skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Knýtlinga saga — Knýtl

 

Vol. I. Poetry for Scandinavian Rulers 1: From Mythological Times to c. 1035 8. Volume Introduction 3. Sources for skaldic poetry cited in the kings’ sagas: manuscripts, facsimiles and editions 3.2. Sagas relating to Denmark and Orkney to c. 1035 1. Knýtlinga saga (Knýtl)

1. Knýtlinga saga (Knýtl)

Stemma (adapted from ÍF 35, clxxxvi)

Manuscripts: A class

The A-class mss are more complete than those of the B class, which only begins at ch. 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 20 d 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 ms. transcripts of 18ˣ (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 (Icelandic, mainly c. 1387-95). See separate entry.

Holm papp 41ˣ: Holm papp 41 4°ˣ (c. 1687). An A-class text for chs 1-21; thereafter a copy of the B-class ms. 1005ˣ and therefore without independent value.

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).

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

20b II:  AM 20 b II fol (c. 1300-25). Three leaves.

A further ms., of uncertain class, is:

20i 23ˣAM 20 i 23 folˣ (c. 1700-1800)

Editions: 1741, Knýtl 1919-25, ÍF 35.

The saga presents a synopsis of the lives of Danish kings from Haraldr blátǫnn Gormsson (d. 988) to part-way through the reign of Knútr Valdimarsson in 1187. It falls into three parts, with the life of Knútr Sveinsson (S. Knud, 1080-6) at its centre, and is widely seen as a Danish counterpart to Hkr. The saga’s abrupt start has led to the assumption that the beginning is lost, and the B recension is definitely incomplete, starting with Sveinn Úlfsson (Sven Estridsson, r. 1047-1074/6). The work depends on a range of earlier sources, Danish and Norwegian, most of which are now lost (at least in the versions used in Knýtl), and it is considered to belong to the mid or late thirteenth century. Óláfr Þórðarson hvítaskáld (d. 1259), nephew of Snorri Sturluson, is named as the source of much of the information in the saga, and has been seen as its author (see, e.g., ÍF 35, clxxix-clxxxiv).

Poetry

Knýtl contains some sixty stanzas, all or almost all composed by Icelanders, and most unique to this saga. Twenty-five are edited in this volume, including Ótt Knútdr 1-10, ÞKolb Eirdr 12-13, 15-16 and Þloft Tøgdr 7 which are preserved nowhere else. A further thirty-six stanzas cover events after 1035 and are edited in SkP II (see p. lxxv), while Hallv Knútdr 3III is edited with the remainder of that poem in SkP III.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj A = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15a. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. A: Tekst efter håndskrifterne. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1967. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. ÍF 35 = Danakonunga sǫgur. Ed. Bjarni Guðnason. 1982.
  4. 1741 = Jón Ólafsson, ed. 1741. Æfi dana-konunga eda Knytlinga saga: Historia Cnutidarum regum Daniæ. Copenhagen: [n. p.].
  5. SkP III = Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Ed. Kari Ellen Gade in collaboration with Edith Marold. 2017.
  6. Knýtl 1919-25 = Petersens, Carl af and Emil Olsen, eds. 1919-25. Sǫgur danakonunga. 1: Sǫgubrot af fornkonungum. 2: Knýtlinga saga. SUGNL 66. Copenhagen: SUGNL.
  7. SkP II = Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Ed. Kari Ellen Gade. 2009.
  8. Internal references
  9. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  10. Matthew Townend (ed.) 2017, ‘Hallvarðr háreksblesi, Knútsdrápa 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 233.
  11. Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Óttarr svarti, Knútsdrápa 1’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 769.
  12. Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórðr Kolbeinsson, Eiríksdrápa 12’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 506.
  13. Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórarinn loftunga, Tøgdrápa 7’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 861.
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)

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Knýtlinga saga (Knýtl)’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].

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.

Poetry

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.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj A = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15a. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. A: Tekst efter håndskrifterne. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1967. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. SkP I = Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Ed. Diana Whaley. 2012.
  4. SkP II = Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Ed. Kari Ellen Gade. 2009.
  5. Internal references
  6. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  7. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Flateyjarbók (Flat)’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. clxi-clxii.
  8. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Hulda and Hrokkinskinna (H-Hr)’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  9. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda, Magnússdrápa 14’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 200-1.
  10. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Lausavísur 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 570-1.
  11. Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2009, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 435-6.
  12. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Steinn Herdísarson, Nizarvísur 6’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 364-5.
  13. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Þorleikr fagri, Flokkr about Sveinn Úlfsson 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 313.
Close

Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.

Close

Information about a text: poem, sequence of stanzas, or prose work

This page is used for different resources. For groups of stanzas such as poems, you will see the verse text and, where published, the translation of each stanza. These are also links to information about the individual stanzas.

For prose works you will see a list of the stanzas and fragments in that prose work, where relevant, providing links to the individual stanzas.

Where you have access to introduction(s) to the poem or prose work in the database, these will appear in the ‘introduction’ section.

The final section, ‘sources’ is a list of the manuscripts that contain the prose work, as well as manuscripts and prose works linked to stanzas and sections of a text.