Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Odin Oath - Vikings, Orkneyjar & the Cadusii Purim Story

An 18th century sketch of the Odin Stone - one of the few illustrations of the monolith we have today.

The Orkney Islands of Scotland are also known by the name Orkneyjar. Orkneyjar is an Icelandic Old Norse name for the Orkney Islands. The Odin Stone, in monument to the Odin Oath, stands in Orkneyjar.

The oath is an important theme in Norse religion. The religion of the Norse is known as our Troth (i.e., Asatru - our Troth to the ancestral Aesir). The highest of the gods, Odin is an oath god to whom oaths are sacred and very important, although ironically, he is called the oath-breaker for reasons not altogether clear (although many explanations have been attempted). In the Orkney Islands of Scotland (where references to Odin abound), there is in it a stone called the the Odin Stone, a stone monument before which vows are made and before which Orcadians (my ancestors as well) swore and swear the Odin Oath by clasping hands through the hole (in the stone - where the oath of Odin was "broken" or "incomplete"?) and swearing, making their vows absolute (thereby "completing" Odin's oath?):

This oath was an utterly unbreakable pact, the words to which are now unfortunately lost.

Interestingly, these known facts about oaths and Odin support the idea that the Norse Vikings of Scandinavia and Scotland may be descended from the Cadusii of Azerbaijan, particularly given the prominance of oaths to Odin and to Norse tradition in general, as well as to the known history of the Cadusii:

At this time the Medes waged a great war against the Cadusii, the cause of which were as follows: Parsondes the Persian, a man far-famed for courage, sagacity, and other virtues, was at that time a favorite of the king and the most powerful member of the royal council. But this man, sorely vexed at a certain judgment of the king, fled to the Cadusii, with three thousand foot soldiers and a thousand calvary; and giving his own sister in marriage to the most powerful man in those parts, he remained there amongst the Cadusii. Having become a rebel, he stirred up the entire nation to assert their liberty; and because of his valor he was elected their general.

Hearing news thereafter that a great army was being mustered against him, he armed the Cadusii en masse, not less than two hundred thousand of them all told, and he took up his position before the approaches into the country. King Artaios had taken the field against him with eight hundred thousand men, but Parsondes defeated him in battle, killed over fifty thousand of his soldiers, and repulsed the rest of his force from the land of the Cadusii. This brought him great admiration among the natives, who elected him king; and he plundered Media unremittingly, carrying desolation everywhere he went.

He thus acquired great renown. In old age, as the end of his life approached, he caused his successor on the throne to draw nigh and bound him with an oath that never might the Cadusii relax in their emnity against the Medes; with a curse that utter ruin would overtake both his own progeny and all the Cadusii as well if ever terms of peace were agreed upon. For this reason then, were the Cadusii always hostile to the Medes and never subject to their king, until such time as Cyrus transferred the empire to the Persians. 

Thus, perhaps we have here recovered the "lost" words of the oath. Interestingly, this recount of the Cadusian oath, the oath of the king of the Cadusii, successor to General-King Parsondes, sounds alot like the Purim story in Jewish tradition about "Persian-Jewish" Mordechai and Esther whose people gloriously defended themselves following a harsh decree of the King that all of their people be killed.

King Odin may be called the oath-breaker because he left the area of the Median Kingdom some time following all of these events, bringing his people to Scandinavia and its surrounding regions instead of perpetuating acts of emnity against the Medes (still under the oath of his own ancestor) to putatively avoid living under Roman occupation and subjection of the people to Rome (we are told).

The Cadusii of Azerbaijan fit very well to be the proto-Vikings of history.

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