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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Sólarljóð (Sól) - 83

Sólarljóð (‘Song of the Sun’) — Anon SólVII

Carolyne Larrington and Peter Robinson 2007, ‘ Anonymous, Sólarljóð’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 287-357. <> (accessed 18 May 2022)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44   45   46   47   48   49   50   51   52   53   54   55   56   57   58   59   60   61   62   63   64   65   66   67   68   69   70   71   72   73   74   75   76   77   78   79   80   81   82   83 

Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII]: G [6]. Sólarljóð, digt fra det 12. årh. (AI, 628-40, BI, 635-48)

SkP info: VII, 287-357

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files


Sólarljóð ‘Song of the Sun’ (Anon Sól) is preserved only in paper mss, the oldest of which dates from the C17th; thus its age is uncertain, although it is generally presumed to be of C13th date (see below). It is composed, like other OIcel. wisdom verse, in ljóðaháttr ‘song metre’, and in its present form comprises eighty-three sts, the last of which is probably a later addition. Like a number of other Christian poems (Gamlkan Has, Anon Leið, Anon Lil), Sól’s name is given in what was probably the originally penultimate st., 81/4.

Sól is essentially a fusion of two genres, the first being the indigenous pre-Christian wisdom poetry genre, exemplified by Hávamál (Hávm ‘Words of the High One’) in the Poetic Edda, while the second is the popular Christian type of the Other World vision. Wholly Christian in outlook, Sól nevertheless employs pagan or pseudo-pagan figures for rhetorical effect. It also has affiliations with other genres or subgenres (undergenrer as Fidjestøl 1979, 30-1 calls them): the exemplum, the list, lyric, allegory and perhaps the riddle (Fidjestøl 1979, 57-8).

The poem has many verbal parallels with other eddic wisdom poetry, which doubtless provided models for the first section (Clunies Ross 1982-3, 113), and with Hugsvinnsmál ‘Sayings of the Wise-minded One’ (Anon Hsv), the OIcel. translation of the Lat. wisdom poem Disticha Catonis ‘The Distichs of Cato’. Sól has many parallels of phrasing and of sentiment with eddic poetry, particularly the gnomic verses of Hávm (most strikingly in Sól 8-9 and Hávm 78 on the unreliability of earthly good fortune) and the poems of the hero Sigurðr’s youth (Gríp, Reg, Sigrdr); these are noted below. The majority of eddic parallels occur in the first two sections of the poem, comprising the exempla and gnomic advice. These sts also have the largest number of parallels with Hsv, a consequence of their similarity of subject matter. Whether Sól is dependent on Hsv, or whether the later redaction of Hsv has in turn been influenced by Sól, is impossible to say, given the uncertainties of dating both poems. Larrington 2002, 180 summarises critical views about the poem’s date.

Falk 1914, 58 argued that Sól was dependent on Hsv, and thus should be dated to the second half of the C13th. Björn M. Ólsen 1915, 67 suggested that the two poems might even be the work of the same author, though there is insufficient evidence to support this hypothesis. Other eds have suggested a range of dates for the poem, from Guðbrandur Vigfússon’s confident identification of the poem’s provenance in the British Isles in the latter part of the C11th (1878, clxxxviii) to Finnur Jónsson’s argument on metrical and linguistic grounds that there is no evidence for a date later than 1200 (LH II, 131). Some scholars have felt that Sól might well be later than Finnur’s estimate: Falk (1914, 40) thought that the depiction of punishments in Hell has similarities to accounts of the persecution of heretics and witches, and thus dates the poem c. 1250. He was also struck by the absence of any reference to the poem in SnE (1914, 56). Björn M. Ólsen suggested the end of the C13th, since he thought that Hsv dates from this time, adducing three morphological forms: svikit ‘betrayed’ in st. 6/6 for the older form svikvit; utan ‘from outside’ for útan in st. 44/6, and for ganga ‘go’ in st. 25/6 (1915, 72-3). These forms may, however, be later scribal alterations. Given the late date of the mss, the enormous variety of orthographical variants, and the complexity of the relationship with Hsv, it is not possible to date the poem with any greater accuracy than to suggest a date of composition some time in the C13th, and probably after 1250. Normalisation of the text in this edn has been carried out on this assumption.

