It was Ablabius, apparently, who had first used the Gothic sagas (prisca carmina); it was he who had constructed the stem of the Amals.
Sagas exist showing all these phases, some primitive and rough, some refined and beautified, some diluted and weakened, according as their copyists have been faithful, artistic or foolish; for the first generation of MSS.
The author was an unnamed Austrian poet, but the story itself belongs to the cycle of sagas, which originated on the shores of the North Sea.
When the Norsemen came to Greenland they found various remains indicating, as the old sagas say, that there had been people of a similar kind as those they met with in Vinland, in America, whom they called Skraeling (the meaning of the word is uncertain, it means possibly weak people); but the sagas do not report that they actually met the natives then.
As to the origin of the heroic sagas as we now have them, Tacitus tells us that the deeds of Arminius were still celebrated in song a hundred years after his death (Annals, ii.