THE NEGLECTED GENRE OF RÍMUR-DERIVED PROSE 191
complicated metrics of the rímur were proving too difficult for much
of the Icelandic populace, which demanded a more straightforward
It is well within the bounds of possibility that some rímwr-derived
sagas will preserve material from lost rímur or from lost older sagas on
which these rímur were based. Although the rímur from which the
nineteenth-century Mábilar saga sterku was derived has not been lost,
the original prose version that gave rise to Mábilar rímur is no longer
extant.22 In the second half of the seventeenth century Hrómundar
saga Gripssonar was composed from the fifteenth-century Hrómundar
rímur (also called Griplur), but here, too, the alleged prose source of
the poetic version has disappeared.23 Likewise based on a lostfornald-
arsaga is Úlfhams rímur, written around 1400 and turned into a saga
some 300 years later (mss. AM 601a, 4to - written around 1700 and
Lbs. 1940, 4to - written in 1820). The relationship of this derived prose
version to that found in the mid eighteenth-century manuscript Kall
613, 4to has not yet been clarified.24 Three additional examples of rím-
Mr-derived prose are to be found in the same manuscript which con-
tains Úlfhams saga, AM 601a, 4to. The first of these is Ormars saga (f.
lr-4r), based on one of the older rímur (ca. 1500), in turn stemming
from a now lost Icelandic saga. Besides the nmur-derived prose ver-
sion in AM 601, 4to, a second, independent prose version is also
known to exist.25 On folios 4v-6r is Gríms saga ok Hjálmars, indebted
to a rímur published in Erik Julius Björner's Nordiska Kámpadater,
which makes it one of the oldest rímur to be published (1737).26 Björn-
er also supplied Latin and Swedish prose translations of the rímur.
Last in the ms. AM 601a, 4to is Sigurðar saga Fornasonar (f. 12r-17r),
based on a sixteenth-century rímur evidently indebted to several
sources, including Blómsturvalla saga.27 Bragða-Ölvis rímur is an ex-
Rudolf Simek and Hermann Pálsson, p. 235.
23 Ursula Brown, "The Saga of Hrómund Gripsson and Porgilssaga," Saga-Book of
the Viking Society, XIII (1947-48), pp. 52-53. Judith Jesch, "Hrómundr Gripsson revis-
ited," Skandinavistik, XIV (1984), p. 91. Peter Foote, "Hrómundar saga Gripssonar,"
Dictionary ofthe Middle Ages (New York, 1982-89), VI, pp. 312-313.
" Björn K. Pórólfsson, Rímur fyrir 1600, p. 312.
Björn K. Þórólfsson, Rímur fyrir 1600, pp. 416-418.
Björn K. Þórólfsson, Rímur fyrir 1600, pp. 336-338.
Björn K. Þórólfsson, Rímur fyrir 1600; pp. 444 446.