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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Mark Eirdr 23II

Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2009, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa 23’ 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. 452-3.

Markús SkeggjasonEiríksdrápa
222324

Víða ‘far and wide’

1. víða (adv.): widely

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vís ‘of wis’

1. víss (adj.): wise, certain(ly) < vísdómr (noun m.): wisdom

kennings

Grœðir vísdóms
‘The nourisher of wisdom ’
   = JUST RULER

The nourisher of wisdom → JUST RULER

notes

[1] grœðir vísdóms ‘the nourisher of wisdom [JUST RULER]’: This is an unexpected kenning in a relatively early secular panegyric, because such kennings usually occur in later ecclesiastical poetry denoting men of the church (see Meissner 389-90). Vísdóm ‘wisdom’ could, as in Sjórs Lv 2/2 (see Note), refer specifically to clerical knowledge here, meaning that Eiríkr made possible the circumstances in which Christian observance could flourish.

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dóms ‘dom’

dómr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): judgement; court; -dom, -ness (suffix) < vísdómr (noun m.): wisdom

[1] ‑dóms: ‘‑dams’ 20b I, ‑dóm 180b

kennings

Grœðir vísdóms
‘The nourisher of wisdom ’
   = JUST RULER

The nourisher of wisdom → JUST RULER

notes

[1] grœðir vísdóms ‘the nourisher of wisdom [JUST RULER]’: This is an unexpected kenning in a relatively early secular panegyric, because such kennings usually occur in later ecclesiastical poetry denoting men of the church (see Meissner 389-90). Vísdóm ‘wisdom’ could, as in Sjórs Lv 2/2 (see Note), refer specifically to clerical knowledge here, meaning that Eiríkr made possible the circumstances in which Christian observance could flourish.

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grœðir ‘The nourisher’

grœðir (noun m.): ?healer, ?ocean

kennings

Grœðir vísdóms
‘The nourisher of wisdom ’
   = JUST RULER

The nourisher of wisdom → JUST RULER

notes

[1] grœðir vísdóms ‘the nourisher of wisdom [JUST RULER]’: This is an unexpected kenning in a relatively early secular panegyric, because such kennings usually occur in later ecclesiastical poetry denoting men of the church (see Meissner 389-90). Vísdóm ‘wisdom’ could, as in Sjórs Lv 2/2 (see Note), refer specifically to clerical knowledge here, meaning that Eiríkr made possible the circumstances in which Christian observance could flourish.

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virki ‘with artwork’

virki (noun n.; °-s; -): stronghold

notes

[2] skrýddar virki ‘adorned with artwork’: The translation of virki ‘with artwork’ is conjectural. Skj B gives med “virke” (kunstige prydelser?) ‘with “virke” (artful decorations?)’, and ÍF 35 explains skrýddar smíði, fagurlega skreyttar ‘adorned with craft, beautifully decorated’. LP: virki has ‘kunstnerisk udførte genstande’, som helgenbilleder og lign. ‘“artfully executed objects,” such as saints’ images and the like’. Virki otherwise means ‘stronghold, rampart’ or ‘work, deed’. The word could be used here with a double meaning: the saints’ images (virki) serving as a fortress of security (virki). See Note to l. 5 below.

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skrýddar ‘adorned’

2. skrýða (verb): adorn, clothe

[2] skrýddar: ‘skrydd at’ 20b I

notes

[2] skrýddar virki ‘adorned with artwork’: The translation of virki ‘with artwork’ is conjectural. Skj B gives med “virke” (kunstige prydelser?) ‘with “virke” (artful decorations?)’, and ÍF 35 explains skrýddar smíði, fagurlega skreyttar ‘adorned with craft, beautifully decorated’. LP: virki has ‘kunstnerisk udførte genstande’, som helgenbilleder og lign. ‘“artfully executed objects,” such as saints’ images and the like’. Virki otherwise means ‘stronghold, rampart’ or ‘work, deed’. The word could be used here with a double meaning: the saints’ images (virki) serving as a fortress of security (virki). See Note to l. 5 below.

