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Encyclopedia > Rune stone
A rune stone in Lund
A rune stone in Lund

Rune stones are stones with runic inscriptions dating from the early Middle Ages but are found to have been used most prominently during the Viking Age. Compared to western Europe, Scandinavia has poor written evidence for its early medieval history in favor of an oral skaldic tradition. It wasn’t until the twelfth century that their earliest law codes and histories were compiled in writing. The only existing texts dating to earlier periods (besides a few finds of inscriptions on coins) were found amongst the Runic inscriptions, some of which were scratched onto pieces of wood or metal spearheads, but for the most part they have been found on actual stones.[1] Download high resolution version (600x936, 74 KB)Image of a rune stone found in Lund at Kulturen. ... Download high resolution version (600x936, 74 KB)Image of a rune stone found in Lund at Kulturen. ...   IPA: is a city in SkÃ¥ne in southern Sweden. ... Younger Futhark inscription on the Vaksala Runestone The Runic alphabets are a set of related alphabets using letters known as runes, formerly used to write Germanic languages, mainly in Scandinavia and the British Isles, but before Christianization also on the European Continent. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... The Viking Age is the name of the period between 793 and 1066 AD in Scandinavia and Britain, following the Germanic Iron Age (and the Vendel Age in Sweden). ... Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... The skald was a member of a group of courtly poets, whose poetry is associated with the courts of Scandinavian and Icelandic leaders during the Viking age, who composed and performed renditions of aspects of what we now characterise as Old Norse poetry. ... (11th century - 12th century - 13th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 12th century was that century which lasted from 1101 to 1200. ...


There are approximately 6,000 known rune stones in Scandinavia. Out of those discovered runes, 3,000 of them date from the tenth and eleventh centuries and have been found in Sweden. Some of them are found on the exposed rock surfaces of the fjords or simply erected in the center of parks or schoolyards. Most of these inscriptions carved into the rune stones announce the deaths of local people who lived and died in their home country. Approximately ten percent of the known rune stones announce the travels and tragic deaths of men abroad. These runic inscriptions coincide with certain Latin sources, such as the Annals of St. Bertin and the writings of Liudprand of Cremona which contain valuable information on Scandinavians/Rus who visited Byzantium.[2] Lysefjorden in Norway A fjord (pronounced FEE-ord or fyord, SAMPA: [fi:3:d] or [faI3:d]; sometimes written fiord) is a glacially overdeepened valley, usually narrow and steep-sided, extending below sea level and filled with salt water. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... The Annales Bertiniani or Annals of St. ... St. ... Liutprand (Liudprand, Luitprand) (c. ...


The inscriptions seldom provide solid historical evidence of events and identifiable people but instead offer insight into the development of language and poetry, kinship and habits of name-giving, settlement, place-names and communications, viking as well as trading expeditions, and, not least, the spread of Christianity.[3]Though the stones offer the Scandinavian historian his or her main resource of information concerning early scandinavian society, not much can be learned by studying the stones individually. The wealth of information that the stones provide can be found in the different movements and reasons for erecting the stones, in each region respectively.

Contents

Tradition

The tradition of raising runestones probably evolved from the old tradition of raising menhirs in honour of a deceased during the Pre-Roman and Roman Iron Ages. The tradition is both mentioned in the Heimskringla and Hávamál. The menhirs probably had painted inscriptions which disappeared over time, but they were later replaced by carvings that lasted longer.[1] Although the stones seem to overwhelmingly mark the passing of ones life into the next, one must not forget to place the raising of stones in their historical perspectives. For example, the majority of the 3,000 rune stones found in the region of Uppland in eastern Sweden have Christian references. One may ask why these particular christian rune stones are so prominent in this specific area and they will discover that the region near modern day Stockholm was one of the last pagan strongholds. It may sound strange to hear that Christian rune stones flourished in a predominantly pagan area, but it is important to take a step back and process the thought. The purpose for this abundance of Christian reference placed amongst the rune stones was because of standard practice which stated that one must declare ones faith if it is different from the local majority. Since the majority of people in that area still held on to their pagan beginnings, the newly converted Christians made it a point to differentiate from the rest of the population. This case may also represent the intention to overwhelm the resistant pagans and make their Christian belief seem more prominent in order to switch that popular local faith. Rune stones were used for more than simply commemorating the dead. In the later years, erecting rune stones showed, for the most part, that the erector had money, education and even political power and influence. Keep in mind that education meant learned in the Latin religious texts. An Iron Age menhir Menhirs continued to be raised in Scandinavia during the Pre-Roman Iron Age and later, over the graves of deceased. ... A map of the area covered by the Pre-Roman Iron Age, ca 500 BC-1 AD The Pre-Roman Iron Age (also called the Celtic Iron Age) (ca 600 BC or 500 BC - ca 1 AD) designates the earliest part (i. ... Roman Bronze figurine, Öland, Sweden The Roman Iron Age (1-400) is the name that Swedish archaeologist Oscar Montelius gave to a part of the Iron Age in Scandinavia, Northern Germany and the Netherlands. ... Heimskringla is the Old Norse name of a collection of sagas recorded in Iceland around 1225 by the poet and historian Snorri Sturluson (1179-1242). ... Hávamál (Sayings of Hár, Sayings of the high one) is one of the poems of the Poetic Edda. ...


