomas á Becket, cited from a MS. 5311 in the British Museum, a transcript of an Icelandic vellum MS. called Thomas-skinna; another recension of this Saga is in an Icelandic MS. at Stockholm: it is now in the press under the care of Unger, Christiania, whose edition is now and then cited (Thorn. Ed.), vide e. g. gjafmildi. Rómverja Sögur, edited in Pröver, pp. 108–386, is a paraphrase of Sallust’s Bellum Jugurt. and Lucan’s Pharsalia. Veraldar Saga, a short Universal History, ‘Sex Aetates Mundi,’ cited from Pröver, pp. 64–103. We may also here record the Þorfinns Saga (vide above, D. II. 2) and Vínlands-þáttr, from Flateyjar-bók vol. i, wrongly inserted in the editions of the Heimskringla vol. i, published by Rafn in Antiquitates Americanae, Copenhagen, pp. 7–78 : these two Sagas refer to the discovery of America at the end of the 10th and the beginning of the 11th centuries.
- Sacred or Legendary Lore.
- Stjórn or a Biblical Paraphrase of the Historical Books of the Old Testament by bishop Brand (died 1264), edited by Unger, Christiania 1862 ; also sometimes called Gyðinga Sögur. The first part, pp. 1–319, is a scholastic compilation from Genesis, Exodus, Petrus Comestor, and the Speculum Historiale, and was composed about A. D. 1300, but the whole work is now called by the name of Stjórn.
- Homilies, etc.—The Homilies and Sermons of St. Gregory, marked Greg. Homiliu-bók or Book of Homilies, by Unger, Christiania 1864, marked Hom.; the figures refer to the pages of the MS. Arna-Magn. 619, which are marked in the edition: another old vellum MS. of Homilies at Stockholm (marked Horn. St.) is not published. Elucidarius, Ed. in Ann. for Nord. Oldk. 1858; the figures mark the pages of the MS. noted in the edition.
- Helgra-manna Sögur or Lives of Saints, etc. :—Barlaams Saga (by Joh. Damasc.), Unger’s Ed., Christiania 1851: Clemens Saga (Clement Alexandr.) : Martinus Saga (St. Martin of Tours), from vellum MS. Arna-Magn. 645 : Blasius Saga (St. Blaise), from vellum MS. Arna-Magn. 623 : Mariu Saga (Virgin Mary), from MS. Arna-Magn. 656 A. and other MSS., is now edited by C. R. Unger, Christiania, and often cited both in the Grammar and Dictionary : Niðrstigningar Saga or History of the Descent to Hell, a rendering of the later part of the Apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus, from MSS. Arna-Magn. 645, pp. 102–110, and 623, pp. 1–10 : Andreas Saga, MS. Arna-Magn. 625 : Johannes Saga baptistae, MS. Arna-Magn. 623 : Postula Sögur, from various MSS., Arna-Magn. 645, 656 C, etc.; a printed copy (Viðey 1836) is now and then used : Theophilus, edited by Mr. Dasent, 1842, now again published as part of the Mar. Saga. Antonius Saga, Augustinus Saga, Páls Saga Postula, cited from Arna-Magn. 234 fol. Many other small legendary stories are besides cited (without name) from the Arna-Magn. MSS. nos. 656, 655 (the Roman numerals denote parts or fasciculi), 623, 645, 677. Many of these tales and homilies are preserved in very old MSS., and belong to the earliest stage of Icelandic literature.
- Romances or Fables, rendered mostly from French and Latin.
- Historical Romances :—Alexanders Saga (from the Alexandreis of Philip Gautier), by Unger, Christiania 1848 : Karla-Magnús Saga (Charlemagne), by Unger, Christiania 1860: Þiðreks Saga af Bern (Dieterich), by Unger, Christiania 1853: Breta-Sögur, the first part also called Trojumanna Sögur, chiefly founded upon Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Hist. Brit, and Dares Phrygius, edited in Ann. for Nord. Oldk., Copenhagen 1848, 1849.
- Mythical :—Artus-kappa Sögur, containing Parcevals Saga, Ivents Saga, Valvents Saga, Möttuls Saga, Erreks Saga, cited from MS. 4859 in the British Museum : Elis Saga, Bærings Saga, Flovent Saga, Magus Saga, all four cited from vellum MS. Arna-Magn. 580; the last is also at times quoted from an edition : Tristams Saga, in MS. Arna-Magn. 443, but only cited from Fritzner’s Dictionary : Mirmants Saga, cited from MS. 4859 in the British Museum : Bevus Saga; Claras Saga. β. Strengleikar or Lays of the Britons, edited by Unger, Christiania 1850.
