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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Bersi Skáld-Torfuson (Bersi)

11th century; volume 1; ed. Diana Whaley;

1. Flokkr about Óláfr helgi (Ólfl) - 3

Skj info: Bersi Skáldtorfuson, Islandsk skjald, d. 1030. (AI, 275-7, BI, 255-6).

Skj poems:
1. En flok om kong Olaf
2. Lausavísa

Bersi Skáld-Torfuson (or simply Torfuson; Bersi) is named from his mother, an otherwise unknown female skald Torfa, from Miðfjörður, Húnavatnsþing, northern Iceland. He is introduced as skáld gótt ‘a fine poet’ in Grettis saga (ÍF 7, 42); his birth would be placed c. 985-90 (LH I, 564). Bersi travelled abroad with Grettir Ásmundarson, gained the favour of Sveinn jarl Hákonarson (ÍF 7, 86) and seemingly fought with Sveinn at the battle of Nesjar (1016; see ‘Ruler biographies’ in Introduction to this volume for rulers and battles of the period). He is listed in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 257, 258, 281, 282) as a skald to Sveinn and to Knútr inn ríki (Cnut the Great), but no court poetry for them by him survives (though see Bersi Ólfl 2). Some time after Nesjar he was taken captive by Óláfr Haraldsson, composed his flokkr (below) and found favour with the king. He is then named in the excerpts (articuli) from Styrmir Kárason’s Lífssaga among Óláfr’s Icelandic hirðmenn ‘retainers’ (see his Lv below). He went on a pilgrimage to Rome with Sigvatr Þórðarson (Sigv) and, learning of the king’s death (1030) as he left Rome, returned to S. Peter’s church in extreme anguish, died and was buried there (ÓH 1941, II, 830, in an interpolation).

Flokkr about Óláfr helgi — Bersi ÓlflI

Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Bersi Skáld-Torfuson, Flokkr about Óláfr helgi’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 790.

 1   2   3 

Skj: Bersi Skáldtorfuson: 1. En flok om kong Olaf, o. 1020 (AI, 275-6, BI, 255)

SkP info: I, 794

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — Bersi Ólfl 3I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Note: The following transcriptions have been entered to aid the editing process. These may not have been fully reviewed and checked and may therefore not be reliable. You may wish to consult the manuscript images. Any corrections can be notified to the database editor.

 Kx Kryp ec eigi sva sveigir | sára liɴz i are | búum olitiɴ áta | ǫɴdor þer til handa | at ec herstefnir hafna | heiðmildr eþa ec þa leiðumc | ungr kuɴa ec þar þreyngvi | þiɴ hollvini mina.   [DW]  edit 
 Holm2 Kryp ec eigi sva sveigir sara | linz í ari bvm olitinn uti aunndvr þer til halda at ec herstefni hafna heiðmilldr eþa | ec þa leiðomc vngr kvnna ec þa þrøngvi þinn hollvini mina.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 321x Kryp eige sva sveigir sara linnz i ari. buum olitinn uti. aundr þier || til handa. at ec her stefni hafna. heiðmilldr en ec þa leidumz. ungur | kunna ec þa þrengar þin hollvini mina.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 61 Kryp eigi sva sueigir sára linnz í ꜳ̋ri . bvvm olitinn vti . o᷎ndur | þer til handa . at ek her stefnir hafna . heið milldr ne ek þa leiðvmz . vngr | kunna ek þat þravngvir. þinn holl víni mina.   [VEÞ]  edit 

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