For centuries, the literary heritage preserved in Icelandic medieval manuscripts has played a vital role in the self-image of the Icelandic nation. From the late eighteenth century, Icelandic scholars had better opportunities than previously to study and publish this material on their own terms. Throughout the long nineteenth century they were intensely engaged in philological work on it. This coincided with an increasing awareness among Icelanders of a separate nationality and their growing demand for autonomy. What was the connection between the two developments? This literature was also important for the shaping of identities among other Northern European nations. The twelve chapters of this collection explore the interplay between various national discourses that characterized the scholarly reception of this heritage during the period.
Contributors are: Alderik H. Blom, Clarence E. Glad, Matthew James Driscoll, Gylfi Gunnlaugsson, Simon Halink, Hjalti Snær Ægisson, Jon Gunnar Jørgensen, Annette Lassen, and Ragnheiður Mósesdóttir.
Gylfi Gunnlaugsson, cand. mag. (1990), University of Iceland, is a researcher at the Reykjavik Academy. He has taught at the University of Kiel and the University of Iceland. He has published extensively on the reception of Old Norse literature in later periods..
Clarence E. Glad, Ph.D. (1992), Brown University, is a researcher at the Reykjavik Academy. He has published monographs and articles on nineteenth century Icelandic cultural nationalism and on the Pauline heritage in Early Christianity, including Paul and Philodemus (Brill, 1995).
Acknowledgments Notes on Contributors Introduction Gylfi Gunnlaugsson
1 Whose Cultural Heritage? Icelandic Philological Research and Its Repercussions before 1830 Gylfi Gunnlaugsson
2 “Sacred Isle! Mightiest Temple of Remembrance!” Rasmus Rask, Iceland and the Icelandic Language Alderik H. Blom
3 Müller’s Method The Resurrection of Danish Saga Translations Annette Lassen
4 Icelandic-Danish Cooperation and Disputes 1816–1858 Clarence E. Glad
5 Sveinbjörn Egilsson Philologist, Translator and Teacher Clarence E. Glad
6 Rudolf Keyser and His Use of Old Norse Texts in the Norwegian National Initiative Jon Gunnar Jørgensen
7 Jón Sigurðsson A Philologist Captive in the Image of a National Hero Clarence E. Glad
8 The Invigorating Childhood Memories of the North On Grímur Thomsen’s Scholarly Work and Poetry Gylfi Gunnlaugsson
9 National Liberty and Its Shortcomings Benedikt Gröndal’s De studiis classicis and the Dichotomizing of Icelandic and French Identities Hjalti Snær Ægisson
10 Guðbrandur Vigfússon An Icelandic Philologist in Oxford Ragnheiður Mósesdóttir
11 Finnur Jónsson, Editor of Everything Matthew James Driscoll
12 Between Hekla and Dofrafjall Björn M. Ólsen, Finnur Jónsson and the Origins of the Eddic Poems Simon Halink
Researchers and students in the fields of Nordic philology, Scandinavian studies, nineteenth-century history, nationalism studies and cultural memory.