Morkinskinna: The Earliest Icelandic Chronicle of the Norwegian Kings (1030-1157)

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Theodore Murdock Andersson, Kari Ellen Gade
Cornell University Press, 2000 - History - 556 pages

Morkinskinna (rotten parchment), the first full-length chronicle of the kings of medieval Norway (1030-1157), forms the basis of the Icelandic chronicle tradition. Based ultimately on an original from ca. 1220, the single defective manuscript was written in Iceland ca. 1275. The present volume, the first translation of Morkinskinna in any language, makes this literary milestone available to a general readership, with introduction and commentary to clarify its position in the history of medieval Icelandic letters. The book is designed to be used by readers with no knowledge of Icelandic. The translation is keyed to, and may be used in conjunction with, the existing diplomatic editions. Notes on the manuscript problems, as well as introductory and appended matter, augment the text. Above all, Kari Ellen Gade's edition of the skaldic stanzas provides a substantial initial step toward a future edition of the Icelandic text: Morkinskinna is the first large-scale repository of skaldic verse. Morkinskinna also includes many semi-independent tales that recount the adventures of individual Icelanders at the Norwegian court. These tales, with their often humorous or ironic inflections, shift the focus of the chronicle from the deeds of the kings to the Icelandic perception of Norwegian royalty.

--Jenny Jochens "Scandinavian Studies"
 

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Contents

The Contest of the Kings 345 71 The Contest of the Kings
71
Contents of Morkinskinna
85
Here Begins the Saga of King Magnús and King Haraldr
89
Concerning Sveinn
100
Concerning King Magnúss Round of Feasts
102
Concerning King Magnús
109
Concerning the Declaration of War against King Magnús and Concerning the Duke
115
King Magnús in Jutland
123
The Death of King Harold Godwinson
276
The Saga of King Óláfr kyrri the Quiet
277
Concerning King Oláfr and the Krákukarl Crow Man
282
The Saga of King Magnús berfoettr
285
Concerning King Magnús and Sveinki Steinarsson
291
Concerning King Magnúss Harrying
297
Concerning King Magnús
302
Concerning King Magnúss Death
309

King Magnúss Stay in Jutland
125
How King Haraldr Set Sail When He Came to Skáney
129
Concerning Haraldrs Travels
130
Concerning Norðbrikts Travels
134
Concerning a Declaration of War
136
Concerning the Raids of Norðbrikt and Jarl Gyrgir
139
Haraldrs Journey to Jerusalem
144
Concerning King Magnúss Meeting with Haraldr
151
The Slandering of Þorkell
157
Concerning King Magnús
158
On the Dispute between the Kings
159
Concerning the Kings
161
Concerning Þorsteinn Hallsson
163
Concerning the Kings
165
The Good Counsels of King Haraldr
167
Concerning King Magnús and Margrét
168
Hreiðars þáttr
171
How the Kings Harried and How the Kings Mother Granted a Captive His Life
179
King Magnús Dies
181
Haraldrs Thingmeeting
184
King Magnúss Funeral Voyage
185
Haraldrs Thingmeeting
187
King Haraldrs Campaign in Denmark
194
Concerning King Haraldr
204
Concerning the Disagreement between the King and Einarr þambarskelfir
205
Concerning an Icelander
206
Concerning King Haraldrs Wise Counsels
208
How Auðunn from the Westfjords Brought King Sveinn a Bear
211
Concerning King Haraldr and the Upplanders
215
Concerning King Haraldr and Brandr Qrvi the OpenHanded
219
Concerning King Haraldr
220
Concerning the Storytelling of an Icelander
222
Concerning Þorvarðr krákunefs Gift of a Sail to King Haraldr
223
Concerning King Haraldr and Hákon
225
SnegluHalla þáttr
243
The King Encounters a Man in a Boat
252
Concerning King Haraldr and a Dear Friend of Tryggvi Ólafsson
255
Concerning Oddr Ófeigsson
257
How It Came about That King Haraldr Journeyed to the West
261
The Treachery against King Haraldr
267
Óláfr Haraldssons Return to Norway
274
The Beginning of the Rule of King Magnúss Sons
313
Concerning the Gifts of Emperor Kirjalax Alexius I Komnenos
323
Concerning King Sigurðrs Feast
324
Concerning King Eysteinn
326
Concerning the Kings Genealogies
328
Concerning King Sigurðrs Dream
329
The Dealings of King Eysteinn and Ingimarr with ÁsuÞórðr
330
The Death of King Óláfr Magnússon
334
Concerning Þórarinn stuttfeldr
347
Concerning the Death of King Eysteinn
349
Concerning King Sigurðr and Óttarr
350
Concerning King Sigurðr and Erlendr
351
Concerning Haraldr gilli
352
Concerning King Sigurðr and Áslákr hani Rooster
353
Concerning King Sigurðr
354
Concerning the Bet between Magnús and Haraldr
356
Concerning King Sigurðr and Bishop Magni
357
The Death of King Sigurðr
358
The Gifts of King Haraldr to Bishop Magnús
366
The Story of Sigurðr slembidjákn
367
Concerning Sigurðr slembir
369
The Slaying of King Haraldr
370
Concerning King Sigurðr slembir
372
Concerning King Haraldrs Sons
375
Concerning Sigurðr
376
Concerning King Sigurðr slembir
378
King Ingis Letter
381
Concerning Sigurðr slembir
382
Concerning King Sigurðr slembir
385
The Slaying of Óttarr birtingr
388
no heading
389
Concerning King Sigurðr
390
The Slaying of Geirsteinn
394
no heading
398
Textual Notes
405
Explanatory Notes
418
Notes on Stanzas
466
Appendixes
497
Maps
516
Indexes
533
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Theodore M. Andersson, Professor Emeritus of Germanic Studies at Indiana University, is the author of several books, including Early Epic Scenery: Homer, Virgil, and the Medieval Legacy; The Legend of Brynhild (both from Cornell); and A Preface to the "Nibelungenlied." Kari Ellen Gade, Professor in the Department of Germanic Studies at Indiana University, is the author of The Structure of Old Norse "Dróttkvæt" Poetry (Volume XLIX in Islandica).

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