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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Mark Eirdr 22II

Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2009, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa 22’ 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. 450-1.

Markús SkeggjasonEiríksdrápa
212223

text and translation

Flaustum lukði folka treystir
foldar síðu brimi kníða;
ǫrr vísi bað oddum læsa
úrga strǫnd ok svalri rǫndu.
Hlífum keyrði hersa reifir
harða nýtr of land it ýtra;
hilmir lauk við hergang olman
hauðr Eydana skjaldborg rauðri.

{Treystir folka} lukði brimi kníða síðu foldar flaustum; ǫrr vísi bað læsa úrga strǫnd oddum ok svalri rǫndu. {Harða nýtr reifir hersa} keyrði hlífum of it ýtra land; hilmir lauk hauðr Eydana rauðri skjaldborg við olman hergang.
 
‘The trier of men [RULER] barricaded the wave-lashed edge of the land with ships; the generous leader commanded the wet shore to be sealed with spear-points and a chilly shield. The very bountiful gladdener of hersar [RULER] drove shields around the outer land; the prince shut off the earth of the Island-Danes with a red shield-wall during the furious onslaught.

notes and context

After the campaign, Eiríkr left men behind in Wendland to secure that country, and he then set sail for Denmark via the island of Öland.

For the custom of blockading the coasts with ships and spears, see Notes to Steinn Óldr 8/4 and Halli XI Fl 1/1, 5. — 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.

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 24: AI, 449, BI, 418, Skald I, 206; 1741, 158-9, ÍF 35, 227 (ch. 76).

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