Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 101VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 101’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 420-1.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Liðs skal biðja,        þá er ráða lögskilum,
        ef maðr er lýtum loginn;
röngu verz,        ef réttu náir,
        maðr, sá er dómendr duga.

Ef maðr er loginn lýtum, skal biðja liðs, þá er ráða lögskilum; maðr, sá er dómendr duga, verz röngu, ef náir réttu.
‘If a man is unjustly accused of faults, he must ask for help from those who have command of legal procedure; a man whom the judges help, defends himself against something wrong, if he gets his rights.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. III, 16) Iudicis auxilium subiniquitate rogato, / ipsae etiam leges cupiunt, ut iure rogentur ‘Beg for the aid of the judge in an unjust lawsuit, for the very laws themselves desire to be questioned properly’. — [4-6]: Skj B has the same text as here (except sá er (624) for ef (1199ˣ) or en (Hallgrímur Scheving) in l. 5). Kock (NN §114) questions the metre, particularly the stress on the non-pronominal maðr, which he omits in Skald.



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 101: AII, 188, BII, 202, Skald II, 106, NN §114; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 25, Gering 1907, 27, Tuvestrand 1977, 127, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 99.


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