2 June 2004
Edda Saemundar hinns fróda. Edda rhythmica seu antiquior, vulgo Edda Saemundina dicta. Copenhagen: Magnaeanus and Gyldendalus, 1787-1828.
3 volumes, 4° (237 x 189mm). Old Icelandic and Latin. Two engraved plates reproducing two pages of the Codex Regius, by Johan Gottlieb Fridrich (1742-1809), engraved frontispieces by Clemens. (Some spotting, occasional marginal dampstaining.) Blue paper wrappers (vol. I), grey marbled paper boards, paper spine labels (vols. II, III) (vol. I spine worn, II and III rubbed at extremities). Provenance: Uppsala, Studentcorpsen (stamp, bookplate).
FIRST EDITION of the most famous of the Scandinavian sagas. The Edda poems were unknown until about 1643, when they were discovered in the Codex Regius. Written in archaic Icelandic, they probably date from the 10th-11th centuries and in fact are only fragments of longer pieces recounting mythical and religious legends of early Scandinavian civilisation. The Codex Regius was purchased by Frederick III of Denmark in 1689 and it remained in Copenhagen until recent years, when it was returned to Iceland. (3)
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