From ævintýr to riddarasaga: The generic evolution of Clári saga – University of Copenhagen

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From ævintýr to riddarasaga: The generic evolution of Clári saga

In the series of AMS forskermøder the lecture is held by Védís Ragnheiðardóttir, PhD student, University of Iceland.

Bring your lunch and we will provide coffee and tea. All interested are welcome. The presentation will be in English.


In 1323, Jón Halldórsson, who in the previous year had been consecrated Bishop of Skálholt, arrived in Iceland. According to the sources, Jón, a Dominican friar, was a skilled entertainer and used exempla in his sermons. Along with several exempla, Clári saga has been attributed to Jón.

Assigning Clári saga to a genre has proven somewhat difficult: The saga is generally classified as a riddarasaga, sometimes translated and sometimes indigenous, but has also been included among the ævintýr – both in the modern and the medieval sense of the word. In my talk, I will examine the manuscript context of Clári saga, from the exempla manuscript AM 657 a–b 4to, to the various secular manuscripts where we find the saga in the context of romances, both riddarasögur (indigenous and translated) and fornaldarsögur. Furthermore, I will discuss what this change in manuscript context can tell us about the generic aspect of the saga.