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Bersi Skáld-Torfuson (Bersi)

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

1. Flokkr about Óláfr helgi (Ólfl) - 3

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.

stanzas:  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

 

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 Sveins rꜹ́nir hef ec sénar | snart rekninga kiartar | þar er sval tungur sungo | sama foro ver storar | elgs man ec eigi fylgia | ut hriþ boða siþan | hestz at hveriom costi | hraɴa dyʀa maɴe.   [DW]  edit 
 Holm2 Sveins ravnir hefi ec senar snart rec | ninga briartar þar er svaltvngvr svngv saman foro vit stoʀir . elgs mon ec eigi fylgia | ut riðboða siþan hellzt at hveriom kosti hranna dyʀa manni.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 321x Sveins raunir hefi ec senar: snart recninga biartar. þar er | sualtungr sungu saman forom ver storar. elgs mun ec eige fylgia | ut riðboða siþan. hest at hueriom kosti. hranna dyʀa mannni. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 61 Sueins raunir he | fi ek sienar . snart rækiandi biartar . þar er sval tungur sungu . saman voro v storum | elgs mvn ek eigi fylgia ut skiðs boða siþan . helldr at huarv uilldag . hranna | dyʀa manni.   [VEÞ]  edit 

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Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated