Clip to Evernote    Print this page

Viking Rune Stones

From the end of the tenth century to the beginning of the twelfth century roughly 3,000 runestones were produced in Scandinavia. About 140 of these were in Norway; about 400 in Denmark and an amazing c. 2,400 in Sweden. What had once been something reserved for the very top levels of society had become relatively common for the upper middle classes.

The erection of the Jelling runestone by King Harald Bluetooth in the 960’s is usually seen as the beginning of this tradition, although the majority of the runestones were erected in the 11th century.

These runestones could be non-zoomorphic or zoomorphic in nature. Those that were zoomorphic had decoration in Ringerike style or in Urnes style. The inscription usually begins by stating who had the stone erected and in whose memory it was made. These inscriptions include both pagan and Christian dedications. Those with a Christian cross tending to be earlier in the sequence of Christian dedications, as if it were important to show that the person was Christian. Later Christian dedications tend to end with a simple prayer.

(click on the images to enlarge)

   align=    align=    align=  
             
   align=    align=    align=  
             
   align=    align=    align=  
             
   align=    align=    align=  
             
   align=    align=    align=  
             


 

 

 

 


Previous page: The Rök Runestone
Next page: Viking Age Settlement