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Runic Dictionary

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Markús Skeggjason (Mark)

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

III. 3. Lausavísur (Lv) - 2

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.

Lausavísur — Mark LvIII

Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘ Markús Skeggjason, Lausavísur’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 295. <> (accessed 6 July 2022)

stanzas:  1   2 

Skj: Markús Skeggjason: 4. Lausavísur (AI, 452-453, BI, 421)

SkP info: III, 296

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Mark Lv 1III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Lausavísur 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 296.

Fjarðlinna óð fannir
fast vetrliði rastar;
hljóp of húna gnípur
hvalranns íugtanni.
Bjǫrn gekk framm á fornar
flóðs hafskíða slóðir;
skúrǫrðigr braut skorðu
skers glymfjǫtur bersi.

{Vetrliði rastar} óð fast {fannir {fjarðlinna}}; {íugtanni {hvalranns}} hljóp of {gnípur húna}. {Bjǫrn flóðs} gekk framm á {fornar slóðir {hafskíða}}; {skúrǫrðigr bersi skorðu} braut {glymfjǫtur skers}.

{The winter-survivor <bear> of the maelstrom} [SHIP] waded steadily {through the snowdrifts {of fjord-snakes}} [FISH > WAVES]; {the greedy-toothed one <bear> {of the whale-house}} [SEA > SHIP] leapt across {crags of mastheads} [WAVES]. {The bear of the flood} [SHIP] went forward on {the old tracks {of ocean-skis}} [SHIPS > WAVES]; {the storm-battling little bear of the prop} [SHIP] broke {the resounding fetter of the skerry} [SEA].

texts: LaufE 99 (304), LaufE 167 (393), Skm 262, TGT 89 [5-6], Gramm 91, SnE 264

editions: Skj Markús Skeggjason: 4. Lausavísur 1 (AI, 452; BI, 421); Skald I, 208; SnE 1848-87, I, 442-3, II, 332, 443, III, 87, SnE 1931, 157, SnE 1998, I, 75; SnE 1848-87, II, 160-1, TGT 1884, 27, 104, TGT 1927, 76, 105.


GKS 2367 4° (R) 35r, 22 - 35r, 24 (SnE)  transcr.  image  image  image  
Traj 1374x (Tx) 36v, 19 - 36v, 19 (SnE)  image  
AM 242 fol (W) 80, 8 - 80, 10 (SnE)  image  image  image  
DG 11 (U) 34r, 5 - 34r, 7 [5-8] (SnE)  image  
AM 748 I b 4° (A) 12r, 6 - 12r, 8 (SnE)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 242 fol (W) 108, 29 - 108, 29 [5-6] (TGT)  transcr.  image  image  image  
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