Locations

Although runes were known throughout the Germanic-speaking world, they were used more broadly, more enthusiastically, and by more people in Scandinavia during the Viking Age than in any other time or place. By studying the different futhark used on the stones we can assume that the erecting of runes originated in the north and travelled south. The Viking Age is the name of the period between 793 and 1066 AD in Scandinavia and Britain, following the Germanic Iron Age (and the Vendel Age in Sweden). ...


In Denmark there aren't any rune stones which use the old 24 letter alphabet. Research shows that the "old norse" futhark had been used in areas north of southern Sweden. By the time the tradition for raising rune stones reached Denmark, the language had gone under a transition resulting in a simpler and easier 16 letter alphabet.


Old Norse runic inscriptions have also been found in Haithabu in northern Germany, Russia, Greenland, northern Scotland, the Isle of Man, England, and Ireland, so the “runic inscription habit” followed the Norse wherever they went. For example, Runic inscriptions can be seen engraved into the floor of the famous mosque in Istanbul, the Hagia Sophia. These inscriptions tell us that viking soldiers and customs had reached as far south east as Mediterranean.[4] Hedeby (referred to also as Haithabu and Latin Heidiba) was a settlement and trading center on the southern Baltic Sea coast of the Jutland Peninsula at the head of a narrow, navigable inlet, the Schlei in Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany. ... Motto: (Latin for No one provokes me with impunity)1 Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official language(s) English, Gaelic, Scots 2 Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair MP  - First Minister Jack McConnell MSP Unification    - by Kenneth I... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: God Save the King/Queen Capital London Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi  Population    - 2005 est. ... Hagia Sophia Hagia Sophia, (the Church of) Holy Wisdom, now known as the Ayasofya Museum, is a former Eastern Orthodox church converted to a mosque in 1453 by the Turks, and converted into a museum in 1935. ...


Long before their conversion to Christianity, Old Norse-speaking peoples, like other Germanic peoples, had their own mode of writing with its own distinctive alphabet –– the runic alphabet. Runes were hundreds of years old by the dawn of the Viking Age. Our earliest surviving runic inscriptions date to the second century AD. Although Latin literacy would eventually push out this system of writing - elements of the writing system remain in various Germanic languages to this day (Thorn, for example), and hundreds of Viking Age rune stones contain Christian inscriptions. Old Norse or Danish tongue is the Germanic language once spoken by the inhabitants of the Nordic countries (for instance during the Viking Age). ... A rune can mean a single character in the Runic alphabet as well as an inscription of several runic charcters or symbols. ... The Viking Age is the name of the period between 793 and 1066 AD in Scandinavia and Britain, following the Germanic Iron Age (and the Vendel Age in Sweden). ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... Þþ Thorn, or þorn (Þ, þ), is a letter in the Anglo-Saxon and Icelandic alphabets. ...


Although rare, there are people who practice and master the art of carving runes even in the modern age.

Modern runestone on Adelsö near Stockholm.
Modern runestone on Adelsö near Stockholm.

Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (900x971, 363 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Rune stone ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (900x971, 363 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Rune stone ... Adelsö is an island in the middle of the lake Mälaren in Sweden near southern and northern Björkfjärden. ...

