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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, 456-7

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

27 — Mark Eirdr 27II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2009, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa 27’ 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. 456-7.

Bôru menn ór borgum stórum
bleyðiskjarrs á móti harra
— sungit vas, þás herr tók hringja —
hnossum gǫfguð skrín ok krossa.
Aldri fær í annars veldi
jǫfra ríkir metnað slíkan;
eitt vas sér, þats jafnask mátti
engi maðr við Dana þengil.

Menn bôru skrín, gǫfguð hnossum, ok krossa ór stórum borgum á móti bleyðiskjarrs harra; vas sungit, þás herr tók hringja. {Ríkir jǫfra} fær aldri slíkan metnað í veldi annars; eitt vas sér, þats engi maðr mátti jafnask við {þengil Dana}.

Men carried reliquaries, decorated with precious ornaments, and crosses out of great towns towards the cowardice-shy lord; there was singing, when men began to ring. {A ruler of princes} [KING] will never receive such honour in the realm of another [ruler]; unique it was, that no man could equal {the prince of the Danes} [= Eiríkr].

Mss: (166-168), 873ˣ(55r-v), 180b(31v), 20b II(3rb) (Knýtl)

Readings: [2] á: í 180b, at 20b II;    móti: so 180b, 20b II, mót JÓ, 873ˣ    [3] þás (‘þá er’): ‘þꜳ hier’ 180b    [4] gǫfguð: gǫfugt 180b, 20b II;    krossa: so 180b, 20b II, krossar JÓ, 873ˣ    [6] ríkir: ríkr 180b;    slíkan: ‘skikan’ 180b

Editions: Skj: Markús Skeggjason, 1. Eiríksdrápa 29: AI, 450-1, BI, 419, Skald I, 207; 1741, 166-9, ÍF 35, 236 (ch. 81).

Context: Eiríkr continued on his journey, and wherever he came, he was received by the townspeople with honour. Clerics met him with processions, carrying holy relics.

Notes: [All]: The prose of Knýtl preceding this st. is merely a paraphrase of the poetry. — [3] vas sungit ‘there was singing’: Lit. ‘it was sung’. — [4] krossa (m. acc. pl.) ‘crosses’: Krossar (m. nom. pl.) ‘crosses’ (so JÓ, 873ˣ) is ungrammatical. — [7] eitt vas sér ‘unique it was’: Lit. ‘one thing was in itself’. So also ÍF 35. Skj B and Skald emend to eitt vas sét ‘one thing was seen’ (eitt vas sétt, Skald).

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