Árni Magnússon’s rearrangement of paper manuscripts

Repository for PhD project files by Beeke Stegmann

AM 777 b-d 4to
AM 777 b-d 4to
Den Arnamagnæanske Samling, Copenhagen
This manuscript consists of 3 parts.

The manuscript is bound in a grey cardboard binding, presumably from Árni Magnússon's time. On the front cover,
was written in brown ink, to which
was added in black ink. On the spine, there are two stickers for the shelfmark and the running number. The pastedowns are made from blank white paper (front) and blueish paper (back). In front, the pastedown is part of a bifolium, the second part of which forms the front flyleaf and carries a note in the hand of Árni Magnússon. On the pastedown in the back, parts of a watermark can be seen, reading "NYDMØLLE". A slim stumb of the back pastedown is folded around the last quire of the manuscript. The first five leaves, AM 777 b 4to, were not bound in with the rest of the manuscript at first, but were added slighlty later (acc. to Mette Jakobsen).
AM 777 b 4to CU1 (1550-1599)
1. (1r-5v) Grønlandsbeskrivelse Ivar Baardssøn Danish Saa sige Wijse mæand som födde erre ij grönland och sist er komenn aff grönlant at Norden affstadt wdi Norge ere vij dag segling rett vdij wester till horritz som ligger offuerst paa Island Först fra Sneffuelsnes aff Island som er strakit er den störste kirke sogenn som ligger ij grönlandt Possibly a copy of AM 777 a 4to, but in a different order. Note: Mostly without rubrics.
5250-260 mm x 175-190 mm
There is a large watermark, possibly a crown. Due to the condition of the paper, the watermark is difficult to see.
  • Fol. 1: crown(?)
  • Fol. 2: crown(?)
  • Fol. 3: crown(?)
  • Fol. 4: "blank"
  • Fol. 5: crown(?)
The front flyleaf (which forms a bifolium with the front pastedown) shows a small unidentifiable part of a watermark at the top of the leaves, close to the spine.

There is later foliation in purple (1-5). The foliation was written on the respective verso-sides of the leaves which are folded inwards.There is later foliation in pencil in the bottom left-hand corner of the recto-sides of most leaves, which is only visible when the leaves are expanded (2-5).
There is one quire:
  • Quire I: fols. 1-5 (1, 2+5, 3+4) (1 singleton, 2 bifolia) Note: The leaves are all singletons, but they were joined into two bifolia. The leaves are attached to the front flyleaf, which forms a bifolium with the front pastedown.
There are no quire signatures.There are no catchwords.
  • The leaves are in folio-format, but the front and bottom edges are folded in order to make them fit the quarto format of the binding.
  • Due to the folding, the condition of the leaves is rather poor. The material is very weak, especially close to the spine and at the bottom outer corner.
  • All leaves are singletons onto which small paper strips are glued, in order to join them to bifolia.
  • By means of the same paper strips, the leaves have been attached to the verso-side of the fromt flyleaf (close to the spine).
  • There are many traces of wear, mostly stains and tears.
  • The paper has been trimmed.
The text is written in one column. 225 mm x 140 mm27-298-10
Unknown Kurrent Sole
  • Initial: The first letters of a paragraph or a line are often written larger (2-3 lines) and with more squiggles and loops.
  • Árni Magnússon has written on the recto-side of the front flyleaf (205 mm x 160 mm):
    "Þetta um Grænland
    er uttekid ur bok i folio, hvar ä er (eg ä bokina) Noregs Lỏgbok Magnuss konungs, Danicè.
    Rettarbætur margar.
    Christinrettrinn interprete Hans gaas.
    Mỏrg christiani IV. bref, mỏrg þar af vidimerud af Axel Gyldenstiern.
    margar Rettarbætur enn aptur.
    Bergens fundatz 2(?)
    Bokin er ritud i Friderici II tid og skrifad so vid ä pappir (audan lätien i fyrstu) ä Christiani IV. yngre ärum.
    Bokina hefr ätt Hans Lindenow. Þetta um Grænland var aptarst i bokinne, og synest vera confusum."
  • On fol. 5v, a later hand has added:
    "NB: Med dette manuscript overennsstemmer den i Minerva Jan. 1788 S. 19-31 indförte Grænlandia descriptio næsten Ord efter andet."
There is no additional material.
This codicological unit was written in Denmark or Norway. Kålund dates it to the 16th century (Kålund 1889-1894, 2: 197), while handrit.is in more precise in dating it to the end of the 16th century.
At some point before Árni Magnússon, Hans Lindenow owned the larger manuscript, of which this was a part (see additions).

Former Physical Context:
AM 777 c 4to CU2 (1575-1625, Denmark)
2. (6r-13r:9) Grønlandsbeskrivelse Ivar Baardssøn Danish Saa sige wisemend som fódde ere wdi grónland, och sidst komme aff Grónland at norden aff Stadt wdi norge er vij dage seiglingh ret wdi wester till horijs Som ligger ófferst paa Island. Inenn fra Sneffelznes aff Islannd som er starkist beste huede som wære maa 3. (13v:1-13v:22) Letter Andreas, Bishop of Greenland Danish [no rubric] Wi Andreas med Guds naade, Biskop dag effter festum Sancti Bartolomej A. MCDLX 1606 / 1460 / ante annos 146 // 1460 / 146 / 1606
8212 mm x 153 mm
The watermark is a pitcher with a decorated lid (with a quatrefoil). Inside the pitcher, two letters ("IG") can be seen. The details are:
  • Fol. 6: pitcher (bottom)
  • Fol. 7: "blank"
  • Fol. 8: pitcher (top)
  • Fol. 9: "blank"
  • Fol. 10: "blank"
  • Fol. 11: pitcher (bottom)
  • Fol. 12: "blank"
  • Fol. 13: pitcher (top)
On the AM-slip, there are remnants visible of a countermark consisting of several letters.

