THE NEGLECTED GENRE OF RlMUR-DERIVED PROSE 193
1889, p.4,1 tytt ad bruka um tyma þann
46, f.28r5 ij þann tima tijtt ad bruka
Numerous details are common to the rímur and the derived saga.
Both state that the wife of Artus was named Philipija, but she is called
Silvía in Samsons saga fagra. In both rímur and derived saga, Artus
and his wife are said to have two children before Samson and his sister
are described in turn, while the earlier saga omits this piece of in-
formation and begins with a description of Samson. The two later re-
dactions report that the hero stayed with his foster father Salmon until
he was 13, while the original prose work states that he was with Salm-
on until the age of 11. Salmon's daughter is named Olempija in 46 and
Olemphia in 1889, but Olympia in the older saga.
In 46 the first eight divisions or chapters are unnumbered, but the
text corresponds to the first eight rímur in 1889, and each of the chap-
ters begins with the corresponding mansöngr from the rímur. There
can be no doubt that the first eight chapters in 46 have been heavily in-
fluenced by the poetic version. However, the subsequent chapter in
46, which should be number 9, is labelled XV. It has no mansöngr,
and follows the text of the older saga (called there Chapter 11) quite
closely.30 This correspondence continues to the end of the story (ch. 25
in 46, ch. 24 in the edited version of the older saga).
It should also be noted that the "sagas" discussed here do not usu-
ally exist in many copies and their manuscripts are often signed and/or
dated. There is a good possibility that patterns of geographic distribu-
tion could also be determined, at least for some of the works. Besides
the philological aspect of reconstructing sources and studying obscured
motifs, the wnur-derived sagas can be regarded as repositories of in-
formation about the Icelandic language and prose narrative style. And
just as the rímur genre has to some extent overcome the negative
biases of nineteenth- and twentieth-century scholars, so, too, must
such saga retreads eventually become legitimized as literature.
An excellent example of how such works can be examined is provid-
ed by Jónatas saga, a tale preserved in only one paper manuscript
E.g. 46, beg. ch. "15": Eirn Tijma talar Olem. til Sams, so er nu komid, seiger
hun, ad vid skulum nu forvitnast um h0fdijngia hvad sem fram fer. Samsons sagafagra,
ch. 11: Einn morgun talar Ólympía til Samson: Svo er nú komið", segir hún, að vér
skulum forvitnast hvað fram fer um höfðingja."