Indeed, the various monarchs of Europe, as attested to in the medieval Viking sagas and histories, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and pedigree after pedigree of every European royal lineage, are all traced back to the same person. To the Germans he was known as Votan. To the Anglo-Saxons Woden. To the Norse and other Scandinavians, he was known by the name by which he is still commonly referred to today—Odin.
Yet Odin is, of course, the chief god of the Teutonic pantheon known as the Aesir, who lived at the supposedly mythical Valhalla (“Hall of the Chosen”) in Asgard—considered the Norse version of “heaven.” So, as we might expect, modern scholarship usually dismisses the notion outright. But what are we to make of it?
Thor hunts for Odin
Notice a Reuters News Agency report from Nov. 30, 2001: “The Viking god Odin may have been a real king who lived in what is now southern Russia 2,000 years ago, Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl said in a controversial new book on Thursday. In The Hunt for Odin, Heyerdahl says his archaeological digs by the Sea of Azov in Russia backed evidence in 13th century sagas written by Snorre Sturlason that Odin was more than a myth.
“Heyerdahl, who won worldwide acclaim with 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 dating from 100-200 AD found in excavations around the mouth of the Don River were almost identical to Viking equivalents found in Gotland, Sweden, some 800 years later, he said. ‘Snorre didn’t sit down and dream this all up,’ Heyerdahl told a news conference to launch his latest book with 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. And he said that many of the place names in Snorre’s sagas matched the ancient Greek names for places around the Sea of Azov, such as Tanais.”
Indeed, Heyerdahl has gone even farther. He has identified the region east of Azov and the Black Sea as Asgard. He sees also a connection of the Aesir or Aser with Azerbaijan, just south of the Caucasus Mountains, where the people call themselves Azeri. “Heyerdahl first began forming this hypothesis after visiting Gobustan, an ancient cave dwelling found 30 miles west of Baku [in Azerbaijan], which is famous for its rock carvings. The sketches of sickle-shaped boats carved into these rocks closely resemble rock carvings found in his own native Norway” (“Scandinavian Ancestry: Tracing Roots to Azerbaijan,” Azerbaijan International, Summer 2000, on-line at www.azer.com/aiweb/categories/magazine/82_folder/82_articles/82_heyerdahl.html).
Heyerdahl states: “I’m personally convinced that Snorre recorded oral history rather than a concocted myth, and I think it’s time to look for the land that my Scandinavian ancestors came from and not merely where they subsequently went on their Viking raids and explorations. They certainly did not come out from under the glaciers when the ice-age ended so they must have immigrated from the south. Since their physical type is referred to as Caucasian and their very own descendant preserved an itinerary from south of the Caucasus and north of Turkey, I suspect that the present Azeri people and the Aser of the Norse sagas have common roots and that my ancestry originated there” (“The Azerbaijan Connection: Challenging Euro-centric Theories of Migration,” Azerbaijan International, Spring 1995, on-line at www.azer.com/aiweb/categories/magazine/31_folder/31_articles/31_thorazerconn.html).
Yet it should be pointed out that Heyerdahl is not the first one to put forward such ideas. Indeed, as he mentions, it is rather clear that much of Snorri Sturluson’s Icelandic Edda is a genuinely historical account. You may read it yourself. It is available on-line along with other medieval Norse sagas and poems at www.heathenry.org/lore. The two primarily relevant sources are the prologue of Snorri’s Edda, also called the Prose Edda, and his Heimskringla (The Chronicles of the Kings of Norway), particularly the “Saga of the Ynglings.” Based on these and other accounts, many have drawn conclusions similar to Heyerdahl’s—and have for quite some time.
In 1902 W.M.H. Milner wrote in his book The Royal House of Britain: An Enduring Dynasty: “The traditions of our Scandinavian forefathers tell of a great conqueror, the hero king of Asgard—Odin. He was so heroic a king, and so great a conqueror, that the superstition or reverence of after ages made a god of him … He led our forefathers across Europe. Asgard has been variously located in Armenia or on the Dniepr. In either case, his victorious march traversed Russia, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden” (pp. 31-32).
