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Bjarni byskup Kolbeinsson (Bjbp)

13th century; volume 1; ed. Jonna Louis-Jensen;

Jómsvíkingadrápa (Jóms) - 45

Bjarni Kolbeinsson (Bjbp) was born into a powerful family in the Orkney Islands, possibly c. 1150-60 (af Petersens, Jvs 1879, 122). His father was the Norwegian-Orcadian chieftain Kolbeinn hrúga ‘Heap’ and his mother was Herborg, a great-granddaughter of Páll jarl Þorfinnsson on the maternal side (see Ættaskrár [Genealogies] II in ÍF 35). Bjarni was also very well connected: he was a close friend of Haraldr jarl Maddaðarson (ÍF 35, 289), sent precious gifts to Hrafn Sveinbjarnarson in Iceland on three occasions (Guðrún P. Helgadóttir 1987, 2-3), and had connections with the Oddaverjar (see further Einar Ól. Sveinsson 1937, 17-18, 34-9).

Bjarni was Bishop of Orkney from 1188 (ÍF 35, 289) until his death on 15 September 1223. Among his achievements as bishop were the exhumation and canonisation of Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson (ÍF 35, 282; SkP II, 575) and the extension of St Magnús’s Cathedral in Kirkwall. Bjarni was also a diplomat and is known to have travelled to Norway for political reasons in 1194-5, 1208-9, 1210, 1218 and 1223 (see Bugge 1875, 244; Holtsmark 1937a, 2-3); he probably died in Norway (Jón Stefánsson 1907-8, 46).

Bjarni is introduced as Bjarni skáld ‘Poet’ in Orkn (ÍF 35, 193), but Jómsvíkingadrápa (Jóms) is the only literary work attributed to him in medieval sources. Suggestions that he compiled Orkn (Jón Stefánsson 1907-8) and the þulur in SnE (Bugge 1875) have not been generally accepted; see Introduction to Jóms below on the attribution of Anon Mhkv to Bjarni.

my abbr.

Jómsvíkingadrápa (‘Drápa about the Jómsvíkingar’) — Bjbp JómsI

Emily Lethbridge 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Bjarni byskup Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa’ 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. 954.

stanzas:  1   2   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   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44   45 

Skj: Bjarni Kolbeinsson: Jómsvíkingadrápa (AII, 1-10, BII, 1-10); stanzas (if different): 2 | 3 | 4

SkP info: I, 967

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

10 — Bjbp Jóms 10I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Emily Lethbridge (ed.) 2012, ‘Bjarni byskup Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa 10’ 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. 967.

Heldu dreyrgra darra
Danmarkar til sterkir
— þeim gafsk rausn ok ríki —
rjóðendr skipum síðan.
Ok auðbrotar erfi
ógnrakkastir drukku
— þeim frák ýmsum aukask
annir — feðra sinna.


{The strong reddeners of bloody spears} [WARRIORS] then sailed ships to Denmark; splendour and power came their way. And {the extremely battle-bold wealth-breakers} [GENEROUS MEN] drank a funeral feast for their fathers; I have heard that troubles increased for certain of them.

context: King Sveinn tjúguskegg Haraldsson of Denmark plans to hold a funeral feast in memory of his deceased father, Haraldr blátǫnn Gormsson. Strút-Haraldr, jarl of Skáney (Skåne), and Véseti of Borgundarhólmr (Bornholm) have also died recently and Sveinn sends word to their sons, Sigvaldi jarl Strút-Haraldsson, and Búi digri and Sigurðr kápa Vésetasynir, that they should attend the wake and commemorate their fathers too. The Jómsvíkingar set off for Denmark with an impressive band.

notes: [2]: The line is metrically irregular, since constructions with enclitic prepositions (here Danmarkar til ‘to Denmark’) do not normally occur except in later poetry (Kuhn 1983, 120-2).

texts: ÓT 65

editions: Skj Bjarni Kolbeinsson: Jómsvíkingadrápa 10 (AII, 3; BII, 3); Skald II, 2; Fms 11, 165, Fms 12, 242, Jvs 1879, 106-7; Fms 1, 161, Fms 12, 39, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 178 (ch. 86), Ólafur Halldórsson 2000, 22, 75-6.


GKS 2367 4° (R) 53v, 11 - 53v, 12  transcr.  image  image  image  
AM 61 fol (61) 18vb, 22 - 18vb, 24 (ÓT)  image  image  image  
AM 54 fol (54) 14vb, 4 - 14vb, 7 (ÓT)  image  
Holm perg 1 fol (Bb) 25ra, 22 - 25ra, 24 (ÓT)  image  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated