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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Markús Skeggjason (Mark)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Jayne Carroll;

Eiríksdrápa (Eirdr) - 32

Skj info: Markús Skeggjason, Isl. lovsigemand og skjald, d. 1107. (AI, 444-53, BI, 414-21).

Skj poems:
1. Eiríksdrápa
2. Knútsdrápa(?)
3. Kristsdrápa(?)
4. Lausavísur

Markús Skeggjason (Mark) was the son of Skeggi Bjarnason and possibly a brother of the poet Þórarinn Skeggjason (ÞSkegg). He was lawspeaker in Iceland from 1084 until his death on 15 October 1107. In Íslendingabók (Íslb, ÍF 1, 22) he is named as an important informant for Ari Þorgilsson about the lives of the earlier lawspeakers in Iceland. He had gained this information from his brother, father and grandfather. Markús appears to have had close ties to the Church: during his time as lawspeaker, and with his guidance, Gizurr Ísleifsson, bishop of Skálholt (1081-1118), established the Icel. tithe laws (ÍF 1, 22). Markús was among the most respected poets in the canon of the C13th and he is cited often in SnE and TGT (see below).

In Skáldatal, Markús is associated with S. Knútr Sveinsson of Denmark (d. 1086), Eiríkr inn góði ‘the Good’ Sveinsson of Denmark (d. 1103), and Ingi Steinkelsson of Sweden (d. 1110) (SnE 1848-87, III, 252, 258, 260, 267, 271, 283, see also 348-53). An extended hrynhent poem about Eiríkr (Mark Eirdr), composed after his death in 1103, and one helmingr about ‘Sveinn’s brother’, probably S. Knútr (Mark KnútdrIII), survive, alongside one helmingr and a couplet from a possible drápa about Christ (Mark KristdrIII) and two lvv. (Mark Lv 1-2III). Aside from Eirdr, all of Markús’s extant poetry is transmitted in SnE or TGT, and it has been edited in SkP III.

Eiríksdrápa (‘Drápa about Eiríkr’) — Mark EirdrII

Jayne Carroll 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa’ 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. 432-60.

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Skj: Markús Skeggjason: 1. Eiríksdrápa, o. 1104 (AI, 444-52, BI, 414-20); stanzas (if different): 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32

SkP info: II, 442-3

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

11 — Mark Eirdr 11II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2009, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa 11’ 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. 442-3.

Eirekr náði útan fœra
erkistól of Saxa merki;
hljótum vér, þats hag várn bœtir,
hingat norðr at skjǫldungs orðum.

Eirekr náði fœra útan erkistól of merki Saxa; vér hljótum hingat norðr at orðum skjǫldungs, þats bœtir hag várn.

Eiríkr was able to bring back from abroad an archbishopric over the border of the Saxons; we receive here in the north according to the king’s bidding that which improves our [spiritual] situation.

Mss: (148), 873ˣ(50r), 20b I(7r-v), 180b(29v) (Knýtl)

Readings: [1] útan: útan at 180b    [3] hljótum: so 180b, hljótu JÓ, 873ˣ, 20b I    [4] at: so 20b I, 180b, af JÓ, 873ˣ

Editions: Skj: Markús Skeggjason, 1. Eiríksdrápa 13: AI, 447, BI, 416, Skald I, 205; 1741, 148-9, ÍF 35, 219 (ch. 74).

Context: This helmingr and the next document Eiríkr’s good relations with Pope Paschalis (but see the Note to l. 2 below) and the Pope granting Eiríkr’s request to establish an archbishopric in Denmark.

Notes: [2] erkistól ‘an archbishopric’: An archbishopric for the Scandinavian countries was established in Lund (now in Sweden, then a part of Denmark) in 1104. Although Knýtl attributes this to Eiríkr’s relations with Pope Paschalis (1099-1118), in fact it was his relations with Pope Urban II (1088-99) that secured among other favours a Dan. archbishopric. Paschalis was merely carrying out the wishes of his predecessor. According to Saxo (2005, II, 12, 5, 2, pp. 72-5), Eiríkr secured the promises of the curia to establish the archbishopric in Denmark before he returned to his native country. — [2] of merki Saxa ‘over the border of the Saxons’: Refers to the transfer of the seat of ecclesiastical power from Hamburg-Bremen (Saxony) to Denmark. In the words of Saxo (2005, II, 12, 5, 2, p. 72): tum etiam patriam ac domestica sacra Saxonica pręlatione liberari petiuit ‘then indeed he pleaded for his native land and local churches to be liberated from Saxon supremacy’. — [4] at orðum skjǫldungs ‘according to the king’s bidding’: Lit. ‘according to the king’s words’. For skjǫldungr, see Note to st. 9/4 above.

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