Types

The largest of the image stones from the parish of Ardre, Gotland, ca 750 AD
The largest of the image stones from the parish of Ardre, Gotland, ca 750 AD

Rune stones can be divided into several categories. One of the most widespread of these categories is rune-stone-as-memorial. Rune stones were often set up to commemorate the dead, and many of Scandinavia’s surviving rune stones served as memorials for people who had died far from home. Four will suffice to show the wide range of Norse activities related on rune stones: (1) “Ali had this stone put up in his own honor. He took Cnut’s danegeld in England. May God help his soul.” (2) “Tola had this stone set up in memory of her son Harold, Ingvaur’s companion. Like men, they went to seek gold, and in the east, they fed vultures, when they died in the land of the Arabs.” (3) “This mark of honor is made in the memory of Inga's sons. She has inherited after them, but brothers inherited after her, Gardar and his brothers. They died in Greece." And finally (4): “He bought this estate with the money he made in the east in the emporia of Russia.” contemporary image of Odin and Valhalla in the lay of Weyland the smith. ... contemporary image of Odin and Valhalla in the lay of Weyland the smith. ... The Danegeld was an English tribute raised to pay off Viking raiders (usually led by the Danish king) to save the land from being ravaged by the raiders. ...


Another interesting class of rune stone is rune-stone-as-self promotion. Bragging was a virtue in Norse society, a habit in which the heroes of sagas often indulged, and is exemplified in rune stones of the time. Hundreds of people had stones carved with the purpose of advertising their own achievements or positive traits. Again, a few examples will suffice: (1) "Vigmund had this stone carved in memory of himself, the cleverest of men. May God help the soul of Vigmund, the ship captain. Vigmund and Åfrid carved this memorial while he lived." (U 1011) (2) “Östman Gudfast’s son made the bridge, and he Christianized Jämtland” (Frösö Runestone); or (3) “Eskill Skulkason had this stone raised to himself. Ever will stand this memorial which Eskill made;” and finally (4) “Jarlabanki had this stone put up in his own lifetime. And he made this causeway for his soul’s sake. And he owned the whole of Täby by himself. May God help his soul.” U 1011, right side The rune stone U 1011, carved in the 11th century, was moved from Rasbo to Uppsala in the 17th century. ... Frösöstenen (J RS1928;66 $) is Swedens northern-most and Jämtlands only rune stone. ...

A composite image made from several sides of the Ledberg Runestone
A composite image made from several sides of the Ledberg Runestone

Other rune stones, as evidenced in two of the previous three inscriptions, memorialize the pious acts of relatively new Christians. In these, we can see the kinds of good works people who could afford to commission rune stones undertook. Other inscriptions hint at religious beliefs. For example, one reads: “Ulvshattil and Gye and Une ordered this stone erected in memory of Ulv, their good father. He lived in Skolhamra. God and God's Mother save his spirit and soul, endow him with light and paradise.” Download high resolution version (2048x3072, 1435 KB)image posted by User:OlofE on the Swedish Wikipedia. ... Download high resolution version (2048x3072, 1435 KB)image posted by User:OlofE on the Swedish Wikipedia. ... A composite image made from several sides of the stone The Ledberg stone is a runestone in Östergötland, Sweden. ...


Although most rune stones were set up to perpetuate the memories of men, many speak of women, often represented as conscientious landowners and pious Christians (e.g., “Sigrid, Alrik’s mother, Orm’s daughter made this bridge for her husband, Holmgers, father of Sigoerd, for his soul”), as important members of extended families (e.g., “Mael-Lomchon and the daughter of Dubh-Gael, whom Agils had to wife, raised this cross in memory of Mael-Muire, his fostermother. It is better to leave a good fosterson than a bad son”), and as much-missed loved ones (e.g., “Gunnor, Thythrik’s daughter, made a bridge in memory of her daughter Astrid. She was the most skilful girl in Hadeland.”).


Rune stones that date to after the introduction of Christianity often include the Christian cross and use the younger futhark runes. But older stones are pagan Norse and use the older futhark. Their inscriptions are the oldest written texts created in the Nordic countries and some give a few clues about mythology and the society in Scandinavia before the conversion. The traditional form of the Western Christian cross, known as the Latin cross. ... Technical note: Due to technical limitations, some web browsers may not display some special characters in this article. ... Norse or Scandinavian mythology comprises the pre-Christian religion, beliefs and legends of the Scandinavian people, including those who settled on Iceland, where the written sources for Norse mythology were assembled. ...


