Riddarasögur

Knights' Sagas or Romances of Chivalry

 

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"Romance, to judge by manuscript transmission, the most popular genre in Iceland through the centuries, has not been similarly well-received by the critics. Assessment of the Old-Norse-Icelandic romances, variously called riddarsögur (sagas of knights, chivalric tales), lygisögur (lying sagas, fictional stories), fornsögur Suðrlanda (ancient sagas of southern lands) and Märchensagen (fairy-tale sagas) have been mostly negative. ...[In recent years,] Old Norse-Icelandic romance has become a subject of serious scholary inquiry. The change occurred around the middle of the [20th] century and was generated in large measure by editorial activity in Demark and  Iceland. The Arnamagnaean Institutes in Copenhagen and Reykjavik have been seeking to provide a sounder textual basis for literary criticism with their diplomatic editions of translated and Icelandic romances alike. "

 

— Marianne Kalinke, "Norse Romance" in  Old Norse-Icelandic Literature a Critical Guide, p. 342.

 

Index to the Complete Riddararsögur  

Arranged Alphabetically by Uniform Title

 

  

Uniform Title & Icelandic Text

  

English Translation of Title

A literal translation of the title has been provided

  

Scholarship 

Primary Source: Medieval Scandinavia: An Encyclopedia

edited by Phillip Pulsiano and Kristen Wolf

 

 
  Adonias saga The Saga of Adonias
An indigenous Icelandic saga from the late 14th century. In the prologue the copyist complains about pride, avarice, and the amassing of wealth. The following chapter details the division of the world by Noah's sons. The saga proper begins in the third chapter. The saga which runs to 71 chapters is unnecessarily prolonged by lengthy accounts of military preparations and actions, stock banquets and hunting scenes, as well as descriptions of gratuitious violence and horror. The saga focuses on the  struggle between the false-king and the rightful heir to the throne, shifting scenes from one encampment to the other.
 
  Ála flekks saga The Saga of Spotted Ali
A native Icelandic saga composed around 1400
Sometimes classified as a Fornaldarsaga

The tale follows the adventures of an exposed son of King Richard of England, who is found and raised by an old couple who name him "Spotted Ali" because of a birthmark on his right check. At the age of eight, he is taken into the king's household, where he is bound by a wicked maid and sent off to a troll-woman named Nótt. He escapes and weds a maiden-king, but is transformed into a werewolf by her brother, until his foster-mother recognizes him and removes the wolfskin. Eventually, he assumes his rightful place as heir of the king of England.

1927 Max Niemeyer, Ála flekks saga

1992 Bryant W. Bachman, Six Old Icelandic Sagas
["The Saga of Ali Flekk"]
 
 

Alexanders saga

Alexander's Saga
The chief mss. dates from 1280. A prose translation of the Latin epic Alexandreis, written in dactylic hexameters by Galterus de Castellione c. 1180, recounting the life and career of Alexander the Great. The translation is characterized by beautiful language, and an expansion of the condensed style of the source poem.  The ten books of the poem are not all equally and thoroughly translated. A note in one of the manuscripts says that Bishop Brandr Jónsson translated the saga from Latin into Norse. The same is said in all but two mss. of Gyðinga Saga, which adds that the translation (or translations) was/were done at the command of King Magnus, son of King Hakon the Old. As Brandr Jónsson was known to have been in Norway in 1262-1263, the translations of both sagas were probably made then.

1848 C. R. Unger, Alexanders saga
"Journey to the Antipodes: Cosmological and Mythological Themes in Alexander's Saga"
by David Ashurst [11th Annual Saga Conference]

 
 

Amicus saga og Amilíus

The Saga of Amicus and Amilus
Translated from Latin in the early 14th century. A tale about the self-sacrificing friendship of two knights, Amicus and Amileus, which contrasts their mutual loyalty with a number of betrayals of trust and the obligations of love by other characters. The theme is an exposition of the virtues of a friendship so dear to God that He works miracles on its behalf. Traditionally, all versions of the story are assigned to one of two categories: romance or haliography. A comparison of the oldest extant version of the tale (that of Radulfus Tortarius, in verse c. 1090) with younger versions, in which the two friends are clearly portrayed as saints, reveal that the tale originally lacked the haliographic character of later versions.  The romantic versions more closely represent the original form of the tale which probably came into existence in southern France in the late 11th century. The popularity of the tale is evidenced by the repeated adaptations of the story into different narrative forms such as miracle play, exemplum, prose and ballad.
 
 
  Barlaams ok Josaphats saga The Saga of Barlaam and Josaphat
A religious tale based upon the legends of the life
 of Buddha, 6th century Asian legends.
Translated from Georgian into Greek, and Greek into Latin in the 11th and 12th centuries. From the latter, the tale was translated into European venaculars including Icelandic.
 
