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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 114VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 114’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 428.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

Föður ok móður        gremz eigi fróðhugaðr
        orðum ok ávítum;
reiðr er þér betri,        sá er rækja vill,
        en hinn, sem er hrekkvíss í hugum.

Gremz eigi fróðhugaðr orðum ok ávítum föður ok móður; sá er vill rækja, er betri þér reiðr, en hinn, sem er hrekkvíss í hugum.

Do not, wise-minded, become angry at the words and reprimands of your father and mother; he who is willing to look after you is better for you angry, than the one who is mischievous in his thoughts.

Mss: 1199ˣ(74v), 720a IV(2r), 723aˣ(82), 624(146)

Readings: [2] gremz eigi: so 723aˣ, reynztu 1199ˣ, reiðz þú 720a IV, vertu 624    [3] orðum ok: so 723aˣ, eigi með 1199ˣ, 720a IV, ok öngum 624    [5] er: þik 720a IV, 723aˣ, er þik 624    [6] hinn sem er: so 720a IV, 723aˣ, hinn sem hann er 1199ˣ, om. 624;    hugum: hug 723aˣ

Editions: Skj AII, 190, Skj BII, 204, Skald II, 107; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 27, Gering 1907, 31, Tuvestrand 1977, 134, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 108.

Notes: [All]: Lat. parallel: (Dist. IV, 6) Verbera cum tuleris discens aliquando magistri, / fer patris imperium, cum verbis exit in iram ‘Just as you bear blows now and again from the teacher when learning, accept your father’s authority when he breaks out in anger in words’. — [2-3]: All mss have made different attempts to make sense of this l. Ávítum is unmetrical in its position, probably an indication of an early corruption in transmission, and all mss share this reading. 1199ˣ’s and 720a IV’s reynztu fróðhugaðr | eigi með ávítum ‘try to be wise-minded ... not with reprimands’ makes little sense. 624 has vertu fróðhugaðr | ok öngum ávítum reiðr ‘be wise-minded ... and not angry because of any reprimands’, but the punctuation of the other mss and the alliteration make it clear that reiðr belongs to l. 4. 723aˣ’s reading is adopted here, but it leaves the unmetrical ending on l. 3. Hallgrímur Scheving has for l. 3 er með ávítum aga ‘when they chastise you with reprimands’, which is both metrically correct and makes sense.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. Tuvestrand, Birgitta, ed. 1977. Hugsvinnsmál: Handskrifter och kritisk text. Lundastudier i nordisk språkvetenskap A:29. Lund: Blom.
  4. Hermann Pálsson, ed. 1985a. Áhrif Hugsvinnsmála á aðrar fornbókmenntir. Studia Islandica/Íslensk Fræði 43. Reykjavík: Menningarsjóður.
  5. Gering, Hugo, ed. 1907. Hugsvinnsmál. Eine altisländische Übersetzung der Disticha Catonis. Kiel: Lipsius & Tischer.
  6. 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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