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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, 449

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

20 — Mark Eirdr 20II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2009, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa 20’ 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, p. 449.

Heiðin vôru hjǫrtu lýða
hryggðarfull í Vinða byggðum;
eldi sveif of ótal haulda;
Eirekr brenndi sali þeira.
Eisur kyndusk hôtt í húsum;
hallir nôðu vítt at falla;
óttu leið, en uppi þótti
elris grand í himni standa.

Heiðin hjǫrtu lýða vôru hryggðarfull í byggðum Vinða; eldi sveif of ótal haulda; Eirekr brenndi sali þeira. Eisur kyndusk hôtt í húsum; hallir nôðu at falla vítt; óttu leið, en {grand elris} þótti standa uppi í himni.

The heathen hearts of people were sorrowful in the settlements of the Wends; fire swept around an untold number of freeholders; Eiríkr burned their halls. Flames were kindled high in the houses; halls fell far and wide; night passed, and {the harmer of the alder-tree} [FIRE] seemed to stretch up into heaven.

Mss: (156), 873ˣ(52r), 180b(30r) (Knýtl)

Readings: [2] hryggðar‑: hryggða‑ 180b    [3] eldi: eldrinn 180b    [5] hôtt: ‘katt’ 873ˣ    [7] þótti: þóttu 180b    [8] grand: grǫnd 180b;    himni: himin 180b

Editions: Skj: Markús Skeggjason, 1. Eiríksdrápa 22: AI, 448-9, BI, 417-18, Skald I, 206; 1741, 156-7, ÍF 35, 225-6 (ch. 76).

Context: As sts 14-19. After the victory described in st. 19, Eiríkr set out with his army to punish the insubordinate Wends, burning districts far and wide.

Notes: [3] eldi (dat. sg.) ‘fire’: Skald adopts the reading of 180b, eldrinn (nom. sg. with def. art) ‘the fire’, but impersonal svífa ‘sweep’ with dat. is an acceptable construction, and cf. st. 18/1, where the scribe of 180b similarly converts impersonal drífa ‘splatter’ with dat. to a personal construction. — [3] haulda (gen. pl.) ‘of freeholders’: For this form, see Note to Anon Nkt 15/2. — [7-8] grand elris þótti ‘the harmer of the alder-tree [FIRE] seemed’: 180b offers a grammatically and metrically acceptable, but unlikely, alternative with the verb and the subject in the pl.: grǫnd elris þóttu ‘the harmers of the alder-tree seemed’.

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