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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 11VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 11’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 367.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

Oddi ok eggju        ver þú þína óðaljörð,
        ok eigi auðtryggr ver;
fyrir orðum ok eiðum        hyggðu öllum vel,
        ok halt við fyrða heit.

Ver þú óðaljörð þína oddi ok eggju, ok ver eigi auðtryggr; hyggðu vel fyrir öllum orðum ok eiðum, ok halt heit við fyrða.

Defend your native land with point and edge and do not be credulous; think well about all your words and oaths and keep promises to people.

Mss: 1199ˣ(72r), 696XV(1r), 624(140)

Readings: [1] ok eggju: ‘[...]iu’ 696XV    [2] óðaljörð: ‘odo[...]’ 696XV    [3] ok eigi: ‘[...]’ 696XV, eigi þú 624;    auðtryggr ver: so 624, á tryggðar veg 1199ˣ, ‘[...] ud tryggur uert’ 696XV    [4] ok eiðum: ‘[...]d[...]’ 696XV, ok orðum 624    [5] vel: ‘u[...]’ 696XV    [6] ok halt við fyrða heit: ‘[...]it víd fyrda’ 696XV, haltu þín heit við fira 624

Editions: Skj AII, 170, Skj BII, 187, Skald II, 97; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 8, Gering 1907, 3, Tuvestrand 1977, 76, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 31.

Notes: [All]: Lat. parallels: (sent. 21) iusiurandum serva ‘keep your oath’; (sent. 23) pugna pro patria ‘fight for your native land’; (sent. 24) nihil temere credideris ‘believe nothing without consideration’. In 624, the order of the two halves is reversed. — [2] óðaljörð ‘native land’: In Norw. this would mean ‘allodial estate’, but the Icel. sense (where the Norw. óðal system was not applied) is closer to the Lat. — [6] ok halt heit við fyrða ‘and keep promises to people’: Most eds adopt 624’s haltu þín heit við fira, which has the same sense.


  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.

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