Um uppruna Morkinskinnu

Drög að rannsóknarsögu

  • Ármann Jakobsson
Keywords: Philology


Morkinskinna, the manuscript of Norwegian royal history, is preserved in a manuscript with the same name from the latter part of the thirteenth century. The work itself is considered to be older, from about 1220. For the past century scholars have speculated whether the preserved version is similar to or different from the original composition. Gustav Storm assumed they were similar, but Finnur Jónsson and Gustav Indreb0 agreed that the older Morkinskinna (Original Morkinskinna) was very different from the extant version, and that most of the þættir and various other material was interpolated. However, they differed as to whether Original Morkinskinna should be considered a manuscript of Norwegian royal history comparable to Heimskringla and Fagurskinna or a collection of sagas about individual kings. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson compromised between these points of view, but later scholars have generally followed Indreb0. The article discusses the premises underlying these assumptions and points out that they are not based on a firm foundation, and simply reflect negative value judgements of the extant work. Scholars have also gone too far in using textual arguments based on a comparison of two manuscripts to reconstruct an "original" text. The author considers that such approaches are inapropriate, and that it is not possible to claim that certain parts of the text are younger than others by hunting for "errors".