Several inscriptions include works of art; for example, the runes may be inscribed inside a serpent-like creature, and some stones ("image stones") found on Gotland contain artistic imagery without any runes. Serpent is a word of Latin origin (serpens, serpentis) which is ultimately derived from the Sanskrit term serp, that is normally substituted for snake in a specifically mythic or religious context, in order to distinguish such creatures from the field of biology. ...


Colorization

The Upplandian Rune Inscription 871, now at Skansen, has been colorized to protect it from moss and the weather. Findings show that originally runestones were painted.
The Upplandian Rune Inscription 871, now at Skansen, has been colorized to protect it from moss and the weather. Findings show that originally runestones were painted.

When the stones were carved, the runic letters were also painted, most commonly red (based on archaeological analysis), in order to be easily visible. Newly discovered stones often lack this coloring because of erosion, but caretakers nowadays make sure they are repainted and readable. It is probable that also the fields formed by the inscriptions were painted in contrasting colors (mainly abundant black, white, and brown) for a greater aesthetic effect. The surface colors naturally were exposed to a higher degree of weathering, and it has only fairly recently been proposed that this was a standard practice. Image File history File links Picture taken at Skansen, Stockholm - 2005. ... Image File history File links Picture taken at Skansen, Stockholm - 2005. ... This rune stone is originally from Ölsta, a village in the county of Uppland in Sweden. ... Winter view of Skogaholm Manor, moved to Skansen from Närke Hand-coloured postcard of Skansen, ca 1900 Skansen is the first open air museum and zoo in Sweden and is located on the island DjurgÃ¥rden in Stockholm, Sweden[citation needed]. It was founded in 1891 by Artur Hazelius... Archaeology, archeology, or archology (from the Greek words αρχαίος = ancient and λόγος = word/speech/discourse) is the study of human cultures through the recovery, documentation and analysis of material remains and environmental data, including architecture, artifacts, biofacts, human remains, and landscapes. ... Severe soil erosion in a wheat field near Washington State University, USA. Erosion is the displacement of solids (soil, mud, rock and other particles) by the agents of wind, water or ice, by downward or down-slope movement in response to gravity or by living organisms (in the case of...


List of stones

Compare Megalithic Standing stones, Gaelic High crosses and Ogham inscriptions. Standing stones, orthostats, liths or more commonly, megaliths because of their large and cumbersome size, are solitary stones set vertically in the ground. ... High Cross, Dysert, Co. ... There are roughly 400 known Ogham inscriptions scattered around the Irish Sea, the bulk of them dating to the 5th and 6th centuries. ...


Image stones

The largest of the Ardre image stones The Ardre image stones are a collection of ten 8th century rune and image stones. ... The Viking Age image stone in Stora Hammars, Lärbro parish, Gotland, Sweden (). Depicted are scenes with mythological, religious and martial background, including a sacrifice scene with a Valknut over the altar, and a longship manned with armed warriors. ... The image stone at Tängelgarda, Lärbro parish, Gotland, Sweden (57°49′N 18°43′E) is decorated with a scene of warriors holding rings, one (possibly Odin) horsed, with Valknut symbols drawn beneath. ...

Elder Futhark runestones

composite photograph of the inscription The Einang stone (Einangsteinen) is a rune stone near Fagernes, Norway. ... A modified variant of the Kylver inscription, on the original inscription some letters are mirrored, a few features missing and it also includes an unknown rune and an additional small inscription. ... The Runestone The Björketorp Runestone (DR 360 U) in Blekinge, Sweden, is part of a grave field which includes menhirs, both solitary and forming stone circles. ... The Stentoften Runestone (DR 357 U) is a runestone which contains a curse in Proto-Norse, and the runestone was discovered in 1823 by the dean O. Hammer. ... The Eggjum stone is a grave stone that was ploughed up in 1917 on the farm of that name, in Sogndal, parish of Sogn, Norway. ... A black-and-white rendition of the text on one side of the Rök Stone. ...

Younger Futhark runestones

Denmark

Due to technical limitations, some web browsers may not display some special characters in this article. ... The Viking Age (Younger Futhark) runestone at Snoldelev, Ramsø, Denmark, dated to ca. ...

