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Durham University

Department of English Studies


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Publication details for Professor John McKinnell

McKinnell, J. (2007). Wisdom from the dead the Ljóðatal section of Hávamál. Medium Ævum 76: 85-115.
  • Publication type: Journal Article

Author(s) from Durham


This article analyses the last major section of the Old Norse Eddic poem 'Hávamál', demonstrating that the mythical account of the sacrificial hanging of Óðinn is closely linked to the eighteen magic songs that he learns as a result, concluding that in the received myth pattern these were probably learned from a dead female ancestor, but that the poet has adapted this pattern to make the god appear more heroic.

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