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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Mark Eirdr 16II

Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2009, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa 16’ 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, p. 446.

Markús SkeggjasonEiríksdrápa

Styrjǫld óx of stilli ǫrvan;
stengr bôru framm vísa drengir;
mildingr gekk at miklum hjaldri
malmi skrýddr ok faldinn hjalmi.

Styrjǫld óx of ǫrvan stilli; drengir vísa bôru framm stengr; mildingr gekk skrýddr malmi ok faldinn hjalmi at miklum hjaldri.

Battle increased around the generous ruler; the leader’s warriors carried the standard-poles forward; the generous one advanced, dressed in metal and clad in a helmet, to the great tumult.

Mss: (154), 873ˣ(51r), 20b I(8r), 180b(30r) (Knýtl)

Readings: [1] stilli ǫrvan: ‘[…]’ 20b I    [2] stengr bôru framm vísa drengir: ‘[…]’ 20b I;    vísa: vísis 180b;    drengir: drengi 180b    [3] mildingr gekk at miklum: ‘[…]um’ 20b I    [4] malmi skrýddr ok faldinn hjalmi: ‘m[…]’ 20b I

Editions: Skj AI, 448, Skj BI, 417, Skald I, 206; 1741, 154-5, ÍF 35, 223-4 (ch. 76).

Context: As sts 14-15 above. Eiríkr had his men carry the standards forward, the battle commenced, and he himself fought at the front of his army protected by his byrnie and helmet.

Notes: [1] styrjǫld ‘battle’: Lit. ‘battle-age’. See also ÞjóðA Sex 7/2 and GunnLeif Merl II 51/3VIII. — [2] drengir ‘warriors’: See Note to st. 5/1 above. — [4] skrýddr malmi ‘dressed in metal’: Malmr is frequently used of weapons, and may mean ‘sword’ here (so ÍF 35).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. ÍF 35 = Danakonunga sǫgur. Ed. Bjarni Guðnason. 1982.
  4. 1741 = Jón Ólafsson, ed. 1741. Æfi dana-konunga eda Knytlinga saga: Historia Cnutidarum regum Daniæ. Copenhagen: [n. p.].
  5. Internal references
  6. Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 51 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá II 51)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 178.
  7. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 7’ 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. 118-19.

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