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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Mark Frag 1III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Fragments 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. 293.

Markús SkeggjasonFragments


This helmingr (Mark Frag 1) is transmitted in Skm (SnE; mss R (main ms.), , W, U, A) and it is attributed to Markús in all mss. It was also copied in the Y version of LaufE (see LaufE 1979, 285, 364) and (from LaufE Y) in RE 1665(Hh). Neither redaction has been considered in the present edition. The religious content suggests that the half-stanza could have been part of a poem about God or Christ, and Jón Sigurðsson (SnE 1848-87, III, 350) assigns it to a drápa about Christ (Kristdrápa; a title adopted in Skald and, tentatively, in Skj). Fidjestøl (1982, 153), however, argues that both Mark Frag 1 and 2 could have been belonged to Markús Skeggjason’s poem honouring Knútr inn helgi Sveinsson of Denmark (see Introduction to Mark Knútr) above. That cannot be ascertained, and the half-stanza and the couplet are edited as separate fragments here.

text and translation

Gramr skóp grund ok himna
glyggranns sem her dyggvan;
einn stillir má ǫllu
aldar Kristr of valda.

{Gramr {glyggranns}} skóp grund ok himna sem dyggvan her; {einn stillir aldar}, Kristr, má of valda ǫllu.
‘The ruler of the storm-house [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] created the earth and the heavens as well as faithful men; the one controller of people [= God (= Christ)], Christ, can govern everything.

notes and context

The half-stanza is cited in Skm to illustrate such Christ-kennings as konungr himna ‘king of the heavens’.

[3]: The line echoes Sigv Berv 7/3II.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Markús Skeggjason, 3. Kristsdrápa(?) 1: AI, 452, BI, 420, Skald I, 208; SnE 1848-87, I, 448-9, II, 333, 445, III, 90, SnE 1931, 158, SnE 1998, I, 77.


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