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An edition and study of "Nikulás saga leikara"

Wick, Keren H. (1996) An edition and study of "Nikulás saga leikara". PhD thesis, University of Leeds.


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Nikulás saga leikara (Nsl.) tells the story of Nikulás, king of Hungary. His foster-father, Earl Svívari, convinces him to stop playing with magic and try to win Princess Dorma of Constantinople as a bride. Svívari makes a secret betrothal with Dorma, contrary to her father's wishes. Nikulás then travels to Constantinople where he poses as a merchant in order to insinuate himself into the Byzantine court. Nikulás meets with Dorma secretly, and the couple escape from Constantinople. Valdimar's Scandinavian mercenaries capture Dorma by employing magic, but Nikulás re-captures his bride, also using magic. The final battle is precluded by Valdimar's accidental killing of his own mercenaries. Valdimar accepts Nikulás, and Nikulás becomes king over Constantinople upon Valdimar's death. Nsl. is an Icelandic romance which survives in sixty manuscripts dating from the seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. Despite the saga's popularity in Iceland, Nsl. has received little attention from saga scholars. Nsl. is clearly a fictional saga, and neither the action nor the protagonist are related to Scandinavia. Consequently, scholars who regarded saga as history, as well as those who wished to define a unique medieval literature for Iceland - or other Scandinavian countries - had no interest in this saga. However, recent scholarship has discovered that sagas such as Nsl. are rich in both Icelandic and continental literary styles and motifs. Nsl. may therefore be seen as a particulariy Icelandic form of medieval romance. The present translation of Nsl. will make the saga available for further study of native Icelandic romance. Of the two redactions ofNsl., the edition ofNsl. (Nks. 331, 8vo) which is part of this study represents the longer, more popular version. With this edition, it is hoped that scholarly attention will be drawn to a saga which was read and enjoyed in Iceland over at least four centuries.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of English (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.538262
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2011 15:04
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 11:24
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1632

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