 

 Bevers saga 

The Saga of Bevers
13th century saga translated from a lost version of the Anglo-Norman Boeve de Haumtone. Like its Norman source, the sprawling, adventure-filled narrative is replete with betrayals, abductions,  battles, intrigues and frustrated romance, yet underscored with a Christian tone. The story follows the ultimately tragic romantic adventures of Bevis, a young prince sold to seamen by his mother, after he thwarts her plot to have his father murdered by her intended suitor, the Emperor of Germany, by killing the Emperor first.  Bevis spends his life fighting  for the hand of Josvena, daughter of King Erminrikr, first against false accusations, and then the abduction by a giant whose life he had spared, and finally against her legal suitor.  Bevis is ultimately reunited with Josvena after many years only to find her gravely ill. Sick with grief, he lies down by her side and they both. 
 
  Blómstrvallasaga The Saga of Blómstrvöllr
A native Icelandic saga composed before 1500, which follows the adventures of two brothers seperated violently at an early age. As adults they both end up in the African paradise of Blómstrvöllr ('Plain of Flowers') where they duel for supremacy of rulership of the land. Reunited through the action of mutual friends, they each recount their life story. The saga ends with a magnificent wedding feast in the fabled land. The author borrowed heavily from other sagas, particulary Þidreks Saga af Bern.
 
  Breta sögur The Saga of the British
An Old Norse rendering of Geoffrey of Monmouth's Latin Historia regum Brittanniae (c. 1136) with additions from other sources. The text is poorly preserved existing in both a longer and a shorter redaction, the shorter of which is found in Hauksbók. The abridgement is especially pronounced at the end, which is unfortunate since Hauksbók is the only extant manuscript of Bretta sögur to contain the last chapters of the work.   The longer redaction is represented by two 14th century manuscripts, both defective. One has several lacunae and ends defectively within Valvers þáttr, which follows the death of King Arthur (Historia, Book 11) in this manuscript; the other breaks off in Historia, Book 5. A badly multilated fragment of an otherwise lost 14th century manuscript containing a fuller text of Bretta sögur was discovered in the binding of an Icelandic manuscript in Trinity College, Dublin in 1968.
 
 

Bærings saga

 The Saga of Bæringr

 

A native Icelandic tale dating from the beginning of the 14th century. The story concerns Bæringr, the rightful heir to the throne of Saxonland, who must recapture his father's kingdom from the sorcerer Heinrekr. 

 

 
  Clári Saga (Klári saga) The Saga of Clarus
A maiden-king romance which may stem from a lost Latin poem. According to an introductory passage in one group of manuscripts, the tale was "found" in France in Latin meter. The tale was then "told" c. 1300 by Jon Hallðorsson, then a student in Paris, later a bishop in Skálholt. If so, the Latin original is lost. This story appears to have given rise to the maiden-king genre in Old Icelandic, which also includes: Dínus saga drambláta, Nitida saga, Sírgarðs saga frækna, Sigurðar saga sögla, and Viktors saga ok Blávus.
 
  Dámusta saga The Saga of Damusti
A native saga probably from the 14th century, which is difficult to classify because of its religous and moral elements. Damusti, the son of one of King Jon of Saxony's wisemen, falls in love with a Grecian princess, murders her intended bridegroom with the consent of the wisemen, and ultimately obtains her hand with supernatural assistance. When the princess dies of a fatal illness, the Virgin Mary instructs him to go to her grave and defeat a giant there, who gives him a potion to resurrect her. When her father passes away, Damusti becomes Emperor.
 
  Dínus saga drambláta The Saga of Dinus the Haughty
A native Icelandic saga composed in the 14th century, transmitted in three redactions that vary considerably. The story concerns haughty Prince Dinus of Egypt, who is enchanted by a spell with a burning desire for the equally haughty Princess Philotemia of Bláland (Ethiopia).  They exchange a series of vengeful spells and counterspells before eventually reconciling and  marrying. The text unites the bridal-quest motif with that of the maiden king.
  
 
  Drauma-Jóns saga The Saga of Dream-Jon
A comparatively short riddarsaga, probably composed at the beginning of the 14th century, concerning a young man named Jon who can interpret dreams. Earl Heinrekr of Saxland is jealous and hopes to steal his talent by eatinghhis heart. Heinrekr's wife Ingibörg who has consented to kill Jón in his sleep, deceives her husband and saves Jón at the last moment, substituting a dog's heart. The Emperor of Saxland comes to Heinrikr with a dream he cannot interpret, and soon learns from his wife that Jón is not dead. Jón is brought before the Emperior, where he tells his own story and interprets the dream, which signifies the Queen's adultery. The emperor puts the Queen and her lover on a ship never to return and exiles Heinrekr. The saga ends with the marriage of Jón and Ingibörg, and Jón receiving his earldom.  The tale was popular in Iceland as evidenced by five vellum mss. and about 45 paper mss.
 
