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The Making of the Færeyinga saga
Gerðin af Færeyinga sögu [Gerðin av Føroyinga søgu]

The History of the Making of the Saga

The Færeyinga saga (The saga of the Faroe Islanders) was probably composed around the beginning of the 13th century, but it no longer survives in its original form.

However, if you read The Saga of Olaf Tryggvason or The Saga of Olaf the Saint, there are passages that taken from the lost saga.

By the sagas of the two Olafs here, I do not mean the versions included in the Heimskringla(ca. 1230) of Snorri Sturlason.

The pertinent mateiral occurs in an expanded versions; primarily, the so-called "the greatest (or longest) saga of Olaf Trygvasson" (Ólafs saga Tryggvasonar en mesta). A copy of it is found in the the Flateyjarbók (ca. 1390) (* pictured opposite).

— Old Collection Royal [Danish Library], 1005 folio (Gks 1005 fol)
Since 1971 the ms. is housed in Reykjavik, at the Arni Magnusson Institute.

The Flatey Book (Flateyjarbók) Shown above is the opening passage of the Færeyinga saga
    What first catches the eye is the illuminated capital letter ”M," and the text that follows thereafter reads: "Madr er nefnndr Grimr kamban hann bygde fystr Færeyiar ," meaning:"A man there was called Grim Kamban, and he was the first inhabitant of the Faroe Islands."
    In manuscript, the title of stories/chapters, etc. are written in red letters, and called the "rubric". This is also visible on the upper right.

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Go to⇒ e-text.

Rafn's Færeyínga saga. This is the first page of text. The left column is in Old Icelandic, the right column is in Faroese, and the Danish appears underneath.

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By the following year, a Germn version appeared (Basically a reprint of the 1832 publication with a German translation and commentary appended at the end).
Færeyínga saga; oder, Geschichte der bewohner der Färöer im isländischen grundtext mit färöischer, dänischer und deutscher übersetzung
hrsg. von: C. C. Rafn ,
übers. von: G.C.F. Mohnike
(Kjøbenhavn: Schubothe 1833.)
A rendering of the saga in Faroese orthography was produced years later by V. U. Hammershaimb (1819-1909). (* ⇒ portrait)

Pastor Hammerhaimb as a young theology student was a collector of ballads, and was a central figure in the movement for the adoption of Faroese orthography.
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The author of the saga tends to eulogize Sigmundur, who was on the side of spreading the Christian faith to the islands, while depicting his antagoinst Trondur as ruthless and unscrupulous. This is offered as an evidence that the author must have been a member of the clergy at a cloister or a church.

Another observation is that the stylistic approach and the fact that the author does not seem completely familiar with the Faroese geographical landscape indicate that the author belonged to the same school of Icelandic scribes who composed the king's sagas and the sagas of the Icelanders.

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