Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Rómverja Saga

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Rómverja Saga

Article excerpt

Rómverja saga, ed. Èorbjorg Helgadóttir (Reykjavik: Stofnun Arna Magnússonar í íslenskum frasöum, 2010). VoL I: ccxx pp.; 5 illustrations. Vol. ?: vii + 413 pp. ISBN 978-9979654-1 1-7. 4900 ISK. Rómverja saga, the 'Saga of the Romans', is an Old Norse- Icelandic translation of a number of classical texts, principally Sallust's Bellum Jugurtbimm and Conjuratio Catilinae and Lucan's Pbarsalia, linked and accompanied by transitional synopses of the history of late Republican Rome and an epilogue summarizing Roman history up to the urne of Christ. The saga survives in two traditions, a longer 'earlier' version and a condensed 'later' redaction, both of whose earliest witnesses are fourteenth century: AM 595 a-b 4"° and AM 226 fol respectively. In the latter, Rómverja saga directly follows the expansive compilation of Old Testament material Sijórn. This is the first edition of the text for a century. It has previously been edited by Konrao Gislason (1860) and Rudolf Meissner (1910); a facsimile of AM 595 a-b 4% edited by Jakob Benediktsson, appeared in 1980. In the first volume, !»orbjorg Helgadóttir offers a detailed palaeographic and orthographic survey of the manuscripts, followed by a discussion of the sources of the translations themselves and suggestions as to the likely texts the compiler was drawing on in composing the transitional passages. This chapter contains lengthy parallel-text illustrations of the connections between Rómverja saga and its generic Old Norse companions, such as Veraldar saga and Clemens saga. This is followed by a discussion of the translation itself, which is chiefly philological, before a short conclusion which seeks to set the saga in a literary-historical context ! …

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