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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 47VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 47’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 389-90.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Ókunnan mann        virð þú öngu framar
        en þinn vísan vin;
margr er sá illr,        er læz alldyggr vera;
        brigð eru útlenzk orð.

Virð þú ókunnan mann öngu framar en vísan vin þinn; margr er sá illr, er læz alldyggr vera; orð útlenzk eru brigð.
‘Do not value an unknown man any more than your certain friend; many a one is bad who pretends to be very trustworthy; foreign words are fickle.

notes and context

Lat. parallels: (Dist. I, 32) Ignotum tibi tu noli praeponere notis: / cognita iudicio constant, incognita casu ‘Do not prefer someone unknown to you over those who are known: known things are subject to judgement, unknown to chance’.



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 47: AII, 178, BII, 193, Skald II, 101; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 15, Gering 1907, 14, Tuvestrand 1977, 97, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 59.


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