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During the pagan era, Odin was respected as the mysterious and omniscient god of war, wisdom, death and fate.
Sacrifices were often made to him, particularly in times of conflict.
One group attempted to settle there, including a woman who gave birth to the first European child born on American soil, but they beat a hasty retreat after an altercation with the local Native American people whom they disparagingly called .
The myth appears in 25 cryptic verses of a poem called (‘The Sayings of the High One’), possibly dating back to the ninth century.
Usually claimed to be in Odin’s own words, it describes him sacrificing “himself to himself” by hanging upside-down on a lonely tree for nine nights.
Viking pagan mythology is dominated by eternal conflict between the gods and their archenemies, the giants.
Among the gods, the role of ‘chief giant-basher’ belonged to mighty Thor.