• The Layman’s Havamal

  • A Modern Interpretation of Viking Age Wisdom
  • By: Paul Begadon
  • Narrated by: Paul Begadon
  • Length: 5 hrs and 51 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (97 ratings)

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The Layman’s Havamal

By: Paul Begadon
Narrated by: Paul Begadon
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Publisher's Summary

This book is an exploration of the wisdom in the Viking Age poem "Havamal", specifically as it relates to the average person who isn't a scholar of Old Norse, or even an enthusiast of Viking culture. This book is for the layman, the average person who simply wants to improve their life using proven advice. The poem "Havamal" is earthy, cynical, stoic, and grim in its depiction of human life. Havamal means “The Words of the High One”. The poem's speaker is none other than Odin, King of the Gods, who has traveled the many worlds seeking power and suffered greatly in his quest. Through suffering, he has won great wisdom, which he shares with us in this poem. Though the speaker of "Havamal" is a god, it was actually composed by human poets during the Viking and Medieval Ages. Therefore, the text's advice is not lofty and ethereal, like some other gnomic literature, but very human.

This book will interest people who want to live well in the modern world. The advice given in the poem is specific. For example: Keep your eyes open when you enter a gathering, because there could be enemies inside. But the wisdom behind the words can be extracted out and applied to more general situations, which is what the author has done for each of "Havamal"’s 164 verses. The Layman’s Havamal contains an original rendering of the poem into English and a complete analysis of each verse as it relates to modern life, in a way which is sure to improve your standing in this slippery world.

©2021 Paul Begadon (P)2021 Paul Begadon

What listeners say about The Layman’s Havamal

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Worth the listen.

I've taken an interest in Norse Mythology recently, so this fits the bill perfectly for me.

It's orated well and each verse is explained simply, for the layman.

2 people found this helpful

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good read

a little to much Christianity mixed in. nice referencing, overall a good read. I would recommend

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More than worth it.

A wonderful reading and great interpretation. Top notch. The 2nd edition should have a forward by Dr. Jackson Crawford.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing and easy to follow

For any religion or following you may be in to this book still need to be in your library!

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great job on this book

job and great great performance great life advice from Odin. my family is also from Ireland but we settled in West Virginia I can see the havall in their actions

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This book is amazing,big thanks to the author

Loved it! Thanks for spreading the wisdom of all father! The world needs this knowledge!

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Great narration, I've listened over and over!

Great narration, I've listened over and over! I even do subconscious listening while I'm asleep. It's a fantastic book for someone beginning their journey or someone who just wants to understand the old ways!

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  • KR
  • 11-02-22

great book hail Odin

if you've read the havamal you'll love the breakdown , if you haven't read the havamal this is an amazing place to start. great book, great reading by the author.

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Amazing listen

we got this today and could not stop listening, am definitely buying the book itself.

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Good take

Who would have known ancient poems could be so useful. The author uses a popular translation to give tin his own take on the poems words. It really provides modern context.

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  • Marian Tardy
  • 11-12-22

Great study material

Great study material and intresting Outlook on the havamal. but sounded lill robot like,... so lost me at some parts.

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  • Sian cunliffe
  • 11-04-22

A good interpretation….

This is a great interpretation of the Havamal….

Great to be able to translate into the modern day and apply it to your own life….

Don’t agree with EVERY interpretation of a few verses…but 95% I would describe as accurate..(from my own interpretation)

However, it is clear to listen to, and easily understood….

Thank you to the Author.


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  • Sam w
  • 01-05-22

Great listen

a great read of a great translation of ancient wisdom reimagined for modern life, it was very insightful.