Greenland

The Kingigtorssuaq Runestone (GR 1 M) was found in 1824 in a cairn on the top of mountain on Kingigtortagdlit Island (near ) north of Upernavik in Western Greenland. ...

Norway

Granavollen Runestone behind Nikolaikirken Granavollen runestone is a rune stone located behind Nikolaikirken at Granavollen in Gran, Oppland county, Norway. ... Vangssteinen, — the Vang stone The Vang stone is a rune stone from the early 11th century in Vang, Oppland county, Norway. ... The Dynna Stone is a rune stone from the late Viking period. ...

Sweden

District of Hälsingland
  • Hälsingland Rune Inscription 21
District of Medelpad
District Uppland
District Östergötland

Frösöstenen (J RS1928;66 $) is Swedens northern-most and Jämtlands only rune stone. ... The Ramsund carving of Sigurd and the passages from the Volsunga saga The Ramsund carving also known as the Sigurd carving is a runic carving with the official name Södermanlands runinskrifter 101. ... The Sparlösa Runestone in Västergötland is the second most famous Swedish runestone after the Rök Runestone. ...   Hälsingland?, is a historical province or landskap in the north of Sweden. ... Gunnborga is the only known female rune carver during this time period in Scandinavia. ... Medelpad is the name of a geographical region in Sweden which can refer to: Medelpadia, or Medelpad - a historical Province of Sweden Part of Västernorrland County, or Västernorrlands län - a current County of Sweden Part of Härnösand County, or Härnösands län - a... Category: ... Category: ... Uppland ( ) is a historical province or landskap on the eastern coast of Sweden. ... This rune stone is located by the ruins of the old kings dwelling of HovgÃ¥rden, on the island of Adelsö in Sweden. ... A grave is located in front of this stone, set with stones around it. ... This story, known as Gerlögs rune is the second longest rune scripture in Sweden. ... The name Adils appears to have been a rather rare name, during both the Viking Age and the Middle Ages. ... This rune stone (U Fv1976;107) was found, used as building material for the floor of the Uppsala Cathedral. ... In 1867 This runestone was shipped together with two other rune stones (Uppland Rune Inscription 896 and Uppland Rune Inscription 1011) to the World Exhibit in Paris. ... U 1011, right side The rune stone U 1011, carved in the 11th century, was moved from Rasbo to Uppsala in the 17th century. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... Due to the unusual imagery, assumed to be from an earlier time period, it is believed that Fot used the carved imagery to put down his runes on. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... U 705 was depicted by Johan Hadorph during the 17th century. ... Richard Dybeck documented this stone in 1860: The runestone stands between Litslena and Herkeberga Church, so close to the edge of the road by Kalstad - part of the lower inscription has been damaged. The cross on the stone shows that Ágautr was a christian. ... This rune stone is originally from Ölsta, a village in the county of Uppland in Sweden. ... The rune stone was depicted in 1643. ... U 933 was found in 1866. ... U 934 was excavated from the foundation of the Uppsala Cathedral in 1866. ... U956 was documented early on, but its unusual shape was not noticed. ... (help· info) is a historical Province (landskap) in the south of Sweden. ... Östergötland Rune Inscription 165 (Ög 165) is a rune stone located between VÃ¥rfrukyrkan (English: the Church of Our Lady) and the town square in Skänninge. ... The rune stone known as Östergötland Rune Inscription 179 stands on the east side of Vadstena monastery in Vadstena, Sweden. ... The Högby runestone (Ög 81) is a runestone found near Högby, in Ostrogothia. ... A composite image made from several sides of the stone The Ledberg stone is a runestone in Östergötland, Sweden. ...

American rune stones

The following rune stones, found in the United States, are all surrounded by controversy:

The Kensington runestone is a roughly rectangular slab of greywacke covered in runes on its face and side. ... Alexandria is a city in Douglas County, Minnesota, United States. ... The Heavener Runestone is a runestone found in Heavener, Oklahoma. ... Heavener is a city in Le Flore County, Oklahoma, United States. ... The Vérendrye Runestone was found on an expedition into present-day North Dakota by the French Canadian explorer Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de la Vérendrye in 1738. ... Nickname: Magic City Map Location in Ward County, North Dakota Political Statistics Founded 1886 Incorporated June 28, 1887 County Ward County Mayor Curt Zimbelman Geographic Statistics Area  - Total  - Land  - Water 37. ... Phippsburg is a town located in Sagadahoc County, Maine. ... Official language(s) None (English de facto) Capital Augusta Largest city Portland Area  Ranked 39th  - Total 33,414 sq mi (86,542 km²)  - Width 210 miles (338 km)  - Length 320 miles (515 km)  - % water 13. ... 1995 USGS Photograph of Nomans Land Island Nomans Land is an uninhabited island 628 acres (2. ... Official language(s) English Capital Boston Largest city Boston Area  Ranked 44th  - Total 10,555 sq mi (27,360 km²)  - Width 183 miles (295 km)  - Length 113 miles (182 km)  - % water 13. ...

