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The Langfeðgatal[1] (Icelandic pronunciation: ​[ˈlauŋkˌfɛðkaˌtʰal̥]) is a 12th-century Icelandic genealogy of Scandinavian kings.

The text of the Icelandic Langfeðgatal can be found in AM 415.[2] Jacob Langbek published the text and a translation into Latin in the first volume of Scriptores Rerum Danicarum Medii Ævi, published in 1772.[3]

Raymond Wilson Chambers suggested that the Langfeðgatal, along with Textus Roffensis, the Ættartölur and the "West Saxon Regnal List from 494 to Reign of Æthelred" were influenced by a common Anglo-Saxon archetypal genealogy that existed around 970 CE.[4] Alexander M. Bruce has discussed the Langfeðgatal in a study of Scyld and Scef comparing it with Anglo-Saxon royal genealogies. He noted a difference in the primary branch in that the first name in the genealogy is that of Noah, followed by his son Japheth. This initial line continues through various figures including Jupiter and Priam, the king of Troy to his grandson Thor. Bruce noted the differences to Anglo-Saxon genealogies such as those in the Anglian collection but suggested that the line from Thor "soon refers to names and sequences familiar to us from the Anglo-Saxon works". When this line reaches Odin, it splits into two branches, a Norwegian line of legendary progenitors leading to King Harald Fairhair and a Danish line leading to an eponymous Danish King, Horda-Knute.[2]

Judy Quinn, in a Cambridge University study edited by Margaret Clunies Ross followed Eyvind Fjeld Halvorsen's definition of ‘Langfeðgatal’ in Kulturhistorisk Leksikon for Nordisk Middelalder, saying that "in texts of the twelfth century and later it appears to have been combined with the learned European fashion for tracing lineage back to Christian and classical forebears, such as Adam, Noah or the Trojan King Priam. An example of this type of genealogical text, or langfeðgatal, is found in the second appendix to Islendingabok."[5]

Bruce suggested that Snorri Sturlson was in possession of the Langfeðgatal or a closely related text when he composed the detailed list of gods and heroes given in the Prologue to the Prose Edda.[2] Faulkes suggests transmission in the opposite direction: a set of incomplete notes from the English Anglian collection manuscript T found their way to Iceland, and the Prologue represents an intermediate between these notes and the form of the mythical pedigrees take in Langfeðgatal.[6]


  1. ^ Sometimes written Langfedgetal or Langfedgatal
  2. ^ a b c Alexander M. Bruce (2002). Scyld and Scef: Expanding the Analogues. Psychology Press. pp. 56–60. ISBN 978-0-8153-3904-5. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Tom A Shippey; Andreas Haarder, T. A. Shippey (1998). Beowulf: The Critical Heritage. Taylor & Francis Group. pp. 4–. ISBN 978-0-415-02970-4. Retrieved 27 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Alexander M. Bruce (2002). Scyld and Scef: Expanding the Analogues. Psychology Press. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-8153-3904-5. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  5. ^ Quinn, Judy., From orality to literacy in medieval Iceland, p. 48in Margaret Cluneis Ross (ed.) Old Icelandic Literature and Society, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0521631129, 2000.]
  6. ^ Faulkes, Anthony. "The Genealogies and Regnal Lists in a Manuscript in Resen's Library", Sjötíu ritgerðir helgaðar Jakobi Benediktssyni 20. júlí 1977, Reykjavik, 1977, pp. 170—190 [1]; Faulkes, Anthony. "The Earliest Icelandic Genealogies and Regnal Lists, The Saga Book of the Viking Society, vol. 29, pp. 115-119 "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-04-12. Retrieved 2013-02-12. .

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