Opuscula, Vol. X. 1996.

Bibliotheca Arnamagnæana, Vol. XL.

Redactors: Britta Olrik Frederiksen and Finn Hansen.

323 pp. + 3 plates.

The series Opuscula presents shorter articles on matters pertaining to the manuscripts in the Arnamagnæan Collection and older Icelandic, Norwegian, Danish and Swedish philology, codicology and literary history generally, along with editions of shorter works and fragmentary texts. This volume, the tenth in the series, contains the following articles:

 1. ‘Norrøne Marialegender på europæisk baggrund’, by †Ole Widding, gives an account of the principal collections of Mary miracles that formed the basis for C. R. Unger’s edition Maríu Saga (1871): B, preserved in AM 234 fol. (c. 1340), AM 232 fol. (c. 1350), and AM 633 4to (c. 1700-1725); S, comprising the older part of Holm perg. 11 4to (c. 1325-1375); S2, the younger part of the same manuscript (c. 1400-1450); E1, miracles I-LXII as preserved in Holm perg. 1 4to (c. 1450-1500); E2, miracles LXIII-CXCII in the same manuscript; and D, the largest collection of miracles in Scandinavia, AM 634-635 4to (c. 1700-1725). The author attempts to characterise the collections as a whole, lists their contents, and gives the source for each individual miracle, as far as possible. He refers also to discussion of the miracles within international Marian research. The article concludes with two indices: Index 1 provides a list of the contents of Unger’s collection of Mary miracles, given under the titles Widding provided for them, and he tried so far as is possible to apply internationally accepted terminology to the material. Index 2 lists the miracles in alphabetical order and indicates both where they are discussed in the article as well as in which manuscripts they are preserved, where they are printed in Maríu Saga, and from which manuscripts.

2. ‘Attempts at Biblical Exegesis in Old Norse: Some Examples from Maríu saga’, by Laura Tomassini. Through a comparison between the Icelandic Maríu saga (presumably from the first half of the 13th century) – the narrative of the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the immaculate conception to the assumption into heaven – and its various foreign sources Tomassini argues that the saga’s author was concerned not only to show the Virgin as a model of spiritual perfection, but wished at the same time to resolve a number of theological difficulties to do with her earthly life. It is this attempt to adapt the story to the Old Norse mentality that gives the saga much of its interest.

3. ‘Latin sources of the Old Icelandic Speculum Penitentis’, by Ian McDougall, provides a survey of the Latin passages (printed in Appendix I) that have been identified as sources for the Old Icelandic penitential treatise known as Speculum Penitentis. The principal source is the Compendium Theologicae Veritatis, complied c. 1260-1265 by the Dominican writer Hugo Ripelin of Strassburg, which was also made use of in a number of other Old Norse works, a list of which is given. Material from other sources is also used, including Caesarius of Arles’s Sermo 179. A comparison of the various versions of the Speculum Penitentis with the available sources and parallels supports Jonna Louis-Jensen’s proposed stemma for the Speculum Penitentis (Opuscula VIII, 1985). Appendix II presents a sample of passages from Compendium Theologicae Veritatis incorporated into another Icelandic penitential treatise, called Oculus Sacerdotis after William of Pagula’s work of the same name (c. 1319-1328).

4. ‘Dómsdagslýsing í AM 764 4to’, by Svanhildur Óskarsdóttir. Hugo Ripelin of Strassburg’s Compendium Theologicae Veritatis is here shown to be the source for two short passages on the coming of the Antichrist and the Last Judgement found in AM 764 4to (c. 1376-1386) and in Tveggja postula saga Jóns ok Jakobs (c. 1300). A comparison between the Old Norse passages suggests that the compliers of 764 made use of a version of the saga – although it is impossible at the present time to say which – rather than a separate translation of Hugo Ripelin’s work.

5. ‘Kannte der Verfasser der Laxdæla saga Gregors des Großen Moralia in Iob?’, by Wilhelm Heizmann. The much discussed statement made by Höskuldr in Chapter 14 of Laxdæla saga, ‘ok svá var sökum horfinn sem hrísla eini’, is here interpreted in the light of Gregory the Great’s exegesis on the juniper in his Moralia in Iob (XX, X, 21), with which learned Christians circles in Iceland may be assumed to have been acquainted.