See also

A common problem when researching things Norse is that the spelling of names varies much depending on one's country of origin. In the articles presented here, several common forms of the names will be encountered. For more information see:

The Old English epic poem Beowulf is written in alliterative verse. ... The Temple at Uppsala was a temple in Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala), near modern Uppsala, Sweden, that was created to worship the Norse gods of ancient times. ... Tollund man. ... Odin with Sleipnir, Valknuts are drawn beneath the horse (Tängelgarda stone) The valknut (Old Norse valr, slain warriors + knut, knot) is a symbol consisting of three interlocked triangles. ... Stele is also a concept in plant biology. ...

References

  1. ^ Sawyer, Birgit. The Viking-Age Rune-Stones. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Page 1
  2. ^ Sawyer, Peter. The Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. pg. 139
  3. ^ Sawyer, Birgit. The Viking-Age Rune-Stones. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.Page 3
  4. ^ Haywood, John. The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings. Great Britain: The Bath Press, 1995. pg. 105

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
  • Photos of rune stones and image stones from Gotland


Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Wikimedia Commons logo by Reid Beels The Wikimedia Commons (also called Commons or Wikicommons) is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. ...

Norse mythology
List of Norse gods | Æsir | Vanir | Giants | Elves | Dwarves | Valkyries | Einherjar | Norns | Odin | Thor | Freyr | Freyja | Loki | Balder | Tyr | Yggdrasil | Ginnungagap | Ragnarök
Sources: Poetic Edda | Prose Edda | The Sagas | Volsung Cycle | Tyrfing Cycle | Rune stones | Old Norse language | Orthography | Later influence
Society: Viking Age | Skald | Kenning | Blót | Seid | Numbers
The nine worlds of Norse mythology | People, places and things


