Alternatively Othin, Wotan, Woden, Wuotan, Voden, or Votan.
In Norse mythology, the principal Aesir god, ruler of heaven and Earth, and the god of war, wisdom, agriculture and poetry. As god of the dead, he presided over banquets of those slain in battle. With his brothers Vili and Ve he had killed the primordial frost giant Ymir and used Ymir's body to make all the different realms of the world, as well as the sea and sky. The brothers also created the first human beings, Ask and Embla.
Odin was the supreme chief of the Aesir, a society of warrior gods, and though other gods were younger, more handsome, and even physically stronger, Odin's powers and wisdom were foremost. In war, Odin decided the fates of all warriors. He was master of magic and discovered the runes. He was also called All-Father.
According to the folklore, Odin had a spear named Grungir which never missed its mark and a bow which unleashed ten arrows with every pull. He also owned a magic ring called Draupnir which created nine of itself every night. It was this ring that Odin laid on his son Balder's funeral pyre and which Balder returned to Odin from the underworld. Odin's other prized possessions included his wonderful eight legged steed, named Sleipnir, and his hunting wolf-dogs.
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Sources: (1) Daly, Kathleen N., and Rangail, Marian, Norse Mythology A to Z, Facts on File Publishing; (2) Evans, Bergen, Dictionary of Mythology, Dell Publishing Co., Inc.; (3) Lindow, John, Norse Mythology: A Guide to Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs, Oxford University Press.
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