Árni Magnússon’s rearrangement of paper manuscripts

Repository for PhD project files by Beeke Stegmann

AM 169 b fol.
AM 169 b fol. (1625-1672, Iceland)
Stofnun Árna Magnússonar í íslenskum fræðum, Reykjavík
1. (1r-13v) Þorsteins þáttur bæjarmagns Saga af Þorsteine Bæiar magn Note: Most of fol. 13v and all of fol. 14 are blank.
14312 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 a fol., AM 192 fol. and AM 202 b fol. The details are:
  • Fol. 1: castle (upside up)
  • Fol. 2: countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 3: countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 4: countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 5: castle (upside up)
  • Fol. 6: countermark (upside up)
  • Fol. 7: castle (upside down)
  • Fol. 8: castle (upside down)
  • Fol. 9: castle (upside down)
  • Fol. 10: countermark (upside up)
  • Fol. 11: castle (upside up)
  • Fol. 12: countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 13: castle (upside up)
  • Fol. 14: countermark (upside down)

There is later foliation in black ink in the top outer corners (1-13).
There are two quires:
  • Quire I: fols. 1-10 (1+10, 2+9, 3+8, 4+7, 5+6) (5 bifolia) Note: This is an original quire.
  • Quire II: fols. 11-24 (11, 12, 13+14) (2 singletons, 1 bifolium) Note: The bifolium fol. 13+14 may be an original bifolium, even though it shows repairs. The two singletons are now glued onto fol. 14.
There are no quire signatures.There is a catchword on fol. 10v, which coincided with the quire boundary.
  • There are many stains and the ink bleeds through the paper.
  • Fols. 11v-12r show traces of old glue in the inner margins and may have been glued together at some point.
  • Fols. 10v-11r show remnants of glue in the inner margins as well. Despite the fact that the traces are wider on fol. 11r than on the previous page, the remnants could be matching.
  • The fore-edge of fols. 13-14 were trimmed in a crooked line, so that the top of the leaves is not as wide as the bottom (and the rest of the manuscript).
  • Fols. 1r and 10v-11r are darker than the rest of the leaves, which coincided with the quire boundaries. Fol. 12r, however, is also very dirty, which indicates that it (or the previous leaf) may have been loose. The older glue on those leaves further supports this assumption.
  • The blank leaf fol. 14v is darker as well, indicating that the following leaves of this original quire were removed early on.
  • The ink from the last lines on fol. 13v has rubbed off onto fol. 14r.
The text is written in one column. 230 mm x 125 mm23-268-11Note: There are running titles in the hand of the scribe.
Jón Erlendsson Chancery Sole
  • Initial: Space has been left for major initials (2-4 lines). Other initials were written by the scribe. They span 1-2 lines and are decorated by means of additional strokes and at times floral ornamentation.
  • Paratext: The first lines of chapters and sections are slightly enlarged, but are written in the same script type.
  • Paratext: The chapter ending is written as a block (no diamond shape).
  • On fol. 13v, a later hand has added the final rubric.
  • There are some additions in the margins (partially by the scribe).

The current binding is a grey cardboard binding, probably from Jens Jacob Weber's time (1771-1780). On the front cover,
"No 169 B. Saga af Þorsteine Bæarmagn."
is written in black ink. On the spine, there are two stickers for the shelfmark and the running number. Through the pastedown printed material is visible.
  • An AM-slip (82 mm x 159 mm) is bound in front of the manuscript. It reads in the hand of Árni Magnússon:
    "Af Þorsteine Bæjarmagn."
  • One of his scribes has added on the same 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
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