Facts and Events
Odin (; from Old Norse Óðinn) is a major god in Norse mythology and the ruler of Asgard. Homologous with the Old English "Wōden" and the Old High German "Wôdan", the name is descended from Proto-Germanic "*Wodanaz" or "*Wōđanaz". "Odin" is generally accepted as the modern English form of the name, although, in some cases, older forms may be used or preferred. His name is related to ōðr, meaning "fury, excitation," besides "mind," or "poetry." His role, like that of many of the Norse gods, is complex. Odin is a principal member of the Æsir (the major group of the Norse pantheon) and is associated with war, battle, victory and death, but also wisdom, Shamanism, magic, poetry, prophecy, and the hunt. Odin has many sons, the most famous of whom is Thor.
From Anderson Krogh Genealogy: Odin was a powerful warrior who migrated from Asia Minor to Northern Europe about 70 B.C. He is a semi-mythical character whose name has been confounded with the God Odin of Norse mythology. Of his many sons, we are particularly interested in Njard Skjold, and Sæming. Their names head the dynasty of the Swedish and Danish kings. Odin was, as stated before, a great warrior who traveled far and wide conquering many lands. It is said the he was such a fanatic and enthusiastic warrior that he won in every engagement. For this reason his men believed that he could win every battle. It was his custom when he sent his men into battle or on other expeditions, to place his hands on their heads and bless them. They believed then, that things would go well with them. Out of this custom came the practice by his men, that whenever they came into danger on sea or land, they would call his name, and they believed they received help in every instance. In him they placed their trust.
Odin and his followers left Asia Minor when they became hard pressed by the Roman Legions. He believed the destiny of his followers and his descendants belonged to the Northland. They traveled over land to Gardarike, (Russia), and then southward into Saxland (North Germany) conquering these countries. Odin wife name was Frigga. He had many sons and set them as rulers over the kingdoms of Saxland. He finally settled on an island called Odens (Odense Denmark). When he heard that there was a fine country to the north, he came to terms with King Gylfi of Sweden and settled at Lagen, near present Sigtuna, where he built a large temple and sacrificial alter. Here they made sacrifices according to their Asiatic customs. His son, Njard, lived at Noatuner; his grandson, Frey at Uppsalir. Many mythical stories are related in “Snorre” regarding this man Odin; his great skill in sports and warfare; his wisdom; his cunning and his knowledge of witchcraft. It is no wonder that in later generations he became confused with the god Odin who headed their pagan religion, known as Norse Mythology. Odin died in his bed in Sweden, but as he was about to die, he stabbed himself with his spear, and said that he was going to his old home where he would await all his warriors. From this incident, the myth about the heavenly home called Valhalla sprung. Soldiers who died in battle were carried up to Valhalla by the “Valkyries” angels, there they lived a happy life forever after.
(This bit of information was found on the internet on November 30, 2001). It was from The Scotsman, Online, UK. Heyerdahl declares Odin no myth. The Viking god Odin might have been a real king who lived in what is now southern Russia 2,000 years ago, the Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl said in a book released yesterday). In The Hunt for Odin, Heyerdahl says his digs by the Sea of Azov in Russia backed evidence in 13th-century sagas by Snorre Sturlason that Odin was more that a myth. Heyerdahl, who won acclaim for his 1947 voyage across the Pacific on the Kon-Tiki balsa raft, said Odin was a king who lived around Azov before being driven out by the Romans and taking his followers to Sweden.
Ancient metal belt holders, rings and armbands from 100-200 AD found near the mouth of the Don River were almost identical to Viking equivalents found in Sweden some 800 years later, he said “Snorre didn’t sit down and dream this all up,” Heyerdahl said at the launch of his book with his co-author, Per Lillestrom. “In ancient times, people treated gods and kings as one and the same thing.” Snorre’s stories about Odin, viewed as the king of the gods in Norse mythology, portrayed him as fighting battles. By contrast, Snorre treated Thor, the god of thunder, as a mythical hammer-wielding figure riding through the air. He said many of the place names in Snorre’s sagas matched the ancient Greek names for places around the Sea of Azov, such as Tanais. Heyerdahl’s digs uncovered skeletons and ancient metal objects. “It’s obvious that there was some link between the Nordic region and where we dug.
Some historian have criticized the findings as based on insufficient evidence and said Odin’s name originated from the Germanic name Wotan. One likened Heyerdahl’s quest for Odin to digging for the Garden of Eden.-Reuters- Alister Doyle in Oslo, Friday, 30 November 2001, The Scotsman.)