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, 455-6

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

26 — Mark Eirdr 26II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2009, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa 26’ 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. 455-6.

Lýst skal hitt, es læknask fýstisk
liðhraustr konungr sôr in iðri;
norðan fór með helming harðan
hersa mœðir sôl at grœða.
Harri bjósk til heims ins dýrra;
hann gerði fǫr út at kanna
— buðlungr vildi bjart líf ǫðlask —
byggð Jórsala friði tryggða.

Hitt skal lýst, es liðhraustr konungr fýstisk læknask in iðri sôr; {mœðir hersa} fór norðan með harðan helming at grœða sôl. Harri bjósk til ins dýrra heims; hann gerði fǫr út at kanna byggð Jórsala, tryggða friði; buðlungr vildi ǫðlask bjart líf.

It shall be made clear, that the troop-bold king was eager to cure his inner wounds; {the troubler of hersar} [RULER = Eiríkr] travelled from the north with a fierce unit to heal his soul. The lord prepared himself for the better world; he made his way out to explore the settlement of Jerusalem, secured with peace; the prince wished to gain a glorious life.

Mss: (166), 873ˣ(55r), 180b(31r-v), 20b II(3rb) (ll. 6-8) (Knýtl)

Readings: [1] fýstisk: so 180b, fýsti JÓ, 873ˣ    [2] sôr in iðri: fór sá norðan 180b    [3] norðan fór með helming harðan: enn með helming hǫrðum vǫrðu 180b    [6] hann gerði fǫr út at: ‘[…]’ 20b II    [8] friði: í friði 180b

Editions: Skj: Markús Skeggjason, 1. Eiríksdrápa 28: AI, 450, BI, 419, Skald I, 207, NN §§3104, 3235; 1741, 166-7, ÍF 35, 235-6 (ch. 81).

Context: Eiríkr embarked on his journey to Jerusalem (see st. 24 above).

Notes: [1-4]: The helmingr hints at the motivation behind Eiríkr’s decision to go on the pilgrimage, namely, to do penance and get absolution for his sins (cf. Saxo’s account referred to in Note to st. 24 [All] above). — [2] liðhraustr ‘troop-bold’: Kock (NN §3235) suggests that lið may be ‘limb’ rather than ‘troop’, and that the cpd should be understood as ‘(physically) strong’, contrasting Eiríkr’s strength with his spiritual vulnerability. However, while this is certainly an attractive suggestion (according to Saxo, Eiríkr was a very tall and strong man; see Note to st. 24 [All]), other poetic compounds with lið- in the meaning ‘limb’ as the first element are kennings for gold rings (cf. LP: liðbál ‘limb-fire’; liðband ‘limb-band’; liðbrandr ‘limb-fire’), which makes Kock’s interpretation tenuous. — [3] helming ‘unit’: For this military term, see Note to Valg Har 4/1. — [7] bjart líf ‘a glorious life’: I.e. a glorious afterlife in heaven. — [8] tryggða friði ‘secured with peace’: See Notes to sts 8/3, 23/5.

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