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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 113VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 113’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 427-8.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Þat skaltu gera,        sem þér gegnir vel,
        ok við villu varaz;
mildr af þurftum        vertu í mörgum hlutum;
        gott er dyggum at duga.

Skaltu gera þat, sem gegnir þér vel, ok varaz við villu; vertu í mörgum hlutum mildr af þurftum; gott er at duga dyggum.
‘You must do what suits you well and beware of error; be in many things generous as necessary; it is good to help the trustworthy.

notes and context

Lat. parallels: (Dist. IV, 7) Res age quae prosunt, rursus vitare memento, / in quis error inest nec spes est certa laboris ‘Do things which are useful, but on the other hand remember to avoid those in which there is fault and no sure hope of work’; (Dist. IV, 8) Quod donare potes gratis, ne vende roganti, / nam recte fecisse bonis, in parte lucrorum est ‘What you can give for nothing, do not sell to the asker; for to have done right with goods is to be considered as gain’.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], [C. E/5]. Hugsvinnsmál 113: AII, 190, BII, 204, Skald II, 107, NN §111; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 27, Gering 1907, 31, Tuvestrand 1977, 134, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 107.


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