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Ljósvetninga saga (About this soundlisten ) is one of the sagas of Icelanders, commonly dated to the thirteenth century and takes place between the end of the tenth century to the mid-eleventh century in the North of Iceland. The saga's main character is Guðmundr inn ríki Eyjólfsson, a powerful chieftain from North-Iceland's Eyjafjörður district. In the early-twentieth century it was an important part of the freeprose-bookprose debate of the oral vs. literary origins of the sagas of Icelanders, due to its problematic manuscript transmission.

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Authorship and DatingEdit

The author of the saga is unknown as the work is anonymous. Nevertheless, Icelandic politician and scholar Barði Guðmundsson argued that its author is Þórðr Þorvarðsson,[1] an historically obscure son-in-law of thirteenth-century magnate and author Sturla Þórðarson. The saga's Íslenzk fornit editor has dated both version of the saga to mid-thirteenth century due mostly to its literary connections with Njáls saga and historical evidence,[2] while its translators into English, Theodore Andersson and William Ian Miller, have suggested the earlier date of ca. 1220, based mostly on an oddly-placed reference to a historical character, and other literary connections.[3]

Manuscripts and RedactionsEdit

There are currently only two extant medieval manuscripts of Ljósvetninga saga, and both are fragmentary. A ca. 1400 manuscript belonging to the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, with the shelf-mark AM 561 4to, and another belonging to the same institute with shelf-mark AM 162 c fol. Of AM 561 4to there is only one nineteenth century paper copy made by the Icelandic scholar Guðbrandur Vigfússon, and all other paper copies are of AM 162 c fol.

The differences between the two manuscripts are dramatic from a narrative point of view; the version in AM 561 4to, often referred to as the A-redaction, features a shorter narrative that omits stories that are to be found in the C-redaction extant in AM 162 c fol. and its paper copies. These differences were a cause for much debate about the saga's origins and over the redactions' primacy, with arguments regarding a literary vs. oral connection between the two.[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Barði Guðmundsson. (1953). Ljósvetninga Saga og Saurbæingar. Reykjavík: Menningarsjóður.
  2. ^ Björn Sigfússon, ed. (1940). Ljósvetninga saga. Reykjavík: Hið íslenska fornritafélag. pp. XLVII–L.
  3. ^ a b Law and Literature in Medieval Iceland: Ljósvetninga Saga and Valla-Ljóts Saga. Translated by Andersson, Theodore M.; Miller, William Ian. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 1989.

External linksEdit