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The Hávamál ('the words of the High One') is an Eddic lay from the Poetic Edda.

The lay of didactic poetry, apart from short mythological passages which all deal with Óðinn. Its last stanza 164 refers to everything preceding it as being 'words of the high one', thus giving the lay its title. It means that Óðinn is the one who utters the stanzas, and thus it creates a fictitious framework for the collection.

The first stanzas give rules and advice for daily use: how guests should behave when eating, drinking, in friendship, in generosity, and at the Þing. They are followed by some stanzas giving didactic advice, especially in matters of love, and a list of advice for a young man called Loddfáfnir.

The most important part of the Hávamál contains Óðinn's self-sacrifice. [1]


  1. Rudolf Simek: Dictionary of Northern Mythology (1993)