Opuscula, Vol. XI. 2003.
Bibliotheca Arnamagnæana, Vol. XLII.
Redactor: Britta Olrik Frederiksen.
337 pp., 3 colour 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 eleventh in the series, contains the following articles:
1. ‘The Medieval Danish Liturgy of St Knud Lavard’, by Michael Chesnutt. The text of this liturgy is fully preserved in a Danish manuscript, Kiel University Library S. H. 8A, from the end of the thirteenth century. The manuscript contains text and music (Gregorian chant) for the Office and Mass as observed at the Benedictine monastery of Our Lady in Ringsted, Zealand. Michael Chesnutt’s monograph presents a new annotated edition of the liturgy and analyses the process whereby the extant text was put together from the functionally delimited books in the monastery. The Ringsted liturgy turns out to be an expansion of an already existing secular order of service. Faint traces of this can be seen in books from the periphery of the Danish archdiocese ca. 1500, while the cathedrals at Roskilde and Odense elaborated their late medieval orders of service with elements borrowed from Ringsted. The Kiel manuscript seems to have been the concrete medium through which these borrowings were transmitted. The monograph has also been issued in an offprint with independent indexes.
2. ‘A paper manuscript of Eyrbyggja saga. ÍB 180 8vo’, by Forrest S. Scott. The article is a presentation of a seventeenth-century manuscript of Eyrbyggja saga, written in 1654 at the farm Munaðarnes in Borgarfjörður (West Iceland) by one Jón Þórarinsson, who must have been a boy of fourteen or even younger when he wrote it. There is another hand in the manuscript which gives the impression of being that of a teacher, and copying the saga may have formed part of the boy’s school training. Pupil and teacher share a couple of linguistic peculiarities, notably a confusion between /u/ and /ö/ and between /i/ and /e/ which could perhaps be taken as the earliest evidence of the dialect feature known as flámæli (‘slack-jawed speech’). Stemmatically the text of ÍB 180 8vo belongs to the so-called ‘A class’, i.e. the same class as the lost vellum Vatnshyrna, but it is obviously not derived from Vatnshyrna. It follows that the modernisation of the Eyrbyggja saga text characteristic of the A class was not introduced by the scribe of Vatnshyrna, Magnús Þórhallsson, but was already present in his exemplar. The article concludes with a list of some fifty readings in earlier editions where ÍB 180 8vo has preserved more original A-class readings against the Vatnshyrna text (known from seventeenth-century transcripts). These readings include a small number of hapax legomena which, Forrest S. Scott argues, should be relegated to ghost-word status in future dictionaries (p. 180): †bægja (heraðsvist), †fyrirblað, †stórlangr, †útsunnanveðr. 3. ‘Mary Magdalen’s precious ointment’, by Kirsten Wolf. Mörthu saga ok Maríu Magðalenu contains the only instance quoted in Fritzner’s dictionary of the noun spíz (or spís) in a meaning other than ‘spices’ or ‘tasty food’. Fritzner was unable to suggest a translation, but it is shown here that the word in this context is a translation of Latin spica/spicatus ‘spike(d)’. It is therefore suggested that we here have a loan from Middle Low German spisse ‘point’. The word spíss ‘point’ in more recent Icelandic is assumed to be borrowed from Danish spids (with the same MLG origin).
4. ‘The “holy bishop Licius” in AM 194 8vo’, by Margaret Cormack. It is argued that the scribe of the geographical tract in AM 194 8vo omitted a line referring to the diocese of Roskilde, whose patron saint was Pope Lucius. This would explain the reference to an otherwise unknown ‘holy Licius’ (error for Lucius) in Lund.