Image File history File links Mjollnir_icon. ... Norse or Scandinavian mythology comprises the pre-Christian religion, beliefs and legends of the Scandinavian people, including those who settled on Iceland, where the written sources for Norse mythology were assembled. ... Divided between the Æsir and the Vanir, and sometimes including the jötnar (giants), the dividing line between these groups is less than clear. ... In Old Norse, the Æsir (singular Áss, feminine Ásynja, feminine plural Ásynjur, Anglo-Saxon Ós, from Proto-Germanic *Ansuz) are the principal gods of the pantheon of Norse mythology. ... Vanir is the name of one of the two groups of gods in Norse mythology, the other and more well known being the Æsir. ... The giants Fafner and Fasolt seize Freyja in Arthur Rackhams illustration to Richard Wagners version of the Norse myths. ... A small forest elf (älva) rescuing an egg, from Solägget (1932), by Elsa Beskow An elf is a mythical creature of Germanic mythology/paganism which still survives in northern European folklore. ... In Norse mythology, the dwarves (Old Norse: dvergar, sing. ... The Valkyries Vigil, by the Pre-Raphaelite painter Edward Robert Hughes. ... In Norse religion the einherjar or einheriar, were spirits of warriors who had died bravely in battle. ... The Norns spin the threads of fate at the foot of Yggdrasil, the tree of the world. ... Odin (Old Norse Óðinn) is considered the chief god in Norse mythology and Norse paganism, like the Anglo-Saxon Woden it is decended from Proto-Germanic *Wōdinaz or *Wōđanaz. ... Thors battle against the giants, by Mårten Eskil Winge, 1872 Thor (Old Norse: Þórr) is the red-haired and bearded god of thunder in Norse Mythology and more generally Germanic mythology (Old English: Þunor, Old Dutch and Old High German: Donar, from Proto-Germanic *Þunraz). ... This 19th century representation of Freyr shows him with his boar Gullinbursti and his sword. ... Freyja, in an illustration to Wagners operas by Arthur Rackham. ... This picture, from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript, shows Loki with his invention - the fishing net. ... Balders death is portrayed in this illustration from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript. ... Týr, depicted here with both hands intact, is identified with Mars in this illustration from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript. ... This illustration shows a 19th century attempt to visualize the world view of the Prose Edda. ... In Norse mythology, Ginnungagap (seeming emptiness or gaping gap) was a vast chasm that existed before the ordering of the world. ... In Norse mythology, Ragnarök (fate of the gods[1]) is the battle at the end of the world. ... The Poetic Edda is a collection of Old Norse poems from the Icelandic mediaeval manuscript Codex Regius. ... The Younger Edda, known also as the Prose Edda or Snorris Edda is an Icelandic manual of poetics which also contains many mythological stories. ... Excerpt Njåls saga in the Möðruvallabók (AM 132 folio 13r) circia 1350. ... The Volsung Cycle is the name of a series of Germanic legends based on the same matter as Niebelungenlied, and which were recorded in medieval Iceland. ... The Tyrfing Cycle is a collection of legends united by the magic sword Tyrfing. ... Old Norse is the Germanic language spoken by the inhabitants of Scandinavia and their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300. ... The orthography of the Old Norse language since the introduction of the Latin alphabet in Iceland is a thorny subject. ... Norse mythology provides a rich and diverse source which many later writers have borrowed from or built upon. ... The Viking Age is the name of the period between 793 and 1066 AD in Scandinavia and Britain, following the Germanic Iron Age (and the Vendel Age in Sweden). ... The skald was a member of a group of courtly poets, whose poetry is associated with the courts of Scandinavian and Icelandic leaders during the Viking age, who composed and performed renditions of aspects of what we now characterise as Old Norse poetry. ... In literature, a kenning is a compound poetic phrase, a figure of speech, substituted for the usual name of a person or thing. ... The Blót was the pagan Germanic sacrifice to Norse gods and Elves. ... Seid (Old Norse: seiðr, sometimes anglicized as seidhr, seidh, seidr, seithr or seith) was a form of shamanism practised by pre-Christian Norse and arguably other Germanic cultures and continued in modern times by people who practice the reconstructionist beliefs of Ásatrú or heathenry. ... Numbers are significant in Norse mythology although not to the extent which they are in some traditions e. ... Norse cosmology, as it is given us in the source material for Norse mythology recognizes the existence of nine worlds, assigned the ending -heimr (home, realm, or world) or in some cases -garðr (homestead, yard or earth). ... // Places Asgard Bifröst Bilskirnir Breidablik Elivagar Fyris Wolds Gandvik Ginnungagap Helgardh Hlidskjalf Hvergelmir Jötunheimr Leipter River Kormet Midgard Muspelheim Nastrond Nidavellir Niflheim Ormet Reidgotaland Slidr River Svartalfheim Utgard Valhalla Vanaheim Vimur Yggdrasil Events Fimbulwinter Ragnarök Artifacts Balmung Brisingamen Draupnir Dromi Eitr Mjolnir Skíðblaðnir Gram Gungnir...

Rune alphabet see also: Rune poems · Runestones · Runology · Runic divination · Runes in popular culture
Elder Fuþark:            
Anglo-Saxon Fuþorc:    
Younger Fuþark:                            
transliteration: f u þ a r k g w h n i j a ï p z s t b e m l ŋ d o R a æ y ea

  Results from FactBites:
 
North American Rune Stones (2096 words)
The runes showed very plainly because the bottom of the grooves were in a lighter colored layer of the stone, while the surface was dark.
The Poteau runes read "G L O I A L L W (ALU)." He says that he found that "Gloi," is a nickname for "Glome," thus the two stones are related to the same man. The word "ALU" is a magical formula.
The language used on the rune stone is the same as the vernacular on historical legal documents written between 1355 and 1375.
Kensington Rune Stone Collection (828 words)
The Kensington Rune Stone was discovered three miles northeast of Kensington, Douglas County, Minnesota in the fall of 1898.
"The Myth of the Kensington Rune Stone: The Norse Discovery of Minnesota 1362." The New England Quarterly 7 (December, 1934), 613-645.
“The Kensington Rune Stone.” Minnesota Archaeologist 27 (1965), 97-115.
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