Árni Magnússon’s rearrangement of paper manuscripts

Repository for PhD project files by Beeke Stegmann

AM 169 a fol.
AM 169 a fol. (1625-1672, Iceland)
Stofnun Árna Magnússonar í íslenskum fræðum, Reykjavík
1. (1r-21v) Egils saga einhenda og Ásmundar berserkjabana Icelandic Sagann af Eigle Einhendta Note: Fol. 22 is blank.
i, 22, i312 mm x 192 mm
The watermark consists of two round towers. They are connected by an archway without portcullis but with a pointed gable. There is a pointy line underneath. The countermark consists of the letters "HP" written together.
Note: The same watermark occurs e.g. in AM 9 fol., AM 169 b fol., AM 192 fol. and AM 202 b fol. The details are:
  • Fol. 1: countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 2: countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 3: countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 4: countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 5: countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 6: castle (upside down)
  • Fol. 7: castle (upside down)
  • Fol. 8: castle (upside down)
  • Fol. 9: castle (upside down)
  • Fol. 10: castle (upside up)
  • Fol. 11: countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 12: castle (upside up)
  • Fol. 13: castle (upside up)
  • Fol. 14: castle (upside up)
  • Fol. 15: countermark (upside up)
  • Fol. 16: countermark (upside up)
  • Fol. 17: countermark (upside up)
  • Fol. 18: castle (upside down)
  • Fol. 19: countermark (upside up)
  • Fol. 20: countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 21: castle (upside up)
  • Fol. 22: countermark (upside up)

There is later foliation in black ink in the top outer corners (1-21).
There are three quires:
  • Quire I: fols. 1-10 (1+10, 2+9, 3+8, 4+7, 5+6) (5 bifolia) Note: The bifolium 1+10 has been repaired and does not originally belong together. Fol. 10 seems to have formed the outer bifolium of quire II (together with fol. 19). Since fol. 1r is very dirty, it is likely that it was at the beginning of this quire and thus a singleton leaf (see condition).
  • Quire II: fols. 11-18 (11+18, 12+17, 13+16, 14+15) (4 bifolia) Note: This quire used to contain 5 bifolia (see above).
  • Quire III: fols. 19-22 (19, 20, 21+22) (2 singletons, 1 bifolium) Note: The singletons 19 and 20 are now attached to fol. 22. Fol. 19 used to form the last leaf of the original second quire. The bifolium 21+22 has been repaired, but may be an original bifolium according to the watermark. The final leaves of this quire are not preserved.
There are no quire signatures.There is a catchword on fol. 19v, which indicates that this page used to be at the end of a quire.
  • There are many stains and the ink bleeds through the paper.
  • Fols. 1r, 9v-10r and 19v-20r are especially dirty.
  • Fols. 1v-2r and 9v-10r show traces of old glue close to the spine. Note: The bifolium 1+10 was repaired in such a way that the watermarks were twisted. The text, however, is not upside down. That means it is likely that fol. 1 was a singleton from the beginning (see collation: quire I).
  • Fol. 20r-v shows traces of old glue in the margins. Moreover, there is a narrow slip (35 mm wide) bound in front of the leaf. This slip used to be pasted onto the margin of fol. 20r, which is in bad condition. Since fol. 21r also shows traces of old glue that match the traces on fol. 19v, this indicates that these two leaves maz have been glued together at some point. Fol. 20 must thus be an addition of some kind.
  • The leaves have been trimmed causing damage to the marginalia.
  • Fol. 22r shows rubbed-off ink from fol. 21v.
The text is written in one column. 230 mm x 125 mm23-258-10Note: There are running titles.
Jón Erlendsson Chancery Sole
  • Initial: Space has been left for major initials (3-4 lines). Other initials are written by the scribe. They span 1-2 lines and are decorated by means of additional strokes and at times floral ornamentation.
  • Paratext: The chapter ending is written in the shape of half a diamond.
  • In the margins, there are some additions by the scribe.

The current binding is a modern half binding with fabric on the boards from 1982. Before, the manuscript was bound in a grey cardboard binding from ca. 1771-1780, i.e. the period of the librarian Jens Jacob Weber. The title and shelfmark (including the letter) are written onto the front cover of that old binding and there are two stickers for the shelfmark and the running number on the spine. Through the pastedown, printed material is visible.
  • An AM-slip (82 mm x 158 mm) is bound in front of the manuscript. It reads in the hand of Árni Magnússon:
    "Saga Eigils Einhendta."
  • One of his scribes has added on the slip:
    "med hendi Siera Jons i Villinga hollte lied mier af Jone Þorlakssÿne 1709. og sidann selld 1710. var tilforna i innbundinni bok."
The codicological unit was written in Iceland. Kålund dates it to the seventeenth century (Kålund 1889-1894, 1: 108), but the active writing period of the scribe was ca. 1625-1672.
Árni Magnússon borrowed the whole manuscript, of which this was a part, from Jón Þorláksson in 1709 and bought it from him in 1710 (see AM-slip). Subsequently, he took the book apart and rearranged the pieces.

Former Physical Context:
  • When Árni Magnússon acquired the codicological unit it was part of Ms92.

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