As far as metrical evidence is concerned, Sól usually avoids trochees in the last foot of a full l., while permitting them in long ll.; such metrical scrupulousness could be consistent with a date before 1250 and suggests that the poet was well aware of metrical rules. Across the mss, however, Sól has a considerable number of metrical and alliterative irregularities; most of these are doubtless the result of its complex transmission history and the late date of the mss. Alliteration is defective in at least nineteen ll.: sts 1/ 4-5, 2/6, 7/5-6, 17/1, 26/1-2, 30/2, 41/5, 46/2, 46/5, 57/6, 62/3, 62/6, 73/2, 70/4-6, 75/4-6, 76/1-2, 76/4-5, 77/6, 80/1, 80/6. Metrical irregularities occur in sts 1/4-5, 2/3, 2/6, 3/6, 4/2, 8/3, 19/2, 19/4, 20/3, 21/3, 25/6, 33/6. 36/5, 38/6, 39/4, 40/5, 41/3, 48/4, 51/6, 52/5, 63/6, 68/3, 68/6, 69/5, 70/4-6. Skj B and Skald normalise the text to reflect pre-1250 usage; this edn normalises both spelling and syntax to conform to a date between 1250 and 1300. Particles (particularly er and at) that are missing in the mss are silently restored, and verbal endings are normalised.

The poem begins in medias res with its protagonist and narrator rehearsing a series of exempla with moral import. The first anecdote is the most developed, narrating how a robber, in a moment of human sympathy, decides against murdering his guest, only to be killed in his turn by the very man he had spared. The robber’s late impulse of repentance saves his soul, while his murderer not only suffers the consequences of his own action, but takes on the sins of his victim too (sts 1-7). This exemplum is followed by a series of vignettes in which characters with semi-allegorical names demonstrate the folly of trusting in riches and health (sts 8-9); the enmity which love of the same woman can bring about between good friends (sts 10-14); the consequences of arrogance (sts 15-18), and the dangers of trusting one’s enemies (sts 19-24). These anecdotal exempla are followed by a list of seven more formal counsels (sts 25-32), enumerated in the final st. of the section. These sts parallel most markedly the verbal expressions and sentiments of Hsv. In the next section the protagonist reveals something of his identity — he is a dead Christian man, perhaps a revenant — as he narrates his own death (sts 33-52). Taking painful leave of a world which he loves, the speaker recounts his fatal illness and death-bed agonies. In an anaphoric series of lyrical sts, he describes the central, mystical and salvific vision of the sun which accompanies his transition from this world to the next and which give the poem its name (sts 39-45); the death is followed by an interval in which his soul apparently hovers between Heaven and Hell (sts 46-52). Finally (sts 53-74), the dead man sets out into the Other World, where he sees a number of enigmatic sights: a dragon (st. 54), the sólar hjörtr ‘hart of the sun’ who appears to represent Christ (st. 55), and the seven sons of ‘the dark phases of the moon’ (the niðja synir of st. 56) before he witnesses the torments of the damned and the bliss of Heaven. The sins and merits of those whose Other-World fates the speaker recounts frequently recall the exempla and admonitions of the poem’s opening wisdom sections. In the last sts of the poem (sts 75-82), the speaker invokes the Trinity, conjures up a nightmarish vision of malevolent pagan figures who are still active in this world, and reveals (st. 78) that he has been addressing his son. More obscure references to quasi-mythological figures follow (sts. 78-80), before, with a final admonition to heed and disseminate the wisdom imparted in Sól, the speaker concludes by giving the poem its name (st. 81/4). A final st. promises that father and son, but also reciter and audience, will meet again on Judgement Day and offers a prayer for the dead (st. 82). Thirty-two mss record an additional and probably later st. (st. 83) which reiterates the wisdom-value of the poem and names it once again.

