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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Mark Eirdr 3II

Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2009, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa 3’ 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. 435-6.

Markús SkeggjasonEiríksdrápa
234

Fœðir ‘The nourisher’

fœðir (noun m.): feeder, nourisher

kennings

Fœðir fremðarráða
‘The nourisher of outstanding actions ’
   = RULER

The nourisher of outstanding actions → RULER

notes

[1] fœðir fremðarráða ‘the nourisher of outstanding actions [RULER]’: This kenning is a good example of Markús’s adaptation of traditional skaldic vocabulary. Fœðir, lit. ‘feeder’, is a common base-word in early poetry, usually coupled with a beast-of-battle determinant (see LP: fœðir). Here, the base-word, qualified by the unexpected fremðarráða ‘of outstanding actions’ has a transferred sense of ‘promoter, fosterer’. In general, Markús is fond of using longer, unique compounds in his poetry.

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fremðar ‘of outstanding’

fremð (noun f.): honour

kennings

Fœðir fremðarráða
‘The nourisher of outstanding actions ’
   = RULER

The nourisher of outstanding actions → RULER

notes

[1] fœðir fremðarráða ‘the nourisher of outstanding actions [RULER]’: This kenning is a good example of Markús’s adaptation of traditional skaldic vocabulary. Fœðir, lit. ‘feeder’, is a common base-word in early poetry, usually coupled with a beast-of-battle determinant (see LP: fœðir). Here, the base-word, qualified by the unexpected fremðarráða ‘of outstanding actions’ has a transferred sense of ‘promoter, fosterer’. In general, Markús is fond of using longer, unique compounds in his poetry.

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ráða ‘actions’

ráð (noun n.; °-s; -): advice, plan, control, power

kennings

Fœðir fremðarráða
‘The nourisher of outstanding actions ’
   = RULER

The nourisher of outstanding actions → RULER

notes

[1] fœðir fremðarráða ‘the nourisher of outstanding actions [RULER]’: This kenning is a good example of Markús’s adaptation of traditional skaldic vocabulary. Fœðir, lit. ‘feeder’, is a common base-word in early poetry, usually coupled with a beast-of-battle determinant (see LP: fœðir). Here, the base-word, qualified by the unexpected fremðarráða ‘of outstanding actions’ has a transferred sense of ‘promoter, fosterer’. In general, Markús is fond of using longer, unique compounds in his poetry.

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foldar ‘of the earth’

fold (noun f.): land

kennings

vǫrðu foldar
‘the guardians of the earth ’
   = RULERS

the guardians of the earth → RULERS
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vǫrðu ‘the guardians’

vǫrðr (noun m.; °varðar, dat. verði/vǫrð; verðir, acc. vǫrðu): guardian, defender

kennings

vǫrðu foldar
‘the guardians of the earth ’
   = RULERS

the guardians of the earth → RULERS
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Garða ‘Russia’

Garðar (noun m.): Russia

[2] Garða: Gǫrðum 180b

notes

[2] Garða ‘Russia’: The area known as Garðar or Garðaríki encompassed a different area from that of the modern Russian state. It extended south from the Arctic to the Black Sea, and east from Poland to the Ural mountains. Noonan (1997) uses the phrase ‘European Russia’ to denote the areas where Viking Age Scandinavians were active. See also Note to Hharð Gamv 1/7.

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gœddu ‘endowed’

gœða (verb): endow

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ítrir ‘glorious’

ítr (adj.): glorious

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þeir ‘who’

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

[4] þeirs (‘þeir er’): er 180b

notes

[4] þeirs slíta hnøggvi ‘who destroy stinginess’: I.e. they give lavishly. See also Steinn Óldr 13/3, 4.

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s ‘’

2. er (conj.): who, which, when

[4] þeirs (‘þeir er’): er 180b

notes

[4] þeirs slíta hnøggvi ‘who destroy stinginess’: I.e. they give lavishly. See also Steinn Óldr 13/3, 4.

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hnøggvi ‘stinginess’

hnøggvi (noun f.): stinginess, parsimony

[4] hnøggvi: ‘hroggui’ 873ˣ, hneyki 180b

notes

[4] hnøggvi ‘stinginess’: Hneyki (m. acc. sg.) ‘oppressor’, the reading of 180b, offers a metrically acceptable but contextually unlikely alternative. — [4] þeirs slíta hnøggvi ‘who destroy stinginess’: I.e. they give lavishly. See also Steinn Óldr 13/3, 4.

