Anonymous, Hávamál

Jackson Crawford (University of Colorado at Boulder)
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Hávamál is the title given in the Konungsbók manuscript (p. 3r) to an Old Icelandic poem appearing on pages 3r-7v. The title contains mál [speech, words] common in the titles of poems composed in ljóðaháttr meter (as Hávamál largely is), and Háva, conventionally read as the weak masculine genitive singular of Hár [high], a name of the god Óðinn known from Gylfaginning. Thus, the title is “Speech of the High One”, i.e. “Óðinn’s Speech”. It is not clear at what point in the poem’s transmission, or in what form, this title was originally applied to it; it might be as late an invention as to be the Konungsbók editor’s, or whoever created the last stanza in this collection, which in one line echoes it: “Nú eru Háva mál kveðin” [Now the words of the High…

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Citation: Crawford, Jackson. "Hávamál". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 October 2023 [, accessed 12 June 2024.]

40967 Hávamál 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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