The vision section of the poem shares some motifs with medieval European vision accounts: parallels can be found for both the alternation of damned souls between frost and fire (st. 18), one of the earliest and most widespread characteristics of descriptions of Hell, and also for more individualised details such as the comparison of singed souls (st. 53) to birds. This also occurs in the C8th Anglo-Saxon ‘Vision of the Monk of Wenlock’ (recorded by Boniface in Epistle 10 to Abbess Eadburg of Thanet) and, though the souls are not in bird-form, in the mid-C13th OIcel. translation of the c. 1150 Irish Visio Tnugdali, Duggals Leiðsla (Dugg), and in the Visio Alberici of Settefrati, c. 1117, recorded in a ms. from Monte Cassino. The brunnr Baugreyris ‘well of Baugreyrir’ (st. 56/6) may recall the ‘well of living water’ in Dugg; the unusual flaming clothes and the ridicule of the proud man (st. 66) are also found in the 1206 Visio Thurkilli from Essex, recorded in a ms. from the mid-C13th. There are also a number of biblical echoes; both Paasche (1914b, 61; 1948, 189-90, 196, 202) and Njörður P. Njarðvík (1991, 193-5) argue that the Revelation of S. John may be the key to understanding the obscure symbolism towards the end of the poem, while echoes of the Gospels and the Psalms underscore the Christian teaching and phraseology in earlier sections. Sól is likely to have originated in a milieu where there was a broad knowledge of European Christian literature as well as an antiquarian interest in eddic themes and styles.

Recent critical discussion such as Tate 1985, Amory 1985, 1990 and 1993 and Larrington 2002, all following to some extent Fidjestøl 1979, has particularly engaged with the poem’s syncretic features. Fidjestøl 1979, 42-3 argues that the poet intends his diction to be multivalent; that the metaphors of the later part of the poem refer to concepts which are Christian, but in terms that have pagan resonances, such as the mála-dísirdróttins ‘the confidential-dísir of the Lord’ (st. 25/1-2), probably the sanctae virgines or holy virgins who intercede with God, but are referred to in terms of female pagan spirits. Likewise, Fidjestøl (1979, 42) notes that, while the heljar meyjar ‘Hell’s (or Hel’s) maidens’ (st. 38/4) seem to be pagan figures, the word mær has strong Christian associations. Amory (1985, 8-9; 1990, 258) argues that the reference to the dísirdróttins mála in st. 25 represents a kind of syncretism ‘which upgraded the tutelary deities of an established Norse cult’, but, as Larrington 2002 argues, such syncretism is always only at a referential and linguistic level, and is not presented as a matter of belief. Thus the linguistic and rhetorical syncretism of the poem is ‘a secondary interpretatio christiana … fashioned … imaginatively from diverse literary, legendary and biblical materials’ (Amory 1985, 10; 1990, 259), which ‘did not qualify doctrinally the faith of the Sólarljóð poet or of his audience’ (Amory 1985, 3; 1990, 253). For Tate the relationship of paganism to Christianity in Sól is one of ‘serious confrontation’; the poet intends to ‘consign the apparatus of the old mythology to Hell’ (1985, 1028). However, Larrington argues that the poem’s apparent syncretic elements are largely rhetorical and ornamental, a ‘late pastiche of paganism’ (2002, 192) of the sort found in Svipdagsmál. Although the poet of Sól makes use of pagan images to emphasise the identification of the former pagan gods with diabolical forces, he also employs symbols which have a positive value in Norse pagan thinking: the mead, the well and runes are associated with wisdom.