  Ectors [Hektors] saga ok kappa hans Hectors Saga and his Champions
A native riddarsaga dating from the late 14th to early 15th century, preserved in 45 manuscripts. After a brief summary of the events of the Trojan war, the story relates the adventures of a young Prince of Thecisia, dubbed a knight at 17,  named Ector after the Tojan hero Hector. At a tournament, he defeats six princes, who afterward offer him service. Living together in Ector's castle, the 7 knights decide to go off in search of adventure and agree to return after one year. Their seven adventures are related in turn. This saga with its seven tales of adventure represents the sole Ielandic expression of the medieval frame narrative. The episodes all employ the common folktake structure in which a hero sets out alone or with a companion to defeat an opponent who is menacing a kingdom, and as reward is granted the hand of a princess. Unity is achieved in the frame, but also through the device of interlacing such as when the hero of the sixth adventure gets the bride of the seventh, and visa versa.   The borrowed material appears to originate from an unusually eclectic variety of sources.
 
  Elis Saga ok Rósamundu The Saga of Elis and Rosamunda
Translated from the French "Elie de Saint Galle", with 11 additional chapters added to expand the epic. The saga combines the themes of the Christian-Pagan conflict, with that of the Exile-Testing-Return. Written in the "court style" and marked by a high degree of alliteration, the story is unusual in that it retains the narrating persona of the French original, which directly address the audience and later appeals for attention.


 
  Erex Saga The Saga of Erex
Based on the French work of Chrétien de Troyes, 'Erec et Enide'.
Probably written along with the Norse adapatations of Chrétien's Yvain (Ivens saga) and Perceval (Parcevals saga) for the court of King Hakon Hakonarson of Norway (r. 1217-1263), this saga is perhaps the most abbreviated and, structurally, the most divergent from its source. Ther eis some reordering of the hero's adventures with two more added (in ch. 10), as well as the addition of an epilogue which gives a brief account of Erex later career and his descendants. The saga is further distinguished from its source by the addition of a number of didactic passages about the moral responisbilities of kings and noblemen. The story concerns the early success, followed by a knightly lapse, self-imposed exile and eventural reintergration into chivalric society of the Round Table knight Eric (Old Norse Erex). Stung by criticism from his bride Enide (Old Norse Evida) for his self-indulgant withdrawal from public life after their marriage, he embarks with her on a hazardous journey which tests his prowness to the full. Finally with his repuation restored and enhanced, he resumes his rightful place in the Arthurian world and succeeds his father, King Lac (Old Norse Ilax), on the throne.

1965 Foster Warren Blaisdell,  Erex saga Artuskappa
 
  Flóres saga konungs ok sona hans The Saga of King Flores and his sons

Composed at the end of the 14th century. Although certain motifs and characters point to foriegn influence, the saga seems to be an original composition. In the tale, King Flores of Traktia kidnaps Elina of Kartagia in Africa, who bears him three sons. In Flores' absense, Elina's father arrives and takes back his daughter and her children. The boat is shipwrecked. In time, Flores remarries and sires a daugher named Elina. Sintram a knight falls in love with Flores' daugher Elina. After a fierce fight for her, Flores captures Sintram, kills his two brothers, and takes three knights in his retinue hostage. Awaiting their execution, the three knights recount their life stories, allowing Flores to recognize them as his three lost sons. Flores pardons them all. Sintram marries Elina, and his three sons become rulers of England, Gaskonia and Africa.
 
  Flóres saga ok Blankiflúr Saga of Flores and Blankiflur  
Translated from French  "Floire et Blancheflor' (12th century). Composed in Old Norwegian prose probably between 1220 and 1230. The saga is a Christian romance about the young, loving couple Flores and Blankiflur. He is Islamic and she is Christian. Both are born on Palm Sunday, the day Catholics carry blessed branches and flowers. Blankiflur's mother is taken hostage on her pilgramage to Spain, and Blankiflur is raised together with Flores at the royal court of his father. Despoite their mutual love, th king doesn't want his son to marry the daughter of a Christian prisoner, as so sells Blankiflur to the King of Babylon. Discovering this, Flores sets off to find her.  After much traveling her finds he engaged to be wed to an oriental king, who keeps her locked in a tower with 40 virgins. After a victorious single combat, Flores frees her and returns home where he is crowned king and marries Blankiflur. Thanks to the initiative of Blankiflur, Flores and his people adopt Christianity, and in time their son assumes rule of the kingdom.
 
 
  Eufemiavisorna
1. Herr Ivan
2. Hertig Fredrik (av Normandie)
3. Flóres ok Blanzeflor
The Eufemia Poems
1. Sir Ivan (from Yvain or Le chevalier au lion)
2. Duke Frederic of Normady
3. Flores and Blanzeflor

"Three epic poems of chivalry in the knittel meter translated into Old Swedish from prose or metrical originals. According to statements in each of their conclusions, they were translated on the initiative of Queen Eufemia of Norway in the years 1303, 1308, and 1311." Mediveal Scandinavia, An Encyclopedia.

