Konungs skuggsjá

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Konungs skuggsjá (Old Norse for "King's mirror"; Latin: Speculum regale, modern Norwegian: Kongsspegelen (Nynorsk) or Kongespeilet (Bokmål)) is a Norwegian didactic text in Old Norse from around 1250, an example of speculum literature that deals with politics and morality. Konungs skuggsjá_sentence_0

It was originally intended for the education of King Magnus Lagabøte, the son of King Håkon Håkonsson, and it has the form of a dialogue between father and son. Konungs skuggsjá_sentence_1

The son asks, and is advised by his father about practical and moral matters, concerning trade, the hird, chivalric behavior, strategy and tactics. Konungs skuggsjá_sentence_2

Parts of Konungs skuggsjá deals with the relationship between church and state. Konungs skuggsjá_sentence_3

A study of the relations of the text's manuscripts was undertaken by Ludvig Holm-Olsen, underpinning his 1983 edition, which is presently the standard one. Konungs skuggsjá_sentence_4

The most important manuscript is AM 243 a fol., copied in Norway (probably Bergen), around 1275. Konungs skuggsjá_sentence_5

Form and contents Konungs skuggsjá_section_0

The seventy chapters of the text consist of a prologue and two main parts, of which the second may perhaps be subdivided into two sections, one focused on the king's court, the other (more specifically) on the king's justice. Konungs skuggsjá_sentence_6

In the prologue, the speaker sets out to deal with merchants, kingsmen, the clergy and peasants, but his discussion does not extend much beyond the first two classes. Konungs skuggsjá_sentence_7

It seems possible that the last two chapters were originally intended for a separate treatment of the clergy. Konungs skuggsjá_sentence_8

Advice Konungs skuggsjá_section_1

The book gives advice on various subjects, such as seafaring and trading: Konungs skuggsjá_sentence_9

Marvels Konungs skuggsjá_section_2

There are several chapters on in various countries. Konungs skuggsjá_sentence_10

For example, it tells of an encounter which fits the description of a wild man or Woodwose: Konungs skuggsjá_sentence_11

Another story tells that after mass in a church in Ireland, the people found an anchor hanging from a rope from the sky. Konungs skuggsjá_sentence_12

The anchor got stuck on the church doorway. Konungs skuggsjá_sentence_13

Looking up, they saw a ship with men, and one came down, as though swimming in the air, to free the anchor. Konungs skuggsjá_sentence_14

The people tried to grab him, but the bishop forbade them, and the man went back up. Konungs skuggsjá_sentence_15

The men in the ship cut the rope, and the anchor was kept in the town. Konungs skuggsjá_sentence_16

