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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 52VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 52’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 392-3.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Fyrir öðrum vægja        samir þér iðugliga,
        þótt þú meira megir;
friðsamr við annan        skyldi fyrða hverr,
        sá er vill hæstan tír hafa.

Samir þér iðugliga vægja fyrir öðrum, þótt þú megir meira; hverr fyrða, sá er vill hafa hæstan tír, skyldi friðsamr við annan.
‘It often befits you to yield to others, although you may be capable of more; every man who wants to have the highest renown must [be] peaceful with another.

notes and context

Lat. parallels: (Dist. I, 34) Vincere cum possis, interdum cede sodali, / obsequio quoniam dulces retinentur amici ‘When you are able to win, now and again give in to a friend, since good friends are kept by giving in’; (Dist. I, 38) Quem superare potes, interdum vince ferendo, / maxima enim morum semper patientia virtus ‘Conquer the one you can overcome now and again with tolerance, for the greatest virtue in behaviour is always patience’. The first two ll. echo Hsv 28.



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 51/1-3, 67/1-3: AII, 179, BII, 194, Skald II, 101; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 15, Gering 1907, 14, Tuvestrand 1977, 100, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 64.


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