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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.

 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, 453-4

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

24 — Mark Eirdr 24II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2009, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa 24’ 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. 453-4.

Blíðan gœddi bjǫrtum auði
Bjarnar hlýra Frakklands stýrir;
stórar lét sér randgarðs rýrir
ríks keisara gjafir líka.
Hônum lét til hervígs búna
harra spjalli láðmenn snjalla
alla leið, áðr ǫðlingr næði
Jóta grundar Césars fundi.


{The ruler of France} [= Philip I] endowed {the pleasant brother of Bjǫrn} [= Eiríkr] with bright wealth; {the diminisher of the shield-wall} [WARRIOR] found himself pleased with the great gifts {of the powerful emperor}. [= Henry IV] {The companion of lords} [RULER = Henry IV] gave him brave guides, ready for battle, all the way, before {the noble leader {of the land of the Jótar}} [= Denmark > = Eiríkr] was able to meet Caesar.

context: This st. is cited after the narrative of Eiríkr’s decision to go to Jerusalem, to support the saga’s account of gifts received from the Frankish king and Eiríkr’s renewed good terms with the Saxon emperor Henry IV.

notes: Knýtl (ÍF 35, 232-3) provides no overt motivation for Eiríkr’s decision to embark on a journey to Jerusalem. According to Saxo (2005, II, 12, 6, 1-4, pp. 74-7), Eiríkr, a man of exceptional physical strength, had, at a moment of temporary insanity induced by a lyre-playing minstrel, killed four of his retainers. When he came to his senses, he decided to go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to atone for his sins. A veiled reference to the reasons behind Eiríkr’s pilgrimage is provided in st. 26/1-4 below. — [5]: 20b I ends with the first element of the cpd her-.

texts: Knýtl 53

editions: Skj Markús Skeggjason: 1. Eiríksdrápa 26 (AI, 450; BI, 418-19); Skald I, 207; 1741, 164-5, ÍF 35, 233-4 (ch. 78).


Jón Ólafsson 1741 (JÓ) 164 - 164 (Knýtl)  transcr.  image  
NKS 873 4°x (873x) 54v, 9 - 54v, 16 (Knýtl)  transcr.  image  
AM 20 b I fol (20b I) 9v, 27 - 9v, 27 [1-5] (Knýtl)  transcr.  image  
AM 180 b fol (180b) 31r, 30 - 31r, 32 (Knýtl)  transcr.  image  
AM 1005 4°x (1005x) 46r, 20 - 46r, 24 (Knýtl)  transcr.  
AM 20 b II fol (20b II) 3ra, 2 - 3ra, 7 (Knýtl)  transcr.  image  
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