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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Mark Eirdr 8II

Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2009, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa 8’ 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. 439-41.

Markús SkeggjasonEiríksdrápa
789

text and translation

Lýst skal hitt, es lofðungr fýstisk
langan veg til Róms at ganga
— fylkir sá þar friðland balkat
Fenneyjar hlið — dýrð at nenna.

Hitt skal lýst, es lofðungr fýstisk at ganga langan veg til Róms at nenna dýrð; fylkir sá þar balkat friðland, hlið Fenneyjar.
 
‘It shall be brought to light, that the leader desired to walk the long way to Rome to engage in glory; the ruler saw there the protected secured land, the gates of Venice.

notes and context

Eiríkr embarked on a pilgrimage and walked all the way to Rome.

Knýtl offers no motivation for Eiríkr’s decision to travel to Rome; the text merely states that Eiríkr konungr bjó ferð sína af landi í brott…. Hann gerði mǫnnum kunnigt, at hann ætlaði suðr til Róms ‘King Eiríkr prepared his journey away from the country and abroad…. He announced to people that he intended to travel south to Rome’ (ÍF 35, 217). According to Saxo (2005, II, 12, 5, 1-2, pp. 72-3), Eiríkr had been excommunicated by the archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen on false accusations, and he went to Rome to clear his case. He was so enraged that he also decided to plead to the Pope for the establishment of an archbishopric on Dan. soil, so as to sever the ties to Hamburg-Bremen. — [1-4]: (a) The reading offered here follows 180b with one emendation: nema ‘gain, take’ (l. 4; so 180b) is unmetrical (the metre requires a long syllable in position 7, and nem- is short, and moreover, it does not provide the necessary internal rhyme with Fenn-). If we assume that nema is a scribal corruption (lectio facilior), it is likely that the original version supplied the verb nenna ‘engage in, be occupied with’ construed with a dat. object (see LP: nenna; Fritzner: nenna 1.a). (b) Skj B (so also ÍF 35) adopts the reading of the A-class mss, which can be rendered as follows:

Lýst skal hitt, es lofðungr fýstisk
langan veg til Róms at ganga
— fylkir sá þar friðland balkat
Fenneyjar — lið dýrð at venja.

Prose order: Hitt skal lýst, es lofðungr fýstisk at ganga langan veg til Róms at venja lið dýrð; fylkir sá þar balkat friðland Fenneyjar. Translation: It shall be brought to light, that the leader desired to walk the long way to Rome to prepare his troop for glory; the ruler saw there the protected secured land of Venice. This version is, however, metrically highly problematic. The first four syllables of l. 4 belong to a D4- or E-type l., and the word in position 4, in this case lið ‘troop’, otherwise always forms a syntactic unit with the words in positions 1-3. (c) Kock (Skald; NN §2789) emends lið to sik ‘himself’, suggesting that venja sik e-u ‘prepare oneself for sth.’, a common construction, gives better sense as Eiríkr is unlikely to make a pilgrimage for the good of his troop, and st. 12 states that he undertakes it ‘to redeem his soul’ (at bœta sl). However, his proposal that a scribe mistook <ſik> for <lid> seems unlikely, and in any case the resulting l. does not resolve the syntactic disjunction.

readings

sources

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, 1. Eiríksdrápa 10: AI, 446, BI, 415-16,  Skald I, 205, NN §2789; 1741, 148-9, ÍF 35, 217-18 (ch. 74).

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