Sól was first published in 1787 in Edda rhytmica seu antiqvior, vulgo Sæmundina dicta, Pars I by Guðmundur Magnússon (1787-1828). It was accompanied by a Lat. translation and textual notes. The next major edn was that of Sophus Bugge in Norrœn Fornkvæði (1867), followed by Guðbrandur Vigfússon and F. York Powell’s version in Corpus poeticum boreale (CPB I, 202-17). These two scholars divided the text into two distinct poems: ‘Sun-song’ and ‘The Christian’s Wisdom’. As Fidjestøl (1979, 10) notes, in Norway interest in Sól and the poem Draumkvædet went hand-in-hand. Jørgen Moe, the first ed. of Draumkvædet, suggested that this poem was a version of Sól, reworked as a romance (Moe 1877, 10). Hjalmar Falk’s edn of Sól (1914) was the product of a joint project with Moltke Moe on Draumkvædet and Sól. The year after Falk’s edn appeared, Björn M. Ólsen produced the first Icel. edn of the poem. These were boom years for Sól (Fidejestøl 1979, 12): as well as the two eds and the Skj texts of Sól, Fredrik Paasche’s discussion of Sól in his doctoral thesis (1914a) and in Paasche 1914b engaged closely with the poem. An extended discussion of Sól is in Paasche 1948, 170-203. A lively debate between Finnur Jónsson, Paasche, Falk and Björn M. Ólsen ensued in the Icel. journal Edda after Finnur wrote an article criticising the other three scholars. He argued against the structural unity that the other scholars saw in Sól, and they in turn replied to his arguments in the same number (Finnur Jónsson et al. 1916). In Et lille gensvar ‘A little reply’ Finnur has the last word.

Little new work, either critical or editorial — apart from Kock’s Skald and his accompanying textual notes on certain verses in NN — was done on Sól until 1979 when Bjarne Fidjestøl published an important interpretation of the poem. His reading of Sól is based on hermeneutic principles, and avoids relying on the large number of parallels found by other eds in Norse and Christian literature as a basis for explaining the poem. Fidjestøl provides a version of Falk’s 1914 text, with most of Falk’s emendations removed, as the basis for his interpretation, but makes no claim to have edited or re-edited the poem. The Icel. scholar Njörður P. Njarðvík undertook a thorough reassessment of the Sól ms. tradition in his Gothenburg doctoral thesis of 1993, producing a conservative edn of the poem based on forty-four mss. A modernised edn of the poem, based on the doctoral work and accompanied by extensive textual notes, was published by Njörður in 1991. Sól was first translated into English by Guðbrandur Vigfússon and F. York Powell in CPB (1883). W. H. Auden and P. B. Taylor collaborated on a trans. of Sól in The Elder Edda: A Selection translated from the Icelandic (1969). Though this trans. has Auden’s typical muscularity of expression, it is a very free version of the Icel. text.

Selection of mss represented in the apparatus

Sól is preserved only in paper copies dating from the C17th onwards. Seventy-three copies are known to the eds, in a total of 71 mss (with 2 mss each containing 2 distinct copies). All these copies were transcribed in full, collated, and the record of agreements and disagreements analysed to give a view of the relations among the mss. Thirty-two of these mss also contain copies of the narrative sequence Svipdagsmál. It appears that this poem has a similar textual history to Sól and conclusions about the relations of the mss for Svipdagsmál were used to check the conclusions reached for Sól. From this analysis, 9 of the 73 extant copies were selected as the basis for the present edn.

Like Svipdagsmál, all extant copies of Sól derive from a single copy surviving into the C17th. Thus, all copies contain six common errors likely to have been present in this single archetype: sofandi (5/5; emended to sofanda); virta (or virtra / virtar 13/6, emended to virkta); gala (or hala 26/4, emended to gæla); á væl, á vil etc. (28/4, emended to á mis); the omission of a word in 80/1 (bölvi supplied), undir (80/6). In addition to these six errors, it is likely that some of the sixteen places where readings are supplied from post-1700 copies (see below) also represent errors present in the archetype.

Five copies, dating from between 1650 and 1700, appear to descend independently from the lost archetype. These five, used in this edn, are:

1. AM 166b 8°ˣ fols 45v-48v (166bˣ): mid-C17th, used as the base ms. for this edn. Some eight later copies, including 427ˣ, 428ˣ, 1871ˣ and 21 6 7ˣ, appear to descend from this copy. 166bˣ is the oldest copy and preserves several important and distinctive readings found in no other early copy (ynðisheimi 33/3, seig 37/5, harðla 43/5, munaðarlausir 48/4, sýnduz 59/5, ok himna skript 70/6, illum 80/6; the whole of st. 83).

