Árni Magnússon’s rearrangement of paper manuscripts

Repository for PhD project files by Beeke Stegmann

AM 148 fol.
AM 148 fol. (1651, Iceland)
Stofnun Árna Magnússonar í íslenskum fræðum, Reykjavík
1. (1r-40r) Gísla saga Súrssonar Icelandic Saga af Gísla Súrssyni. [Þ]að er upphaf á sögu þessari að Hákon konungur Aðalsteinsfóstri réð fyrir Noregi Víða hefir hann búið á Mýrum og eru menn komnir frá honum. Lúku vér hér Gísla sögu Súrssonar. Guð gefi alla góða daga utan enda. Amen. Þessi saga er skrifuð eftir sögubók Þorleifs Magnússonar á Hlíðarenda, anno 1651, enduð 17. mars í Villingaholti. Copy of AM 556 a 4to.
iii, 40, iii287 mm x 178-183 mmNote: Fols. 5-6 are ca. 4 mm narrower than the rest.
The watermark is a castle with two towers and a pointy line underneath. The countermark consists of two letters, possibly "HP". The details are:
  • Fol. 1: countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 2: countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 3: countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 4: castle
  • Fol. 5: countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 6: castle (upside down)
  • Fol. 7: countermark
  • Fol. 8: castle (upside down)
  • Fol. 9: castle (upside down)
  • Fol. 10: castle (upside down)
  • Fol. 11: castle
  • Fol. 12: countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 13: countermark (upside down?)
  • Fol. 14: castle
  • Fol. 15: countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 16: castle (upside down)
  • Fol. 17: countermark
  • Fol. 18: castle (upside down)
  • Fol. 19: castle (upside down)
  • Fol. 20: countermark (?)
  • Fol. 21: castle
  • Fol. 22: countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 23: castle
  • Fol. 24: countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 25: countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 26: castle (upside down)
  • Fol. 27: castle (upside down)
  • Fol. 28: countermark
  • Fol. 29: castle (upside down)
  • Fol. 30: countermark
  • Fol. 31: castle
  • Fol. 32: castle
  • Fol. 33: castle
  • Fol. 34: castle
  • Fol. 35: castle
  • Fol. 36: countermark
  • Fol. 37: countermark
  • Fol. 38: countermark
  • Fol. 39: countermark
  • Fol. 40: countermark

There is later foliation in the top outer corners, partly in red and partly in blank ink (1-40).
There are four quires:
  • Quire I: fols. 1-10 (1+10, 2+9, 3+8, 4+7, 5+6) (5 bifolia)
  • Quire II: fols. 11-20 (11+20, 12+19, 13+18, 14+17, 15+16) (5 bifolia)
  • Quire III: fols. 21-30 (21+30, 22+29, 23+28, 24+27, 25+26) (5 bifolia)
  • Quire IV: fols. 31-40 (31+40, 32+39, 33+38, 34+37, 35+36) (5 bifolia)
There are no quire signatures.There are catchwords on fols. 10v, 20v and 30v, i.e. at the end of quires (but not at the end of the text).
  • There are stains, dirt and remnants of old glue.
  • Many leaves have darkened and the ink bleeds through the paper.
  • At quire boundaries, the paper is darker.
  • There are holes from overcast stitches in the inner margins of most leaves. The third hole from the top (the hole below the one further from the spine) and the second to last (or last) hole from the bottom which is a little further away from the spine, sometimes show traces of red.
  • The fore-edges of fols. 2-6 are especially dirty. On these leaves, the stitching holes are not visible either. Note: They were presumably less wide and were not cut during a later trimming after the leaves were rebound.
  • The shorter bifolium fols. 5+6 may have become loose in an older binding and was glued in again, as it does not show all of the characteristic stitching holes, but traces of glue on fol. 5r. Those match the traces on fol. 4v, only 4 mm further away from the spine. Note: See also the glued-on leaves fols. 4+7 in AM 185 fol.
  • There are two small characteristic water stains on the fore-edge of the leaves (one on top and one at the bottom). The lower stain first occurs on fol. 11r and is growing to ca. 20 x 5 mm on fol. 40v.
  • Fol. 40v also shows some darker spots, which may be caused by rubbed-off ink from a formerly following leaf. Ca. 40 mm from the spine and 30 mm from the top edge, there is a spot which could correlate to a filled-in initial. It is ca. 20 mm high and almost 15-20 mm wide.
The text is written in one column. 240 mm x 130 mm23-249-14Note: Fol. 40v is blank.
Jón Erlendsson Chancery Sole
  • Initial: Space has been left for major initials (2-4 lines), some of which have been filled in later. The first letters of sections are at times somewhat larger than the main text (1-2 lines).
  • Paratext: The rubrics and first lines of sections are written in larger chancery fractura script.
  • Other: On the fore-edge of fols. 2-6, there are very faint remnants of red colour. Note: These edges are also dirtier than the rest of the manuscript, which must have been trimmed after haven been rebound (see condition).
  • On the verso-side of the third front flyleaf, a later hand has added:
    "Afskrift af Skindbogen AM 556 a i Kvart."
  • Some of the missing initials have been added.
  • There are no variants in the margins but a
    in the outer margin of fol. 5v.
  • Some initials have been filled in later, e.g. on fols. 4r-v.

The binding (292 mm x 190 mm x 13 mm) is made from parchment on cardboards. Parchment strips are laced through the spine fold. Two stickers for the shelfmark and the running number are glued onto the spine. The pastedown is made from blank white paper with a coat of arms of Amsterdam watermark ("MI" underneath).
There is no accompanying material.
The manuscript part was written in Villingaholt in Iceland in 1651 (see colophon on fol. 40r).
The larger manuscript, of which this was a part, belonged to Þorbjörg Vigfúsdóttir. Next, her nephew Þórður Jónsson owned the manuscript. From him, Árni Magnússon received the codex (Loth 1960, Editiones AM A5, lxii-lxiii; Jón Helgason 1970, Opuscula IV, 354-355).

Former Physical Context:
  • When Árni Magnússon acquired the codicological unit it was part of Ms67.
  • Before then the codicological unit was part of Ms67a.

Last update: 2016.
Please note: Bibliographical references are abbreviated. For complete references please contact the editor.
Den Arnamagnæanske Samling
Nordisk Forskningsinstitut
Københavns Universitet
Njalsgade 136
2300 København S
Nordisk Forskningsinstitut
Københavns Universitet
Njalsgade 136
2300 København S
Tel. +45 35 32 85 00