¶ EDITION SPECIFICATIONS:
STANDARD Edition (Limited to 700 copies — 2022): (Thick Book) 5.25 x 8.5 inches. 448 pages. Hardbound 100pts, bound in Colibri "Dolphin" fine Italian book-cloth. Gold foil blocking on rounded spine and Blind Emboss bindrune on the cover. B&W interior, with "Mid-Green" with Coltskin embossing Endpapers. Green & White Headbands. Fully Illustrated. Fine typography, printed on Munken Pure Smooth Cream 150gsm archive-quality paper. [NOW SHIPPING!]
COLLECTOR'S Edition (Limited to 480 copies — 2022): (Thick Book) 5.25 x 8.5 inches. 448 pages. Hardbound 100pts, bound in Wintan Vintage Granite-colored Bonded leather. Gold foil blocking on rounded spine and Blind Deboss + Gold foil on the cover as well. B&W interior, with "Mid-Green" with Coltskin embossing Endpapers. Green & White Headbands. Fully Illustrated. Fine typography, printed on Munken Pure Smooth Cream 150gsm archive-quality paper. Comes with a carton-plate insert glued on the interior, individually hand-numbered, and signed by the author Shani Oates. [NOW SHIPPING!]
ARTISANAL Edition (Strictly to 39 copies in TOTAL [includes both versions of the book; with the 18K Gold Painted Edges AND the 24K Gold Leaf Edges] — 2023): 5.25 x 8.5 inches. 448 pages (thick book). Hardbound 100pts, Bound in Genuine Leather 'ARTIC' Colour. Blind Deboss blocking on cover and on rounded spine + Blind Deboss on the back-cover. Raised bands on spine. Navy Blue colored Satin Ribbon and cotton head & tail bands.
Custom-Printed Quality Endpapers. Fully Illustrated, Fine typography, interior printed on Munken Pure Smooth Cream 150gsm archive-quality paper. Glued, hand-numbered bookplate, signed by the author inside.
Comes with a Slipcase wrapped in handmade paper (Soft Marbled Paper “Silver on Blue.”). Features a wrap-around Silver Foil-Stamped motif of the wooden Shigir Idol.
The Search for Óðinn:
From Pontic Steppe to Sutton Hoo
Northern Otherworld Series
by Shani Oates
Óðinn has been scandalised and deified in equal measure by medieval churchmen, demonising pre-Christian beliefs, and more recently by the romantic idealists and nationalists of the 20th Century, who glamorised them, to the extent that the genuine historical persona of this popular figure is saturated in complex, confusing mythology. Poetic kennings and riddles tease out our deductive processes, pushing beyond rational, logistic exploration to evoke our apprehension of the Other.
Yet the key to Óðinn’s real identity resides in the culture of the Scandinavian and Germanic peoples whose principle values, morals and ethics that maintained the health, welfare and well-being of the community, were in the gift of divinised spirits, ancestral and of the land or hearth. Óðinn, was never thus a ‘god’ of the people; conversely, he represented only the well-being of the lid or fyrd, a primary function for warriors as an elite cult. How that cult emerged, and from what sources and influences, is the quest this book seeks to fulfil.
Because those ideas and beliefs of the past were and are frequently altered to suit the needs of the present in which they are recorded and implemented, we must opt for genuine context rather than hyperbole. Spanning the Romanised Cults of Mercury and the Matrones and Slavic animisms, my research pushes past conventional boundaries into the totemic practises of Eurasian peoples while remaining faithfully aligned to stringent archaeological and anthropological discoveries.
These pages are nonetheless composed with passion, drama, heroism, romance and pathos.
We have so much to learn from distant, hidden voices whose words convey the values that relate to a different time, and of thoughts sculpted from the minds and skills of artisans and craftsmen whose incredible artefacts have much to teach us about tradition, ancestry, belief, sorcery and faith. Molded by politics and far-reaching world-turning events centred in trade and faith, Óðinn’s presence emerges from a surprising source that many will find challenging to the popular, but wholly false persona so familiar to us.
From Asia to east Anglia, the search for Óðinn is herewith concluded.
~Shani Oates, 2022.
Introduction: Óðinn: Unmasking Accrued Errors of Cultic Assimilation
Foundation: The Elder Gods
Remnants of the Bronze Age
The Power of Place
Iron Age Whispers
From Hero to God – The Alci (Alce)
An introduction to Migration and Ethnogenesis
The Cults of Mercury, Mercurius, and Saint Mercurius
The Batavians and the Hercules Imperative
A Hunnic Dynasty in Scandinavia
Artefacts: The Archaeology of Belief
Art and Artifice
Mythical Origin for the Rúnes
Rúnic Literacy: An Elite Tool
Of Bogs and War Booty
Historical Rúnic Inscriptions
Sortes and The Cult of the Mothers
Apotropaia and Anasyrma
The Virtue of Alu
Bracteates: A Prestige Heritage
Horsemen of the Steppes
The Mask of Óðinn?
Early Nobility – Erilaz
The Frøyhov Figure
The Rise of Kings
Elite Burial Traditions
Rúnes and Royal Dynasties
A King’s Stone – The Straum Whetstone
Helm Plates and Terminals
The Insignia of Kings
Gothic Influence on Early Motifs: Fibulae and Buckles
Raptors and Birds of Prey
The Noble Hunt
The Age of Conversions
The Breza Column
Avars, Arianism and the Langobardi
Feasting Vessels and Sacred Cauldrons
Temple, Shrine, or Early Church
Rædbed, Widukind and Boniface
Charlemagne and Ragnarr Loðbrókr
Málrúnar, Rúne-stones and Revenants
Rest, The Vengeful Dead and the Law
May Þórr Hallow (Bless)
A Rúnic Legacy
Signa and Cult
The Ribe Skull Fragment
Poetic Tradition: Wolf Warriors in the Afterlife
Father of Might and Military Glory
Duty and Reciprocity in the ‘Big Man’ Society
The Dróttin (Drihten) Lord
Saints, Lords and Heroes
Of Elementals the Gods are Formed
Hliðskjálf – The High Seat of Óðinn
Conclusion: Pontic Steppe to Sutton Hoo – Óðinn
Appendix: Óðinn Etymology