Milner cites other sources as well: “[Paul] Du Chaillu’s Viking Age , pp. 51-68, gives the evidence for the migration of ‘Odin.’ His historical identity is established by [Daniel] Haigh at pp. 120-140 of his Conquest of Britain [by the Saxons, 1861]. In Sharon Turner’s [monumental work of historiography] History of the Anglo-Saxons [1805, 1823], Vol. i, pp. 124, 430, 450, the human existence of Odin is proved in detail” (p. 32, footnote). Based on genealogical tables, Odin can be dated to the second or third centuries: “The date of Odin is given at p. 733 of Anderson’s Royal Genealogies as A.D. 256 to 300. On p. 140 of Haigh’s Conquest of Britain by the Saxons a careful collation of all the Saxon genealogies makes Odin born in the ‘latter half of the third’ century. Sharon Turner, at pp. 430, 450, of the first volume of his History, makes the date of Odin A.D. 270, 297, 285, or 220. A.D. 250 is a reasonable average” (p. 32, footnote).
When and who?
Heyerdahl, however, would put him a little earlier: “Snorre says: ‘At that time when Odin lived, the Romans were conquering far and wide in the region. When Odin learned that they were coming towards the land of Asers, he decided that it was best for him to take his priests, chiefs and some of his people and move to the Northern part of Europe.’ The Romans are human beings, they are from this planet, they are not mythical figures.
“Then I remember that when I came to Gobustan, I had seen a stone slab with Roman inscriptions. I contacted the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan. I was taken to the place, and I got the exact wording of the inscription. There’s a very logical way of figuring out when this was written. It had to be written after the year 84 AD and before the year 97 AD. If this inscription matched Snorre’s record, it would mean that Odin left for Scandinavia during the second half of the 1st century AD.
“Then I counted the members of the generations of kings, every king up to the grandfather of the king that united Norway into one kingdom, because such information is available—around 830 AD. In anthropology we reckon 25 years per generation for ruling kings. In modern times, a generation may extend up to 30 years, but on average the length of a generation in early reigns is 25 years. When you multiply 31 generations by 25 years, you come exactly back to the second half of the 1st century AD. So there is proof that these inscriptions carved by the Romans in stone coincide with the written history written almost 800 years ago in Iceland” (“Scandinavian Ancestry,” Azerbaijan International).
A caption from the same article reads: “Heyerdahl is convinced that people living in the area now known as Azerbaijan settled in Scandinavia around 100 AD.” And by this he means under the leadership of Odin, who in Heyerdahl’s historical scenario could have lived a good ways into the second century.
Furthermore, the location of origin given is most intriguing. For, as explained in our free booklet The United States and Bible Prophecy, the Caucasus region is the very area from which the tribes of Israel, which had been deported by the Assyrians, made their great, centuries-long migration into Europe.
Considering this fact, observe what Milner says of Odin: “His name is Hebrew—Aud’n or Odn (for the broad A in the Hebrew carries often the sound of O), meaning Lord—human or divine” (p. 32). The Companion Bible states: “Adon is one of the three titles (Adon, Adonai, Adonim), all generally rendered Lord; but each has its own peculiar usage and association. They all denote headship in various aspects. They have to do with God as over-lord” (E.W. Bullinger, app. 4).
This title is the origin of the Greek Adonis, equivalent to the Canaanite Baal or Babylonian Bel, names also meaning “Lord.” Indeed, it is clear that many of the stories surrounding Odin have nothing to do with the historical character we are describing. Most of these mythical aspects may be traced back to the fountain of false religion, ancient Babylon, and its wicked ruler Nimrod (see Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, 1916, 1959).
