Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Anon Hsv 72VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 72’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 404-5.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Af hyggjandi sinni        skyldi maðr óhræsinn vera,
        nema geraz þarfir þess;
opt at haldi        hefr ýtum komit,
        ef leyniz spakr at speki.

Maðr skyldi vera óhræsinn af hyggjandi sinni, nema geraz þarfir þess; opt hefr komit at haldi ýtum, ef spakr leyniz at speki.
‘A man should not be boastful [lit. should be unboastful] of his intelligence, unless need of it arises; often it has become a help to people, if a wise man conceals his wisdom.

notes and context

Lat. parallels: (Dist. II, 18) Insipiens esto, cum tempus postulat ipsum, / stultitiam simulare loco, prudentia summa est ‘Be foolish when the occasion demands; to feign stupidity is at times the highest prudence’. For similar phrasing cf. Hávm 6/1-2 (NK, 18): At hyggiandi sinni | scylit maðr hrœsinn vera ‘about his intelligence no man should be boastful’ (Larrington 1996, 15). This st. is included considerably further on in 1199ˣ, with other sts that seem very much out of order (29, 66). Its inclusion here follows 624 and the Lat. text.



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 73: AII, 183, BII, 197-8, Skald II, 103, NN §3282; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 19, Konráð Gíslason 1860, 551, Gering 1907, 20, Tuvestrand 1977, 112, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 78.


Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.