Wednesday 1 January 2014

Havamal Snippets 115: never seduce another mans wife

This verse advises against extramarital affairs with other men's wives.  It shows that monogamy is the way of the Viking, or at least the way of living that they aspired towards (after all, they were only human, and may have suffered temptation as we do in modern times). 

The benefits of not interfering with another man's wife is similar to not interfering with another mans property: it promotes mutual feelings of trust amongst the two men, and then amongst the community as a whole.  In turn this allows men to feel safe in their surroundings and thus provides them with a good environment in which to express themselves, to express their own character, to express their own Will.  A society in which men exploit one another and cheat one another is not conducive to this, and thus is not pleasant.  Thus respecting other men's property (inlcuding his wife) is the way to go.
Ráðumk þér Loddfáfnir
en þú ráð nemir
njóta mundu ef þú nemr
þér munu góð ef þú getr
annars konu
teygðu þér aldregi
eyrarúnu at          
I advise you, Loddfafnir,
to take advice;
you would benefit, it you took it,
good will come to you, if you accept it:
[6] never seduce
[5] another's wife
to be your mistress.

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