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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 103VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 103’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 421-2.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

Gamansamlig ljóð        skaltu af greppum nema
        ok mörg fræði muna,
þvít ágætlig ljóð        bera fyrir ýta sonu
        skáld til skemtanar.

Skaltu nema gamansamlig ljóð af greppum ok muna mörg fræði, þvít skáld bera ágætlig ljóð til skemtanar fyrir ýta sonu.

You must learn entertaining poems from poets and remember much knowledge, because poets deliver excellent poems as entertainment to the sons of men.

Mss: 1199ˣ(74v), 723aˣ(81), 624(145)

Readings: [1] ljóð: so 723aˣ, om. 1199ˣ, hljóð 624    [2] af: at 723aˣ, 624;    greppum: görpum 624    [3] mörg fræði muna: so 723aˣ, 624, margfróðr vera 1199ˣ    [4] þvít: om. 624;    ágætlig: ágætt 723aˣ;    ljóð: so 723aˣ, hljóð 1199ˣ, minni 624    [5] bera: bera þú 624;    sonu: lið 624    [6] skáld: skála 624

Editions: Skj AII, 188, Skj BII, 202-3, Skald II, 106, NN §2593; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 25, Gering 1907, 28, Tuvestrand 1977, 128, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 99-100.

Notes: [All]: Lat. parallel: (Dist. III, 18) Multa legas facito, perlectis perlege multa, / nam miranda canunt, sed non credenda poetae ‘See to it that you read many things, having read, forget many things; for poets write a lot of things to be wondered at, but not believed’. All ms. versions focus on the positive aspects of poetry, in contrast to the Lat. text. — [1, 4] ljóð ‘poems, songs’: 1199ˣ has hljóð ‘sound(s), silence’ for both instances of this word; cf. also st. 145/1. — [3]: 1199ˣ’s reading ok margfróðr vera ‘and be learned in many things’ does not supply alliteration.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Tuvestrand, Birgitta, ed. 1977. Hugsvinnsmál: Handskrifter och kritisk text. Lundastudier i nordisk språkvetenskap A:29. Lund: Blom.
  5. Hermann Pálsson, ed. 1985a. Áhrif Hugsvinnsmála á aðrar fornbókmenntir. Studia Islandica/Íslensk Fræði 43. Reykjavík: Menningarsjóður.
  6. Gering, Hugo, ed. 1907. Hugsvinnsmál. Eine altisländische Übersetzung der Disticha Catonis. Kiel: Lipsius & Tischer.
  7. Hallgrímur Scheving, ed. 1831. Hugsvinnsmál, ásamt þeirra látinska frumriti. Skóla hátið. Viðeyar Klaustri: prentuð af Helga Helgasyni, á kostnað Bessastaða Skóla.

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