Árni Magnússon’s rearrangement of paper manuscripts

Repository for PhD project files by Beeke Stegmann

AM 202 b fol.
AM 202 b fol. (1625-1672, Iceland)
Stofnun Árna Magnússonar í íslenskum fræðum, Reykjavík
1. (1r-12v) Hálfs saga og Hálfsrekka Icelandic Søgu þättur af Alfe Kónge Og Alfs Reckumm Note: Fol. 12v was originally blank.
i, 12, i313 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 is found in the main text block of e.g. AM 1 a fol. and AM 9 fol.
The details are:
  • Fol. 1: castle (upside up)
  • Fol. 2: countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 3: countermark (upside down)
  • Fol. 4: castle (upside up)
  • Fol. 5: castle (upside up)
  • Fol. 6: countermark (upside up)
  • Fol. 7: countermark (upside up)
  • 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)

There is later foliation in black ink in the top outer corners (1-12).
There are two quires:
  • Quire I: fols. 1-10 (1+10, 2+9, 3+8, 4+7, 5+6) (5 bifolia)
  • Quire II: fol. 11-12 (11+12) (1 bifolium) Note: This bifolium was repaired and did not originally belong together, as can be seen from the watermarks, since the countermark on fol. 12 is flipped compared to the watermark on fol. 11.
There is possibly a quire signature in the upper right-hand corner on fol. 1r (C).There is a catchword on fol. 10v, which coincides with the quire boundary.
  • The leaves have darkened due to stains and dirt. Especially the margins and edges show many stains, partially from liquid.
  • There are a few repairs close to the spine.
  • The ink bleeds through the paper.
The text is written in one column. 230 mm x 125 mm23-267-9Note: There are running titles in the hand of the scribe.
Jón Erlendsson Chancery Sole
  • Initial: Space has been left for the first initial (3 lines).
  • Initial: At section beginnings, the first letter is enlarged and slightly decorated.
  • Paratext: The rubric and first line of the text are written in larger letters. Some of them are decorated by means of floral ornamentation.
  • Paratext: The last line of the text is shorter and written in the middle; possibly an imitation of the diamond shaped chapter endings.
  • In the bottom inner corner of fol. 12v, the name
    "Arne Þordar son"
    can be read.
  • There are underlinings and notes in ink on some words in the text.
  • There are chapter numbers and some additions in pencil in the margins.

The current binding is a modern half binding with fabric on the boards from 1982. It was made in Copenhagen prior to the manuscript being sent to Iceland. Before, the manuscript was bound in a grey cardboard binding from Jens Jacob Weber's time, i.e. 1771-1780. The shelfmark (including the letter "b") and the title of the saga were written onto the front cover. On the spine, there are two stickers for the shelfmark and the running number. The pastedown is made from multiple layers of printed material.
  • An AM-slip (301 mm x 193 mm) is attached to the inner margin of fol. 1r. It reads in the hand of Árni Magnússon:
    " Halfs=Saga og Halfs-recka."
  • On the same slip, one of his scribes, possibly Styr Þorvaldsson (handrit.is), has added:
    "med hendi Siera Jons i Villinga hollte lied mier af Jone Þorlakssyne 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 larger manuscript, of which this was a part, from Jón Þorláksson in 1709 and bought it from him in 1710 (see accMat). 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: 2015.
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