2. AM 167 b 8°ˣ fols 1r-4v (167b 6ˣ): second half of the C17th (contains sts 1-26 and 56-82). Textually close to 738ˣ (no. 5) with which it may share an exemplar below the archetype.

3. AM 155 a V 8°ˣ (155aˣ): second half of the C17th (contains only sts. 1-5).

4. Holm papp 15 8°ˣ 1r-8r (papp15ˣ): c. 1675. This has the best text of Svipdagsmál, and contains a text of Sól independent of any other early copy (so differing at some 150 places from 166bˣ and 738ˣ). It supplies ten readings to this edn. found in no other of the pre-1700 copies here used (váligr 4/6, kallaðr 29/2, mér 50/5, véltu 63/3, eign 63/3, höfðu 67/2, myrðir 74/5, Bjúgvör 76/1, móðug á munað 77/3, ór 78/5). In terms of its influence on later copies, this is the most important single copy of Sól: some 25 later copies (including all other pre-1700 copies) descend from papp15ˣ. No previous ed. has used this ms., though several have relied on copies descended from it (notably 1866ˣ, used by Sophus Bugge 1867, and 1867ˣ, used by Finnur Jónsson in Skj).

5. AM 738 4°ˣ pp. 70-84 (738ˣ): dated 1680. 167b 6ˣ, 1872ˣ and another five later copies may descend from 738ˣ. In Svipdagsmál the ‘b’ group of mss associated with 214ˣ also appears descended from 738ˣ, and this may also be true of the same mss in Sól.

The range of readings present in these five mss suggest that the first scribes had difficulty reading the lost archetype. The frequent disagreement on readings likely to have arisen from expansion of abbreviations (e.g., the Sváfar/Sváfur forms in st. 80) suggest that this archetype made heavy use of abbreviation, as indeed does 166bˣ especially. Of these five early copies, 166bˣ is the clear choice as the base text for an edn, since the distinctive and important readings listed above are present only in 166bˣ among these early copies. However, at some 73 places 166bˣ has a reading which appears to be inferior, and a reading found in other mss is preferred. The importance of the other pre-1700 mss can be demonstrated easily: 57 of the 73 readings accepted from other mss beside 166bˣ come from one of the other four pre-1700 mss, with papp15ˣ being the most productive. In these cases, we can presume that 166bˣ has miscopied its exemplar, while at least one (and often all) of the other pre-1700 mss has preserved the archetypal readings. These presumed errors in 166bˣ, which are here corrected from the other four pre-1700 mss, most frequently involve omission or addition of function words (e.g. er 4/2, 29/6, 38/3, 69/2, en 21/6) or mishandling of abbreviations (e.g. himni 7/2, þæ 13/1; perhaps 25/6). Other errors are more serious: e.g. the omission of naktir þeir urðu in 9/4. Overall, however, 166bˣ remains considerably closer to this edited text than is any other early copy: both papp15ˣ and 738ˣ differ from the text printed here in some 150 places, compared to the 86 where 166bx differs (the 73 places here mentioned, where readings are supplied from other mss, plus the thirteen points where we emend, to give a reading found in no ms).

