I kommission for
Den Arnamagnæanske Kommission
The Arnamagnæan Commission have begun the publication under the title Editiones Arnamagnæanæ of a series of critical editions of texts based on the manuscripts. The works are to be divided according to size between Series A in larger, and Series B in smaller format. Ivens saga, edited by Professor Foster W. Blaisdell, Bloomington, Indiana, U.S.A., is now issued as the eighteenth volume of Series B.
There is a twofold need for a new edition of ÍS: the saga represents an important item in medieval European Arthurian literature, and the existing editions are outdated. According to the statement at the end of the saga, it was translated from French at the behest of King Hákon the Old (Hákon Hákonarson, ruled 1217-63). It is thus one of the products of the literary activity in Norway which also produced translations of some of the foremost works of medieval Europe: the lais of Marie de France (the Strengleikar), the Tristan of Thomas (Tristrams saga), among others. ÍS is, in fact, a prose translation of the verse epic Yvain of Chrétien de Troyes.