Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help



Vol. II. Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: from c. 1035 to c. 1300

2. Sagas relating to Denmark and Orkney after 1035

1. Knýtlinga saga (Knýtl) (KEG)
2. Orkneyinga saga (Orkn) (KEG)

(Vol. II. Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: from c. 1035 to c. 1300 > 8. Introduction > 4. Sources for Skaldic Poetry Cited in the Kings' Sagas > 2. Sagas relating to Denmark and Orkney after 1035 > 1. Knýtlinga saga (Knýtl))

1. Knýtlinga saga (Knýtl) (KEG)

Stemma (adapted from ÍF 35, clxxxvi)

The class A manuscripts are more complete than class B, which only begins at chapter 22 and appears to have a shortened version of the original text in some places. The A-text was preserved in the lost Codex Academicus (*Cod. Ac., c. 1300).

18ˣ:          AM 18 folˣ. Copy of *Cod. Ac. (c. 1700; by Árni Magnússon). Chapters 3-82 are now missing, but the following copies were made when it was complete:

  • a) 20dˣ: AM 20d folˣ (early C18th, partly by Árni Magnússon; Knýtl chs 1-27). Used in Skj A to supplement 18ˣ, but inferior to JÓ 1741 (below).
  • b) 873ˣ: NKS 873 4°ˣ (C18th; by Jón Vídalín).
  • c) JÓ: 1741. An edition based on 18ˣ which has been considered superior to the manuscript transcripts of it (ÍF 35, clxxxv).

20b I:      AM 20 b I fol (c. 1300). Nine leaves, in poor condition, from the same exemplar as that of *Cod. Ac.

Flat:         Flateyjarbók, GKS 1005 fol. See separate entry.

Manuscripts: B class

The original vellum is lost.

180b:      AM 180b fol (c. 1400-1500). Chapters 22-88 (19v-34r). Copies of 180b:

                 a) 1005ˣ: AM 1005 4°ˣ (c. 1600-50). Copied in 41ˣ (Holm papp 41 4°ˣ, c. 1687).  Holm papp 41ˣ is used in Skj A, but the copy has no independent value for the poetry in SkP II.

                 b) 1006ˣ: GKS 1006 folˣ (c. 1600-1700). Copied in 19ˣ (AM 19 folˣ, c. 1600-1700).

20b II:     AM 20 b II fol (fragments, three leaves, c. 1300-25).

Editions: 1741, Knýtl 1919-25, ÍF 35.


The sagas in Knýtl with poetry edited in SkP II are those of Sveinn Úlfsson and his sons, Haraldr hein ‘Hone’ Sveinsson, and Eiríkr inn góði ‘the Good’ Sveinsson (see ‘Royal Biographies’ below). These parts of Knýtl contain thirty-six stanzas (Arn Hryn 14/5-8, 15; Þfagr Sveinn 1, 10; Steinn Nizv 6-7; Mark Eirdr 3-30; ESk Lv 3; Anon (Knýtl)). Of these stanzas, only Arn Hryn 14/5-8, 15 are recorded elsewhere (Hryn 14/5-8 in Hkr, H-Hr; Hryn 15 in H-Hr, Flat). All of this poetry was composed by Icelanders (with the possible exception of Anon (Knýtl)), and most stanzas belong to encomia whose remaining stanzas are found in the sagas of the kings of Norway.

[22] For a full discussion of Knýtl, see Introduction to SkP I.

© Skaldic Project Academic Body, unless otherwise noted. Database structure and interface developed by Tarrin Wills. All users of material on this database are reminded that its content may be either subject to copyright restrictions or is the property of the custodians of linked databases that have given permission for members of the skaldic project to use their material for research purposes. Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor of the material in question and the General Editor of the volume in which the material is to be published. Applications for permission to use such material should be made in the first instance to the General Editor of the volume in question. All information that appears in the published volumes has been thoroughly reviewed. If you believe some information here is incorrect please contact Tarrin Wills with full details.