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hnøggvi ‘stinginess’

hnøggvi (noun f.): stinginess, parsimony

[4] hnøggvi: ‘hroggui’ 873ˣ, hneyki 180b

notes

[4] hnøggvi ‘stinginess’: Hneyki (m. acc. sg.) ‘oppressor’, the reading of 180b, offers a metrically acceptable but contextually unlikely alternative. — [4] þeirs slíta hnøggvi ‘who destroy stinginess’: I.e. they give lavishly. See also Steinn Óldr 13/3, 4.

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slíta ‘destroy’

slíta (verb): to tear

notes

[4] þeirs slíta hnøggvi ‘who destroy stinginess’: I.e. they give lavishly. See also Steinn Óldr 13/3, 4.

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Stillir ‘prince’

stillir (noun m.): ruler

[5] Stillir: ‘stillr’ 20b I

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varð ‘came to be’

1. verða (verb): become, be

[5] varð: ‘rad’ 873ˣ

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austrveg ‘the eastern regions’

austrvegr (noun m.; °dat. -i/-; acc. -a/-u): the East (e.g. the Baltic, Russia), the way east

notes

[5] austrveg ‘eastern regions’: Lit. ‘eastern way’. In ON literature, this encompassed two areas, namely, the coastal section (from Denmark along the southern and south-eastern coast of the Baltic) and the river section, i.e. the Eastern European river routes to Byzantium (see Melnikova 1996, 13, 27, 29 and Map 2; Sverrir Jakobsson 2006). In this particular case, it is likely that the term was applied in the first and narrow sense (but including north-western Russia).

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allan ‘all’

allr (adj.): all

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mærðar ‘praise’

mærð (noun f.): praise

notes

[6] mærðarblíði ‘praise-pleased’:  Skj B translates this as veltalende ‘eloquent’ and LP: mærð gives blid, venlig i (folks) omtale, berömmet for sin venlighed ‘mild, kind in (people’s) opinion, praised for his friendliness’. NN §2788, pointing out that blíði is the ‘base’ adj. qualifying stillir, offers som kan glädja sig åt berömmelse ‘who can be made happy by praise’, therefore berömd ‘renowned’. ‘Praise-pleased’ conveys this sense, and also the structure of the ON cpd. See also Note to l. 1 above.

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blíði ‘pleased’

blíðr (adj.; °n. sg. nom. & acc. blítt/blíðt; compar. -ari, superl. -astr): gentle, happy

notes

[6] mærðarblíði ‘praise-pleased’:  Skj B translates this as veltalende ‘eloquent’ and LP: mærð gives blid, venlig i (folks) omtale, berömmet for sin venlighed ‘mild, kind in (people’s) opinion, praised for his friendliness’. NN §2788, pointing out that blíði is the ‘base’ adj. qualifying stillir, offers som kan glädja sig åt berömmelse ‘who can be made happy by praise’, therefore berömd ‘renowned’. ‘Praise-pleased’ conveys this sense, and also the structure of the ON cpd. See also Note to l. 1 above.

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hinn ‘there’

2. inn (art.): the

[7] hinn: hnum 180b

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vas ‘was’

2. vera (verb): be, is, was, were, are, am

[7] vas (‘var’): varð 20b I, 180b

notes

[7] vas ‘was’: Varð ‘was’ (lit. ‘became’, so 20b I, 180b) is also possible (adopted by Skj B, Skald and ÍF 35).

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engr ‘no person’

2. engi (pron.): no, none

[7] engr: engi 180b

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kunnit ‘was not able’

kunna (verb): know, can, be able

[7] kunnit: so 20b I, kynnit JÓ, 873ˣ, ‘kunnegt’ 180b

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heiðar ‘of honour’s’

2. heiðr (noun m.): honour - gen. -ar

[8] heiðar: ‘herdar‑’ 180b

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reiða ‘to proclaim’

2. reiða (verb): carry

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

Eiríkr’s journey to and reception in Russia (Garðaríki).

No other sources mention Eiríkr’s journey to Russia, which, according to the chronology of Knýtl, must have taken place prior to the death of his brother, Óláfr (r. 1086-95). The prose of Knýtl is clearly derived from the content of the poetry here. According to Saxo (2005, II, 12, 1, 1, pp. 62-3), Eiríkr and his wife, Bóthildr (Botilda), went into voluntary exile in Sweden in 1086 when Óláfr returned to Denmark from captivity in Flanders.

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