In 1643 a Bishop called Brynjolf Sveinsson was given 45 pieces of vellum containing poetry and prose from the heart of ancient Northern European indigenous culture. This collection is called The King’s Book (Codex Regius in Latin). It is thought to have been written around 1270. Between 1270 and 1643 the manuscript was hidden from public view, presumably to protect it from being destroyed by the new religion which arose from Rome.
A Precious Ancient Manuscript
Who the family was that protected this manuscript for over 300 years we don’t know, nor do we know their tradition, but we can be sure that it would have been a treacherous secret to bear safely through the medieval centuries. The Bishop did not himself keep the manuscript; instead, he offered the collection as a gift to the King of Denmark. There it remained in Copenhagen until 1971, when it was returned to Iceland.
Codex Regius (The King’s book) of Eddaic Poems and Flateyjarbok. (Public Domain)