There is later foliation in purple in the top right-hand corners (6-13).
There is one quire:
  • Quire II: fols. 6-13 (6+13, 7+12, 8+11, 9+10) (4 bifolia)
There are no quire signatures.There are no catchwords.
  • The leaves are rather clean except for the edges.
  • The edges are untrimmed and slightly darker.
  • There are yellowish stains (from fat?) in the upper half of fol. 13.
  • On fol. 7r, there are remnants of greenish-grey stains.
  • Fols. 6r and 13v are slightly darker than the other leaves due to dirt.
The text is written in one column. 170 mm x 110 mm21-225-7
Unknown Kurrent Major
Info: The main scribe wrote fols. 6r-13r.
Unknown Kurrent Minor
Info: The second scribe wrote fol. 13v.
  • Initial: The initials are written slightly larger (1-2 lines) and are partially decorated with additional strokes.
  • Paratext: The long rubric is written in larger, bold letters and is emphasised by means of chancery script.
  • On fol. 13v, the scribe of the letter has added two words in the outer margin.

An AM-slip (205 mm x 157 mm) is attached to fol. 6r. Árni Magnússon has written on it:
"Om Grỏnland. Kiỏbt paa Etats Raad Rostgaardz auction, i en fasciculo, Num. Manuscriptorum 604."
The codicological unit was probably written in Denmark. Kålund dates the first item to ca. 1600 (Kålund 1889-1894, 2: 197), while the letter is dated to 1606 (see colophon).
Árni Magnússon bought the manuscript, of which this codicological unit was a part, from Frederik Rostgaard at his auction in 1726 for 3 mark and 12 shilling (Kålund 1909, 101).

Former Physical Context:
  • When Árni Magnússon acquired the codicological unit it was part of Ms58.

AM 777 d 4to CU3 (1651-1700, Iceland/Denmark)
Item: En Kort Beschriffuelse om Grönland Om Sennlædzen Tid(?) hen Sag og Om Landtzens Beschriffuelse
4. (14r-25r) Grønlandsbeskrivelse Ivar Baardssøn Danish Item: En Kort Beschriffuelse om Grönland Om Seyladzen Did Hen Saa og Om Landtzens Beschriffuelse Saa siger wiise mænd, som födr Ere udj Grönland Kaars i Traerne og i Steene. Og Endet Saadandt Note: Same text as in AM 777 a 4to. The title was written on fol. 14r, while the main text starts on fol. 15r.
12208 mm x 161 mm
The watermark is a large round watermark with a lily on top and the letters "AJ" underneath. In the centre, there is a figure, possibly a lion. The countermark consists of three letters ("CDG"?).
  • Fol. 14: countermark
  • Fol. 15: round watermark (top)
  • Fol. 16: round watermark (bottom)
  • Fol. 17: countermark
  • Fol. 18: round watermark (top)
  • Fol. 19: countermark
  • Fol. 20: countermark
  • Fol. 21: round watermark (bottom)
  • Fol. 22: countermark
  • Fol. 23: round watermark (bottom)
  • Fol. 24: round watermark (top)
  • Fol. 25: countermark

There is later foliation in purple in the top outer corners (14-25).
There are three quires:
  • Quire I: fols. 14-17 (14+17, 15+16) (2 bifolia)
  • Quire II: fols. 18-21 (18+21, 19+20) (2 bifolia)
  • Quire III: fols. 22-25 (22+25, 23+24) (2 bifolia)
There are quire signatures on fols. 14r (a.), 18r (b.) and 22r (c.).There are no catchwords.
  • The leaves are relatively clean.
  • The edges are untrimmed, but still rather straight. The leaves are slightly discoloured around the edges.
  • Fols. 14r and 25v are slightly darker and dirtier than the other leaves, indicating that they used to be at the outside of the manuscript.
The text is written in one column. 150-160 mm x 100-105 mm19-205-8Note: There are one, sometimes two vertical folding lines for marking the outer margins.
Unknown Kurrent Sole
Info: A few Latin words were written in humanist cursiva script.
  • Initial: The first initial spans ca. 4 lines and is decorated with additional lines and squiggles. Other initials span 2-3 lines.
  • Paratext: The rubric is written larger than the main text and has been written over several times in order to make the letters appear bolder.
  • Frieze: On the title page, there is a large decorative tailpiece.
There is no additional material.
The codicological unit was presumably written in Denmark or possibly Iceland. Kålund dates it to the end of the seventeenth century (Kålund 1889-1894, 2: 197).
It is hitherto unknown when or from whom Árni Magnússon acquired the codicological unit.

Former Physical Context:
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