[Sca-cooks] Sagas and Gragas-OT

David Friedman ddfr at daviddfriedman.com
Fri Jan 29 01:24:46 PST 2010

>Don't discredit the Sagas and the lack written information as proof 
>that the Vikings didn't write. The term Viking is a broad term 
>Many of the surviving manuscripts related to the sagas that do 
>exists are basically in two places. One is at the University of 
>Iceland in Reykjavik at the Arni Magnusson Institute and in Denmark 
>at the National Archives. There are also surviving documents at the 
>Vatican... but that thread starts in the 10th century......
><personal notes from Prof. Torfi H. Tulinius lecture Sagas about 
>Early Icelanders >
>After the Christian conversion of Iceland in 1000 A.D the native 
>born Bishop Klaeng of Skalholt, as his first act decreed that anyone 
>and everyone who had a manuscript of the sagas, eddics and skaldic 
>poems and records were to send them to the King of Denmark as a gift.

Klaeng became Bishop in 1152, more than  a hundred and fifty years 
after Iceland went Christian.

>Many of the manuscripts were secured in this manner but many were 
>also destroyed. It is not known how much was destroyed out of 
>ignorance or political editing. It is documented that Irish monks 
>were in Iceland writing down the sagas.

Would you like to provide us a cite to the documentation of that?

>Since it was laborious to write in runic form many educated 
>"Vikings" wrote in Latin or had the monks scribe for them......
>Further information can be found at the Icelandic Saga Museum and 
>the Arni Magnusson Institutue in Reykjavik, Iceland-The Univeristy 
>of Iceland.

And at Cornell, which has a center for the study of matters Icelandic.

But at none of those places will you find manuscripts of the sagas 
dating from the eleventh century, since no such manuscripts exist.

>Also on hand are documents related to feasts, meals and drinks 
>served and the gift exchanges....


David Friedman

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