Facts and Events
In Norse mythology, Odin (from Old Norse Óðinn) is a god associated with healing, death, royalty, the gallows, knowledge, battle, sorcery, poetry, frenzy, and the runic alphabet, and is the husband of the goddess Frigg. The cognate deity in wider Germanic mythology and paganism was known in Old English as Wóden, in Old Saxon as Wōden, and in Old High German as Wuotan or Wodan, all stemming from the reconstructed Proto-Germanic theonym *wōđanaz.
Odin is a prominently mentioned god throughout the recorded history of the Germanic peoples, from the Roman occupation of regions of Germania, through the tribal expansions of the Migration Period and the Viking Age. Odin continued into the modern period to be acknowledged in rural folklore in all Germanic regions. References to Odin appear in place names throughout regions historically inhabited by the ancient Germanic peoples, and the day of the week Wednesday bears his name in many Germanic languages.
In Anglo-Saxon England Odin held a particular place as a euhemerized ancestral figure among royalty, and he is frequently referred to as a founding figure among various other Germanic peoples, including the Langobards and in most of Scandinavia. While forms of his name appear frequently throughout the Germanic record, narratives regarding Odin are primarily found in Old Norse works recorded in Iceland, primarily around the 13th century, texts which make up the bulk of modern understanding of Norse mythology. In Old Norse texts, Odin is depicted as one-eyed and long-bearded, frequently wielding a spear, Gungnir, and wearing a black or blue cloak and a broad hat. He is often accompanied by his animal companions— the wolves Geri and Freki and the ravens Huginn and Muninn, who bring him information from all over Midgard—and Odin rides the flying, eight-legged steed Sleipnir across the sky and into the underworld. Odin is attested as having many sons, most famously the god Baldr with Frigg, and is known by hundreds of names. In these texts, Odin frequently seeks knowledge in some manner and in disguise (most famously the Mead of Poetry), at times makes wagers with his wife Frigg over the outcome of exploits, and takes part in both the creation of the world by way of the slaying of the primordial being Ymir and the gift of life to the first two humans, Ask and Embla. Odin has a particular association with Yule, and mankind's knowledge of both the runes and poetry is also attributed to Odin.
In Old Norse texts, Odin is given primacy over female beings associated with the battlefield—the valkyries—and himself oversees the afterlife location Valhalla, where he receives as einherjar, or chosen warriors, half of those who die in battle, while the other half are chosen by the goddess Freyja for her afterlife location, Fólkvangr. Odin consults the disembodied, herb-embalmed head of the wise being Mímir for advice, and during the foretold events of Ragnarök, will lead the einherjar into battle before being consumed by the monstrous wolf Fenrir. In later folklore, Odin appears as a leader of the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession of the dead through the winter sky. In the surviving South Germanic and Anglo-Saxon pagan texts, Wóden/Wodan is also particularly associated with magic.
Odin has been a frequent subject of study in Germanic studies and numerous theories surround the god. Some of these focus on Odin's particular relation to other figures, such as that Freyja's husband Óðr appears to be something of an etymological doublet of the god, whereas the goddess Frigg, Odin's wife, is in many ways similar to Freyja, and that Odin has a particular relation to the figure of Loki. Other theories focus on Odin's place in the historical record, a frequent question being whether Odin derives from Proto-Indo-European religion, or whether he developed later in Germanic society. In the modern period, Odin has inspired numerous works of poetry, music, and other forms of media. Together with other gods venerated by the ancient Germanic peoples, he is venerated in most forms of Germanic Neopaganism; some focus particularly on him.
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.)