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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Mark Frag 2III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Fragments 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 294.

Markús SkeggjasonFragments


This couplet (Mark Frag 2) is transmitted only in ms. W of TGT, where it is attributed to Markús. Jón Sigurðsson (SnE 1848-87, III, 350) assigns it to Markús’s poem about Knútr Sveinsson (Mark Knútr), while Finnur Jónsson (Skj) believed that it belonged to Markús’s putative KristdrápaDrápa about Christ’ (see Introductions to Mark Knútr and Mark Frag 1 above, as well as Fidjestøl 1982, 153). The couplet is too fragmentary to allow for a definite attribution to an ecclesiastical or a secular sphere (see Notes below).

text and translation

Hjartfœrra veit harri
hreinvazta sik baztan.

{Harri {hjartfœrra hreinvazta}} veit sik baztan.
‘The lord of deer-traversed reindeer-seas [EARTH > RULER] knows himself to be the best.

notes and context

The kenning hreinvaztir lit. ‘reindeer-fishing-grounds’ is given in TGT among examples of metaphors, and the text explains that this entails kalla jǫrð sæ dýra ‘to call the earth the sea of animals’ (TGT 1927, 77).

[2]: For the internal rhyme vazt- : bazt-, see also Bragi Frag 6/2.


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, 3. Kristsdrápa(?) 2: AI, 452, BI, 420, Skald I, 208, NN §918; SnE 1848-87, II, 162-3, III, 148-9, TGT 1884, 28, 105, TGT 1927, 77, 105.


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