National Museum of Denmark
- Danish scientists have found the oldest-known reference to the Norse god Odin.
- It is the first piece of evidence that Odin was worshipped as early as the 5th century.
- One of the experts who made the discovery said “I can’t bring my arms down in pure ecstasy.”
Danish scientists have found the oldest-known reference to the Norse god of war, Odin, on an ancient gold disc.
The research team from the National Museum in Copenhagen announced that a gold disc discovered in 2020 is unequivocal evidence that shows Odin — one of the supreme gods of the Nordic pagan religions — was worshiped as early as 401.
Odin was also the god of war and death who ruled over Valhalla, a majestic hall dedicated to those killed in battle, according to Nordic religion.
He was predominantly worshipped by Norse and later Viking kings, warrior chieftains, and their men, according to the National Museum of Denmark.
The disc carries the inscription “He is Odin’s man.” It is believed to refer to the figure portrayed on the disc, an unknown king or great man, who may have had the nickname “Jaga” or “Jagaz,” said the National Museum.
There is a recognizable swastika symbol on the disc, which was a sign of well-being and long life to the pagans of northern Europe and Scandinavia.
National Museum’s runologist and script researcher Lisbeth Imer, who discovered the disc along with linguist Krister Vasshus, said: “It is the first time in world history that Odin’s name is mentioned, and it takes Norse mythology all the way back to the beginning of the 4th century.”
Vasshus described It as a “huge discovery” and a moment of “pure ecstasy.”
“This type of inscription is extremely rare, we find one maybe every 50 years, and this time it has turned out to be world history,” said Vasshus.
The disc was part of a trove discovered by an amateur metal detectorist in 2020. It included 2.2 pounds of gold medallions the size of saucers and Roman coins made into jewelry. It was unearthed in the village of Vindelev, central Jutland, and dubbed the Vindelev Hoard. Historians believe it was buried more than 1,500 years ago.