Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál, 81 [Vol. 7, 409]

[All]: Lat. parallel: (Dist. II, 27) Quod sequitur specta quodque imminet ante, videto: / illum imitare deum, partem qui spectat utramque ‘Look at what has happened, and see that which is coming; imitate that god who looks in both directions [Janus]’. The Icel. text here does not reproduce the classical reference. Cf. also Hsv 98. In ON-Icel. poetry there are many parallels to the admonition in the first two ll. Cf. e.g. Hávm 1 (NK, 17): Gáttir allar, | áðr gangi fram, | um scoðaz scyli, | um scygnaz scyli; | þvíat óvíst er at vita, | hvar óvinir | sitia á fleti fyrir ‘All the entrances, before you walk forward, you should look at, you should spy out; for you can’t know for certain where enemies are sitting ahead in the hall’ (Larrington 1996, 14). There is also a parallel in phrasing in Sól 19. Cf. also the topic of Sól 40.

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