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Runic Dictionary

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Markús Skeggjason (Mark)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Jayne Carroll;

Eiríksdrápa (Eirdr) - 32

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.

stanzas:  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, 438-9

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

6 — Mark Eirdr 6II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2009, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa 6’ 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. 438-9.

Vǫrgum eyddi Vinða fergir;
víking hepti konungr fíkjum;
þjófa hendr lét þengill stýfa;
þegnum kunni ósið hegna.
Aldri frásk, at Eirekr vildi
allréttligum dómi halla;
hôla kunni sér til sælu
sigrs valdari guðs lǫg halda.

{Fergir Vinða} eyddi vǫrgum; konungr hepti víking fíkjum; þengill lét stýfa hendr þjófa; kunni hegna þegnum ósið. Aldri frásk, at Eirekr vildi halla allréttligum dómi; {valdari sigrs} kunni hôla halda lǫg guðs til sælu sér.

{The vanquisher of the Wends} [= Eiríkr] destroyed outlaws; the king put an end to piracy fiercely; the prince caused thieves’ hands to be struck off; he knew how to punish men for wrong behaviour. Never was it heard said, that Eiríkr wished to sway the right judgement; {the wielder of victory} [WARRIOR] knew well to observe the laws of God for his well-being.

Mss: (146), 873ˣ(49r), 20b I(7r), 180b(29v) (Knýtl)

Readings: [2] víking: so 873ˣ, 20b I, ‘virking’ JÓ, víkingum 180b    [3] lét: leit 180b    [4] þegnum: ‘þeknum’ 180b;    kunni: kunni hann all    [5] Aldri: so 20b I, 180b, aldregi JÓ, 873ˣ;    frásk: fréttu 20b I, fráttu 180b    [6] halla: at halla 180b    [7] hôla: haga 180b

Editions: Skj: Markús Skeggjason, 1. Eiríksdrápa 8: AI, 446, BI, 415, Skald I, 205; 1741, 146-7, ÍF 35, 216 (ch. 73).

Context: The strict but just nature of Eiríkr’s reign.

Notes: [All]: Saxo (2005, II, 12, 3, 4, pp. 68-9) also comments on Eiríkr’s fairness and his harsh punishment of transgressions. — [2] víking ‘piracy’: The first recorded instance of the abstract f. noun víking in skaldic verse (Jesch 2003, 268). — [4] kunni ‘he knew’: ÍF 35 retains the pron. hann ‘he’ (so all mss), which makes the l. hypermetrical. — [5] frásk ‘was it heard said’: Fráttu ‘you heard’ (so 180b) is also possible (and preferred by ÍF 35), but requires elision across a syntactic boundary.

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