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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 76VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 76’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 406-7.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

Mál hvert, eigi        er skyldu margir vita,
        ber þú fyrir ómálgan upp;
hygginn maðr,        ef vill heilsu taka,
        lætr eptir góðum læknum gera.

Ber þú upp fyrir ómálgan mál hvert, er eigi margir skyldu vita; hygginn maðr lætr gera eptir góðum læknum, ef vill taka heilsu.

Tell to a taciturn person every matter that not many should know; the intelligent man sends for good doctors if he wants to gain health.

Mss: 1199ˣ(73v), 624(144)

Readings: [1] Mál: mál þat 624    [2] er: so 624, om. 1199ˣ;    skyldu: skulu 624    [3] ómálgan: ómálgum 624    [4] maðr: maðr skal 624    [5] ef: sá er 624;    taka: so 624, geti 1199ˣ    [6] lætr: om. 624;    læknum: so 624, læknir 1199ˣ;    gera: leita 624

Editions: Skj AII, 184, Skj BII, 198, Skald II, 103; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 20, Gering 1907, 21, Tuvestrand 1977, 115, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 81.

Notes: [All]: Lat. parallel: (Dist. II, 22) Consilium arcanum tacito committe sodali / corporis auxilium medico committe fideli ‘Entrust a secret plan to a close-mouthed associate; entrust aid for the body to a trustworthy doctor’. The danger of telling important news in front of too many and too talkative people is also mentioned in Hávm 63.


  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: Blom.
  4. Hermann Pálsson, ed. 1985a. Áhrif Hugsvinnsmála á aðrar fornbókmenntir. Studia Islandica/Íslensk Fræði 43. Reykjavík: Menningarsjóður.
  5. Gering, Hugo, ed. 1907. Hugsvinnsmál. Eine altisländische Übersetzung der Disticha Catonis. Kiel: Lipsius & Tischer.
  6. Hallgrímur Scheving, ed. 1831. Hugsvinnsmál, ásamt þeirra látinska frumriti. Skóla hátið. Viðeyar Klaustri: prentuð af Helga Helgasyni, á kostnað Bessastaða Skóla.
  7. Internal references
  8. Not published: do not cite ()

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