Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa, 22 [Vol. 2, 450-1]

[All]: It looks as though the compiler of Knýtl misunderstood the geographical information provided by the st. (ÍF 35, 227): Hann kom fyrst við Eyland skipum sínum, er hann kom sunnan af Vinðlandi, sem Markús segir ‘He first came to Öland with his ships when he returned north from Wendland, as Markús says’. The island of Öland (Eyland) is located in the Baltic off the south-eastern coast of Sweden (Småland), and it was never a part of Denmark. While it is by no means unlikely that Eiríkr could have put to shore in Öland on his way back, he certainly had no reason to fortify or protect that island. The misunderstanding most likely arose from the phrase hauðr Eydana ‘the earth of the Island-Danes’ (l. 8), which refers to the Dan. islands off the south-eastern coast of Denmark and not to Öland. Hence the st. seems to describe Eiríkr securing the coasts of Denmark (and the Dan. islands) before (or after?) he was campaigning in Wendland.

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