Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa, 24 [Vol. 2, 453-4]

[All]: Knýtl (ÍF 35, 232-3) provides no overt motivation for Eiríkr’s decision to embark on a journey to Jerusalem. According to Saxo (2005, II, 12, 6, 1-4, pp. 74-7), Eiríkr, a man of exceptional physical strength, had, at a moment of temporary insanity induced by a lyre-playing minstrel, killed four of his retainers. When he came to his senses, he decided to go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to atone for his sins. A veiled reference to the reasons behind Eiríkr’s pilgrimage is provided in st. 26/1-4 below.


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