1880 Oscar Klockhoff Studier öfver eufemiavisorna

 
 
  Flóvents saga Frakkakonungs The Saga of Flóvent, King of the Franks
Flóvents saga,
of the 13th century, is probably not a translation, but as its rambling style indicates, an adaptation of a lost French chanson de geste. There is no connection other than name with the Chanson de Floovant. The saga operates on such stock and trade motifs of the  chanson de geste as the rescue of the Christian warrior by a heathen princess who subsequently converts to Christianity and marries the hero, the suspension of combat for elevated prayer, the enumeration of military forces, the often lavish expressions of mutal admiration by fellow brothers-in-arms,  a fondness for carnage and multilation, and the loud tauntings and ravings particularly of the infidels.
 
  Gibbons saga The Saga of Gibbon

Gibbons Saga, ed. R.I. Page, 1960.

Composed in Iceland in the 14th century.
An amalgam of two motifs: maiden king romance and the union between a human and a fairy, from which it is indebted to Klári Saga and Paralopa Saga respectively. The tale shares and overall plot structure with Rémundar Saga, and elements appear to have been borrowed from Víktors Saga ok Blávus.
 
  Gyðinga Saga The Saga of the Jews
Titled  "Historia Judica" by Arni Magnuson.
Fragments of the oldest manuscript date to around 1300.
The tale covers about 220 years of Jewish history from the oppression of the Jews by Antiochus IV, and their resistance under the Macabees until Jewish independence in 142 B.C.
 
  Hrings saga ok Tryggva The Saga of Hring and Tryggvi
Probably dates from the 14th century. Only two vellum manuscripts from the 15th century survive. Hrings saga ok tryggva is not a riddarsaga, despite the fact that its principle characters are noble. There is no knight nor conventionally chivalric themes. The saga is best classified among the lysisögur, 'lying-sagas', an intermediary between riddarsögur and fornaldarsögur.
)
  Íven(t)s saga
Ívens saga
The Saga of Iven(t)
Translated from French. Based on the work of Chrétien de Troyes. While remaining faithful to the substance of its source, this saga adhere to the pattern of other translated riddarsögur omitting editorial intruion and reducing description. Iven fails to strike the proper balance between prowess and love, causing the breakdown of his marriage by forgetting to return at the agreed upon time from a year of triumphant combat, After a series of adventures acompanied by a lion he rescued from a dragon, in which the hero proves himself to be of exceptopnal valor and worth, the couple are successfully reconciled. 
 
  Jarlmanns saga ok Hermanns The Saga of Jarlmann and Hermann
An indigenous Icelandic saga presumably composed in the 14th century, and transmitted in approximately sixty manuscripts. Jarlmanns saga follows the bridal-quest pattern in which there is a proxy-wooer, and is structured around multiple wooings, rival suitors, and the abduction of a bride.
 
 
  Jóns saga leiksveins
or Jóns saga leikara
The Saga of Playmate John.
or The Saga of Jon the Player.

Probably composed in the 14th century. A simple, well-structured saga which moves swiftly from event to event, using well-established native motifs, with some signs of foriegn influence. No complete edition of the saga has yet appeared in print.
 
 
Karlamagnús Saga
  1. Karlamagnus saga ok kappa hans
2. Sögu af frá Olif og Landres
3. Sögu af Oddgeiri Danska
4. Sögu af Agulando Konungi
5. Sögu af Guitalin Saxa
6. Sögu af Otvel
7. Sögu af Jorsalafed
 

The Saga of Charlemagne
  1. The story of Charlemagne and his champions
2. Story of Lady Olif and Landres (Synopsis)
3. Story of Oddgeir the Dane
4. Story of King Agulandus
5. Story of Guitalin the Saxon
6. Story of Otvel
7. Story of Jorsalafed
 


A collection of seven stories about Charlemagne, translated from Old French
. The texts most likely came from Britian, and were translated in the 13th century.

 
  Kirialax saga The Saga of Kirkalax 1917 Kristian Kålund, Kirialax saga.

This romantic saga deals with three generations of a family, principally focusing on its eponymous hero.  Probably dates from the 14th century. Exists in three fragmentary manuscripts from the 15th century. The plot of this saga is repetitious and without suspense.  The style of the compostion contains a tedious abundance of alliterating word chains. The main thread seems to be a series of three bride winnings, all by force. The saga contains a great amount of learned lore, mainly of foriegn origin but borrowed from Norse sources such as Stjórn.
 
  Konráðs saga keisarsinar The Saga of Konrad, Son of an Emperor
With no known foriegn-language source, the saga is a fine specimen of early indigenous riddarsaga combining elements from native tradition with more fashionable ones from the Continent. The dominant theme is not that ignorance is a basic fault, but that naiveté and blindness to reality, inevitably lead to great peril.

