margur verður af aurum api
From margur (“many a man”) + verður (“becomes”), the third person singular of verða (“to become”) + af (“by, from”) + aurum, form of aur (“money”) + api (“monkey, ape”). Literally meaning "many become a monkey from money" or "money makes monkeys out of men".
- Hávamál verse 47 in updated (Icelandic) spelling
- Veit-a hinn
- er vætki veit:
- Margur verður af aurum api.
- Maður er auðigur,
- annar óauðigur,
- skyli-t þann vítka vár.
- English translation by Benjamin Thorpe
- He (only) knows not
- who knows nothing,
- that many a one apes another.
- One man is rich,
- another poor:
- let him not be thought blameworthy.
- English translation by Henry A. Bellows
- A man knows not,
- if nothing he knows,
- That gold oft apes begets;
- One man is wealthy
- and one is poor,
- Yet scorn for him none should know.
- English translation by Olive Bray 
- He that learns nought will never know
- how one is the fool of another,
- for if one be rich another is poor
- and for that should bear no blame.
- Icelandic Web of Science: Í Hávamálum er sagt að margur verði af aurum api. Hefur höfundurinn vitað hvað api var? (“It is written in Hávamál that money makes monkeys out of men. Did the author actually know of monkeys?”)
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- ^ ; The Elder or Poetic Edda, edited and translated by Olive Bray (London: Printed for the Viking Club, 1908), pages 61-111
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