Árni Magnússon’s rearrangement of paper manuscripts

Repository for PhD project files by Beeke Stegmann

AM 185 fol.
AM 185 fol. (1625-1672, Iceland)
Stofnun Árna Magnússonar í íslenskum fræðum, Reykjavík
1. (1r-30v) Dínus saga drambláta (defective) Hier Byriast Saga Af Dynuse Dramblata Ok lykr svo Söghu Dynus hinns Dramblaata sonar Tholomei konungs, og hinnar fögru Philotemie Geime wor Gud Allra Amen. Copied into AM 184 fol. Note: Fols. 5-6 are blank. They have been added later to indicate a lacuna. Since the lacuna is not present in AM 184 fol., the leaves must have gone missing and were replaced after the copying was finished (Kålund 1889-1894, 1: 155).
i, 30, i290-296 mm x 184-186 mm
There are two different watermarks.
One is a large foolscap with five bells in the collar and a mask on the face; the other one is a castle with two towers and some floral ornaments (or crown). The countermark of this watermark is a large floral shape. Note: The castle watermark is different from the watermark in e.g. AM 155 fol.
On the added leaves fol. 5-6, there is a small coat of arms of Amsterdam with the letters "PL" (written together) as countermark.
The details are:
  • Fol. 1: floral countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 2: floral countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 3: floral countermark
  • Fol. 4: castle (upside down)
  • Fol. 5: coat of arms
  • Fol. 6: "PL"
  • Fol. 7: floral countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 8: castle
  • Fol. 9: castle (upside down)
  • Fol. 10: castle (upside down)
  • Fol. 11: castle
  • Fol. 12: castle (upside down)
  • Fol. 13: "blank"?
  • Fol. 14: "blank"?
  • Fol. 15: "blank"?
  • Fol. 16: foolscap
  • Fol. 17: foolscap
  • Fol. 18: foolscap (upside down)
  • Fol. 19: floral countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 20: floral countermark
  • Fol. 21: "blank"?
  • Fol. 22: foolscap (upside down)
  • Fol. 23: foolscap
  • Fol. 24: "blank"?
  • Fol. 25: foolscap
  • Fol. 26: "blank"?
  • Fol. 27: foolscap
  • Fol. 28: "blank"?
  • Fol. 29: "blank"?
  • Fol. 30: foolscap (upside down)

There is later foliation in black ink in the top outer corners (1-30).
There are three 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)
There are no quire signatures.There are catchwords on fols. 10v and 20v, which coincide with the quire boundaries.
  • The leaves are dirty with many stains.
  • Especially close to the spine, the paper is fragile and has been repaired.
  • There is a lacuna in between fols. 4v and 7r, because one bifolium is missing. Now, there is a blank bifolium in its place, in order to indicate the lacuna.
  • There are holes from overcast stitches in the inner margins of the leaves. On the last leaves, there are partially two sets of stitching holes.
  • In the third hole from the top and the second from the bottom edge, there are traces of red visible.
  • The top margins have been trimmed, so that some text was partly cut off. This trimming, however, was done before the edges were coloured red (see decoration).
  • Fol. 30v, the last page, shows a larger repair on the fore-edge, a red stain, and lines from folding or dry ruling.
  • The first page, 1r, shows a line of red dots in the outer margin close to the text. The stitching holes on this leaf are rather big, but single holes except for the second hole from top which is a double hole with the larger hole being more or less inline with the others and a smaller hole further away from the spine.
  • There is a hole caused by damage in the lower inner corner of all leaves. In the first leaf, this damage has the shape of two oblong holes, forming a 5 mm long slightly bended line. In the later leaves, the damage resembles more a circular hole.
  • Fols. 4-7 are narrower than the other leaves, since they were not bound in straight. From an old glueing line it is moreover visible that they were glued into the quire, i.e. onto fols. 3v and 8r, possibly because they had become loose. This is also why the innermost bifolium may have gone missing. Note: The same kind of mis-alignement occurred in AM 148 fol. (fol. 5+6).
The text is written in one column. 250 mm x 130 mm26-279-11
Jón Erlendsson Chancery Sole
  • Initial: Space has been left for initials (3-6 lines).
  • Paratext: The rubrics and the first line of text are written in larger letters.
  • Paratext: The end of the text is written in the shape of half a diamond.
  • Other: There are traces of dark red colour on all edges. The red colour partly caused stains in the margins.
  • There are a few marks in the margins and underlinings in the text.
  • In the lower margin of fol. 4v, Árni Magnússon has written:
    "hier vantar 2 blöd"
  • The bifolium fols. 5+6 is a later addition.

The manuscript is bound in a modern half binding with fabric on the boards. The binding was made in Copenhagen in 1982 prior to the manuscript coming to Iceland. Before, the manuscript was bound in a grey cardboard binding from the librarian Jens Jacob Weber's time, i.e. 1771-1780. The title and shelfmark are written onto the front cover of that binding and there are remnants of two stickers on the spine. The pastedown is made from printed material.

An AM-slip (159 mm x 105 mm) written by Árni Magnússon is located in the front of the manuscript. It reads on its recto-side:
"Ur bok Þorbiargar Vigfussdottur, er kom til min fra Siera Þorde Jonssyne."
On the verso-side the word
is written in a different hand and has been crossed out.
The codicological unit was written in Iceland. Since it was written by Jón Erlendsson, it was in all likelihood written in Villingaholt in the middle of the seventeenth century (Kålund 1889-1894, 1: 155).
The larger manuscript, of which this is 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