- Lyga-Sögur or Stories fabricated in Iceland :—The greater part of Fornaldar Sögur, 2nd and 3rd vols., vide above; Þjalar-Jóns Saga, Konráðs Saga Keisara Sonar, and many others.
- Works of a Learned or Scholastic Character.
- Philological :—Skálda, a collection of three or four Icelandic philological treatises of the 12th to the 14th century, preserved in one of the MSS. of the Edda (Orms-bók), and therefore usually published as an appendix to that book, and in many modern works quoted under the name of Edda; it is here cited under the name of Skálda. Skálda is a traditionary name in Iceland, although it is sometimes applied to the Skáldskapar-mál, vide C; the earliest and by far the most interesting—perhaps the earliest philological treatise in any Teutonic language—is that by Thorodd; it is contained in p. 160, 1. 27 to p. 169, 1. 18 in the edition of Dr. Egilsson, Reykjavík 1849 (where these treatises are published under the name of Ritgjörðir Tilheyrandi Snorra Edda), but in the Ed. Arna-Magn. (Copenhagen 1852) ii. 10–43; the second treatise, probably from the later part of the 12th century, pp. 169–173, Ed. Arna-Magn. ii. 44–60; the third treatise, an imitation of Donatus and Priscian, pp. 173–200, is written by Ólafr Hvíta-skáld (died 1259), cp. Ed. Arna-Magn. ii. 62–189; the fourth treatise, pp. 200–212, is simply a continuation of the third. 2. The Skaldskapar-mál of Snorri, the rhymed glossaries, and the metrical poem Hátta-tal with the commentary in prose (vide C), may be reckoned in this class.
- Skugg-sjá or Konungs Skugg-sjá, i. e. Speculum Regale, a didactic scholastic work; the Copenhagen Kd. of 1768 is cited here; a new edition appeared at Christiania in 1848. Anecdoton, a polemical treatise on ecclesiastical matters, published by Werlauff, Copenhagen 1815, and again in 1848, along with the Skugg-sjá.
- Arithmetical :—Rim-begla, a large collection of arithmetical treatises, etc., published at Copenhagen in I 780; the name Rimbegla, however, refers properly only to the first part, viz. pp. 1–114 in this edition: this treatise is preserved in an Icelandic MS. of the 12th century (no. 1812 Royal Libr. Copenhagen), and is so called by the author, whose name is unknown. Algorismus, a treatise on Arithmetic by Hauk Erlendsson (died 1334), contained in the vellum MS. Hauks-bók, and edited by Munch in Ann. for Nord. Oldk., Copenhagen 1848, pp. 353–375.
- Geographical :—A small collection is published under the title of Symbolae ad Geographiam Medii aevi, edited by Werlauff in 1821, especially containing a geographical sketch by the Icelandic abbot Nicholas (died 1161), called Leiðarvísir og Borga-skipan : some things are also published in Antiquités Russes and Orientals, 1852 ; various fragments of this kind are contained in the Hauks-bók. Some parts of the rhymed glossary in the Edda (C. I), e. g. names of rivers, islands, etc., belong to this class.
- Medical :—Lækninga-bók, a MS. in the Arna-Magn. collection 434, 12mo; a small part published in Pröver, pp. 471–474. The chief source for medical citations, however, is a list of Icelandic names of diseases contained in the 9th and 10th volumes of Félags-rit, 1789 and 1790, written by Svein Pálsson (died 1840), and drawn from various old treatises on medical matters.
- Máldagar, Skjöl, etc., i. e. Deeds and Diplomas.
- Icelandic :—Historia Ecclesiastica Islandiae by bishop Finn Jónsson, Finnus Johannacus, published in four volumes, Copenhagen 1772–1778, contains a great number of writs and deeds referring to Icelandic church-history, which are cited in this Dictionary as far as down to A. D. 1400 : Diplomatarium Islandicum by Jón Sigurdsson, Copenhagen 1857 sqq., contains deeds and Libri Datici of the churches down to the union with Norway (about A. D. 1263), but is not finished : deeds of the 14th century are therefore cited from MSS. in the Arna-Magn. collection marked Dipl., the Roman numerals denoting fasciculi : there are also cited collections of Libri Datici of the 14th century, viz. Pétrs-máldagi, Auðunnar-máldagi, Jóns-máldagi, and Vilkins-máldagi, all bearing the name of the bishops of the 14th century who made the collection, and cited from MSS. in the Arna-Magn.
