Árni Magnússon’s rearrangement of paper manuscripts

Repository for PhD project files by Beeke Stegmann

AM 261 4to
AM 261 4to
Stofnun Árna Magnússonar í íslenskum fræðum, Reykjavík
This manuscript consists of 3 parts.
Codex
Paper
i, 72, i

The current binding is a modern half binding with fabric on the boards and leather covering on the spine and the corners. It was made by Birgitte Dall in April 1970. Before, the manuscript was bound in a grey cardboard binding with plain white paper with chain-lines as pastedown. The boards are thin and covered in grey, rather coarse, paper. The shelfmark
"261"
was written onto the binding in brown ink twice, once in the top left-hand corner of the front cover and at the top of the spine. Inside the spine, parts of wastepaper are visible showing drawings in brown ink. This older binding is kept in the same box as the manuscript.
A thin booklet is kept with the manuscript. It contains three bifolia of blue paper with notes on the contents of AM 261 4to in the hand of Jón Sigurðsson. In front of the blue leaves, a slip in the hand of Jón Þorkelsson is found. It reads:
"AM 261. 4to.
Pappír þann, sem límdur hafði verið yfir alla 139. blaðsíðu (= bl.70r) í þessu handriti og gerði hana með öllu ólesandi, lét eg leysa af, svo nu er þessi hlið blaðsins jafnskýr sem hin.
Reykjavík 30/4.1907. Jón Þorkelsson."
AM 261 4to CU1 (1590-1610, Iceland)
1. (1r-66r) Skálholt cartulary Icelandic Vm Sklaholltz Reka fyrer Vestan Note: There are a total of 50 sections, among them máldagar, testimonies, court decisions and letters. Fols. 66v-68v and many others are blank.
Codex
Paper
68194-202 mm x 160-166 mm
There are different watermarks, some of which are difficult to see due to the condition of the paper. The details are:
  • Fol. 1: "blank"
  • Fol. 2: "blank"
  • Fol. 3: "blank"
  • Fol. 4: "blank"
  • Fol. 5: "blank"
  • Fol. 6: asymmetrical flower?
  • Fol. 7: asymmetrical flower?
  • Fol. 8: "blank"
  • Fol. 9: "blank"
  • Fol. 10: coat of arms with lime tree (3 leaves) (lower part)
  • Fol. 11: "blank"
  • Fol. 12: Coat of arms with curved branch (top part)
  • Fol. 13: Coat of arms with curved branch (bottom part)
  • Fol. 14: "blank"
  • Fol. 15: Coat of arms with lime tree (3 leaves) (top part)
  • Fol. 16: "blank" ?
  • Fol. 17: flower with 14 petals (larger part)
  • Fol. 18: flower with 14 petals (smaller part)
  • Fol. 19: flower with 14 petals (smaller part)
  • Fol. 20: flower with 14 petals (larger part)
  • Fol. 21: flower with 14 petals (larger part)
  • Fol. 22: flower with 14 petals (smaller part)
  • Fol. 23: "blank"
  • Fol. 24: leaf (shape of lime tree leaf)
  • Fol. 25: "blank"
  • Fol. 26: leaf (shape of lime tree leaf)
  • Fol. 27: "blank"
  • Fol. 28: leaf (shape of lime tree leaf)
  • Fol. 29: "blank"
  • Fol. 30: "blank"
  • Fol. 31: lily (top part)
  • Fol. 32: lily (top part)
  • Fol. 33: "blank"
  • Fol. 34: "blank"
  • Fol. 35: "blank"
  • Fol. 36: "blank"
  • Fol. 37: lily (bottom part)
  • Fol. 38: lily (bottom part)
  • Fol. 39: flower with 14 petals?
  • Fol. 40: "blank"
  • Fol. 41: "blank"
  • Fol. 42: "blank"
  • Fol. 43: "blank"
  • Fol. 44: flower with 14 petals?
  • Fol. 45: flower with triangle pistil (top part)
  • Fol. 46: flower with triangle pistil (bottom part)
  • Fol. 47: "blank"
  • Fol. 48: "blank"
  • Fol. 49: flower with triangle pistil (top part)
  • Fol. 50: flower with triangle pistil (bottom part)
  • Fol. 51: "blank"
  • Fol. 52: flower with triangle pistil (top part)
  • Fol. 53: flower with triangle pistil (bottom part)
  • Fol. 54: "blank"
  • Fol. 55: "blank"
  • Fol. 56: coat of arms in shape of an oak tree leaf (bottom part)
  • Fol. 57: coat of arms in shape of an oak tree leaf (top part)
  • Fol. 58: "blank"
  • Fol. 59: "blank"?
  • Fol. 60: "blank"?
  • Fol. 61: "blank"?
  • Fol. 62: "blank"?
  • Fol. 63: "blank"
  • Fol. 64: "blank"
  • Fol. 65: "blank"
  • Fol. 66: "blank"
  • Fol. 67: "blank"
  • Fol. 68: "blank"
The watermark on the AM-slip b in front is a foolscap in a collar with seven bells. No watermark is visible on AM-slip a.

