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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 120VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 120’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 432.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Trúnaðarmanns        leita þú trúliga,
        ef þú vilt góðan vin geta;
at fésælu        kjós eigi fulltrúa
        heldr at sönnum siðum.

Leita þú trúliga trúnaðarmanns, ef þú vilt geta góðan vin; kjós eigi fulltrúa at fésælu, heldr at sönnum siðum.
‘Look faithfully for a confidant, if you want to get a good friend; do not choose a confidant on the basis of wealth, rather according to sound morals.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. IV, 15) Cum tibi vel socium vel fidum quaeris amicum, / non tibi fortuna est hominis sed vita petenda ‘If you are looking for an associate or a faithful friend, it is for you to look not at the fortune but the life of the man’. This st. is included between sts 100 and 103 in 1199ˣ and 723aˣ (translating Dist. III, 15 and 18), but is included here in accordance with the order in 624 and the Lat. original. The text of 624 differs somewhat:

Trúnaðarmanns at leita    ef þér tryggs vilir
    ok góðan vin geta,
at farsælu nógri    kjósa áttu eigi þér fulltrúa
    heldr at sönnum siðum.

Ef vilir at leita þér tryggs trúnaðarmanns ok geta góðan vin, áttu eigi kjósa þér fulltrúa at farsælu nógri heldr at sönnum siðum ‘If you want to look for a trustworthy confidant and to get a good friend, you must not choose for yourself a true friend according to great prosperity but rather according to sound morals’. Skj B omits at (l. 1) and compresses kjósa áttu eigi to kjósat (l. 5).



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 119: AII, 191-2, BII, 205, Skald II, 107; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 28, Gering 1907, 32, Tuvestrand 1977, 137, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 112.


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