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Treasures

On the Diverse Natures of Iceland

JS 401 XI 4to.

On the Diverse Natures of Iceland is a fragment of the most famous work of Jón Guðmundsson (1574-1658) the Learned, who despite the nickname was a self-educated man: On the diversity of Iceland’s Natures. This manuscript is an original was written sometime in the years 1640-1644 and has quite a number of pictures of whales some of whom are quite accurate whilst others bear the mark of being a reproduction of the authors mind. His work lived on in the many copies that were made in the centuries to come and his work has been cherished by modern scholars. One of Jóns first works was to write a forceful poem in order to lay down a ghost. By it he got many friends but also many enemies amongst the church. That lead, amongst other things, to that Jón was sentenced to exile and spent many of his years as a fugitive, amongst other things on a deserted island in east-Iceland.

A reproduction of pages from the manuscript will be on display at the Culture House, which opens in April. Also forthcoming is a four-lingual version of the “True narrative” by Jon the Learned, about the Slaying of the Basques in 1615, published on the occasion of the 400 years commemoration of the event.

The manuscript can be viewed on Handrit.is: http://handrit.is/is/manuscript/imaging/is/JS04-0401-XI

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