Matthew Leigh Embleton

Musician, Composer, Producer, Language and History Enthusiast, and Author

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Hávamál: Sayings of the High One: Norse Text, Translation, and Word List

The Hávamál ('sayings of the High One' i.e. 'Odin') is a collection of poetry from the Viking age. It can be described as 'gnomic poetry' in that it contains a series of insightful verses which offer advice in the form of maxims and aphorisms (short statements, observations, and opinions) about how to live one's life, how to conduct oneself in a proper manner, and how to gain and use wisdom in order to survive and prosper in a dangerous world. It is an important source of Old Norse philosophy, an insight into the minds of the people of the Norse world, and an important source of mythology concerning the origin of the runes, and their importance and significance in Norse culture which continues to this day. It is preserved in the 'Codex Regius' ('Royal Book', 'King's Book', 'Konungsbók' (GKS 2365 4to) which has been dated to around c1260-1280, but the poetry itself has been variously dated back as far as the 10th or even 9th century. This book is designed to be of use to anyone studying or with a keen interest in Old Norse or Old Icelandic, clearly showing how these languages work, and the influence of these languages on English. This edition is laid out in three columns, the original text, a literal word-for-word translation, and a modern translation. Also included is a word list with over 1,000 definitions.

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