Codex Regius

Codex Regius

The Codex Regius (Latin: “Royal Book” or “King’s Book”) Icelandic Konungsbók or GKS 2365 4º . In scholarly texts, this manuscript is commonly abbreviated as [R] for Codex Regius, or as [K] for Konungsbók.

What is the Codex regius ?

The Codex Regius of the Poetic Edda is the oldest and most comprehensive extant source of Norse mythology in which many Old Norse poems (29) are preserved. It contains the Poetic edda and edda . Not to be mistaken with the Snorri’s edda ( other names ; Prose edda ,younger edda , edda or GKS 2367 4to ) that also has the name of Codex regius but whas written around 1220 . Composed of 55 vellum pages .

History of the codex regius ;

The vellum manuscript dates from about 1270 – 1275.But the poems are supposed to be alot older , the look and form of the poems situate there age around 800 till 1000 . When the codex regius whas found people tought they found Snorri Sturlusons edda , later it whas discoverd that it whas written about 50 years after Snorri’s edda . Its introductory remarks as well as its organization by theme and topic have led scholars to believe that it is likely a copy of material from early 13th-century sources that is no longer existing . In 1643 it came into the possession of Bishop Brynjólfur Sveinsson , a collector of memorablia , under the name of Lupus Loricatus (written on the first page in Latin ) , The work originally contained a further eight leaves, which are now missing. (Some of the lost poems were preserved in prose form in the Völsunga saga.) Sveinsson incorrectly attributed the work to Sæmundr the Learned and erroneously named it Sæmundar Edda, a name which is still occasionally used. On may 12 1662 Sveinsson sent the manuscript to King Frederik III of Denmark after sending Thormod Torfaeus to Iceland with an open letter to purchase the manuscripts about the history of Iceland . Because air travel at the time was not entirely trustworthy with such precious cargo, it was transported by ship, accompanied by a military escort.

Where is the codex regius now ?

It remained in the Royal Library in Copenhagen until 1971, when it became one of the first documents of a vast body of Icelandic material returned to Iceland. It is now housed in the Árni Magnússon InstituteInstitute of Learning in Reykjavik .