6. ‘Melkólfs saga ok Salomons konungs’, by John Tucker, is a diplomatic edition with accompanying facsimile of the only surviving fragment of Melkólfs saga ok Salomons konungs (AM 696 4to III, fol. 1, ca. 1400). Improved photographic techniques have made it possible to eliminate a number of misreadings in Jess H. Jackson’s edition of 1952.

7. ‘Et kort utdrag av Heimskringla’, by Jon Gunnar Jørgensen, presents an edition of a previously unpublished Danish résumé of Heimskringla (apart from Hálfdanar saga svarta) preserved in Stock. papp. fol. nr 84, ff. 28v-36v. The introduction provides: 1) a sketch of the circle of learned humanists in 16th-century Bergen, of which the résumé is a product; 2) an account of the contents of the manuscript, its localisation (Bergen), probable date (between 1559 and 1568) and identification of the scribe (a secretary at the castle Bergenhus); 3) an examination of the relationship between the manuscript as a whole and the Heimskringla résumé in particular and Bergens Fundas and Bergens Rimkrønike (the manuscript was in all likelihood used as a source for a revision of these two works); 4) an examination of the contents of the résumé (which gives priority to the kings' connections with Bergen); 5) an attempt to identify the source used for the résumé (in all probability the manuscript Kringla); and 6) a short description of the linguistic features of the résumé (which would not preclude the author having been a Norwegian). A facsimile of f. 28v is included.

8. ‘Marginalia poetica’, by Jonna Louis-Jensen, deals with two marginal verses from the 16th century: 1) ‘Bægt var mér frá blíðum hjörva runni’ (found in the fragment AM 921 4to II), a complainte d’amour addressed by a woman to a man, and 2) ‘Ferðin klökk með fleina hlökk’ (preserved in AM 713 4to, f. 46v), a name-riddle of a type frequently found in rímur, where a name is spelt through kennings or other poetic circumlocutions for the runic names of the individual letters (fé, úr, þurs etc.), as exemplified in the Icelandic rune-poem Þrídeilur.

9. ‘Manuscripta Rosencrantziana’, by Mariane Overgaard. The article examines the direct and indirect evidence in the Arnamagnæan Collection pertaining to Árni Magnússon’s purchase in 1695 of manuscripts from the estate of etatsråd Jens Rosenkrantz, and to Árni’s sale of printed books to Rosenkrantz. Among other things the evidence shows that there must have been a general register of Árni’s library, even though Kristian Kålund (Arne Magnussons håndskriftfortegnelser, 1909) claimed that none was found at the time of his death in 1730.

10. ‘Den suhmske skriver “Magnus”’, by †Helle Jensen. The scribe named ‘Magnus’ in the manuscripts Ny kgl. Sml. 1019 a-d fol., Ny kgl. Sml. 1151 fol. and Ny kgl. Sml. 1228 fol. (all previously part of P. F. Suhm’s collection and written for him) is here identified as Magnús Jónsson, whose hand is to be found for example in the manuscript Ny kgl. Sml. 1689 4to, and not as Markús Magnússon, as has hitherto been thought. Four samples of the hand are provided as documentation.

11. ‘Almen temporal er-sætning med og uden korrelat i norrønt sprog – bidrag til typens beskrivelse’, by Finn Hansen, presents a synchronic and diachronic analysis of the common temporal er-clause in Old Norse, both with and without a correlate (i.e. þá). The chief result of the synchronic analysis is that þá is obligatory where a clause introduced only by er could have more than one possible function with respect to the governing clause. The result of the diachronic analysis is that in cases where there is a free choice between þá + er and 0 + er, there is an decrease in the former and increase in the latter through the whole of the Old Icelandic period and in Old Norwegian at least up until c. 1300, a development linked by the author to changes in the composition of the corpus.

12. ‘En note til skriftespejlet i AM 75 8vo’, by Britta Olrik Frederiksen, is a correction of a reading in Karl Martin Nielsen’s edition of the Old Danish prayer book, AM 75 8vo, from c. 1500 (Middelalderens danske Bønnebøger III, 1957); the suggested reading is confirmed by a parallel in a newly discovered Latin source, Hugo Ripelin of Strassburg’s Compendium Theologicae Veritatis (hoptæ (sandhet), p. 171, should read hoxtæ (sandhet), cf. the source’s summa (veritas)).

All the articles are all accompanied by summaries in English, and the volume concludes with indices of manuscripts and names.