It is thus evident that the name Odin was already a title of deity when our historical figure came to power. Perhaps he fashioned himself with the title merely to be addressed as lord. However, based on the stories that show him as some kind of sorceror, it is also possible that Odin took this name to himself to be identified with this false god—to inspire fear or loyalty in his followers. This could mean there were multiple people with this title, though likely in the same line of descent. There may even have been an earlier Odin, as we’ll see momentarily.
Of the one most clearly denoted as Odin (because of his recurrence in genealogies at the same point) we have a most remarkable genealogical origin preserved in the Icelandic Prose Edda of Snorri. He records: “Near the center of the world where what we call Turkey lies, was built the most famous of all palaces and halls—Troy by name … In the citadel were twelve chieftains and these excelled other men then living in every human fashion. One of the kings was called Munon or Mennon. He married a daughter of the chief king Priam who was called Troain, and they had a son named Tror—we call him Thor [who was perhaps not completely mythical in origin after all]. He was brought up in Thrace by a duke called Loricus … [Thor] took possession of the realm of Thrace—we call that Thruthheim. After that he traveled far and wide …
“In the northern part of the world he met with and married a prophetess called Sibyl whom we call Sif. I do not know Sif’s genealogy but she was a most beautiful woman with hair like gold. Loridi [Hloritha in Anglo-Saxon], who resembled his father, was their son. Loridi’s son was Einridi, his son Vingethor, his son Vingener, his son Modi, his son Magi, his son Seskef [or Sceaf], his son Bedvig [or Bedwig], his son Athra [or Hathra], whom we call Annar, his son Itrmann [or Itermon], his son Heremod, his son Skjaldun, whom we call Skjold [or Sceldwa], his son Biaf whom we call Bjar [or Beaw], his son Jat [or Geata], his son Gudolf [or Godwulf], his son Finn, his son Friallaf whom we call Frithleif [or Frithuwulf]; he had a son named Voden [or Woden] whom we call Odin; he was a man famed for his wisdom and every kind of accomplishment. His wife was called Frigida, whom we call Frigg [or Freya]” (www.heathenry.org/lore/snorra_edda/prologus/english.html).
A few people do seem to be skipped in this genealogy, as they appear in other Teutonic genealogies starting with Sceaf. Support for an earlier Odin comes from the Danish chronicler Saxo Grammaticus, who mentions a Dan (perhaps Wo-Dan) as the grandfather or earlier ancestor of the above Skjold (see History of the Danes, Book 1, www.heathenry.org/lore/saxo/book1e.html). Some have equated this Dan with Sceaf (see John Keyser, The Trojan Origins of European Royalty, on-line at hope-of-israel.org/i000109a.htm).
Nevertheless, what is significant to notice in the above genealogy is Odin’s descent (indeed, Sceaf’s too) from the house of Troy. And as we have elsewhere seen, the royal line of Troy was descended from Judah’s son Zerah (see Appendix 3: “Aegean Royal Lines From Zerah.”). Of Odin, Milner eloquently remarked: “To him a crown was given by the great Overruler of all things, which he multiplied, crowning his sons kings of the countries he conquered, thereby securing his own position as the Royal Ancestor of all the dynasties of Europe. They converge, as by one consent, in the Royal House of Britain” (p. 32).
Milner also provides evidence that the Frankish or Sicambrian kings of the French were descended from the house of Troy by another line (pp. 35-36, 41). And he details many other connections besides. His book, The Royal House of Britain: An Enduring Dynasty, is recommended for further study. It is available to order from The Covenant Publishing Co. in London at www.britishisrael.co.uk/booklist.htm.
What this all means is that the untold thousands of intermarriages between the various royal families of Europe have not diminished in the slightest the Jewish heritage of the royal family of Britain. Indeed, just the opposite. It has been reinforced thousands of times over—and not just in Britain, but also in every royal family of Europe. How amazingly God has made sure of his promise that the scepter would not depart from Judah.