There is later pagination in black ink on every other page, i.e. in the top right-hand corner of each recto-page (1-135).
There are thirteen quires:
  • Quire I: fols. 1-4 (1+4, 2+3) (2 bifolia)
  • Quire II: fols. 5-8 (5+8, 6+7) (2 bifolia)
  • Quire III: fols. 9-16 (9, 10+15, 11+14, 12+13, 16) (2 singletons, 3 bifolia) Note: Fols. 9 and 16 have been joined during restoration, but do not originally belong together. Instead, fol. 16 may have formed a bifolium together with fol. 23 of quire V.
  • Quire IV: fols. 17-22 (17+22, 18+21, 19+20) (3 bifolia)
  • Quire V: fols. 23-28 (23, 24, 25+26, 27, 28) (4 singletons, 1 bifolium) Note: The singletons 23 and 28 as well as 24 and 27 have been joined to bifolia. Originally, fols. 27 and 28 used to belong to the following quire.
  • Quire VI: fols. 29-30 (29+30) (1 bifolium) Note: This bifolium now forms its own quire. Originally, the singletons 27 and 28 belonged to this quire.
  • Quire VII: fols. 31-38 (31+38, 32+37, 33+36, 34+35) (4 bifolia) Note: This is an original quire.
  • Quire VIII: fols. 39-44 (39+44, 40+43, 41+42) (3 bifolia)
  • Quire IX: fols. 45-50 (45+50, 46+49, 48+49) (3 bifolia)
  • Quire X: fols. 51-54 (51+54, 52+53) (2 bifolia)
  • Quire XI: fols. 55-58 (55+58, 56+57) (2 bifolia)
  • Quire XII: fols. 59-60 (59+60) (1 bifolium)
  • Quire XIII: fols. 61-68 (61, 62+68, 63, 64+67, 65+66) (2 singletons, 3 bifolia) Note: Fols. 61 and 62 may have been stuck-in singletons from the beginning on.
There are no quire signatures.There are catchwords here and there.
  • The leaves are partially untrimmed.
  • There are many water stains, often spanning several quires.
  • There are smaller patches with discoloration, possibly from mold.
  • Some leaves show older folding lines, usually indicating that the leaves were folded twice into quarters, e.g. fols. 5-8.
  • Many leaves have been repaired using Japanese paper, especially close to the spine and at the fore-edge.
  • Fol. 59 was in very poor shape before restoration and some text was damaged.
  • Some leaves at the outside of quires show traces of older glue from a former binding, e.g. fols. 4v, 5r, 8v, 24r, 27v, 39r, 58v.
  • On fol. 65r, the text closest to the fore-edge was slightly damaged due to trimming.
The text is written in one column. 155-180 mm x 125-145 mm21-357-12
Oddur Einarsson Hybrida Minor
Info: Oddur Einarsson wrote e.g. fol. 2r:4-16.
Unknown Hybrida Minor
Unknown Kurrent Minor
Info: The many different scribes have not yet been recorded.
  • Initial: Most initials are enlarged and span ca. 2-4 lines.
  • Paratext: Most rubrics are emphasised, either by means of larger letters or by means of a different script type.
There are no later additions.
There are two AM-slips:
  • AM-slip a (50 mm x 136 mm) is located in front of the manuscript where it is glued onto AM-slip b. Árni Magnússon has written on it:
    "Utan ä pergameninu stöd: Brefabok Herra Oddz Einarssonar."
    as well as
    "Scalholtensia varia."
    A later hand has added the number
    "261"
    , which Kålund expanded into the full shelfmark using red ink.
  • AM-slip b (200 mm x 160 mm) is a bifolium, which is located in front of the manuscript. Árni Magnússon has written on the recto-side of the second leaf:
    "AMagnæus possidet. er komid fra Leyrárgỏrdum."
    A later hand has added the number
    "261"
    , which Kålund expanded into the full shelfmark using red ink. Below the ownership-note, AM-slip b is glued on.
The codicological unit was written in Iceland. Kålund dates it to ca. 1600 (Kålund 1889-1894, 1: 520-521). According to the dates found in the codicological unit itself, many parts were written in the first quarter of the 17th century.
Árni Magnússon received the codicological unit from Leirárgarðar.

