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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

9 — Bjbp Jóms 9I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Emily Lethbridge (ed.) 2012, ‘Bjarni byskup Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa 9’ 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.

Sigvaldi hét seggja
snarfengra hǫfðingi,
ok réð þar fyr þegnum
Þorkell liði snjǫllu.
Búi var at hverjum hjaldri
harðráðr með Sigurði;
frágum, Vagn at væri
víst ofrhugi inn mesti.

Hǫfðingi snarfengra seggja hét Sigvaldi, ok Þorkell réð þar fyr þegnum, snjǫllu liði. Búi var harðráðr at hverjum hjaldri með Sigurði; frágum, at Vagn væri víst inn mesti ofrhugi.

The leader of the swift-acting men was called Sigvaldi, and Þorkell there commanded the men, the valiant troop. Búi was hard-ruling in every fight together with Sigurðr; we have heard that Vagn was certainly the most daring man.

Mss: R(53v)

Editions: Skj: Bjarni Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa 9: AII, 3, BII, 2-3, Skald II, 2, NN §2162; Fms 11, 165, Fms 12, 242, Jvs 1879, 106-7.

Notes: [1, 4] Sigvaldi; Þorkell: Sigvaldi Strút-Haraldsson and Þorkell Strút-Haraldsson, leaders of the Jómsvíkingar; cf. Note to st. 7/3, 4. — [3] þegnum ‘the men’: Here taken in apposition to liði ‘troop’ in l. 4 (so also NN §2162). Jvs 1879, CPB II, 303 and Skj B emend to þegna (gen. pl.) ‘of men’, qualifying liði ‘troop’. — [6] Sigurði: Sigurðr Vésetason, Búi’s brother and another Jómsvíkingr. The form Sigurði produces an unmetrical line (Kuhn 1983, 109), since the first two syllables would normally resolve (cf. st. 20/8 and Note). The more archaic form Sigvarði would obviate the difficulty, but the form is retained here since suspended resolutions occur elsewhere in Jóms.

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