The ambiguous figure of Odin occupies one of the key places in Scandinavian mythology. A number of researchers argue that one way or another, the god Odin participates not only in every epoch-making incident, but also in most of the small everyday episodes of the ancient Viking epic: Odin adjusts events, is a participant in them, or provides direct or indirect assistance to the heroes, and often obstructs them.
The image of Odin is bright and colorful. The ancients endowed him with the features of an old man, but this does not make him weak and wretched, but, on the contrary, emphasizes his wisdom. The wisdom of Odin, as they say, was legendary. Even his characteristic external feature - one-eyedness - he owes to the desire to obtain secret knowledge: by voluntarily sacrificing his left eye, the Scandinavian god Odin was able to drink from Mimir's magical source of knowledge. An equally expressive feature is a wide-brimmed pointed hat or hood, half-shadowing the face, giving mystery to the whole look. Odin is accompanied by sacred companions: two scout crows, two guard dogs and the faithful seven-legged horse Sleipnir.
However, Odin, with all his appearance as a priest, is the patron saint of a warrior. It is curious that he was endowed with this function relativelylate, and initially the Viking warriors were single-handedly led by Thor. But with the growth of Odin's popularity, the number of his admirers who wanted to see the wise god as their patron also grew. the brave always feast with gods and ancestors. However, this belief is not unique, having parallels in many other pagan religions of the world of those warlike times. For example, in Russia, Perun was endowed with this function, and Perunitsa helped him collect the souls of fallen soldiers to be sent to Iriy.
God Odin also had a weapon - the charmed spear Gungnir, capable of striking the enemy without a miss. But, despite the honorary title of the patron of the troops, the presence of his own artifact weapons and a magical snow-white horse, Odin does not take part in battles, does not lead troops behind him. He acts as an inspirer, a keeper of military success, a conductor of lost souls. But he always looks after his own interests first of all: in the epic of the Scandinavians there are many examples of how Odin does not save the hero, but leads to certain death. This is explained simply - in anticipation of the day of Ragnarok, when the gods and heroes will have to clash in a fierce battle with cruel giants, the wise Odin gathers the best of the best under his wing to enter his heavenly army. This belief is in perfect agreement with the philosophy of the Viking warriors of that time that military luck is fickle, that death is not a tragedy, but one of the stages of the Path leading tonext life.
Helps Odin with his duties Frigga, his wife. Judging by ancient legends, Odin's family is rather big: in addition to Frigga, he has other, younger, wives and numerous children.
Odin, the god of the mythology of the ancient Scandinavians, has not only many names by which he was known to other European cultures of his time, but also many "twin brothers" in the cults of many other peoples. The Germans called him Wodan or Wotan. In the mythology of the ancient Slavs, Odin does not have an unambiguous double, but parallels can be drawn between him and Veles, Svarog, Perun. And a number of researchers find some similarities between him and the Indian Shivva.