Perhaps the two most known “All-Fathers” are Zeus and Odin, so of course the big question needs to be answered – who is the ultimate all-father?
Let’s begin by looking at their many similarities:
Both All-fathers and heads of their pantheons, Zeus and Odin are divine kings. Odin’s high seat resides in Asgard, the dwelling place of the aesir gods, and Zeus’ high seat resides on Mt. Olympus, the dwelling of the Olympians.
They’re each depicted as older men, with long white hair and long white beards. Odin is often portrayed wielding his spear, Gungnir in his right hand, and Zeus is often portrayed with a crackling bolt of lightning in his right hand.
Zeus is strongly associated with the eagle, which is one of his sacred animals, and Odin is strongly associated with the raven, of which two, Huginn and Muninn, are his companions.
And unlike the gods of monetheistic religions, neither Zeus nor Odin is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.
These two gods are linked by many parallels, and naturally, because of this, we, as inquisitive primates, are filled with a need to know, unequivocally, who the more powerful of the two truly is, and who, if pitted against one another in an all-out, tooth-and-nail, fang-and-claw rock-fight to the bitter end, would emerge victorious.
This head to head is perhaps more interesting for the reasons these two gods differ than for the reasons they’re similar.
Zeus is largely defined by the wake of destroyed enemies he’s left in his path. He led the olympians in a successful war against the titans; he defeated Typhon, the king of monsters in single combat; and he successfully led the Olympians against the giant uprising. Zeus boasts an unblemished record when it comes to matters of battle and war.
The same, however, cannot not be said about Odin.
In the mythic past when the Aesir gods and the Vanir gods were at war, Odin was not able to lead the Aesir to victory. The two tribes of gods fought to a draw, and the fires of war were quenched by a hostage exchange in which members of each tribe went to live with the other.
The second time Odin’s battle prowess is called into question is in the mythic future, during the events of Ragnarok. In this apocalyptic battle, Odin will be devoured by Fenrir, a monstrous wolf and one of Loki’s offspring.
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READ MORE: How A Greek God Became The Devil In Christianity.