Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Markús Skeggjason (Mark)

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

Eiríksdrápa (Eirdr) - 32

Skj info: Markús Skeggjason, Isl. lovsigemand og skjald, d. 1107. (AI, 444-53, BI, 414-21).

Skj poems:
1. Eiríksdrápa
2. Knútsdrápa(?)
3. Kristsdrápa(?)
4. Lausavísur

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.

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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, 444

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

13 — Mark Eirdr 13II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2009, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa 13’ 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. 444.

Veldi þorðut Vinðr at halda,
— villa gerðisk þeim at illu —
— sunnan kom þá svikdómsmanna
sáttarof — þats buðlungr átti.

Vinðr þorðut at halda veldi, þats buðlungr átti; villa gerðisk þeim at illu; þá kom sáttarof svikdómsmanna sunnan.

The Wends had not dared to retain control of the realm which the ruler possessed; error turned to misery for them; then came [news of] the truce-breaking of the treacherous men from the south.

Mss: (152), 873ˣ(50v), 20b I(7v), 180b(30r) (Knýtl)

Readings: [1] Vinðr: ‘uíndar’ 180b    [2] villa: villan all

Editions: Skj: Markús Skeggjason, 1. Eiríksdrápa 15: AI, 447, BI, 416, Skald I, 206; 1741, 152-3, ÍF 35, 222 (ch. 75).

Context: While Eiríkr was away on his journey to Rome, the Wends had abandoned their loyalty to him. This st. is quoted after the account of the Saxon emperor Henry VI’s (r. 1056-1106) conquest of the Dan. province in Wendland, and his appointment of Bjǫrn, one of his chieftains, as ruler there.

Notes: [All]: According to Saxo (2005, II, 12, 4, 2, pp. 72-3), the campaign against the Wends took place prior to Eiríkr’s journey to Rome, and it was provoked by pirates from Wollin who plundered in Denmark. Saxo also notes that Eiríkr led a total of three campaigns against the Wends, but he does not specify when the second and the third took place (which could have been after Eiríkr’s return from Rome). — [1] þorðut ‘had not dared’: All eds emend to þorðu ‘dared’, but the reading of the mss is acceptable if the pret. form is understood to have pluperfect force (see NS §324b): the Wends had not previously dared to take the lands, but then the news of their treachery was heard from the south. — [3] svikdómsmanna ‘of the treacherous men’: See Note to st. 4/7 above.

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