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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, 434-5

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — Mark Eirdr 2II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2009, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa 2’ 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. 434-5.

Eireks lof verðr ǫld at heyra;
engi maðr veit fremra þengil
— yngvi helt við orðstír langan
jǫfra sess — í verǫld þessi.

Ǫld verðr at heyra lof Eireks; engi maðr veit fremra þengil í þessi verǫld; yngvi helt sess jǫfra við langan orðstír.

People must hear Eiríkr’s praise; no man knows a better ruler in this world; the king held the seat of princes with long-lasting glory.

Mss: R(40r), Tˣ(41v-42r), U(38v), A(15v), B(6v), 744ˣ(43v), C(9v) (SnE)

Readings: [2] maðr veit: veit ek A, B;    fremra: fremða Tˣ, ‘f[…]’ B, ‘framra’ 744ˣ    [3] orðstír: ‘erztyr’ Tˣ    [4] jǫfra: ‘ofra’ C;    sess: sessi U

Editions: Skj: Markús Skeggjason, 1. Eiríksdrápa 2: AI, 444, BI, 414, Skald I, 204; SnE 1848-87, I, 528-9, II, 345, 463, 542, 609, SnE 1931, 185, SnE 1998, I, 105.

Context: See st. 1. Yngvi is another of the sons of Hálfdan and Alvig. The helmingr is preceded by the prose statement, Yngvi; þat er konungs heiti, sem Markús kvað ‘Yngvi; that is a king-heiti, as Markús said’.

Notes: [All]: Fidjestøl (1982, 152-3) suggests that this helmingr could have been part of a refrain (stef). — [3] yngvi ‘the king’: Yngvi was the name of the ancestor of the Swed./Norw. Ynglingr dynasty and of various legendary kings and heroes (see LP: Yngvi). Markús is fond of this heiti for ‘king’, and he also uses it in sts 5/1, 14/1 and 21/5. — [4] í þessi verǫld ‘in this world’: It is possible to construe this phrase with the second cl.: yngvi helt sess jǫfra við langan orðstír í þessi verǫld ‘the king held the seat of princes with long-lasting glory in this world’ (ll. 3-4; so Skj B and Skald). The reading offered above is preferable, however, because it places a limit upon Eiríkr’s power, obliquely contrasting it with God’s omnipotence, which Eiríkr cannot rival.

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