This article will serve as an informative reference for the literary sources used in the article titled ‘Odin as Christ?’. This primer will briefly cover some important Icelandic and Scandinavian history. ‘Odin as Christ?’ is an article that is based primarily on Chapter 5 of ‘The Beginning of Horde Russia’ by A.T. Fomenko and G.V. Nosovsky (0). They primarily reference the works of Snorri Sturluson, so with Snorri Sturluson I will start.
Snorri Sturluson is believed to have been an Icelandic historian, poet, and politician who lived in the 12th-13th century, according to (2). He is believed to be the author of the ‘Prose Edda’ (3). The Prose Edda is often believed to have been written in Iceland in the first half of the 13th century. There are seven surviving manuscripts of the Edda; three fragments, and four main manuscripts. These four manuscripts are the Codex Upsaliensis (4), Codex Regius (5), Codex Wormianus (6), and the Codex Boreelianus Rheno-Trajectinus (7). We will return to these manuscripts later in the article.
I was interested to see what types of contemporaries Snorri Sturluson may have had. According to (8), the word “skald” is “generally used for poets who composed at the courts of Scandinavian and Icelandic leaders during the Viking Age and Middle Ages.”. Supposedly there are over 300 known skalds that lived between the 9th-13th centuries.
The oldest known skald is supposedly Bragi Boddason (9). He is believed to have been a 9th century poet of the court. Bragi Boggason is commonly believed to be the author of Ragnarsdrápa (10). Fragments of this poem have been preserved in Sturluson’s ‘Prose Edda’. I have not yet been able to locate the origins (date of discovery/first noted appearance) of this work and will refer to works like this from here on out as “undated”. If you have information on the people or works mentioned in this article, please email me so that I may address myself to the task of updating and enhancing the quality of included information. My belief is that gaining information about the origins of the previous and following skalds is not a quick and easy task, especially for those who are not internet savvy.
Our next skald is Thjodolf (11). He is commonly believed to have been a Norwegian poet who lived around 855 – 930AD. Traditionally, the authorship of ‘Ynglingatal’ (12) is attributed to him. The poem’s composition is believed to have happened between the 9th – 12th centuries. Thjodolf’s poem is cited in the first saga of Snorri’s ‘Heimskringla’ (13), of which was allegedly first translated by Peder Calussøn Friis around 1600. The dating of this document received notable attention allegedly in the 19th century. Concerning its origins, I have labeled it undated.
Thjodolf is also sometimes credited as being the author of ‘Haustlöng’ (14). ‘Haustlöng’ is a poem believed to have been composed around the 10th century and is preserved in the ‘Prose Edda’ of the alleged 13th century. I have labeled ‘Haustlöng’ as undated. Clarification will be provided in the later portion of this article that covers the origins of the ‘Prose Edda’.
Let us continue with the introduction of Egill Skallagrímsson (15). He is commonly believed to have been an Iceland-born poet that lived from around 904 – 995AD. The sole source of information on Egill is ‘Egil’s Saga’ (16). This saga is a fragment of a manuscript which allegedly dates back to 1240AD. The wikipedia article does not have an image of this fragment, but instead shows a picture from an allegedly 17th century manuscript of ‘Egil’s Saga’. I have not yet located the origins of this person or the work which reference them. Due to no reference for dating of this manuscript in (16), I label the manuscript, and Egill, undated.
Gunnlaugr Ormstunga is our next poet and is commonly believed to have been born around 983AD (17). His life events are allegedly contained within ‘Gunnlaugs saga ormstungu’ (18). The saga was allegedly composed in the 13th century. A notable fact about this saga is that it was the first of the Icelanders’ sagas to be published in a scholarly edition. This publication was printed in 1775 with a Latin translation and commentary. It is not yet clear to me where this saga was before 1775. I label this manuscript, and the character it tells us about, undated.
One last character before returning to Snorri Sturluson; Þórir jökull Steinfinnsson (19). Steinfinnsson was allegedly executed, along with five others, around 1238AD. The 6 names are recorded in the ‘Saga of Icelanders’ (20). This saga has been recognized to make up a fair portion of the Sturlunga saga (21). The latter saga is preserved on “two defective Western Icelandic parchments” that are believed to be from the 14th century, and a manuscript from the alleged 17th century that is based on the “two defective parchments”. The Saga of Icelanders, the Sturlunga saga, and Steinfinnsson, seem to me to each have foggy origins. Due to this, I label them undated.
This concludes the brief review of poets relevant to Snorri.
Now we return to our original poet, Snorri Sturluson. As mentioned before, he is believed to be the author of the ‘Prose Edda’. We will now focus on the manuscripts which comprise the ‘Edda’.