1987 Otto J. Zitzelsberger, Konráðs saga keisarasonar
 
  Mágnus Saga Jarls Magnus Jarl's saga A native Icelandic sagas, preserved in a shorter and longer form dating from 1300 and 1350 respectively.  
  Mírmans Saga The Saga of Mírmann
No known foriegn-language source. The saga is unique among ridaarsögur in that the hero's conversion to Christianity plays an important part in the story.  Although early editors postulated foriegn sources, there is no evidence that Mírmanns Saga is not a native composition. It borrows and adapts themes from continetal sources, but successfully shapes the borrowed material into a finely wrought whole with a strong narrative thread. The most unusual aspect is the active role of three female characters, and the correspondingly passive role of Mírmann himself.

1997 Desmond Slay, Mírmanns Saga
 
  Möttuls Saga or Skikkju Saga The Saga of the Cloak
Translated from the Old French fabliau Le Lai du cort mantel, a rather  frivilous piece which tells the story of a magic cloak brought to King Arthur's court which can confirm the chastity of the women in his court. All of them fail in one way or another, until Karadin's shy lady is brought forth. The saga is the only known Old Norse translation of an Old French
fablaiu.

1982 Simek, Rudolf, trans. Die Saga vom Mantel und die Saga vom schonen Samson. Mottuls saga und Samsons sagafagra.  
1987 Marianne E. Kalinke,
Mǫttuls saga
 
  Nitida saga

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Saga of Nitida




2009 Sheryl McDonald, 'Nítíða saga: A Normalised Icelandic Text and Translation', Leeds Studies in English, 40.

A native Icelandic maiden-king romance probably composed in the 14th century

2000 Margaret Clunies Ross, Old Icelandic Literature and Society:
"
Nitida saga (LMIR V) provides the most extensive demonstration of the global consciousness of the riddarasogur. Near the beginning of the saga, a lush island called Visio, located at the end of the earth, is said to contain four magic stones through which the whole world can be seen. Later, Nitida, queen of France, uses them to show the hero, Liforninus, every corner of the world: from France to Greece; the North (Norway, Iceland, the Faroes, the Hebrides, the Orkneys, Sweden, Denmark, England, Ireland); the East and everywhere else."

1965 Agnete Loth, Nitida Saga. Sigrgarðs Saga Frkna. Sigrgarðs Saga ok Valbrands. Sigurðar Saga Turnara. Hrings Saga ok Tryggva.
 
  Pamphilus ok Galathea Pamphilus and Galathea 13th century translation of an anonymous
poem the
Pamphilus de amore, written
toward the end of the 12th century
 
  Partalopa saga The Saga of Partilopi  
The Old Norse version of the story of Partenpeus de Blois from 1182-85, translated from French before teh 14th century in Norway or Iceland.

1983 Lise Præstgaard Andersen, Partalopa saga

 
  Parcevals Saga The Saga of Parceval Based on the work of Chrétien de Troyes.  Translated from French.  
  Rémundar saga keisarsonar The Saga of Remund, Son of an Emperor
Composed in the middle of the 14th century, it is the longest of the indigenous riddarsögur and has no known foriegn-language source. After a feast, Remundr, the son of the Christian king of Saxland, dreams of a strange country with three fantastic buildings. The third is a castle with a revolving chamber on top. In the dream, Remundr weds a beautiful maiden, but awakes before he can consumate the relationship. When he awakes, the wedding ring is on his finger. The remainder of the tale chronicles his efforts to obtain her. His first obstacle is a giant named Eskupart, who wounds him in battle leaving the point of his sword lodged in his head, via a curse that can only be broken by Elina, the woman of the dream. Arriving in Africa, he must fend off the advances of a king's daughter and as a consequence is attacked by the king's men. His affliction worsens in India until an archbishop sends Elina to remove the piece of iron from his head. When the Prince of Sicily arrives to woo her, Remundr defeats him. With the help of a stone that renders him invisible, he is able to pay nightly visits to her. After returning home and fending off a pagan invasion of his country, he returns to India by way of Jerusalem with an army of 20,000 men, marries Elina and returns to Saxland to be crowned.
 
1909 Sven Grén Broberg, Rémundar saga keisarsonar
 
 
  Rómverja saga The Saga of the Romans
1878 Sturla Þórðarson, Guðbrandur Vigfússon
Islendinga saga : "Rómverja Saga may perhaps be fitly noticed here; it is a paraphrase of Sallust's Jugurthine War and Lucan's Pharsalia, and curious as the only version of any portion of classical literature which, as far as we know, was ever attempted in Norway or Iceland."

