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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, 459

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

30 — Mark Eirdr 30II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2009, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa 30’ 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. 459.

Hvergi stóðusk hjǫrva borgar
hristimeiðar konungs reiði;
raunar varðat rǫnd við hônum
reist; gerðut þess jǫfrar freista.
Ógnir stóðu af jarla hegni;
engi þorði kapp at strengja
— flestir uggðu foldvǫrð hraustan —
fylkir snarr við Dana harra.

{Hristimeiðar {borgar hjǫrva}} stóðusk hvergi reiði konungs; raunar varðat rǫnd reist við hônum; jǫfrar gerðut freista þess. Ógnir stóðu af {hegni jarla}; engi snarr fylkir þorði at strengja kapp við {harra Dana}; flestir uggðu hraustan foldvǫrð.

{The brandishing-trees {of the stronghold of swords}} [SHIELD > WARRIORS] withstood not at all the rage of the king; in truth a shield was not raised against him; princes did not attempt this. Terrors were inspired by {the punisher of jarls} [KING]; not one keen leader dared to test his strength against {the lord of the Danes} [= Eiríkr]; most feared the brave land-guardian.

Mss: (170), 873ˣ(56r-v), 180b(31v), 20b II(3vb) (Knýtl)

Readings: [3] raunar: rannar 180b;    varðat: var þat 20b II    [4] gerðut: gerðusk 180b    [5] Ógnir stóðu: ógnin stóð all;    hegni: meiði 180b, 20b II    [7] foldvǫrð: ‘fallduord’ 873ˣ, ‘folld naiord’ 180b, ‘folld naurð’ 20b II    [8] fylkir: fylkis 873ˣ;    harra: ‘h[…]’ 20b II

Editions: Skj: Markús Skeggjason, 1. Eiríksdrápa 32: AI, 451-2, BI, 420, Skald I, 208; 1741, 170-1, ÍF 35, 239 (ch. 81).

Context: The st. is cited after a summary of Eiríkr’s royal characteristics. It is the last st. of Eirdr recorded in Knýtl.

Notes: [3-4] raunar varðat rǫnd reist við hônum ‘in truth a shield was not raised against him’: See Sturl Hákfl 10/5, 6, 8 Øngr Göndlar veðrboði reisti rönd við yngva fyr vestan haf ‘No messenger of Gǫndul’s <valkyrie’s> storm [BATTLE > WARRIOR] raised a shield against the king west of the ocean’. For reisa rǫnd við e-m ‘resist sby’ see Fritzner: rönd 3. — [5] ógnir stóðu ‘terrors were inspired’: Ógnin stóð ‘the terror was inspired’ (so all mss) is metrically and contextually possible, but this is too early for the suffixed def. art. (-in) and the emendation is in keeping with earlier eds.

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