- Norse :—Diplomatarium Norvagicum, in many volumes, by Unger and Lange, Christiania 1849 sqq.; but as the language of Norway was no longer in a pure state in the 14th and 15th centuries, this large collection is sparingly cited : Björgynjar Kalfskinn, Boldts Jordebog, and Munkalíf are all registers of properties of the Norse cloister, rarely cited.
- Runic Inscriptions.
- Gothic Runes, called by some Old Scandinavian Runes; they are identical with the Anglo-Saxon Runes, but older, and are found only on the very oldest monuments :—The Golden Horn, dug up in Schleswig A. D. 1734, contains an inscription probably of the 3rd or 4th century, explained by Munch and finally by Bugge; The Runic Stone at Tune in Norway, edited and explained by Munch, Christiania 1857, specially cited now and then in the introductions to the letters.
- Common Scandinavian Runic Inscriptions :—The Swedish Stones, collected in Bautil, vide s. v. bautasteinn; the figures mark the number: Brocman’s treatise upon the Runes at the end of Ingvars Saga, Stockholm 1762. 2. The Danish Runic Stones, edited by Thorsen, De Danske Kune-Mindes-mærker, Copenhagen 1864; Rafn’s collection, Copenhagen 1856. The Manx Stones are edited by Munch along with his edition of the Chronicon Manniae.
☞ As to the authorship of these works, we can only briefly note that most of them are Icelandic, but parts Norwegian or Norse. Parts of A, the whole of B. II, and part of B. III are Norse; F and G are partly Norse and partly Icelandic; H. II and J. II are Norse; K Scandinavian; the rest Icelandic. Some few MSS. under the other letters are Norse, e. g. Fagrskinna; but the works are undoubtedly of Icelandic origin. Again, many of the Norse laws are preserved in Icelandic MSS., and only one of the many MSS. of the Skugg-sjá is Norse.
- By Modern Works are understood the works from the Reformation to the present time, as opposed to the old literature, which may be said to end about A. D. 1400; the following 100 or 150 years are almost blank, at least as far as prose is concerned. The first specimen of modern Icelandic literature is the translation of the New Testament, A. D. 1540, then the rendering of hymns and psalms into Icelandic, and the version of the whole Bible: the middle and latter part of the 10th century was entirely taken up with these subjects. A fresh historical literature, annals and the like, first dawns at the end of that century. The 17th century is especially rich in religious poetry; the Sermons of Jón Vídalín belong to the beginning of the 18th; essays of an economical or political character begin at the middle or end of that century, and periodicals from A. D. 1780. As for this Dictionary, it may be briefly stated that, as to the old literature, every passage is as far as possible given with references; while words and phrases from the living Icelandic tongue, popular sayings, etc. are freely given, but generally without references. No Icelandic Dictionary can be said to be complete that does not pay attention to the present language: the old literature, however rich, does not give the whole language, but must be supplemented and illustrated by the living tongue. The differences in grammar are slight, and the transition of forms regular and gradual, so the change is mostly visible in the vocabulary. But it should be noted that when a word or phrase is given without reference, this means that no ancient reference was at hand: but it does not follow that it is modern; this can only be seen from the bearing of the word, e. g. whether it conveys a notion known to the ancients or not. Of modern works cited the following may be noted:
- In Poetry, first, the flower of Icelandic poetry, old as well as modern, the Passíu-Sálmar or Fifty Passion Hymns by Hallgrim Petrsson (born 1614, died 1674), finished 1660, published 1666, and since that time reprinted in thirty editions; the former figure marks the hymn, the latter the verse. The Hymns and Psalms of the Reformation are now and then cited from the Hymn-book of 1619 (called Hóla-bók, cited by its leaves), or the collection of 1742. 2. Of secular poems, Búnaðar-bálkr (marked Bb.), composed 1764, by Eggert Ólafsson (born 1726, died 1768); this poem has always been a great favourite with the people in Iceland: the first figure marks the divisions of the poem. A small collection, A. D. 1852, called Snót, containing small but choice poems of different poets. β. Of rímur or modern rhapsodies, the Úlfars-rímur are cited as the choicest specimen, composed by Þorlak Gudbrandsson, who died in 1707; Tíma-ríma, a satirical poem of the beginning of the 18th century; Núma-rímur by Sigurd Breidfjörd. γ. Njóla, a philosophical poem by Björn Gunnlaugsson, published 1844; Hústafla, a pedagogical poem by Jón Magnusson (born 1601), cited from the Ed. of 1774. δ. The Ballads or Fornkvæði, 1854 sq., vide s. v. danz. ε. Ditties and Songs, never published, but all the better recollected,—the choicest among them are those attributed to Pál Vídalín (born 1666, died 1727), etc. etc. 3. The chief Poets are:—Hallgrímr Pétrsson; Stefán Ólafsson (died 1688); Eggert Ólafsson; Jón Þorláksson (born 1744, died 1819), his poems are collected in two volumes, 1842; Benedikt Gröndal (born 1762, died 1825), his poems in a small collection, 1833; Sigurdr Pétrsson (died 1827), his poems collected in 1844; Bjarni Thorarinsson (born 1787, died 1841), his poems published 1847 ; Jónas Hallgrímsson (born 1807, died 1846), his poems published 1847; Sigurðr Breiðfjörð (died 1846).
- In Prose we must first mention, 1. Nýja Testamenti, the New Testament, cited from the text of 1644, in Edd. of 1807 and 1813 (in no case is the new version, London 1866, cited, it being merely a paraphrase, and inaccurate); the text of 1644 here cited is mainly founded on the original version of 1540, which has been duly reckoned among the noblest specimens of Icelandic prose, especially in the Gospels; it is therefore frequently cited. Gamla Testamenti, the Old Testament, is cited more sparingly. The earliest edition of the Bible (Hólum 1584) is called Guðbrands-Biblia, i. e. the Bible of bishop Gudbrand; the next edition (Hólum 1644) is called Þorláks-Biblia, i. e. the Bible of bishop Thorlak, and is a slightly emended text of that of bishop Gudbrand. The Þorlaks-Biblia may be called the Icelandic textus receptus; the edition of 1746, called Waisenhús-Biblia, is a reprint of it; as is also the edition of the British and Foreign Bible Society, 1813. Whenever the Old Testament is cited (and when Stjórn is not meant), the reference is to one of these three editions of the same version. β. Next we have to notice the Sermons of bishop Jón Vídalín (born 1666, died 1720), called Jóns-bók (not the Jóns-bók above mentioned, B. III) or Vídalíns Postilla, a highly esteemed work; the first edition is of 1718, and ten or eleven editions have since been published : perhaps no Icelandic book is so stocked with popular sayings and phrases of every kind. 2. Of secular literature we have first to mention Íslenzkar Þjóðsögur or Icelandic Stories and Legends by Jón Arnason, Leipzig 1862, 1864, in two volumes; some of them rendered into English by Messrs. Powell and Magnusson; the Icelandic text, however, is always cited. β. Kvöldvökur, a popular book for children, in two vols. 1794 and 1796, by Hannes Finnsson. γ. The publications of the Icelandic Literary Society, Bókmenta-félag, founded A. D. 1816 : Árbækr or Annals of Iceland by Jón Espolin (died 1836), published 1821 sqq. : Safn or Contributions towards the History of Iceland, etc. etc. δ. Piltr og Stúlka, a novel, 1850. ε. The beautiful translation of the Odyssey by Sveinbjörn Egilsson, published under the name of Odysseifs-kvæði, in small parts, to serve as school books during the years 1829–1844. ζ. Periodicals :—Félags-rit, a periodical in fifteen volumes, 1780–1795, contains much that is valuable in Icelandic philology; cp. also Ný Félags-rit, a periodical of 1841 sqq. Ármann á Alþingi, a periodical of 1829–1832. Þjóðólfr, a newspaper, Reykjavík 1848–1869.
Ample thanks are due to the excellent reader at the Clarendon Press, Mr. Pembrey, for his watchful attention to consistency in spelling and accuracy hi punctuation, especially in the Icelandic part of this Dictionary.
© Tim Stridmann