Former Physical Context:
AM 261 4to CU2 (1629, Iceland)
1. (70v-71v) Skógaheiti og þeirra takmörk fyrir norðan Skriðufell Icelandic Skogaheite og þeirra takmørk fyrer nordan Skridufell: Skrifud epter Brefa Bök Herra Gijsla (saaluga) Jönssonar. Riett Copieread epter þuj sem sera Snæbiörn Stefansson sende i Skälhollt Anno 1629. Og til sanninda hier vmm vnderskrifum vjer vor nófn med eiginhende i Skälhollte 14 dag Februarij Anno 1629. This is a copy made from the original in Skálholt. Note: Fol. 70r used to be pasted over, but the added leaf was removed by Jón Þorkelsson (see above). The page contains accounting notes for Skálholt from 1628.
Codex
Paper
2205 mm x 162 mm
The watermark is an unidentified mark resembling the shape of an anchor with an asymmetrical loop on the opposite end. There are double lines and some of the points are prolonged. The details are:
  • Fol. 70: double-line mark
  • Fol. 71: "blank"
The watermark on the first leaf of the AM-slip (fol. "69") is the top of a coat of arms of Amsterdam. The Second half of the AM-slip at the end of AM 261 4to CU3 shows the bottom part of that watermark.

There is later pagination in black ink in the top outer corners of the recto-pages (139-141). The first leaf of the AM-slip is paginated as "137" and the last as "(147)".
There are two singletons, which have been joined.
There are no quire signatures.There are catchwords on fols. 70v-71r.
  • Fol. 70r shows a few remnants of old glue as it used to be pasted over.
  • Fols. 70 and 71 have been joined using a white paper strip.
  • There are many stains from dirt, which are also visible on the pasted-on strip of fol. 71r.
  • There are some ink stains of fol. 71v.
  • There are older binding holes visible (also on the AM-slip) that correspond to the grey cardboard binding.
The text is written in one column. 180 mm x 135-140 mm32-337-10
Unknown Hybrida Major
Info: A different scribe wrote the fragment on fol. 70r and another eight people signed the document on fol. 71v, witnessing the correctness of the copy.
  • Initial: The first initial is written slightly larger than the main text. It spans almost 2 lines, but is not decorated.
  • Paratext: The first line of the rubric is written in larger letters.

An AM-slip in the shape of a bifolium (50 mm x 136 mm) was added to the manuscript. Its first leaf is located in front of this CU, while its second half is located at the end of AM 261 4to CU3, so that the bifolium surrounds the two last CUs of AM 261 4to like a jacket. Árni Magnússon has written on top of the first leaf's recto-side:
"Fra Biarna Sigurdzsyne, Arnasonar, Oddzsonar biskups, Einarssonar."
Note: This AM-slip has been paginated as "137" and "(147)" and is usually referred to as fols. "69" and "74".
The codicological unit was written in Skálholt in Iceland on 14 February 1629 (see colophon).
Árni Magnússon received the leaves from Bjarni Sigurðsson (see additions).