 
  Sagan af þorgrími kóngi og köppom hans
The Saga of King Thorgrim and his champions    
  Sáulus Saga ok Níkanor The Saga of Saulus and Nikanor
Composed in 14th century Iceland, the saga is characterized by an unusually large number of Biblical and Classical allusions. Over a third of the saga is taken up by blow-by-blow descriptions of battles. The tale relates the adventures of the vain Prince Saulus and his struggles to wed Potentiana, the sister of his sworn brother Duke Nikanor. Saulus' primary rival and military opponent is the heathen duke Mattheus, who aided by his fellow heathen Duke Abel, leads an army against Nikanor's kingdom and carries off Potentiana. Posing as entertainers, Saulus and Nikanor manage to free her, and mount a successful military campaign to block Mattheus' effort to recapture her.  Saulus marries Potentiana in Rome, and the two heroes go on to rule their respective kingdoms until their deaths in old age.
 
  Samsons saga fagra The Saga of  Samson the Fair

 

Probably composed late in the 14th century, the tale has two distinctive parts; the first is a romance in the Arthurian style, mingled with fairy-tale motifs; the second part (titled 'Sigurðar þáttr') resembles other late fornaldarsögur, but shows knowledge of Snorri's Edda, older fornaldarsögur, and other scholarly literature.

 

The saga was composed to reveal, among other things, the history of the magic chastity-testing cloak in Möttuls saga before it reached King Arthur's court, referring to the story as Skikkju saga.

 

1921 Henry Goddard Leach, Angevin Britain and Scandinavia:  "For the 'Saga of Samson the Fair' no prototype is known in English or French. This romance, which will reward a careful reading, may be summarized as follows:    King Arthur of England had a son called Samson the Fair. At his father's court was an Irish hostage, Princess Valintina, with whom he fell in love. Thinking such a match unequal, the king sent her home to her father, King Garlant of Ireland. King Garlant took his daughter on a voyage to visit his realms beyond the seas in Brittany. Here a thief named Kvintalin enticed the maiden into the woods by the luring music of his harp. Search for her proved vain, and Garlant returned sorrowful to Ireland. Meanwhile the girl was protected from harm by the magic arts of Samson's fostermother Olimpia. Believing Valintina dead, Samson was about to marry a Breton princess, when he found Valintina and captured Kvintalin. The thief promised to become his man, and so did his dwarf Grelant. For punishment, the abductor was sent on a distant voyage to the Land of the Little Maids to steal the precious mantle of many colors that served as a test for chastity. The second part of the saga recounts the search, reminding the reader of various Celtic examples of quests for magic objects. It records the early history of the mantle, describes its wonderful properties, and tells of the elfwomen who wove it in fairy land. Valintina passed the test and was awarded the mantle. Samson celebrated his wedding, and ruled happily over England."

 

1953 John Wilson, Samsons saga fagra  Copenhagen: Samfund til Udgivelseaf gammel nordisk Litteratur, (Summary).

 

1982 Simek, Rudolf, trans. Die Saga vom Mantel und die Saga vom schonen Samson. Mottuls saga und Samsons sagafagra.  

 

2005 John McKinnell, Meeting the Other In Old Norse Myth and Legend. (Synopsis)

 

 
  Sigrgarðs saga frækna The Saga of Sigrgard the Valiant
One of the most heavily transmitted riddarsögur, perhaps composed at Oddi in Southern Iceland in the third quarter of the 15th century, this tale is among the youngest of this genre. The story shares a striking thematic relationship with the fornaldarsögur, and includes familar elements such as magic weapons and a nið contest.

1965 Agnete Loth, Nitida Saga. Sigrgarðs Saga Frkna. Sigrgarðs Saga ok Valbrands. Sigurðar Saga Turnara. Hrings Saga ok Tryggva.
 
  Sigrgarðs saga ok Valbrands The Saga of Sigrgard and Valbrand
1990 Marianne E. Kalinke, Bridal-Quest Romance in Medieval Iceland:
"Sigrgards saga ok Valbrands is unusual in that the man who, according to the rules of bridal-quest narrative, should not only obtain his bride but also live happily ever after with her, is cruelly slain just as the quest is completed."

1965 Agnete Loth, Nitida Saga. Sigrgarðs Saga Frkna. Sigrgarðs Saga ok Valbrands. Sigurðar Saga Turnara. Hrings Saga ok Tryggva.
 
  Sigurdar saga fóts ok Ásmundar Húnakongs The Saga of Sigurd Foot and
 Asmundr King of the Huns

A short saga probably composed in Iceland in the 14th century. Favored by the critics for its brevity and similarity to other native fornaldarsögur.
 
1931 Jess Hamilton Jackson, Siguthar saga fots ok Ásmundar Húnakongs
 
 
  Sigarðar saga turnara The Saga of Sigurd the Jouster
Composed in Iceland in the 14th century, the story is composed of coventional motifs borrowed from native and foriegn source. The plot although eclectic, is a good story, well told without excessive rhetorical elaboration.
 
