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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 21VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 21’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 373.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Ef at ýta lífi        hyggr þú öllu saman
        ok sér þeira siðu,
þat þú þá finnr,        er fira reynir:
        fár er vamma varr.

Ef þú hyggr at ýta lífi öllu saman ok sér þeira siðu, þá finnr þú þat, er reynir fira: fár er varr vamma.
‘If you consider men’s life altogether and look at their customs, then you notice that, when you try people: few are free of blemishes.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. I, 5) Si vitam inspicias hominum, si denique mores, / cum culpant alios: nemo sine crimine vivit ‘If you look at the life of those men (and their ways of life) who find fault with others, [you will find that] nobody lives without fault’.



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 21: AII, 172, BII, 189, Skald II, 98; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 10, Konráð Gíslason 1860, 549, Gering 1907, 6, Tuvestrand 1977, 82, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 38.


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