As with Svipdagsmál, all extant copies descend from a single copy surviving into the C17th, a copy itself containing many errors. Thus, at ten points all copies contain the same error, or readings manifestly derived from the same error, suggesting this single copy itself contained erroneous readings at those ten points. Accordingly, emendation is required at all those points. Thus: ‘harða’ 2/2 (or ‘harla’); ‘sofandi’ 5/5; ‘æ lifa’ 7/5; ‘virta’ 13/6 (or ‘virtra/virtar’); ‘gala’ 26/4 (or ‘hala’); ‘inzta’ 41/5, ‘glæddum’ 59/3; the omission of ‘it’ 71/6 and of ‘inn’ 75/2; the omission of a word (possibly bölvi) in 80/1. At three other points, the mss show a range of impossible readings suggesting (most likely) varying attempts by the scribes to make sense of an impossible reading in the archetype, though the extent of variation makes it impossible to be sure what that original reading was: thus, the readings at 27/6, 28/4 and 49/5. In fact, there were certainly many more errors in this lost archetype than just these thirteen. It is likely that some of the places where readings are supplied from post-1700 copies also represent errors present in the archetype: thus the fifteen readings (six found in 2797ˣ alone) listed in the discussion of the four post-1700 mss used in this edn. Finally, there is 16/6, where all but two mss have ‘eldi’. There reading ‘elda’, present in only two very late mss, is considered to have been an independent scribal emendation.

On the basis of an analysis of the history of the Sól tradition (alongside that of Svipdagsmál), four post-1700 mss are also used in this edn, in addition to the five pre-1700 copies described above. These four are:

1. Lbs 214 4°ˣ fols 149r-152v (214ˣ): written by Vigfúss Jónsson after 1723, probably c. 1736. In both Sól and Svipdagsmál this is the ancestor of a group of some eight mss (including 215ˣ, 329ˣ, 64934ˣ, 818ˣ, 21 5 2ˣ) labelled as the ‘b’ text of Svipdagsmál. For both poems there is evidence suggesting that this ‘b’ text derives ultimately from the copy in 738ˣ.

2. Lbs 1441 4°ˣ fols 581r-588v (1441ˣ): (1760) this contains a text of Svipdagsmál independent of any earlier copy, and the same appears true for its text of Sól; several later copies appear descended from this ms.

3. British Library Add. 10575 Bˣ (10575ˣ): C18th (only text in ms.); contains a text of Sól apparently independent of any earlier copy; several later copies appear descended from this ms.

4. Lbs 2797 4°ˣ 230-58 (2797ˣ): written by Gísli Konráðsson in 1820. Gísli (father of Professor Konráð Gíslason) was widely learned, and may have had access to mss no longer extant. His text contains six readings found only in 2797ˣ among the mss here chosen, and which are accepted into this text (thus vályndr 3/6, þat kveða sálu sama 26/6, náum 33/6, skýdrúpnis 51/6, hungri 71/3, þruma 77/6). It is not possible to determine whether these are Gísli’s intelligent emendations or readings derived from now-lost mss. They are treated as readings in this edn.

These four mss give a sense of the later variation found in the tradition. Further, at least two of these four (1441ˣ and 10575ˣ), and possibly also 214ˣ, appear to represent lines of descent independent of the pre-1700 copies, and so might preserve archetypal readings not present in those copies. This may be the case with the nine readings þegjanda 28/6 (1441ˣ, 10575ˣ, 2797ˣ), leiz á marga vegu 40/4-5 (1441ˣ, 2797ˣ), höfðu 72/2 (214ˣ, 10575ˣ, 2797ˣ); eigu 74/3 (1441ˣ, 2797ˣ), mæzti 75/2 (10575ˣ, 2797ˣ); skilja 75/4 (214ˣ, 2797ˣ); eymðum 75/6 (214ˣ, 2797ˣ); firum 76/6 (10575ˣ, 2797ˣ); Böðveig 79/4 (10575ˣ). Of these nine readings, all except that in 79/4 are present in 2797ˣ, which may also represent independent descent.

