Talk:Hávamál

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Loddfáfnismál[edit]

What stanzas constitute the Loddfáfnismál? FK0071a 15:43, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Ljóðatal[edit]

In this article it gives an example stanza of the 'Ljóðatal' as beeing 155 but the Rúnatáls-tháttr-Odhins is stanzas 138 to 165 so what stanzas constitute the Ljóðatal? FK0071a 14:48, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Runatal and the Bible?[edit]

Given the similarity in situation and linguists to the account in the Christian scriptires about the sacrifice of Jesus, aswell as messiah prophecies found in the Hebrew scriptures: I was wondering if there is any source material we can find, linking the connection between the spreading influence of Christianity into the norse society and these poems. --67.172.13.176 (talk) 16:25, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Parallels have been drawn between Odin's hanging and Jesus' crucifixion, but scholarly consensus boils down to that this is wrong: Odin is very much a shamanic figure and the tree itself has very shamanic implications (as does the act), Odin's motives are totally different, Indo-European parallels to Odin's self hanging are abundant, very early references to Odin as a "god of the gallows" (that is, the hanged) are not uncommon, figures dedicating themselves or sacrificed in a similar manner to Odin's self-sacrifice are found as far back as Tacitus, and so on.
As for Hebrew parallels, this is a new one on me, and you're welcome to add it (with source) if it's from a reliable source. :bloodofox: (talk) 17:03, 8 October 2009 (UTC)


This is a complex question, and I seriously doubt there is a "scholarly consensus" that can be said to "boil down" to anything. It is probably true that no summary, no matter how condensed, should omit the following points

  • shamanic traits of Odin
  • evidence of early (migration period) human sacrifice where the victims are hung from trees
  • influence of the Greek tradition of Zeus the "all-father"
  • the unprecedented "autosacrifice of cosmic scope" (Patton 2009:215) that pops up in the Havamal, with the obvious (down to the details, thirsting, screaming, being wounded by a spear) suggestion of direct Christian influence
  • caveats about an overly simplistic interpretation of Christian influence, referring back to shamanism etc.

The Runatal is a living synthesis of (at least) two traditions, Migration period paganism and Christianity. Living mythology (a.k.a. paganism) works this way. Patton, pp. 215-217 or so, gives a good summary of this, and the Odin article would profit greatly from rising to at least Patton's level of illuminating the question. --dab (𒁳) 09:29, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

First of all do the worship of Odin during a time when Christianity was seen as a weird sect of Jews not even widely spread, or accepted, around the Mediterranean sea. The similarities between Jesus is very few, except the hanging, and if you want to compare details you can as likely talk about the similarities between the Egyptian Ra and his "all seeing eye" and Odins Ravens also. The concept of Yggdrasil as a world tree/tree of life - that (most of the times) connects the the three worlds (underworld, the "earthly"/human world, divine/heavenly/spirit world), is some kind of source of divine knowledge and (often) has some kind of demon/monster/evil at it's roots - is know from many places. For example: Celtic, Slavic, Germanic, Siberian, Greek, Finno-Ugric, Turkish, Mongolic, Indian, Korean, Semitic, Maya, Aztec, Izapan, Mixtec, Olmec people for example). Within Tengriism, a over Euroasia wide spread shamanistic belief-system, the world tree with nine leafs connects the three worlds. In Siberia (especially among Samoyeds) the world tree connects the three worlds, gives the shaman his drum and the helps the shaman to travel from one world to another in his quest for knowledge. In Hinduism (which is considered connected to Slavic, Celtic/Gaelic and German belief system/mythology though the indo-european root and where you can find many similarities with ex Norse mythology) you have the world tree "Ashvatha" that is said to connects to heaven and on which leafs is the Vedas (holy texts with divine knowledge). In Buddhism text the same tree is called the "Bodhi Tree" and is the very tree under which Buddha received "Bodhi"/enlightenment after self starvation/sacrifice. So it is far much more likely that Odins hanging describe a ancient Shamanistic ritual preformed in a sacred tree to gain knowledge then it is influenced by Christianiy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.226.118.69 (talk) 01:27, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Gestaþáttr translation[edit]

Deyr fé, (Cattle die)
deyja frændr, (Die kinsmen)
deyr sjálfr et sama; (Die myself the same)
ek veit einn, (One I know)
at aldri deyr: (That (which) never dies)
dómr of dauðan hvern. (Judgement of dead lives)

Translation by a nordic scholar is this in Danish:


Fæ dør, frænder dør,

også du skal dø

ét ved jeg, som aldrig dør,

dom om hver en død.

(Thøger Larsen)

The English translation, carrying the same message is:


Cattle die,

Kinsmen die,

I too shall die,

But I know, what never dies,

The judgement of dead mens lives.


Probably a bit better, anyone familiar with Icelandic and North West Norwegian will recognize this is better. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.141.102.62 (talk) 19:17, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

It certainly is. The translation on the page is utterly terrible. "frændr" doesn't mean "uncles", not even in modern Icelandic. A proper translation would be either "friends" or "relatives" or both. The last line is almost as bad. It properly refers to a dead man's honorable reputation, if earned. Asgrrr (talk) 14:18, 23 September 2011 (UTC)