July 23, 2024

The Much Wanted Old Manuscripts

Once upon a time, actually in the eighteenth century, was a guy that collected manuscripts in Iceland. Among other things he collected 700 manuscripts that dated back to the middle ages. 

The guy’s name was Arni Magnusson (1663-1730). The funny thing is that all of these manuscripts ended in Danish museum where they have been kept since then. During that era Iceland was ruled by the Danes and that is the reason they ended there. 

The million dollar question is: whom do those manuscripts belong to? Do they belong to the Danes because many of the scripts tell tales that are part of Danish culture? Or do the scripts belong to Icelanders that originally wrote or owned the scripts that are impenetrable part of the Icelandic culture since the beginning of the settlement?

You can find more about this little nuance between Iceland and Denmark in this article

Here are some bits about early sagas of Icelanders and excerpts from the  The Book of the Icelanders written in the twelfth century.

If you would like to read the Icelandic sagas then you can find translations as well as Icelandic versions on sagadb.org.