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hǫfuðkirkjur ‘principal churches’

hǫfuðkirkja (noun f.): cathedral

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gørva ‘built’

1. gera (verb): do, make

[3] gørva: ‘giora’ 180b

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lét ‘had’

láta (verb): let, have sth done

[3] lét: leit 180b

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þar ‘there’

þar (adv.): there

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holl ‘the loyal’

hollr (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): loyal < hollvinr (noun m.): loyal friend

[3] holl‑: hollr 180b

kennings

hollvinr herjar
‘the loyal friend of the people ’
   = JUST RULER

the loyal friend of the people → JUST RULER
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vinr ‘ friend’

vinr (noun m.; °-ar, dat. -/(-i OsvReyk 92.17); -ir): friend < hollvinr (noun m.): loyal friend

kennings

hollvinr herjar
‘the loyal friend of the people ’
   = JUST RULER

the loyal friend of the people → JUST RULER
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herjar ‘of the people’

herr (noun m.; °-s/-jar, dat. -; -jar, gen. -ja/herra): army, host

[3] herjar: ‘hierud’ 180b

kennings

hollvinr herjar
‘the loyal friend of the people ’
   = JUST RULER

the loyal friend of the people → JUST RULER
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hrein ‘shining’

2. hreinn (adj.; °compar. hreinari/hreinni, superl. hreinastr/hreinstr): pure

[4] hrein musteri fimm af steini: ok musteri af steini hreinum 180b

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musteri ‘minsters’

musteri (noun n.; °-s; -): church, temple

[4] hrein musteri fimm af steini: ok musteri af steini hreinum 180b

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fimm ‘five’

fimm (num. cardinal): five

[4] hrein musteri fimm af steini: ok musteri af steini hreinum 180b

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af ‘from’

af (prep.): from

[4] hrein musteri fimm af steini: ok musteri af steini hreinum 180b;    af: ór 20b I

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steini ‘stone’

steinn (noun m.; °steins; steinar): stone, colour

[4] hrein musteri fimm af steini: ok musteri af steini hreinum 180b

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þau ‘Those’

1. sá (pron.; °gen. þess, dat. þeim, acc. þann; f. sú, gen. þeirrar, acc. þá; n. þat, dat. því; pl. m. þeir, f. þǽ---): that (one), those

kennings

Þau flaust tíða,
‘Those ships of services, ’
   = CHURCHES

Those ships of services, → CHURCHES
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með ‘with’

með (prep.): with

notes

[5] með tíri tryggðar ‘with the fame of security’: This could refer to the solidity of the buildings themselves or, perhaps more likely, to the churches as hallowed sanctuaries. LP: tírr translates the phrase as med soliditetens ry ‘with the fame of solidity’ and Skj B provides med holdbarhetens berömmelighed ‘with the fame of durability’. Both translations then take tryggð to refer to the churches’ structural durability. However, the most common meaning of tryggð is ‘safety, security, fidelity’ usually obtained through promises of safety and safe-conduct. See also Note to st. 26/8.

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tryggðar ‘of security’

tryggð (noun f.; °-ar; -ir/-ar): security, oath

[5] tryggðar: ‘treygdar’ 180b

notes

[5] með tíri tryggðar ‘with the fame of security’: This could refer to the solidity of the buildings themselves or, perhaps more likely, to the churches as hallowed sanctuaries. LP: tírr translates the phrase as med soliditetens ry ‘with the fame of solidity’ and Skj B provides med holdbarhetens berömmelighed ‘with the fame of durability’. Both translations then take tryggð to refer to the churches’ structural durability. However, the most common meaning of tryggð is ‘safety, security, fidelity’ usually obtained through promises of safety and safe-conduct. See also Note to st. 26/8.

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tíri ‘the fame’

tírr (noun m.; °-s): glory, honour

notes

[5] með tíri tryggðar ‘with the fame of security’: This could refer to the solidity of the buildings themselves or, perhaps more likely, to the churches as hallowed sanctuaries. LP: tírr translates the phrase as med soliditetens ry ‘with the fame of solidity’ and Skj B provides med holdbarhetens berömmelighed ‘with the fame of durability’. Both translations then take tryggð to refer to the churches’ structural durability. However, the most common meaning of tryggð is ‘safety, security, fidelity’ usually obtained through promises of safety and safe-conduct. See also Note to st. 26/8.

