Jón Halldórsson and the 14th-Century Innovations in Saga Narrative: The Case of Egils saga einhenda ok Ásmundar berserkjabana

Aktivitet: Tale eller præsentation - typerForedrag og mundtlige bidrag

Gottskálk Jensson - Foredragsholder

In this artfully written saga, as I pointed out in a 2003 article, we can identify two completely novel figures in Icelandic saga narrative: subordinate tales, organized in a narrative frame (Rahmenerzählung), and characters using the passing of time during story telling, i.e. subordinate narrative time, to wait some task or situation out in the frame story. To this we can add the saga’s bridal quest motif, which no less than in Clári saga (cf. M. Kalinke, Bridal-quest Romance in Medieval Iceland, 1990) is here used structurally to achieve narrative unity. All three figures are commonly associated with later 14th-century continental and English narrative (e.g. Boccaccio, Chaucer). But while the text of Clári saga (ed. G. Cederschiöld, 1907) relates itself directly to Bishop Jón Halldórsson, whom our sources describe as an expert Dominican preacher and teller of ‘ævintýri’ (H. Gering, Islendzk Æventyri, 1882), so far no scholar has associated Egils saga ok Ásmundar with our prelate, who so impressed Iceland with his erudition. This might be because Jón’s Latin scientia from the schools of Paris and Bologna appeared to sit less comfortably with the Urnordische elements of the Icelandic ‘fornaldarsaga’ than with the continental matière of Clári saga. In this paper, however, I intend to argue that there are nevertheless good reasons to suspect the involvement of Jón Halldórsson here too, who incidentally arrived in Iceland as bishop of Skálholt, a couple of years before the modern editor, Åke Lagerholm (Drei Lygisôgur, 1927), concluded, on entirely unrelated grounds, that Egils saga ok Ásmundar was written.
13 maj 201614 maj 2016

Begivenhed (Konference)

TitelConference on Jón Halldórsson bishop
AfholdelsesstedSkálholt Conference Centre
Grad af anerkendelseInternational begivenhed


  • Oldtidssagaer, Old Norse, Icelandic manuscripts, Latin, Medieval studies, European Culture

ID: 161657848