5. ‘En bog i Jomfru Marias bibliotek. Kalendariet AM 249d fol. + “Psalter VII” i Acc. 7d’, by Mariane Overgaard. AM 249d fol. was written at the end of the fourteenth century. It contains a calendar of eight leaves that originally belonged with a much larger psalter of which only a few leaves survive. Numerous annotations in the manuscript make it possible to trace its history as far back as 1469, when the landowner Eiríkur Loptsson of Grund presented it to the monastery at Munkaþverá. The book came into private hands ca. 1550, and together with the law codex Skinnastaðabók was handed down for five generations in a family connected with Reykjahlíð and Skinnastaðir, ending up in 1700 with bishop Björn Þorleifsson of Hólar, who gave it to Árni Magnússon in 1703.
6. ‘Adjektivet †blymligr’, by Jonna Louis-Jensen. The ghost-word blymligr is found only once in Old Norse literature, in the so-called beta recension of Trójumanna saga, where it is used as an attribute to the noun heri ‘hare’. It is suggested here that blymligr is a scribal corruption of ósýniligr (written with tall s) ‘unsightly’, ‘unimportant’. In the passage in question the ‘most unsightly hare’ is contrasted with the ‘best hawk’ (used in hunting).
7. ‘DFS 67’, by Aðalheiður Guðmundsdóttir. A catalogue of MS DFS 67 in the Danish Folklore Archives, containing a collection of Icelandic ballads, games, and other kinds of popular pastimes, partly in the hand of Jón Sigurðsson (1811-1879). Two large sections of the manuscript are primary sources of Icelandic folklore.
8. ‘Acc. 7c, Hs. 94. Fragments of an English homiliary in the Arnamagnæan collection’, by Ian McDougall. A description and edition of three vellum leaves in the fragment collection Accessoria 7 in the Arnamagnæan Collection. The leaves, written in an English Gothic book-hand of the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century, are in Latin and presumably the remnants of an English copy of a redaction of the twelfth-century Carthusian Homiliary. Marginal entries indicate several Icelandic owners.
9. ‘Den kluntede afskriver. Finnur Jónsson og Morkinskinna’, by Ármann Jakobsson. This article examines Finnur Jónsson’s (1858-1934) positivist and rationalist way of reasoning, using his studies on Morkinskinna as a case. To Finnur the original ‘text’ was identical with the important events of each king’s reign, and repetitions, illogicalities, and anecdotes without bearing on these events must therefore be considered late and added by clumsy scribes when they occur in the extant saga.
10. ‘“Mansöngr” revisited’, by †Bjarni Einarsson. In this article Bjarni Einarsson maintains that there is not, as has recently been claimed, any evidence in Grágás or the Sagas of Icelanders that the word mansöngr meant ‘erotic libel’. A mansöngr seems to have been a poem addressed to a woman who was the object of the poet’s desire, and there is therefore no need to postulate a change of meaning - which in any case would be difficult to explain - when the word later appears (in the form mansöngur) as a designation for a love poem introducing each canto (ríma) in an epic poem consisting of several cantos (rímnaflokkur). As a genre the mansöngr is thought by Bjarni Einarsson to be inspired by the poetry of the French troubadours.
11. ‘Småstykker’, by Jonna Louis-Jensen. 1. ‘Sværdkenningen *fetilnjóli. En konjektur til Harmsól str. 64’. The meaningless compound ‘fetil kiosa’ (gen. pl.) in Harmsól st. 64 has hitherto been taken to be a scribal corruption of fetilhjóla or fetilkjóla and interpreted as a kenning for ‘shield’. Here it is suggested that ‘kiosa’ (written with tall s) is a corruption of njóla ‘plant stem’ (especially of angelica), and that fetilnjóli is a kenning for sword. 2. ‘Adjektivet hundvíss’. The adjective hundvíss is generally translated as ‘very wise’ and regarded as a formation with the intensive prefix hund-, known from e.g. hundmargr, hundforn. It is argued that the element hund- in hundvíss is rather to be identified as the noun hund- ‘dog’, the original meaning of the adjective being ‘able to follow a trail like a tracking dog’. Confirmation of this hypothesis is sought in Heimskringla’s tale of two Lapps who are so vísir that they can follow a trail like dogs in thaw as well as frost.
All contributions apart from the first and last are accompanied by summaries in English or Danish. The volume concludes with indexes of manuscripts and names.