ÞJÓSTÓLFS SAGA HAMRAMMA 103
it looks as if he had been misled on at least one other occasion into
buying a saga forgery, namely Hafgeirs saga Flateyings, written between
1774 and the fall of 1776.18
It is almost a certainty that Adeldahl and the forger of Hafgeirs saga,
Þorlákur Magnússon Isfiord,19 were more than acquaintances. Besides
being members of the Icelandic community in Copenhagen for over
five years together, they both enrolled at the university there on the
same day (December 24, 1771), both had the same preceptor (Wad-
skiær), both often used manuscripts from the Arnamagnæan collection
for their copies and both did most of their work for the same man,
P. F. Suhm. Although their works appear to be independent, there is
a reasonable probability that the idea of a forgery and the choice of a
victim were not.
Of the two forgers, Adeldahl seems to have had a poetic bent. In
his transcription of Grettis rímur he even made a gratuitous marginal
note drawing attention to a strophe in only two lines.20 Several occa-
sional verses of his are preserved in a large volume with over two
hundred contributors, now housed in the National Library in Reykja-
vik.21 Adeldahl's literary pursuits, whatever their motivation, were
evidently unsuccessful, most certainly from a financial point of view,
and he is said to have died in Copenhagen, poverty stricken.22
The available evidence indicates that Þjóstólfs saga hamramma was
composed by an Icelandic student in Copenhagen, Þorleifur Arason
Adeldahl, between 1772 (more likely ca. 1774) and the middle of 1778
(but probably 1777). It was evidently a forgery, with the primary model
being Grettis saga Asmundarsonar, apparently in rímur form, and the
victim of the deception was the well-known Danish historian and librar-
ian, Bernhard M0llmann.
University of Georgia
17 Dansk Biografisk Leksikon, Povl Engelstoft and Svend Dahl, edd., 27 vols
(K0benhavn, 1933-44), XVI, 468-469.
18 "Hafgeirs saga Flateyings: An Eighteenth-Century Forgery," Journal of
English and Germanic Philology (April, 1977), pp. 155-164.
19 Islenzkar viskrár, V, 160. Islenzkir Hafnarstúdentar, p. 119.
20 "N.B. her er en Strophe i 2. linier," Nks. 1134, foi, p. 145.
21 Lbs. 852, 4to and a copy, Lbs. 269, 4to. Cf. Skrá um handritasöfn Lands-
bókasafnsins, Páll Eggert Ólason, 3 vols. (Reykjavík, 1918-37).
22 Islenzkar æviskrár, V, 172. Islenzkir Hafnarstúdentar, p. 119.