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tíða ‘of services’

1. tíð (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): time

kennings

Þau flaust tíða,
‘Those ships of services, ’
   = CHURCHES

Those ships of services, → CHURCHES

notes

[6] flaust tíða ‘ships of services’: Again, an early and unexpected kenning, for ‘church’. For similar kennings in much later religious poetry, see Árni Gdr 4/4IV (knörr Pétrs ‘Peter’s merchantship’), 26/5IV (bátr Pétrs ‘Peter’s boat’) and Meissner 432.

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flaust ‘ships’

flaust (noun n.): ship

[6] flaust: flaustr 180b

kennings

Þau flaust tíða,
‘Those ships of services, ’
   = CHURCHES

Those ships of services, → CHURCHES

notes

[6] flaust tíða ‘ships of services’: Again, an early and unexpected kenning, for ‘church’. For similar kennings in much later religious poetry, see Árni Gdr 4/4IV (knörr Pétrs ‘Peter’s merchantship’), 26/5IV (bátr Pétrs ‘Peter’s boat’) and Meissner 432.

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gramr ‘the king’

1. gramr (noun m.): ruler

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lét ‘caused’

láta (verb): let, have sth done

[6] lét: leit 180b

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smíða ‘to be crafted’

smíða (verb): craft

[6] smíða: síðan 180b

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bǫðvar ‘in warfare’

bǫð (noun f.; °-s; -): battle

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beztr ‘best’

betr (adv.; °superl. bezt/bazt; pos. „ vel adv.): better

notes

[7] beztr at ǫllu ‘best in everything’: So all mss. Skj B (and Skald) emend to bǫzt at ǫllu, which is construed with flaust tíða ‘ships of services’ (l. 6).

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at ‘in’

3. at (prep.): at, to

[7] at: om. 20b I

notes

[7] beztr at ǫllu ‘best in everything’: So all mss. Skj B (and Skald) emend to bǫzt at ǫllu, which is construed with flaust tíða ‘ships of services’ (l. 6).

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ǫllu ‘everything’

allr (adj.): all

notes

[7] beztr at ǫllu ‘best in everything’: So all mss. Skj B (and Skald) emend to bǫzt at ǫllu, which is construed with flaust tíða ‘ships of services’ (l. 6).

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borði ‘with wood’

borð (noun n.; °-s; -): side, plank, board; table

notes

[8] merkð borði ‘adorned with wood’: Lit. ‘marked with wood’. LP: merkja 1 translates this as mærkede ved tømmer, opførte af tømmer ‘marked by timber, constructed from timber’, which makes little sense because the churches were made of stone. The wood (or timber) could refer to the materials from which the holy images were carved (see Notes to ll. 2 and 5 above). But if the churches referred to in the second helmingr were different from the five of the first helmingr, ‘constructed from timber’ could be possible.

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merkð ‘adorned’

merkja (verb): mark, signify

[8] merkð: merkðr 20b I, 180b

notes

[8] merkð borði ‘adorned with wood’: Lit. ‘marked with wood’. LP: merkja 1 translates this as mærkede ved tømmer, opførte af tømmer ‘marked by timber, constructed from timber’, which makes little sense because the churches were made of stone. The wood (or timber) could refer to the materials from which the holy images were carved (see Notes to ll. 2 and 5 above). But if the churches referred to in the second helmingr were different from the five of the first helmingr, ‘constructed from timber’ could be possible.

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Saxland ‘Saxony’

Saxland (noun n.): [Saxony]

[8] Saxland: Saxlands 20b I, Saxa 180b

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norðan ‘north of’

norðan (adv.): from the north

[8] norðan: ‘nor[…]an’ 20b I

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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

Eiríkr built five churches at his own expense.

Nothing else is known about these churches, but Saxo (2005, II, 12, 7, 4, pp. 80-1) mentions that Eiríkr founded a church in Slangerup, Sjælland (his place of birth).

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