Handskriftens materialitet: Studier i den fornsvenska samlingshandskriften Fru Elins bok (Codex Holmiensis D 3)

  • Datum:
  • Plats: Ihresalen, Engelska parken. Humanistiskt centrum, Thunbergsvägen 3L, Uppsala
  • Doktorand: Backman, Agnieszka
  • Om avhandlingen
  • Arrangör: Institutionen för nordiska språk
  • Kontaktperson: Backman, Agnieszka
  • Disputation

This dissertation contains a study of the multitext manuscript Codex Holmiensis D 3 based in Material Philology and its focus on the material conditions underlying manuscripts.

The aim of the investigation is to describe D 3 in order to increase understanding of its material conditions including content and circumstance of copying, as well as its use and purpose. 

D 3 contains 14 text works in different genres, for example romances, chronicles, and edifying works. The paper manuscript in the format of a holster book has been dated through its watermarks to around 1487/1488. It was written for the noblewoman Elin Gustavsdotter (Sture).

An older manuscript, Codex Holmiensis D 4a, has previously been identified as the exemplar of D 3. These manuscripts are very similar as regards language and content. However, it is shown here that D 4a could not have been the model for D 3 in the case of the romance Flores och Blanzeflor; nor can the manuscript as a whole be a copy of D 4a.

There are few traces of use in D 3, but the first work, Herr Ivan Lejonriddaren, has several concluding texts before its final closing. These concluding texts suggest that parts of the work were being read while the rest was being copied. There are also dual quire signatures in this work, implying that the quires were in disarray, possibly because they were in use when the signatures were added.

The purpose of D 3 was to educate and provide examples of good and bad behaviour for the nobility. Moreover, there is an owner-epilogue which also stresses courtly ideals and can be linked to the concept of exemplary behaviour. The contents can also be ordered thematically, with first a Carolingian connection, followed by one connected with Ireland and finally one focused on the Christian community. Codicological breaks divide the manuscript into two parts, which leads to the assumption of at least two common exemplars for D 3 and D 4a.

An emphasis on the materiality of the manuscript reveals it to be not so much an unwieldy collection of unrelated text witnesses as a book created for a certain person and her time.