Altogether, fifteen readings are adopted from these later four copies: six found only in 2797ˣ among these copies, and apparently arising by emendation from Gísli Konráðsson; and nine found in at least one of the other three (of which eight are also in 2797ˣ), possibly by independent descent from the lost archetype. One other reading, elda in 16/6, is found in two post-1700 mss, and is considered a scribal emendation. Thus, the edited text differs from the base ms. 166bˣ in 86 places as follows:

1. 13 emendations found in no copy
2. 57 readings preferred from the other four pre-1700 copies
3. 15 readings preferred from four post-1700 copies
4. 1 reading preferred from the other 64 copies

Mss not recorded in the apparatus to this edn

All variants present in the nine mss described in the last section are recorded in the Readings. Beside these nine, the sixty-two other mss known to contain texts of Sól (64 texts, with 2 mss each containing 2 distinct texts) are listed here. As stated above, the texts of all these were transcribed and collated, and the selection of the nine mss used based on analysis of this collation. None of these sixty-two can be shown to derive independently from the archetype as can many of the nine here used. Indeed, it can be demonstrated that many of these sixty-two derive from mss among these nine: thus the 25 (approximately) descending from papp15ˣ, the 8 descending from 166bˣ, another 8 descending from 214ˣ. Evidence of these ms. relations for the text of Svipdagsmál in these mss may be found in Robinson 1991; the eds propose to give a full discussion of the ms. relations for both Svipdagsmál and Sól in a separate publication. While the readings in these mss may be of interest to (for example) cultural historians investigating the reception of older Christian poetry in C18th Iceland, they are of diminishing value where the aim is the establishment of a best text for modern readers.

The 62 mss are:

Copenhagen: AM 427 folˣ (427ˣ) fols 29r-36r: 1756; AM 428 folˣ (428ˣ) pp. 70-87: 2nd half of C18th; AM 750 4°ˣ (AM750 4°ˣ) fol. 36v: 2nd half of C17th (contains only sts. 1-10 and part of st. 11); NKS 1108 folˣ (1108ˣ) pp. 255-66: c. 1750; NKS 1109 folˣ (1109ˣ) pp. 482-501: c. 1770; NKS 1110 folˣ (1110ˣ) fols 3r-6v: C18th; NKS 1111 folˣ (1111ˣ) pp. 449-67: c. 1750; NKS 1866 4°ˣ (1866ˣ) pp. 349-55: 1750; NKS 1867 4°ˣ (1867ˣ) pp. 67-72 : 1760, written by Ólafur Brynjólfsson; NKS 1869 4°ˣ (1869ˣ) pp. 647-71: c. 1770; NKS 1870 4°ˣ (1870ˣ) fols 2r-8v, 161r-2v: after 1689, c. 1700; NKS 1871 4°ˣ (1871ˣ) pp. 127-52: 2nd half of C18th; NKS 1872 4°ˣ (1872ˣ) pp. 229-58: 2nd half of C18th; NKS 1891 4°ˣ (1891ˣ) pp. 179-91: c. 1770 (contains sts. 1-26, 57-82); Thott 773 a folˣ (773aˣ) pp. 446-60: c. 1770; Thott 1492 4°ˣ (1492ˣ) fols 156r-62v: c. 1770.

