Konungs skuggsjá ‘The king's mirror’

  • Old Norse
  • prose
  • Old Norse texts
Konungs skuggsjá
‘The king's mirror’
Latin: Speculum regale.

The main manuscript is Copenhagen, University Library, AM 243 fol. B. See handrit.is, “List of manuscripts of Speculum regale (National and University Library of Iceland), for further copies and fragments in both vellum and paper manuscripts.

Copenhagen, University Library, MS AM 243 fol. B
  • Old Norse
13th century
Origin: NorwayNorway
Entry reserved for but not yet available from the subject index.

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prose (primary)
Textual relationships
Related: Topographia HiberniaeTopographia Hiberniae

A work written in Latin by the Norman-Welsh clergyman Gerald of Wales in which he gives an ethnographic account of Ireland and her inhabitants. Gerald wrote the work after two visits to relatives in Ireland in the 1180s and later produced a revised recension.


Old Norse textsOld Norse texts


Irish mirabiliaIrish mirabilia


Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] Magnús Már Lárusson, Konungs skuggsjá: Speculum regale, Reykjavík: Leiftur, 1955.
[ed.] Holm-Olsen, Ludvig, Konungs skuggsiá, 2nd ed., Norrone tekster, 1, Oslo: Norsk historisk kjeldeskrift-institutt, 1983.
[ed.] Finnur Jónsson, Konungs skuggsjá: Speculum regale, Copenhagen: Det Kongelige Nordiske Oldskriftselskab, 1920–1921.  
Incl. introduction published in 1921.
HathiTrust: <link>
[ed.] Brenner, Oscar, Speculum regale: ein altnorwegischer Dialog, nach Cod. Arnamagn. 243 Fol. B. und den ältesten Fragmenten, Munich: Kaiser, 1881.
Internet Archive – originally from Google Books: <link>, <link> Septentrionalia.net: <link>
[tr.] Meissner, Rudolf, Der Königsspiegel: Konungsskuggsjá, Halle/Saale: Niemeyer, 1944.
[tr.] Larson, Laurence Marcellus, The king’s mirror (Speculum regale-Konungs skuggsjá), Scandinavian Monographs, 3, New York: American-Scandinavian Foundation, 1917.
Internet Archive: <link> Mediumaevum.com: <link>

Secondary sources (select)

Larrington, Carolyne, “‘Undruðusk þá, sem fyrir var’: wonder, Vínland and mediaeval travel narratives”, Medieval Scandinavia 14 (2004): 91–114.
Scnhall, Jens Eike, and Rudolf Simek (eds), Speculum regale: der altnorwegische Königsspiegel (Konungs skuggsjá) in der europäischen Tradition, Studia Medievalia Septentrionalia, 5, Vienna: Fassbaender, 2000.
Sayers, William, “Konungs skuggsjá: Irish marvels and the king’s justice”, Scandinavian Studies 57 (1985): 147–161.
Young, Jean, “Two of the Irish mirabilia in the King’s mirror”, Études Celtiques 3:5 (1938): 21–26.
Persée – Études Celtiques, vol. 3, fascicule 5, 1938: <link> Persée – Études Celtiques, vol. 3, fascicule 6, 1938: <link>
Gougaud, Louis, “L’aéronef dans les légendes du moyen âge”, Revue Celtique 41 (1924): 354–358.
Gallica: <link>
Meyer, Kuno, “The Irish mirabilia in the Norse ‘Speculum Regale’ [Revised version]”, Ériu 4 (1908–1910): 1–16.
Meyer, Kuno, “The Irish mirabilia in the Norse ‘Speculum Regale’”, Folk-Lore 5 (1894): 299–316.
Internet Archive: <link>
C. A., Dennis Groenewegen
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November 2010, last updated: January 2024