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Runic Dictionary

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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, 447

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

17 — Mark Eirdr 17II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2009, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa 17’ 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. 447.

Hǫrga varðisk herr í borgum;
hjaldrganga vas snǫruð þangat;
harðir kníðusk menn at morði;
merki blés of hilmi sterkan.
Eirekr vakði odda skúrir;
eggjar týndu lífi seggja;
sungu jǫrn, en sœfðusk drengir;
sveiti fell á valkǫst heitan.

{Herr hǫrga} varðisk í borgum; hjaldrganga vas snǫruð þangat; harðir menn kníðusk at morði; merki blés of sterkan hilmi. Eirekr vakði {skúrir odda}; eggjar týndu lífi seggja; jǫrn sungu, en drengir sœfðusk; sveiti fell á heitan valkǫst.

{The host of heathen temples} [HEATHENS = Wends] defended itself in the strongholds; the battle-advance was quickly turned thither; fierce men pressed forward at the slaughter; the banner blew around the strong prince. Eiríkr stirred up {showers of arrow-points} [BATTLE]; blades destroyed the lives of men; weapons sang, and warriors died; blood fell on the hot carrion-heap.

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

Readings: [1] Hǫrga: Hǫrða 180b    [3] harðir: harðar 180b;    kníðusk: ‘kinndur’ 180b    [7] sœfðusk: svœfðumsk 180b    [8] fell: ‘fieill’ 180b

Editions: Skj: Markús Skeggjason, 1. Eiríksdrápa 19: AI, 448, BI, 417, Skald I, 206; 1741, 154-5, ÍF 35, 224 (ch. 76).

Context: As sts 14-16 above. After the battle described in st. 16, the Wends fled and stayed in strongholds. They were pursued by the Danes who engaged them in battles and killed many of them.

Notes: [1] hǫrga ‘of heathen temples’: A hǫrgr was a place of pagan worship, at one time a stone pile (pagan altar); later the term was applied to buildings in which worship took place (see Turville-Petre 1964, 239-40). Because the Wends were heathen, this is an appropriate determinant in this kenning. In 180b, the herr ‘host’ appears to be made up of Hǫrðar, men from Hordaland, Norway, which makes no sense in the context. See also Note to st. 4/7. — [7] drengir ‘warriors’: See Note to st. 5/1 above.

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