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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 98VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 98’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 419.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Góðra dæma        leiti gumna hverr,
        sá er vill hyggindi hafa;
annars víti        láti sér at varnaði,
        ok geriz svá góðum líkr.

Hverr gumna, sá er vill hafa hyggindi, leiti góðra dæma; láti víti annars sér at varnaði, ok geriz svá líkr góðum.
‘Every man who wants to have wisdom, should look for good examples; he should let the punishment of another [be] a warning to him and thus become like good people.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. III, 13) Multorum disce exemplo quae facta sequaris, / quae fugias, vita est nobis aliena magistra ‘Learn from the example of many what deeds you should emulate and which to avoid; the life of others is a teacher to us’.



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 98: AII, 187, BII, 202, Skald II, 105; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 24, Gering 1907, 26, Tuvestrand 1977, 126, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 97.


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