  Sigarðar saga þögla The Saga of Sigurd the Silent
A maiden-king romance composed in Iceland in the 14th century, which exhibits direct borrowing from several other riddarsögur. The prologue is also found in two manuscripts of Göngu-Hrólfs saga. the tale is characterized by a sense of humor not fround in other sources.

1992 Matthew James Driscoll, Sigurđar Saga þögla: The Shorter Redaction
 
 
  Strengleikar Sung-stories
The collection contains 11 of the 12 lais traditionally attributed to Marie de France, six anonymous lais found in other collections and four lais for which no French source has survived. Apparently undertaken during the reign of king Hákon Hákonson (1217-1263), according to the prose prologue, the Strengleikar primarily exist in one Norwegian manuscript from about 1270.

1902 Rudolf Meissner, Die Strengleikar
1979 Robert Cook, Strengleikar: An Old Norse Translation of Twenty-One Old French lais.
 
  Tiódels saga The Saga of Tiódel
Badly transmitted, the saga is preserved in 24 manuscripts dating from as early as 1600. The saga is closely related to the Old French Lai de Bisclavret by Marie de France and its Old Norwegian translation Bisclaretz ljóð, the fifth of the Strengleikar collection. Tiódels saga is most likely based on the latter, as it contains the same deviations from the French original.
 
 
  Tristams saga ok Ísondar The Saga of Tristam and Isond
 Translated from Old French by "brother Robert" under the auspices of the Norwegian King Hakon Hákonarsson in 1226, according to a passage preceding the saga in the paper manuscript. The translator has omitted all of the explanations supplied by the poet and shortened most of the interior monologues. He has, on the other hand, embellished the story with rhetorical ornamentation, and has used some sources that scholars have attributed to the "vulgar" branch of the Tristam material.
 
  Trójumanna saga The Saga of the Trojans
Translated from Latin, the saga is an Old Norse retelling of the Trojan war legends, ultimately derived from the Latin narrative De excidio Troiae historia. The story survives in three redactions, indicating a common origin in a lost archetype probably composed in the 13th century.

1981 Jonna Louis-Jensen, Trójumanna Saga: The Dares Phrygius version
 
  Valvers þáttur The Tale of Valver Based on the work of Chrétien de Troyes  
  Valdimirs Saga The Saga of Valdimir
An indigenous, original riddarsaga composed in Iceland in the 15th century. The saga presents a typical and ideal example for the earliest period of this late medieval genre. Manuscript translamission suggests its origins lie in Western Iceland.
 
  Veraldar Saga The Saga of the World
An Icelandic chronicle of world history from the Creation to the 12th century, divided according to the Six Ages. The tale survives in two redactions A and B, dating from the beginning of the 14th century and 1200, respectively. The story is complete only in manuscripts from 1600 onward. Sources appear to include: Bede's and Isadore's chronicles, the Bible, Bible commentaries, Rómverja saga, unspecified German annals and chronicles, and other sources.
 
 
  Viktors saga ok Blávus The Saga of Viktor and Blavus
The lively adventures of Viktor, the son of the king of France, and Blávus, a prince traveling on a magic carpet. Though much of the material is of foriegn inspiration, the story has no known continental model and is presumably a native Icelandic composition from the later half of the 14th century.

1964 Jónas Kristjánsson, Viktors saga ok Blávus
1972 Allen H. Chappel, Saga Af Victor Ok Blávus: A Fifteenth Century Icelandic Lygisaga
 
 
  Vilhjälms saga sjóðs The Saga of Vilhelm of Sjóðr
A native Icelandic saga composed in the late 14th or early 15th century. A voluminous saga characterized by a large number of exotic motifs, which degenerates into a repetitious series of battles with trolls and giants, forming a a sprawling work without a semblance of overall structure. Critical commentary on this saga has been limited to motif hunting. The Allra flagða þula (list of all trolls) has special interest and has been edited seperately on two occassions.
 
  Vilmundar saga viðutan The Saga of Vilmundar from Outside
A tale bordering between the fornaldarsögur and riddarsögur probably composed in the 14th century. Vilmundar is said to be the grandson of Bögu-Bosi from Bósa saga. The tale is characterized by a number of folkloristic motifs, including the shoe motif, and thus is sometimes considered to be the oldest example of the Cinderella fairy tale.  While in the forest one day, Vilmundar finds a golden shoe, and later encounters three women, one of whom is missing a shoe. The woman, the Prince's sister Sóley, will only marry the man who brings it back to her.  In the story, the hero must shed his country ways and take on the refinement of the court in order to marry the Prince's sister.

1949 Nils William Olsson, Vilmundar saga viðutan
 
 
  Æfintýri af Ajax keisarasyni Adventure of Ajax, the Son of an Emperor  
 

Þjalar-Jóns Saga eðr

Jóns Saga Svipdagsson ok Eirekr forvitna.