The first manuscript is titled ‘Codex Upsaliensis’ (4). The earliest mention that I found of this manuscript is when Bishop Brynjólfur Sveinsson (22) donates the codex in 1639. Interestingly enough, this bishop was the one who in 1643 gave the name ‘Edda’ to the collection of Old Norse mythological and heroic poems, which is sometimes known as the ‘Poetic Edda’ (23). Shortly after this, in 1650, he requests from all the people residing in his diocese to gift or sell any old manuscripts to the King Frederick the Third. It was a direct result of this request that the important mediaeval Icelandic manuscript ‘Codex Flateyensis’ (24) was discovered. Conclusion; ‘Codex Upsaliensis’ seemingly appears out of obscurity in the 17th century.
The second manuscript is titled ‘Codex Regius’ (5). Prior to this codex arriving into the possession of Brynfólfur Sveinsson in 1643, nothing about its location was known. This is the manuscript which the bishop gifts to King Frederick III of Denmark in 1662. Conclusion; this manuscript appears out of obscurity in the 17th century.
The third manuscript is titled ‘Codex Wormianus’(6). This codex was supposedly written in a Benedictine monastery in Iceland around 1350AD. Ole Worm supposedly received this codex in 1628 from Arngrímur Jónsson. The codex was transferred from Worm’s son to Árni Magnússon in 1706, and is today a part of the Arnamagnæan Manuscript Collection (25). Conclusion; this manuscript appears out of obscurity in the 17th century.
The fourth and final manuscript is titled ‘Codex Boreelianus Rheno-Trajectinus’ (7). This manuscript allegedly contains the four Gospels in Greek. There is supposedly no record of how this codex was obtained by Johann Boreel in the early 17th century. It allegedly remained in private care for over a century. Utrecht University has been its holding place since 1830. Conclusion; this manuscript appears out of obscurity in the 17th century.
Given the conclusions above, we may claim that the bulk of the ‘Prose Edda’ appears out of obscurity in the 17th century. Perhaps this is only the case for the ‘Prose Edda’? I mean, there are other manuscripts that are from around the same time (12th-13th centuries) as the ‘Prose Edda’. Below, I will briefly address four additional documents.
The ‘Old Icelandic Homily Book’ (26) and the ‘Old Norwegian Homily Book’ (27) are believed to have been written around the 12th-13th centuries. These two books represent some of the earliest known Old West Norse prose. I found no information about the ‘Old Norwegian Homily Book’’s origins and found that the ‘Old Icelandic Homily Book’ appears out of obscurity in the 17th century. These are both Christian works. Conclusion; at least one of these books appears out of obscurity in the 17th century, while the other alludes revealing its origins altogether.
‘Historia Norwegiæ’ (28) is considered to be one of the synoptic histories of Norway written anonymously in Latin. This manuscript is commonly thought to have been written at the earliest in the 12th-13th centuries. The only copy is allegedly being privately held in Scotland. The earliest record that I could find is Peter Munch’s ‘Symbolæ ad Historiam Antiquiorem Rerum Norwegicarum’ of 1850, where he publishes the manuscript. One notable element from this document is that it mentions both a volcanic eruption and an earthquake. Conclusion; this manuscript appears out of obscurity in the 19th century.
‘Ágrip af Nóregskonungasögum’ (29), along with ‘Historia Norwegiæ’, is considered one of the synoptic histories of Norway. This manuscript is written in Old Norse and is believed to have been written around 1190AD. An Icelandic manuscript supposedly from the early 13th century is the only surviving copy of ‘Ágrip’. The name that I have used for it in my article was first used in 1835. ‘Ágrip’ was translated to Danish in 1834, Latin in 1835, German in 1929, Norwegian in 1936, and English in 1995. Conclusion; this manuscript appears out of obscurity in the 19th century.
I attempted to locate the origins of over 20 other manuscripts which are considered to be important Icelandic and Old Norse literature. The only dates which were readily available were dates of supposed composition. In other words, these documents themselves have been recognized as important, but the dates of their recordings and travels through history are vague to nonexistent. As I am wrapping up this article, I would again like to request from anyone who may be reading this to assist me in creating a concise and accurate synopsis of the documents prior to the early 17th century.
Icelandic and Scandinavian history surfaces out of obscurity only in the 17th century. Snorri Sturluson’s ‘Prose Edda’ surfaces out of obscurity only in the 17th century. The ‘Icelandic and Norwegian Homily Books’, Christian works, both surface out of obscurity only in the 17th century. The two synoptic histories of Norway that I mentioned surface out of obscurity only in the 19th century. There are over twenty other manuscripts of which information on their appearance out of obscurity is not yet easily available. As of now, the years before 1650AD are in question as to what may have actually happened. Again, please email me information that you believe may enhance the quality of this article.
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