Research Group for Medieval Philology
The Research Group presents

"Skrifuð eftir gömlum sögum": The manuscript transmission of Króka-Refs saga

Zuzana Stankovitsová will present her PhD-project on the transmission of Króka-Refs saga.

AM 165 i fol., 1r
Stofnun Árna Magnússonar í íslenskum fræðum, handrit.is

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Skrifuð eftir gömlum sögum”: The manuscript transmission of Króka-Refs saga

Zuzana Stankovitsová, PhD-candidate, University of Bergen


The copying of Icelandic sagas by hand continued long past the end of the Middle Ages and the introduction of the printing press to Iceland. This long-lasting manuscript culture resulted in a great number of saga manuscripts, the majority of which were copied in early modern times. These relatively young manuscripts have generally not received much attention from scholars, as most of them – being copies of copies of copies – have no independent text-critical value. However, in recent decades, the material turn in philology has brought more attention to younger manuscripts both as cultural objects and as media providing testimony to the continuous reproduction, transmission and reception of Old Norse literature.


A material-philological approach is the basis for my PhD-project on the transmission of Króka-Refs saga. This 14th-century Íslendingasaga is preserved in over 40 manuscripts and manuscript fragments dating from the 15th–20th century, attesting to the saga’s popularity. The manuscripts have previously been examined by one of the saga’s early editors, Pálmi Pálsson, who in the introduction to his edition (1883) suggests that the text of the saga has undergone some development. However, he does not elaborate on this development, nor does he address manuscripts with the most variation. A systematic study of the transmission, as well as a stemma of the manuscripts are lacking. In my project, I am applying methods of both “old” and “new” philology. I seek to examine the saga’s textual development, and to understand the transmission of the text within the social and economic contexts in which the extant manuscripts were produced, used and reproduced.



Guests and any interested parties are welcome!