Thursday, September 24, 2009


King Haraldr ordered this monument made in memory of Gormr, his father, and in memory of Þyrvé, his mother; that Haraldr who won for himself all of Denmark and Norway and made the Danes Christian

So reads the inscription on a runestone marking the baptism of the tenth-century Danish King Harald Bluetooth into this new religion. On another side of the stone is Denmark's oldest picture of Jesus. This is a typical example of a runestone. These large stones were erected throughout Scandinavia from the fourth to the twelth centuries to note significant events, honor the dead or commemorate the construction of a new building or bridge. These can also have religious notation, such as King Harald's cited above. In some areas, the majority of runestones have Christian prayers or crosses, helping document the spread of Christianity in northern Europe. There are also many references to earlier Norse beliefs - references to Odin, depictions of stories involving Thor and other gods and often encircled by a picture of the Midgard Serpent. In this scene by Swedish LEGO fan Etzel we see men erecting a runestone to note the building of a new bridge.

1 comment:

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