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Markús Skeggjason (Mark)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Jayne Carroll;

Eiríksdrápa (Eirdr) - 32

Markús Skeggjason (Mark) was the son of Skeggi Bjarnason and possibly a brother of the poet Þórarinn Skeggjason (ÞSkegg). He was lawspeaker in Iceland from 1084 until his death on 15 October 1107. In Íslendingabók (Íslb, ÍF 1, 22) he is named as an important informant for Ari Þorgilsson about the lives of the earlier lawspeakers in Iceland. He had gained this information from his brother, father and grandfather. Markús appears to have had close ties to the Church: during his time as lawspeaker, and with his guidance, Gizurr Ísleifsson, bishop of Skálholt (1081-1118), established the Icel. tithe laws (ÍF 1, 22). Markús was among the most respected poets in the canon of the C13th and he is cited often in SnE and TGT (see below).

In Skáldatal, Markús is associated with S. Knútr Sveinsson of Denmark (d. 1086), Eiríkr inn góði ‘the Good’ Sveinsson of Denmark (d. 1103), and Ingi Steinkelsson of Sweden (d. 1110) (SnE 1848-87, III, 252, 258, 260, 267, 271, 283, see also 348-53). An extended hrynhent poem about Eiríkr (Mark Eirdr), composed after his death in 1103, and one helmingr about ‘Sveinn’s brother’, probably S. Knútr (Mark KnútdrIII), survive, alongside one helmingr and a couplet from a possible drápa about Christ (Mark KristdrIII) and two lvv. (Mark Lv 1-2III). Aside from Eirdr, all of Markús’s extant poetry is transmitted in SnE or TGT, and it has been edited in SkP III.

Eiríksdrápa (‘Drápa about Eiríkr’) — Mark EirdrII

Jayne Carroll 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 432-60.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32 

Skj: Markús Skeggjason: 1. Eiríksdrápa, o. 1104 (AI, 444-52, BI, 414-20); stanzas (if different): 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32

SkP info: II, 441

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

9 — Mark Eirdr 9II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2009, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa 9’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 441.

Bróðir gekk í Bôr út síðan
— bragningr vildi guðdóm magna —
(hylli guðs mun hlífa stilli)
hǫfuðskjǫldunga fimm (at gjǫldum).

{Bróðir fimm hǫfuðskjǫldunga} gekk síðan út í Bôr; bragningr vildi magna guðdóm; hylli guðs mun at gjǫldum hlífa stilli.

{The brother of five principal kings} [= Eiríkr] then walked out to Bari; the ruler wanted to strengthen God’s dominion; the grace of God will in return protect the prince.

Mss: (148), 873ˣ(49v), 20b I(7r), 180b(29v) (Knýtl)

Editions: Skj: Markús Skeggjason, 1. Eiríksdrápa 11: AI, 446, BI, 416, Skald I, 205; 1741, 148-9, ÍF 35, 218 (ch. 74).

Context: From Rome, Eiríkr proceeded on foot to Venice (see st. 8 above) and then to Bari.

Notes: [1] Bôr ‘Bari’: A town in south-eastern Italy, where the relics of S. Nicholas, C4th bishop of Myra, were taken in 1087. The shrine, consecrated by Pope Urban II in 1089, became one of the great pilgrimage destinations of medieval Europe. Bari, which is mentioned in Abbot Nikulás’s Leiðarvísir ( I, 20), was apparently a place of special interest to the Icelanders. See also Anon NikdrIII and Sigfús Blöndal 1949. — [2] vildi magna guðdóm ‘wanted to strengthen God’s dominion’: I.e. by undertaking a pilgrimage on foot to a holy site associated with a popular saint. — [4] fimm hǫfuðskjǫldunga ‘of five principal kings’: Lit. ‘five main Skjǫldungar’. Skjǫldungr, which is a heiti for ‘king, prince’, lit. means ‘descendant of Skjǫldr’. Skjǫldr was a legendary Dan. king (see ÍF 35, 1-90; SnE 1998, II, 507). For Eiríkr’s brothers, the sons of Sveinn Úlfsson, see Note to Anon (Knýtl) 1/8. Five of them (Haraldr, S. Knútr, Eiríkr, Óláfr and Nikulás) were kings of Denmark.

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated