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, 445-6

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

15 — Mark Eirdr 15II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2009, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa 15’ 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. 445-6.

Rǫndu lauk of rekka kindir
risnumaðr, svát hver tók aðra;
hamalt — knôttu þá hlífar glymja —
hildingr fylkði liði miklu.

Risnumaðr lauk rǫndu of kindir rekka, svát hver tók aðra; hildingr fylkði miklu liði hamalt; þá knôttu hlífar glymja.

The doughty man enclosed the descendants of champions with the shield, so that each linked with the next; the prince marshalled his great troop in a wedge-shaped formation; then the shields began to resound.

Mss: (154), 873ˣ(51r), 180b(30r) (Knýtl)

Readings: [1] kindir: ‘kinndur’ 180b    [3] knôttu: ‘guattu’ 180b;    þá: þá er 180b

Editions: Skj: Markús Skeggjason, 1. Eiríksdrápa 17: AI, 447-8, BI, 417, Skald I, 206, NN §3104; 1741, 154-5, Knýtl 1919-25, 177, ÍF 35, 223 (ch. 76).

Context: As st. 14 above. When the Wendish chieftains heard that the Dan. army was approaching, they mustered their troops. Eiríkr put to shore and marshalled his army.

Notes: [3] hamalt ‘in a wedge-shaped formation’: See ÞjóðA Run 1/4 and Note to Gísl Magnkv 10/6. — [4] miklu ‘great’: The word does not provide the required aðalhending and all modern eds except Knýtl 1919-25 emend here. As all the mss agree on miklu (which makes good sense), it is retained here, despite the metrical infidelity. Skj B emends to gildu ‘splendid’, qualifying liði ‘troop’ (l. 4). Skald’s emendation to mildi ‘generous’, qualifying hildingr ‘prince’ is perhaps preferable to gildu, as it retains the first two letters of the ms. readings, and, as NN §3104 notes, it anticipates mildingr in the next st. A further possible emendation which would restore the aðalhending is vildru ‘desirable, splendid’, qualifying liði.

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