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, 447-8

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

18 — Mark Eirdr 18II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2009, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa 18’ 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. 447-8.

Blóði dreif á randgarð rauðan;
rógs hegnir drap ótal þegna;
framði sik, þars folkvôpn glumðu,
fylkir ungr, en brynjur sprungu.

Blóði dreif á rauðan randgarð; {hegnir rógs} drap ótal þegna; ungr fylkir framði sik, þars folkvôpn glumðu, en brynjur sprungu.

Blood splattered onto the red shield-wall; {the punisher of discord} [JUST RULER] killed an untold number of men; the young ruler distinguished himself where battle-weapons resounded and mail-coats sprang apart.

Mss: (154), 873ˣ(51v), 20b I(8r), 180b(30r) (Knýtl)

Readings: [1] Blóði dreif á randgarð rauðan: ‘Blod[…]’ 20b I;    Blóði: blóðit 180b;    rand‑: rauð‑ 180b    [2] rógs hegnir drap ótal þegna: ‘[…]’ 20b I    [3] framði sik: ‘[…]’ 20b I;    þars (‘þar er’): ‘[…]’ 20b I;    glumðu: ‘glu[…]’ 20b I    [4] fylkir ungr en brynjur sprungu: ‘[…]’ 20b I

Editions: Skj: Markús Skeggjason, 1. Eiríksdrápa 20: AI, 448, BI, 417, Skald I, 206; 1741, 154-5, ÍF 35, 224 (ch. 76).

Context: As sts. 14-17 above. St. 18 follows st. 17 without intervening prose.

Notes: [1] randgarð ‘shield-wall’: See also Sturl Hrafn 2/8. Rauð-, the reading of 180b, was probably caused by rauðan in the same l. — [1] blóði (dat. sg.) ‘blood’: The mss of the A-recension retain the impersonal construction, drífa ‘splatter’ with dat.; blóðit n. nom. sg. ‘the blood’, the reading of 180b, suggests that the scribe interpreted dreif in the meaning ‘drifted’, which need not be impersonal. — [3] folkvôpn ‘battle-weapons’: I.e. axes, swords and spears. For a more detailed description of these weapons, see NGL I, 101. — [3, 4] ungr fylkir framði sik ‘the young ruler distinguished himself’: Echoes Gísl Magnkv 1/1.

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