Former Physical Context:
AM 261 4to CU3 (1642, Iceland)
1. (72r-72v) Skógaheiti og þeirra takmörk fyrir norðan Skriðufell Icelandic Skoga Heite og þeira Takmørk fyrer Nordan Skridufell: Skrifad Epter BrefaBok Sááluga Herra Gijsla Jonssonar. Suo hliodandj Skogar Briefs Copeum sem hier fyrer framan og ofan skrifad stendur. Hefum vier vnderskrifader vmm sied og yfer lesid med vnderskriftumm þeirra manna sem hier fyrer ofan skrifader eru og til sannss merskir[!] hier vmm skrifumm vier vor Nofnn hier vnder ad Leiraa Dat 1642 þann 3 Novemb. Copy of AM 261 4to CU2 Note: Fol. 73 is mostly blank, except for a title written on what is now the lower left part of fol. 73v.
Codex
Paper
2206-315 mm x 162-194 mm
The watermark is a double circle with an oak tree in the centre. The edge of the circle is decorated and on top, there is a shape reminiscent of a crown. There is no countermark visible.
  • Fol. 72: round watermark
  • Fol. 73: "blank"

There is later pagination (141-145) in black ink in the top outer corners of the recto-pages.
The leaves form an original bifolium, which is glued onto the recto-side of the second half of the AM-slip (close to the spine).
There are no quire signatures.There is a catchword on fol. 72r.
  • The leaves are in folio-format. In order to make the leaves fit into the binding, the fore-edge and in case of fol. 72, also the lower part of the leaves have been folded up.
  • The leaves have been cropped around the text (fol. 72) and according to the height of the previous CUs (fol. 73).
  • There are older folding lines visible on both leaves, indicating that the bifolium used to be folded into the size of a letter.
  • The lower half of fol. 73v is darker, indicating that this part used to be at the outside when the leaves were folded up. The title of the text is moreover found in the suitable place on fol. 73v to be on the outside of the folded leaves (see additions).
  • There are older binding holes visible that correspond to the grey cardboard binding.
The text is written in one column. 285 mm x 155 mm33-388-9
Unknown Hybrida Major
Info: The first scribe copied the text, including the colophon and signatures of the exemplar.
Unknown Hybrida Minor
Info: The second scribe added the colophon. Four additional people signed with their names below it.
  • Initial: The initials are written larger (1-2 lines) and are slightly bolder than the main text.
  • Paratext: The rubric is written with slightly larger letters than the text.
  • Paratext: The catchword is decorated with a pointy line.
  • Four witnesses signed the document on fol. 72v, among them Árni Oddsson.
  • In the lower left part of fol. 73v, the title
    "Sköga Heite og þeirra takmork fyrer nordan Skridufell."
    was added in black ink and decorated with a tailpiece. The writing runs vertically and is located in the current lower left-hand corner. When folding the leaves according to the older folding lines, the title is placed in the same place as an address would be found on a letter (see condition).
There is no additional material.
The codicological unit was written in Leirá in Iceland on 3 November 1642 (see colophon).
The copy was executed in Leirá, presumably under Árni Oddsson (see additions and colophon). The next known owner is Árni Magnússon, and it is hitherto unknown when or from whom he received the leaves.

Former Physical Context:
Last update: 2015.
Please note: Bibliographical references are abbreviated. For complete references please contact the editor.
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Den Arnamagnæanske Samling
Nordisk Forskningsinstitut
Københavns Universitet
Njalsgade 136
2300 København S
Denmark
Nordisk Forskningsinstitut
Københavns Universitet
Njalsgade 136
2300 København S
nfi@hum.ku.dk
Tel. +45 35 32 85 00