Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 140VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 140’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 443-4.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

Heiptarorða        gerz þú eigi hefnisamr;
        heldr skaltu væginn vera;
af þeiri gæzku        máttu þér gera
        vísa fjándmenn at vinum.

Gerz þú eigi hefnisamr heiptarorða; heldr skaltu vera væginn; af þeiri gæzku máttu gera þér vísa fjándmenn at vinum.

Do not become vengeful because of words; of hate you must rather be yielding; from this kindness you can make certain enemies into friends for yourself.

Mss: 1199ˣ(75v), 624(147)

Readings: [6] fjándmenn: fjándr 624

Editions: Skj AII, 179-80, Skj BII, 194, Skald II, 101; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 34, Konráð Gíslason 1860, 37, Tuvestrand 1977, 147, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 125.

Notes: [All]: Lat. parallel: (Dist. IV, 39) Cede loco laesus, fortunae cede potenti: / laedere qui potuit, poterit prodesse aliquando ‘Give way to fortune when hurt, give way to the powerful; whoever was able to harm might now and again be able to help’. Lines 4-6 are reminiscent of Egill St 24/5-8V: ... ok þat geð | es gerðak mér | vísa fjándr | af vélundum ‘... and that temper with which I made certain enemies out of tricksters’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. Tuvestrand, Birgitta, ed. 1977. Hugsvinnsmál: Handskrifter och kritisk text. Lundastudier i nordisk språkvetenskap A:29. Lund: Carl Blom.
  4. Hermann Pálsson, ed. 1985a. Áhrif Hugsvinnsmála á aðrar fornbókmenntir. Studia Islandica/Íslensk Fræði 43. Reykjavík: Menningarsjóður.
  5. Hallgrímur Scheving, ed. 1831. Hugsvinnsmál, ásamt þeirra látinska frumriti. Skóla hátið. Viðeyar Klaustri: prentuð af Helga Helgasyni, á kostnað Bessastaða Skóla.
  6. Internal references
  7. Not published: do not cite (Egill St 24V (Eg 95))

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