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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þorbjǫrn svarti (Þsvart)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

Lausavísa (Lv) - 1

Skj info: Þórbjǫrn svarti, Orknøsk(?) skjald, d. 1152. (AI, 531, BI, 512).

Skj poems:

Þorbjǫrn svarti ‘the Black’ (Þsvart) was one of the skalds residing with Jarl Rǫgnvaldr Kali Kolsson (Rv) in Orkney, and he accompanied Rǫgnvaldr on the crusade to the Holy Land (1151-3; see ÍF 34, 204). Þorbjǫrn died of an illness in Acre (1152) and was likely buried there (ÍF 34, 230-1; Oddi Lv 4-5). Nothing else is known about Þorbjǫrn, and his ethnicity is also unknown—Finnur Jónsson tentatively calls him Orcadian (LH 1894-1901, II, 44-5; Skj), while Finnbogi Guðmundsson (ÍF 34, 204 n. 3) thinks he may have been an Icelander. Only one lv. by Þorbjǫrn survives (Þsvart Lv).

Lausavísa — Þsvart LvII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘ Þorbjǫrn svarti, Lausavísa’ 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. 624-5. <> (accessed 24 June 2022)


Skj: Þórbjǫrn svarti: Lausavísa, 1152 (AI, 531, BI, 512); stanzas (if different): [v]

in texts: Flat, Orkn

SkP info: II, 624-5

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files


Þorbjǫrn recited this lv. (Þsvart Lv) shortly before his death in Acre in 1152. It is preserved in R702ˣ and Flat, as well as in 762ˣ, a copy of R702ˣ with no independent value (used in Skj A but not considered in the present edn). Ms. R702ˣ is the main ms.
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