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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 95VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 95’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 417.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Gott ráð nema        skal gumna hverr,
        þótt kenni þý eða þræll;
ánauðgan mann        hygg ek opt vera
        frjálsum fróðara.

Hverr gumna skal nema gott ráð, þótt þý eða þræll kenni; ek hygg ánauðgan mann opt vera fróðara frjálsum.
‘Every person must take good advice, even if a female or male slave teaches it; I think an enslaved man is often wiser than a free one.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. III, 10) Utile consilium dominus ne despice servi; / nullius sensum, si prodest, tempseris unquam ‘As a master do not despise the useful counsel of your servant [or ‘slave’]; never spurn anyone’s advice, if it is useful’.



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 96: AII, 187, BII, 201-2, Skald II, 105; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 24, Konráð Gíslason 1860, 552, Gering 1907, 26, Tuvestrand 1977, 124, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 94.


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