Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help

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, 792

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — Bersi Ólfl 2I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Bersi Skáld-Torfuson, Flokkr about Óláfr helgi 2’ 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. 792.

Sveins raunir hefk sénar,
snart rekninga bjartar
þars svaltungur sungu,
— saman fórum vér — stórar.
Elgs munk eigi fylgja
út riðboða síðan
hæsts at hverjum kosti
hranna dýrra manni.

Hefk sénar stórar raunir Sveins, þars {bjartar svaltungur rekninga} sungu snart; vér fórum saman. Munk eigi síðan fylgja út dýrra manni, {riðboða {hæsts elgs hranna}}, at hverjum kosti.

I have seen the great trials of Sveinn, where {bright, cool tongues of swords} [SWORD BLADES] sang keenly; we advanced together. I will not afterwards follow on expeditions a more excellent man, {a riding offerer {of the tallest elk of the waves}} [SHIP > SEAFARER], in any case.

texts: Flat 460, ÓH 52 (50), ÓHHkr 47 (II 47), Hkr 248 (II 47)

editions: Skj Bersi Skáldtorfuson: 1. En flok om kong Olaf 2 (AI, 276; BI, 255); Skald I, 131, NN §§685, 686, 2008F; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 74, IV, 123-4, ÍF 27, 66, Hkr 1991, I, 295 (ÓHHkr ch. 50); Fms 4, 102, Fms 12, 80, ÓH 1941, I, 95-6 (ch. 40), Flat 1860-8, II, 45.

sources

AM 36 folx (Kx) 253r, 15 - 253r, 22 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  
Holm perg 2 4° (Holm2) 13r, 8 - 13r, 10 (ÓH)  transcr.  image  
UppsUB R 686x (R686x) 26r, 7 - 26r, 11 (ÓH)  image  image  
AM 37 folx (J1x) 159v, 18 - 159v, 21 (ÓH)  image  
AM 38 folx (J2x) 135v, 26 - 136r, 2 (ÓH)  image  
Thott 972 folx (972x) 88va, 13 - 88va, 20 (ÓH)  image  image  
AM 325 VI 4° (325VI) 11rb, 26 - 11rb, 29 (ÓH)  image  -
AM 75 a fol (75a) 1vb, 2 - 1vb, 7 (ÓH)  image  
AM 321 4°x (321x) 54, 24 - 54, 26 (ÓH)  transcr.  
AM 68 fol (68) 12r, 17 - 12r, 17 (ÓH)  image  
AM 61 fol (61) 84vb, 33 - 84vb, 36 (ÓH)  transcr.  image  image  
Holm perg 4 4° (Holm4) 5ra, 18 - 5ra, 21 (ÓH)  image  
AM 325 V 4° (325V) 16va, 22 - 16va, 27 (ÓH)  image  
AM 325 VII 4° (325VII) 5r, 37 - 5r, 39 (ÓH)  image  
Holm perg 1 fol (Bb) 135va, 3 - 135va, 3 (ÓH)  image  
GKS 1005 fol (Flat) 83vb, 20 - 83vb, 23 (ÓH)  image  image  image  
GKS 1008 fol (Tóm) 102v, 9 - 102v, 9 [1-2, 6-8] (ÓH)  image  
© Skaldic Project Academic Body, unless otherwise noted. Database structure and interface developed by Tarrin Wills. All users of material on this database are reminded that its content may be either subject to copyright restrictions or is the property of the custodians of linked databases that have given permission for members of the skaldic project to use their material for research purposes. Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor of the material in question and the General Editor of the volume in which the material is to be published. Applications for permission to use such material should be made in the first instance to the General Editor of the volume in question. All information that appears in the published volumes has been thoroughly reviewed. If you believe some information here is incorrect please contact Tarrin Wills with full details.