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IN ICELAND 11 inscripta: Cum Germanica interpretatione Quibus addun- tur Dicta Septem Sapientum Græciæ : Mimi Publiani, ab Erasmo castigati, cum suis intcrpretationibus.......... Tiguri, Ex Typographeo Rodmeriano. Anno MDCL- XXXIII”. This is a volume of 128 páges with 4 pages of index, but it contains no third work corresponding to the Johannes Sulpicius of the Hólar publication. Whether Arngrímur Jónsson was in possession of a foreign edition including the three productions may, therefore, be con- sidered doubtful. It is very likely that it was his own knowledgeof thecharacter of the poem of Sulpicius,which led him to unite it to the other somewhat similar works. As is well known there exists in Icelandic another version of the “Catonis disticha” or “Hugsvinnsmál”, as it is called in Icelandic (Hugsvinnr meaning wise, being in -this case a translation of the Latin catus s cato, the Icelan- dic title is therefore: The wise man’s saws; cp. Háva- mál). This has been edited by Dr. Hallgrímur Scheving (Viöey 1831, Bibl. Not. I. no. 113), a selection from it was also printed in Konráð Gíslason’s Fire ogfyrretyve Prover af Oldnordisk Sþrog og Literatur (Kjöbenhavn 1860, pp. 549-552). This anonymous version dates from the 14th century and is by far superior to the present one, some passages of it even being of classical beauty while others are perhaps less successful. A curious example of an inacctirate rendering of the original and at the same time an interesting indication of the spirit of the age is pointed out by Prof. Finnur Jónsson; the lines of the original : Multa leges facito perlectis perlege multa nam miranda canunt sed non credenda Poetæ. are rendered as follows : Gamansamleg orö skal þú af greppum nema, ef margfróður vilt þú vera ; því að ágætlig hljóö bera ýta sonum skáld til skémtunar. An age so fond of poetry as was the 14th century In lceland was not likely to listen to anythingdiscreditable to the poets, hence the translator deliberately omits the “non credenda”. Jón Bjarnason, on the other hand, has no such scruples and plainly tells us : Allmargt skaltu | yferlesa, | og meta hvad | meiger trúa, | Ýkiur skrifa | Skallden laungum, | ecke sannar | Sögur allar ; or : Les þú margt en mundu vart | mörgu huöriu ad trúa, | fleira Skial en Skýrleikstal | Skáld i Fræden snúa. — Ev<yi prior to the date of the first Icelandic translation the poem was known in Iceland, as is shown by the fact that it is quoted by the author of the first grammatical treatise attached 3o the Snorra Edda of Codex Wormianus : “En ef nokkur er svo einmáll eöa hjámáll, at hann mælir á mót svo mörgum mönnum skynsömum, sem bæði lðtust sjálfir kveða þetta orð, áör ek ritaða þat, ok svo lieyra aðra menn kveöa, sem nú er ritað, ok þú lrctr í skolu kveða, en eigi e, J>ó þat orð s& í tvær samstl fur deilt: þá vil ek hafa ástráö Katónis, þat er hann r&ö syni sfnum í versum : Contra verbosos noli contendere verbis : sermo datur cunctis, animi sapientia paucis. Þat er svo at skilja : hirð þú eigi at þræta við málrófs- menn : málróf er mörgum gefið en spekin fám”. The unknown author of this treatise lived in the 12th century, scholars are, however, not in full agreement about the exact date of the work as they assign it either to 1140 (Finnur Jónsson) or to 1180 (Björn M. Ólsen). — As to the authorship of this poem nothing is known. The name Dionysius Cato is an invention, which has no historical basis, the name of Cato being connected w;ith the poem on the ground of the old but erroneous supposition that it really was by Cato the Elder. and this was generally be- lieved in Iceland, as may be seen from Espólín’s Xrbækur VI. 23 (“SiöaJærdómur Catons hins gamla”); the name of Dionysius first came into use after Scaliger declared that he had found it in a manuscript of great antiquity. According to Teuffel the poem dates from the time prece- ding the introduction of the Christian faith as thc official religion of the Romanempire, about theSrd or4th century; it frankly sets forth pagan ideas, and does not show any specific Christian colouring ; the 56 proverbs w hich pre ceed the poem, are of a later date and by othcr hands, and the later ones of them bear plain marks of Christian origin. The distichs were among the first books printed, the earliest edition (Hain 4707) havingbccn issued by the printer of the “Speculum humanæ salvationis” about 1470 the first dated one being very likely that of Casale (Ca- sella) in Piedmont of 1477 (Hain 4709), but in all forty- eight are chronicled by Hain before the close of the 15th century. The latest critical edition we know of, is that recently brought out by Hungarian scholar, Geyza Né- methy (Dicta Catonis quae vulgo inscribuntur Catonis disticha de moribus. Budapest 1895). 2. Dictaseptem sapicnium Greciae selectiora. As to the specific source of this portion of the book wc know nothing but what has already been said in connection with ihe work of Ausonius; the German edition of Cato, men- tioned above contains only 78 sayings of the same kind as these but without any arrangement by authors nor are any names of authors given. In the present work there are 188 sayings in all. The Icelandic vcrsion is in allite- rative form. 8. Johannis Svlpict de Cxviltate ntorum. This poem was first printed in the second edition of the same author’s De artcgrammaticay Aquila 1483. Afterwards it appeared in a collection of moral pocms entitled Auc- tores octo continentes libros videlicet. Cathonem, J'acctum, Theodolum, De contemptu tnundi% Floretum, Alanum de paraboliSy Fabulas Esopi Thobiam, Angouléme 1491 (there is^aid to be an earlier edition of Lyon 1488), a col- lcction, which, as will be seen from the title, alsoincluded Cato’s Disticha. A separate edition first appearcd at Leipsic 1503 under the'title of De moribus puerorum carmenjuvcnilc while a later issue of Leyden 1542 with notes by Durand is styled Libcllus de moribus itt mensa servandis ; bcsides these there are many other editions of the 15th and 16th century both separate and with other works. The author Johannes Sulpicius, also called Veru- lamus from his birth-place Veroli in the Roman Cam- pagna, lived in the latter part of the 15th century ; he studicd humaniora in Rome under Pope Innocentius VIII. (1484-92) and wrote several grammatical works (De artegramma/ica ; De componendis et ortiandis eþi- stolis ; De octoparlibus ora/ionis etc.) which ran throtigh several editions. He is perhaps best known as having first edited Vitruvius’s work on architecture which was published in Rome about 1486. — The versificd praycrs which follow this poem have no connection whatcver with the other parts of the book, but seem to be added to it in order that the last pages should not be blank, as is often done in Icelandic books of that time. We have not, been able to consult any edition of Sulpicius’s poem so we do not know whether any such additions are to be found there. The translator of this work, at least of two of its trac- tates, Jón Bjarnason (not Biamarson) was the son of Bjarni Hróbjartsson, steward at Skálholt, became minister of Helgastaðir 1591 and of Presthólar 1624, whcre he died shortly after 1630. His biography by Þorleifur Jónsson is to be found in Nortanfari IX. (1880) pp. 11-12, 23-24. Several of his poetical writings were printed in the Visnabók of 1012 and 1748 (figBibl. Not.V. no. 121, Cp. B. M. Cat. 3 and 10), and there was separately printed at Ilólar 1624 Samtal Gubs vió Evu og böm hennar%
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Bibliographical notices I-VI


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