Peder Laales ordsprog

Artikler

Peder Laale is a Danish collector of proverbs from the 14th century. His collection was first printed in 1506. The proverbs were printed in Danish and Latin, and for long, they were used in teaching. Laale’s work is an important source in order to understand the medieval way of thinking. It contains many proverbs that we still use today, such as “A country is built on law”, “The higher you climb, the further you fall” and “Many a little makes a mickle”.

Laale’s life

We do not know much about Peder Laale’s life, other than he lived sometime during the 14th century. Some guess that he was a jurist, maybe even a High Court Judge. Other assumptions are that he spent time in France and could be identical with Peder Nielsen Laale, a priest in Odense diocese and at the Holy See in Avignon between 1330 and 1332.

Laale’s textbook

Laale’s work dates from the mid 14th century. The printed edition from 1506 consists of 1204 pairs of proverbs organized alphabetically. Every pair consists of a saying in Latin and a Danish proverb with the same or almost the same meaning. The majority of the proverbs are collected, already established and, partly very old, sayings, maybe complemented by a few terms coined by Laale himself. Thus, the work is one of the eldest sources of “every day” life in the Danish Middle Age, and it is the largest collection of its kind. It became one of the most used textbooks when teaching Latin in medieval Denmark, but after the reformation in 1536, it was criticized and abolished. The book has been preserved as a hand written fragment from the mid 14th century, in a Swedish version from the first half of the 15th century and in two printed versions from 1506 and 1516, respectively. Peder Laale’s work was not only used as a textbook. Not only the clergy had it in their book collection, and several of the proverbs conflict with the clergy’s notion of God. For example, “God is good towards all and best towards himself”. To praise God was not the objective of Laale’s work. The collection also holds proverbs that are critical towards the authority: “The fat will always stay afloat”.

Laale in our time

Nowadays we still know many of Laale’s proverbs, for example from the Danish Parliamentary Chamber at Christiansburg and from above the entrance to the Supreme Court. Here “A country is built on law” is written. This saying also begins the Code of Jutland from 1241, but is part of Laale’s textbook as well.

Examples of proverbs from Peder Laale’s textbook

Spare the rod, spoil the child

You can’t teach and old dog new tricks

Reason escapes the fool like water off a duck’s back

Young saint, old devil

A nagging wife is like a dripping faucet

The old you must honour – the young you must teach

A bad scholar at school is like a fifth wheel on a wagon

Om artiklen

Forfatter(e)
Nedim Dzeko, Bjørn Poulsen
Tidsafgrænsning
1300 -
Medietype
Tekst
Sidst redigeret
23. juni 2011
Sprog
Dansk
Litteratur

Peder Laales ordsprog er udgivet i: Danmarks gamle ordsprog 1:2 (1979).

Ordsprogene i 1506-udgaven findes oversat til nudansk i: Peder Laales Gammeldanske Ordsprog, oversættelse til nydansk af Aage Hansen (1966)

 

Se også:

Dansk Litteraturhistorie 1. ”Fra runer til ridderdigtning o. 800-1480” (2000), s. 280-282, 448-453.

Aage Hansen (udgivet efter Aage Hansens død af Merete K. Jørgensen & Iver Kjær): ”Om Peder Laales danske ordsprog” i Historisk-filosofiske Meddelelser. 62. Det kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab, i kommission hos Munksgaard (1991).

Iver Kjær: ”Opslagsord: ordsprog” i Kulturhistorisk leksikon for nordisk middelalder, bind 12, (1967), s. 671-684.

Udgiver
danmarkshistorien.dk

Relateret indhold

Om artiklen

Forfatter(e)
Nedim Dzeko, Bjørn Poulsen
Tidsafgrænsning
1300 -
Medietype
Tekst
Sidst redigeret
23. juni 2011
Sprog
Dansk
Litteratur

Peder Laales ordsprog er udgivet i: Danmarks gamle ordsprog 1:2 (1979).

Ordsprogene i 1506-udgaven findes oversat til nudansk i: Peder Laales Gammeldanske Ordsprog, oversættelse til nydansk af Aage Hansen (1966)

 

Se også:

Dansk Litteraturhistorie 1. ”Fra runer til ridderdigtning o. 800-1480” (2000), s. 280-282, 448-453.

Aage Hansen (udgivet efter Aage Hansens død af Merete K. Jørgensen & Iver Kjær): ”Om Peder Laales danske ordsprog” i Historisk-filosofiske Meddelelser. 62. Det kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab, i kommission hos Munksgaard (1991).

Iver Kjær: ”Opslagsord: ordsprog” i Kulturhistorisk leksikon for nordisk middelalder, bind 12, (1967), s. 671-684.

Udgiver
danmarkshistorien.dk