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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.

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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, 454-5

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

25 — Mark Eirdr 25II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2009, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa 25’ 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. 454-5.

Dróttinn lét í Danmǫrk settan,
dǫglings grundar, skammt frá Lundi
erkistól, þanns ǫll þjóð dýrkar,
eljunþungr, á danska tungu.
Hildingr framði heilagt veldi;
hvargegnan má Ǫzur fregna
— hônum vísar haulda reynir
himna stíg — til byskups vígðan.

Eljunþungr dróttinn lét settan erkistól í Danmǫrk skammt frá Lundi, þanns ǫll þjóð dǫglings grundar dýrkar á danska tungu. Hildingr framði heilagt veldi; má fregna hvargegnan Ǫzur vígðan til byskups; {reynir haulda} vísar hônum stíg himna.

The energetic lord had an archbishopric established in Denmark a short way from Lund, which all the people of the ruler’s land worship in the Danish tongue. The prince advanced the holy kingdom; one can hear that the very capable Ǫzurr was ordained bishop; {the trier of freeholders} [= God] shows him the path to the heavens.

Mss: (166), 873ˣ(55r), 180b(31r), 20b II(3ra) (ll. 1-3) (Knýtl)

Readings: [1] Dróttinn: dróttum 180b;    lét: leit 180b    [2] dǫglings: dǫgling 180b    [3] ‑stól: ‑stóll 20b II;    þanns ǫll þjóð dýrkar: ‘[…]’ 20b II    [4] eljun‑: ‘ellemun’ 180b;    tungu: ‘tunnu’ 180b    [6] hvargegnan: hvargegna 873ˣ, hvat gegnan 180b    [8] stíg: stígr 180b

Editions: Skj: Markús Skeggjason, 1. Eiríksdrápa 27: AI, 450, BI, 418-19, Skald I, 207; 1741, 166-7, ÍF 35, 234 (ch. 80).

Context: The establishment of the archbishopric in Lund and Eiríkr’s choice of Ǫzurr Sveinsson, bishop of Lund, as the first archbishop.

Notes: [All]: For the events that led up the establishment of this archbishopric in 1104, see sts 8-12 above. — [1-4]: Skj B (so also Skald and ÍF 35) emends dǫglings m. gen. sg. ‘the ruler’s’ (l. 2) to dǫglingr m. nom. sg. and selects dróttum f. dat. pl. ‘people, men’ (l. 1), the reading of 180b, to produce the following version: eljunþungr dǫglingr grundar lét settan dróttum erkistól í Danmǫrk skammt frá Lundi, þanns ǫll þjóð dýrkar á danska tungu ‘the energetic lord of the land had an archbishopric established for his people in Denmark a short way from Lund, which all people worship in the Danish tongue’. The selection of dróttum was no doubt partly owing to the misreading of the B-class ms. 20b II which, however, reads dróttinn as do the A-class mss. While the reading offered here is unusually complex in syntax for Markús, it is better supported by the ms. witnesses. — [2] skammt frá Lundi ‘a short way from Lund’: Located in Skåne, present-day Sweden (then a part of Denmark). — [4] á danska tungu ‘in the Danish tongue’: The wider sense of this term, ON, the language of early medieval Scandinavia (rather than specifically Dan.), is probably meant here, because Lund became the archbishopric of Scandinavia (see, e.g. the consecration of the Icel. bishop Jón Ǫgmundarson in 1105; Introduction to poem above). — [6] Ǫzur ‘Ǫzurr’: Ǫzurr Sveinsson was appointed bishop of Lund in 1089 and archbishop in 1103/4. He died in 1137. Ǫzurr was the nephew of Eiríkr’s wife, Bóthildr (see Genealogy IV in ÍF 35). — [7] vísar hônum stíg himna ‘shows him the path to the heavens’: I.e. God helps him behave in a Christian manner. — [7] haulda ‘of freeholders’: See Note to st. 20/3 and Anon Nkt 15/2.

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