File-Jón's Saga or

The Saga of Jon Svipdag's son and Eirek the curious


Sometimes classified as a Fornaldarsaga, the saga probably came into existence in the 14th century. On the basis of the bridal-quest plot, a popular structural device in both these genres, the text connects a large number of well-known themes and motifs to create a new and independant whole: the anonymous winter-guest, the magic gold-dripping ring (cf. Draupnir in Eddic mythology), the portrait of a remote beloved, the search for her as a central plot, the meeting with helpful dwarves, the usurption by a traitor, the murder of the hero's father, the exile of the hero in his youth, and the she-wolf who licks a honey-smeared boy freeing him. The structure of the plot in this saga is noteworthy because it deals with the constellations of two heroes, Prince Eirikr of Valland and Jón (the mysterious winter guest). The bridal quest, the revenge and the gaining of power are partly divided between two different plots, which have a number of details in common regarding motif and structure, in which the hero and the helper change roles.
 
 
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COLLECTIONS

Manuscripts at Handrit.is

 
  1852 H. Erlendsson, E. Thórðarson
Fjórar Riddarasögur

Sagan af þorgrími kóngi og köppom hans
Sagan af Sálus og Níkanor
Æfintýri af Ajax keisarsyni
Sagan af Valadimir Kóngi

 

1872 Eugen Kölbing
Riddarasögur

Parcevals Saga
Valvers þáttur
Ívents Saga
Mírmans Saga


 
 


1892-1927


Gustaf Cederschiöld
, Hugo Gering, Eugen Mogk
Altnordische
Saga-Bibliothek
(18 volumes)

  Vol. 5: Flóres saga ok Blankiflúr. Edited by Eugen Kölbing. 1896
Vol. 7: Ívens saga. Edited by Eugen Kölbing. 1898

Vol. 12: Clári saga. Edited by Gustaf Cederschiöld. 1907

Vol. 17: Drei Lygisogur: Edited by Åke Lagerholm. 1927
 
                   Egils saga Einhenda ok Ásmundar Berserkjabana
                 Ála Flekks saga
                 Flóres saga konungs ok sona hans.
 

 
 
1962-1965 Agnete Loth
Late Medieval Icelandic Romances (5 vol.)
Volume I
Victors saga ok Blávus
Valdimirs saga
Ectors saga
 
Volume II
Saulus saga ok Nikanors
Sigurðar saga þǫgla
Volume III
Jarlmanns saga ok Hermanns
Adonias saga
Sirgurðar saga fóts
 
Volume IV
Vilhjálms saga sjóðs: Vilmundar saga viðutan
Volume V
Nitida saga
Sigrards saga froekna
Sigrards saga ok Valbrands
Sigurda saga turnara
Hrings saga ok Tryggva

"Agnete Loth decided, 'for the present at least', to include in her five-volume series Late Medieval Icelandic Romances only sagas preserved, or known to have been preserved, on vellum."

Hildegard L.C. Tristram Medieval Insular Literature Between the Oral and the Written, 1997

1954
Bjarni Vilhjálmson

Riddarasögur (6 vol.)

Volume I
Saga af Tristram og Ísönd
Möttuls saga
Bevers saga
Volume II
Ívents saga
Partalópa saga
Mágus saga jarls (hin meiri)
 
Volume III
Mírmanns saga
Sigurðar saga þögla
Konráðs saga
Samsons saga fagra
Volume IV
Elis saga og Rósamundu
Flóres saga og Blankiflúr
Parcevals saga
Valvers þáttur
Volume V
Clari saga
Flóres saga konungs og sona hans
Ála flekks saga
Rémundar saga keisarasonar
Volume VI
Vilmundar saga viðutan

Sigurðar saga fóts
Tristrams saga og Ísoddar
Drauma-Jóns saga
Jarlmanns saga og Hermanns
Sarpidons saga sterka

   
GENERAL SCHOLARSHIP
 
 


A. Le Roy Andrews, The Lygisögur, Scandinavian Studies and Notes, Volume 2

, 1916.
 
Shafer, John Douglas, Saga Accounts of the Norse Far-Travellers, Durham E-Thesis, 2009.
 
   
The Twelfth International Saga Conference
Bonn/Germany, 28th July – 2nd August 2003
 
Inna Matyushina, On the Imagery and Style of Riddarasögur
 
 

  

The Thirteenth International Saga Conference: [*][**]
Durham and York, 6th-12th August, 2006


Geraldine Barnes, Margin vs. centre: geopolitics in Nitida saga (a cosmographical comedy?)

Ingvil Brügger Budal, A Translation of the Fantastic 

Vera Johanterwage (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster): The Use of Magic Spells and Objects in the Icelandic Riddarasögur

Inna Matyushina, Magic Mirrors, Monsters, Maiden-kings (the Fantastic in Riddarasögur)


 
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