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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 96VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 96’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 417-18.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

Aura tjón        skal maðr eigi illa bera,
        þótt honum verði skapaðr skaði;
hitt hann huggar,        ef hann halda má:
        sæll er, sá er sínu unir.

Maðr skal eigi illa bera aura tjón, þótt verði skapaðr skaði honum; hitt huggar hann, ef hann má halda; sæll er, sá er unir sínu.

A man must not bear badly the loss of his wealth, although it may cause harm for him; what [remains] will comfort him, if he can keep it; he is fortunate who is content with what he has.

Mss: 1199ˣ(74r)

Editions: Skj AII, 195, Skj BII, 208, Skald II, 109; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 31, Gering 1907, 37, Tuvestrand 1977, 125, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 95.

Notes: [All]: Lat. parallels: (Dist. III, 11) Rebus et in censu si non est quod fuit ante, / fac vivas contentus eo, quod tempora praebent ‘If in goods and income things are not what they were, see that you live happy with that which the times offer’; (Dist. IV, 35) Ereptis opibus noli maerere dolendo / sed gaude potius, tibi si contingat habere ‘Do not bewail grieving over stolen goods, rather be happy, if it happens that you have something [left]’. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) takes the latter distich as the primary parallel and consequently includes this st. after his st. 135 (translating Dist. IV, 34). — [6]: This l. seems to be a variant of a common saying in Icel. Cf. Hávm 9/1-3 (NK, 18): Sá er sæll, | er siálfr um á | lof oc vit, meðan lifir ‘That man is fortunate who, in himself, keeps his reputation and wits while he lives’ (Larrington 1996, 15). There is similar phrasing in Sól 49.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 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. NK = Neckel, Gustav and Hans Kuhn (1899), eds. 1983. Edda: Die Lieder des Codex Regius nebst verwandten Denkmälern. 2 vols. I: Text. 5th edn. Heidelberg: Winter.
  8. Hallgrímur Scheving, ed. 1831. Hugsvinnsmál, ásamt þeirra látinska frumriti. Skóla hátið. Viðeyar Klaustri: prentuð af Helga Helgasyni, á kostnað Bessastaða Skóla.
  9. Larrington, Carolyne, trans. 1996. The Poetic Edda. The World’s Classics. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
  10. Internal references
  11. Carolyne Larrington and Peter Robinson (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð 49’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 329-30.
  12. Not published: do not cite ()

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