Abstract and keywords

Ritið 1/13 - 2013

Sverrir Jakobsson: The Sacred Past: Social memory and historical knowledge production in the manuscripts Hauksbók and AM 226 fol.

The subject of this study is historical discourse as an integral part of the collective memory and identities of Icelanders as a part of a wider community of Christian peoples in the High Middle Ages (c. 1100–1350). The part of this discourse which is discussed here are works pertaining to world history, which preserved the collective memory of Christians as a group, and defined the historical discourse of the clerical elite in Icelandic society. These works were often succinct but they offered a frame work for the interpretation of all historical development and a common base of knowledge for Icelandic medieval historiographers. Two manuscripts are studied as examples of the diverse strand of Icelandic 14th century historiography, Hauksbók (c. 1302–1310) and AM 226 fol. (c. 1350). In the production of such works, world history was provided with the form and scope it was to retain in Iceland for centuries.

Keywords: Collective memory, historical consciousness, identities, textual culture, manuscript studies

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