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Vinsamlegast notið þetta auðkenni þegar þið vitnið til verksins eða tengið í það: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/12777


The World's Saga: An English Translation of the Old Norse Veraldar saga, a History of the World in Six Ages

Ágúst 2012

/Veraldar saga/ is a somewhat understudied text, owing to its focus on non-Icelandic and non-Scandinavian history. Further, the only scholarly edition of the text itself is a somewhat dated diplomatic edition by Jakob Benediktsson. The purpose of this thesis is twofold: to synthesize and expand on all existing research on /Veraldar saga/ and to translate Jakob's edition into English in order to make the work accessible to students and scholars of historiography who have no familiarity with Old Norse. Through examining existing research on /Veraldar saga/ and works on continental European historiography, it is apparent that /Veraldar saga/ does not fit well in existing taxonomies of medieval European historiography. While the continental influences on /Veraldar saga/ are apparent, primarily in the form of its Six Ages structure, its use of the Old Norse vernacular and its final focus on a national history foreign to the writer, that of the Franks and the Holy Roman Empire, are characteristics not found in continental European writing until the emergence of humanist authors in the 15th century. The use of Old Norse is simply a result of the prevailing Icelandic written culture at the time of /Veraldar sagas/ writing. Þorbjörg Helgadóttir in her work on /Rómverja saga/ has established a link between /Rómverja saga/ and German manuscripts of Roman history. The Roman history of /Veraldar saga/ shows a strong correspondence to the much more elaborate form in /Rómverja saga/. For dating and verbosity reasons, it is impossible that either text is borrowing from the other. Therefore, their Roman history likely comes from the same original sources, ultimately imported from Germany. This combined with the Holy Roman Empire focus of /Veraldar saga/ indicates that several manuscripts from Germany were involved in /Veraldar saga/'s writing. Hopefully, the provided English translation of /Veraldar saga/ will allow scholars of Latin and Middle High German historiography to find textual connections beyond those already established by this thesis and other scholars of Old Norse.


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