Hrómundar saga Greipssonar: Transmission history of a lost medieval saga

Foredrag ved post-doc Katarzyna Anna Kapitan (Det Nationalhistoriske Museum på Frederiksborg Slot)

Hrómundar saga Gr(e)ipssonar is one of the best-known examples of lost medieval Icelandic legendary sagas sagas. A saga by this name is mentioned in a famous description of a wedding feast which took place at Reykjahólar in 1119 found in Þorgils saga ok Hafliða, part of the thirteenth-century Sturlunga compilation. The story has, however, only survived in a fifteenth-century metrical version called Griplur, which are presumed to have been composed on the basis of that lost medieval saga.

This presentation will summarize the main findings of my recently defended PhD-thesis, entitled Studies in the transmission history of Hrómundar saga Greipssonar. One of the most significant findings is the discovery of a new Hrómundar saga Greipssonar, previously
unknown to scholarship and establishing the relationships among all known manifestations of the story in Icelandic. While the seventeenth-century prose appears to be a summary of the rímur, presumably made in response to seventeenth-century antiquarian interest in the history of Scandinavia, the nineteenth-century saga seems to be an attempt to write an entertaining saga with a strong narrative thread, but with little
regard for faithfulness to the sources.