Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 115VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 115’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 428-9.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

Fljóta raun        skaltu við flest hafa,
        þat er grunsamligt geriz;
leyndir lestir,        þeir er lengi felaz,
        gera mörgum mein.

Skaltu hafa fljóta raun við flest, þat er geriz grunsamligt; leyndir lestir, þeir er lengi felaz, gera mörgum mein.

You must have a quick test for everything that is suspicious; secret vices which have been hidden for a long time do many people harm.

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

Readings: [1, 2] raun skaltu: skaltu raun 720a IV    [3] er: sem 720a IV, 723aˣ    [5] er: om. 720a IV, 723aˣ    [6] gera: gera oft 720a IV, 723aˣ

Editions: Skj AII, 190-1, Skj BII, 204-5, Skald II, 107; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 28, Konráð Gíslason 1860, 552, Gering 1907, 31, Tuvestrand 1977, 135, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 109.

Notes: [All]: Lat. parallel: (Dist. IV, 9) Quod tibi suspectum est, confestim discute, quid sit / namque solent, primo quae sunt neglecta, nocere ‘Whatever is suspect to you, immediately test what it is; for those things which are at first ignored are often accustomed to do harm’. Unusually, 1199ˣ and 624 present identical text for this st., with fairly minor variants occurring in the other mss.


  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: Carl 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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