Editions, facsimiles and translations Konungs skuggsjá_section_3

These are listed here in chronological order: Konungs skuggsjá_sentence_17

Konungs skuggsjá_unordered_list_0

  • Hálfdan Einarsson (ed. and trans.), Konungs skuggsjá (Sórey 1768). Editio princeps, with Latin translation.Konungs skuggsjá_item_0_0
  • Keyser, Rudolf et al. Speculum regale. Konungs-skuggsjá. Konge-speilet. Christiania, 1848. .Konungs skuggsjá_item_0_1
  • Brenner, Oscar (ed.). Speculum Regale: ein Altnorwegischer Dialog. Munich, 1881.Konungs skuggsjá_item_0_2
  • The Arnamagæan Manuscript 243 ß, folio: The Main Manuscript of Konungs Skuggsjá in Phototypic Reproduction with Diplomatic Text, ed. by George Flom (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1915)Konungs skuggsjá_item_0_3
  • Larson, Laurence Marcellus (tr.). The King’s Mirror (Speculum regale-Konungs skuggsjá). Scandinavian Monographs 3. New York: The American-Scandinavian Foundation, 1917. andKonungs skuggsjá_item_0_4
  • Jónsson, Finnur (ed.). Konungs Skuggsjá: Speculum Regale. Det Kongelige Nordiske Oldskriftselskab. Copenhagen, 1920.Konungs skuggsjá_item_0_5
  • Jónsson, Finnur (tr.). Kongspejlet: Konungs skuggsjá. Det Kongelige Nordiske Oldskriftselskab. Copenhagen, 1926.Konungs skuggsjá_item_0_6
  • Meissner, Rudolf (ed. and tr.). Der Königsspiegel. Konungsskuggsjá. Halle/Saale, 1944.Konungs skuggsjá_item_0_7
  • Magnús Már Lárusson (ed.), Konungs skuggsjá = Speculum regale (Reykjavík: Leiftur, 1955). Modern Icelandic spelling.Konungs skuggsjá_item_0_8
  • Meissner, Rudolf (tr.). Der Königsspiegel. Fahrten und Leben der alten Norweger aufgezeichnet im 13. Jahrhundert. Leipzig und Weimar: Gustav Kiepenheuer, 1978.Konungs skuggsjá_item_0_9
  • Holm-Olsen, Ludvig (ed.). Konungs Skuggsjá. 2nd ed. Oslo: Norsk Historisk Kjeldeskrift-institutt, 1983.Konungs skuggsjá_item_0_10
  • Holm-Olsen, Ludvig (ed.). The King's Mirror: AM 243 a fol. Early Icelandic Manuscripts in Facsimile, XVII. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger, 1987.Konungs skuggsjá_item_0_11
  • Jónsson, Einar Már (tr.). Le miroir royal. Auribeau-sur-Siagne : Éd. Esprit ouvert, 1997.Konungs skuggsjá_item_0_12
  • Konungs skuggsjá_item_0_13

Secondary literature Konungs skuggsjá_section_4

Konungs skuggsjá_unordered_list_1

  • Bagge, Sverre. The Political Thought of the King's Mirror. Odense, 1987.Konungs skuggsjá_item_1_14
  • Bagge, Sverre. "Forholdet mellom Kongespeilet og Stjórn." Arkiv för Nordisk Filologi 89 (1974): 163-202.Konungs skuggsjá_item_1_15
  • Grabes, Herbert. Speculum, Mirror and Looking-Glass. Tübingen, 1973.Konungs skuggsjá_item_1_16
  • Holm-Olsen, Ludvig. "The Prologue to The King's Mirror. Did the author of the work write it?" In Speculum Norrœnum. Norse studies in memory of Gabriel Turville-Petre, ed. Ursula Dronke, et al. Odense, 1981. 223-41.Konungs skuggsjá_item_1_17
  • Holm-Olsen, Ludvig (ed.). Handskriftene av Konungs Skuggsja. Bibliotheca Arnamagnaeana 13. Munksgaard, 1952.Konungs skuggsjá_item_1_18
  • Schnall, Jens Eike and Rudolf Simek (eds.). Speculum regale. Der altnorwegische Königsspiegel (Konungs skuggsjá) in der europäischen Tradition. Studia Medievalia Septentrionalia 5. Vienna: Fassbinder, 2000. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2000.Konungs skuggsjá_item_1_19
  • Schnall, Jens Eike. Didaktische Absichten und Vermittlungsstrategien im altnorwegischen Königsspiegel (Konungs skuggsja). Palaestra. Untersuchungen aus der deutschen und skandinavischen Philologie 307. [Based on the author's 1997 dissertation]Konungs skuggsjá_item_1_20
  • Simek, Rudolf. "The Political Thought in the King's Mirror. A Supplement." In Festschrift für Jónas Kristjánsson. Reykjavik, 1994. 723-34.Konungs skuggsjá_item_1_21
  • Tveitane, Mathias (ed.). Studier over Konungs skuggsjá. Bergen, 1971. Includes a bibliography at pages 188-92.Konungs skuggsjá_item_1_22


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konungs skuggsjá.