Reykjavík: Lbs 215 4°ˣ (215ˣ) fols 262r-8v: date as for 214ˣ, c. 1736, also written by Vigfúss Jónsson; Lbs 437ˣ (Lbs437ˣ) fols 30v-3v: 1770-80?; Lbs 709 8°ˣ (709ˣ) pp. 79-94: C18th; Lbs 1199 4°ˣ (1199ˣ) fols 93r-5v: 1650-1860?; Lbs 1249 8°ˣ (1249ˣ) 62r-7r: 1791-1805; Lbs 1393 8°ˣ (1393ˣ) pp. 1-11: C19th (contains sts. 1-49); Lbs 1458 8°ˣ (1458ˣ) fols 36r-42v: 2nd half C19th; Lbs 1562ˣ 4° (1562ˣ) fols 7r-12v: c. 1770 (contains sts. 11.2-82); Lbs 1588ˣ (1588ˣ) fols 140r-3v: 1750-99?; Lbs 1692 8°ˣ (1692ˣ) fols 2r-12v: 1st half C19th; Lbs 1765 4°ˣ (1765ˣ) fols 17r-26v: 1854-75?; Lbs 2298 8°ˣ (2298ˣ) pp. 1-11: 1835-6; Lbs 631 4°ˣ (631ˣ) fols 90r-2v: C18th-19th; Lbs 636 4°ˣ (636ˣ) pp. 96-105: c. 1750; Lbs 719 8°ˣ (719ˣ) fols 1r-6v: c. 1750; Lbs 756 4°ˣ (Lbs756ˣ) fols 115v-19r: 1777; Lbs 818 4°ˣ (818ˣ) fols 20r-2v: 2nd half of C18th; Lbs 932 4°ˣ (932ˣ) fols 75r-8v: C18th; Lbs 966 4°ˣ (966ˣ) fols 17v-21v: c. 1792, written by Ólafur Jónsson of Purkey; Lbs 903 8°ˣ (903ˣ) fols 69v-72v: 2nd half C18th, c. 1760; JS 36 4°ˣ (JS36ˣ) fols 2r-3v: c. 1800; JS 84 8° (84) fols 170v-5r: C18th-19th; JS 542 4°ˣ (with Lat. translation) (542ˣ and 542aˣ) fols 26r-38r (marked 1-13) and 40r-3r (marked 16-19): C17th and 19th hands (contains 2 copies of poem); JS 648 4°ˣ (648ˣ) pp. 112-17 : C19th; ÍB 13 8°ˣ (13ˣ) fols 67r-72v: C18th; ÍB 539 8°ˣ (539ˣ) fols 5r-10vb (small leaf with st. 83 attached to 10v): 1836; ÍBR 36 4°ˣ (ÍBR36ˣ) pp. 309-18: first half of C19th; ÍBR 24 8°ˣ (24ˣ) pp. 97-106: c. 1840.

Edinburgh: Adv 21 4 7ˣ (21 4 7ˣ) pp. 270-82: c. 1750, possibly written by Eggert Ólafsson; Adv 21 5 2ˣ (21 5 2ˣ) pp. 462-81: written by Oddur Jónsson c. 1755; Adv 21 6 7 aˣ (21 6 7 aˣ) pp. 95-101: before 1750; Adv 21 6 7 bˣ (21 6 7 bˣ) fols 133r-8v: before 1750.

Dublin: Trinity College, Dublin 1027ˣ (1027ˣ) fols 128r-38v: C19th.

Uppsala: UppsUB R 691 4°ˣ (R691ˣ) fols 42r-49r: 2nd half C18th; UppsUB R 692 4°ˣ (R692ˣ) pp. 12-16: C18th (unreadable after v. 70); UppsUB R 682 folˣ (R682ˣ) fols 2r-9v: end C18th; UppsUB R 682 Aˣ fol (R682 Aˣ) pp. 9-45: c. 1685; a copy by Helgi Ólafsson of papp46ˣ.

London: BLAdd 4877ˣ (4877ˣ) pp. 439-55: C18th; BLAdd 11165ˣ (11165ˣ) pp. 139-44: c. 1770; BLAdd 6121ˣ (6121ˣ) fols 71v-7r: C18th; BLAdd 11173ˣ (11173ˣ) fols 11r-19r: C18th.

Stockholm: Holm papp 11 folˣ (papp11ˣ) pp. 1-27: after 1687, a copy of papp34ˣ; Holm papp 34 folˣ (papp34ˣ) pp. 285-99: c. 1684, a copy of papp15ˣ by Helgi Ólafsson; Holm papp 46 4°ˣ (papp46ˣ) pp. 3-12: c. 1682, a copy of papp15ˣ by Guðmundr Ólafsson; Nordiska Museet St. 64.934ˣ (64934ˣ) unpaginated: c. 1725.

Berlin: Berlin Staatsbibliotek Ms. germ. qu. 329ˣ (329ˣ) fols 210v-15r: written by Oddur Jónsson c. 1755.

Harvard: Houghton Library Ms Icel. 47ˣ (47ˣ) pp. 342-52: c. 1756, a copy of 1866ˣ by Jón Eiríksson. This manuscript appears to have been the base of the 1787 Arnamagnaean edn (see Robinson 1991).

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated