Den Arnamagnæanske Kommissions udgave af Den Ældre Edda 1787-1828

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This paper presents a history of the editing of the monumental three-volume edition of eddic poetry, published by the Arnamagnæan Commission in Copenhagen from 1787 to 1828 (volume 2 appeared in 1818). This was the first ever critical edition of the majority of the poems of the Poetic Edda, and it took over four decades to complete, involving two generations of Icelandic scholars working in Copenhagen. The paper focuses on the challenges of editing this corpus of mythological poetry, in the absence of a defined place for it in the Christian literature of the time, and the first entanglement of this fabled poetry with continental ideologies from preromantic rationalising scepticism to cultural nationalism, comparative historical linguistics and romantic delerium. Reviews are used throughout to document the early reception of the edition, and to recover its contemporary critical assessment. The paper also relates the main contents of the introductions to each of the three volumes, and describes the practical difficulties posed by the eventful history of the period, as far as this can now be recovered. Brief portraits are given of both the obscure and celebrity scholars of Icelandic origin, to whom we owe the accomplishment of these all but forgotten tomes. Tomes that were highly influential on the reception of the Poetic Edda, but are now largely eclipsed by more recent work because of their repellent scholarly medium of Neo-Latin Kunstsprache. Through giving an account of the history of this edition, the author of this paper also aims to delineate some of the background for the rise of Old Norse Mythology as an academic discipline.
TidsskriftOpuscula - Bibliotheca Arnamagnæana
Udgave nummer18
Sider (fra-til)107-157
Antal sider50
StatusUdgivet - 2020

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