I recall reading that the Edda - either the poetic or prose Edda - counselled or complained against drunkenness.

What did it exactly say? And who said it?

1 Answer 1


The Hávamál ("The High One's [=Odin's] Lay") in this 1908 translation edition of the Elder Edda has these bits of advice and reminiscence, which might be what you are after.

  1. A better burthen no man bears on the way than much good sense; that is thought better than riches in a strange place; such is the recourse of the indigent.

  2. A worse provision on the way he cannot carry than too much beer-bibbing; so good is not, as it is said, beer for the sons of men.

  3. A worse provision no man can take from table than too much beer-bibbing: for the more he drinks the less control he has of his own mind.

  4. Oblivion's heron 'tis called that over potations hovers; he steals the minds of men. With this bird's pinions I was fettered in Gunnlods dwelling.

  5. Drunk I was, I was over-drunk, at that cunning Fialar's. It's the best drunkenness, when every one after it regains his reason.


  1. Let a man hold the cup, yet of the mead drink moderately, speak sensibly or be silent. As of a fault no man will admonish thee, if thou goest betimes to sleep.

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