Altered Eyes

A delightful article has been posted and is making the rounds: “An Eye for Odin? Divine Role-Playing in the Age of Sutton Hoo” by Neil Price and Paul Mortimer. I thoroughly recommend it.

One particular table is given on page 531 and I cannot help but present it here. It’s a listing of items with “altered eyes” in what we may assume to be representations of Wōden’s missing eye.

Object and Location Deposition Date Altered Eye
Högom textiles, Sweden c. 500 Left
Elsfleth buckle tongue, Germany c. 500–600 Left
Hellvi helmet mask, Gotland, Sweden c. 550 Right
Torslanda matrix, Öland, Sweden c. 550–700 Right
Uppåkra helmet eyebrow, Skåne, Sweden c. 550–700 Right
Gevninge helmet ocular, Roskilde, Denmark c. 550–700 Right
Vendel grave 12 shield grip, Uppland, Sweden c. 600 Right
Valsgärde grave 7 helmet crest, Uppland, Sweden c. 620–710 Left
Sutton Hoo Mound 1, East Anglia, England Helmet eyebrow, animal head, whetstone, and purse-lid figure c. 625 Left
Uppåkra figurine, Skåne, Sweden c. 700–900 Right
Øster Vandet mask-weight, Denmark c. 700–900 Left
Staraja Ladoga ferrule, Russia c. 750–800 Left
Ribe pendant head, Denmark c. 750–950 Right

Even if you limit to particular areas with more than one find, the results are still mixed as to which eye is altered. It seems like a good bet, if we’re interpreting the finds correctly, that it didn’t matter which eye was missing, just as it doesn’t especially matter now.

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