Woden

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See also Anglo-Saxon people#Religion

Woden was the chief god of the Anglo-Saxons, their equivalent of the Norse Odin and the Germanic Wotan or Wuotan. Most of their royal dynasties traced their ancestry back to him, and many places in England incorporate his name in theirs.

He appears to have been a god of the dead, identified with the Roman god Mercury. In accordance with this, the fourth day of the week, Wednesday, was named after him. He was also a god of wisdom or esoteric lore.

The Christian church did a good job of extirpating the old religion, so that there is little evidence of the original Anglo-Saxon beliefs (not difficult as the old religion was fatalistic and pessimistic, while Christianity offered hope). What evidence remains may have been distorted, particularly in representing Woden as a deceiver, though the identification with Mercury supports that characterisation. It is not clear how many of the attributes and deeds of Odin or Wotan would also have been attached to Woden.