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Nordic Magic Healing:
runes, charms, incantations, and galdr

Runic inscriptions from the first period

 

This page is a continuation of the runic inscriptions contained in chapter 4 of Howling, I gathered them, by Yves Kodratoff which is Volume two of  Nordic Magic Healing.


51. Karstad Inscription on a rocky wall (middle of the 5th century)

First inscription:

ek aljamarkiR

‘me, the foreigner’

Second inscription (carved by another hand )

baijoR

Krause suggests the meaning ‘both of them’ (a feminine form of the inclusive ‘we’, meaning ‘together we two’) but the meaning is very uncertain.


52. Kong Statuette (around 500? )

XXXho

It is the statuette of a man, but the inscription is indecipherable.

Moltke describes the same inscription, and doesn’t decipher it either.


53. Körlin Bracteate (middle of the 6th century)

waiga

‘power, force’

Antonsen: 'obstinate, bold one'


54. Körlin Ring (middle of the 6th century)

alu

‘magic’

Antonsen reads al alu . He remarks that alu is written as which might be understood also as a branch rune indicating the second rune (because of the two small branches at the bottom left) of the first aett (because of the small branch at the top right), that is Uruz, thus completing the al to alu.


55. Lekkende Bracteate

ea.

‘Ansuz Ehwaz’,

which could be interpreted as:

‘Odin takes his horse.

56. Lellinge Bracteate

salusalu

Without a doubt, a magical formula. I interpret it as:

‘Sowelo alu, sun of magic, or victory of magic.’

Moltke gives the same runic inscription with the comment, "doubtless a doubled protective word. On the Vadstena bracteate (Sweden) [see # 110 below], we find the doubled sequence tuwatuwa as well together with the runic alphabet."

Antonsen sees the feminine name Salu twice, meaning 'offering'


57. Lindholm bone Amulet (1st half of the 6th century)

A: ek erilaR sa wilagaR ha(i)teka

B: aaaaaaaa RRR nnn[n] bmu ttt: alu

For A, sa = ‘this one’ or ‘here’; wilagaR = ‘cunning’, ‘astute’; haiteka = ‘I am called’. Side A gives therefore:

‘Me, master of runes here, I am called Astute (could be a name).’ Antonsen: 'the sunny, bright one'

Side B obviously contains a magical formula.

Using the same deciphering as # 22, each repeated letter would call the rune itself and it would identify the aett in the Futhark, then the number of repetitions would identify which rune in the aett. With this hypothesis, Ansuz (of the first aett) is repeated 8 times, which gives Gebo; Algiz (of the second aett), repeated three times gives Isaz ; Naudiz repeated four times gives Jeran ; and Tiwaz (of the third aett), repeated three times gives Ehwaz. The message would then be:

agRinjbmute : alu

It makes up a galdr whose meaning can not be reconstructed other than by intuition, but it could represent teaching in magic.

Moltke calls it the "Lindholmen bone amulet". He refuses to "guess" the "i" of "ha(i)teka" and he treats the translation of ‘the astute’, for sa wilagaR as a "fatuous interpretation" because the inscription does not cut between sa and wilagaR (= sawilagaR). He translates it as : ‘I the eril am called SawilagaR’, stating that one can interpret this name as ‘one lying on the sea’.

Antonsen remarks that the i : of ha(i)teka can be guessed reasonably since it can be the vertical bar of the t : that follows.


58. Moos Lance-head (1st half of the 3rd century)

sioag

As such this inscription has no particular meaning, but if one reads it "right-to-left ", it gives gaois, which means ‘howler’. One can see an allusion to Odin’s "Howling, I gathered them", which is also the title of this volume.

It is given without comment by Moltke.


59. Myklebostad Stone (around 400)

asugasdiR [h]lai [wa]: aih[ek] soXXaXXi [w]oruma[la]ib[a]

asugasdiR = ansu-gasdiR = a name, ‘Asgest’, meaning ‘Guest of the Aesir’; hlaiwa = ‘the grave’; aihek = ‘I possess’; soXX =? soma = ‘right’; aXXi can not be understood; worumalaiba = a name, ‘Ormeleif’ (with doubt) whose meaning would be ‘the descendant of the snake’. This can be interpreted as Krause does:

‘Asgest. Grave. I have rights (on?) Ormeleif’.

Or, by keeping the meanings of the words:

‘The grave of the host of the Aesir. I have rights (on?) the descendant of the snake.’

This makes me think of kennings that I do not know to interpret reasonably, but that seem more probable than Krause’s interpretation.


60. Mogedal Stone (beginning of the 6th century)

laižigaR

‘Annoying’.

Moltke: ‘loathsome’. Antonsen: 'travelling one'.


61. Möjbro Stone (middle of the 5th century)

frawaradaR ana hahai slaginaR

frawaradaR = frawa-radaR = ‘fast decider’; ana = ‘on’; hahai = ‘horse’ (dative); slaginaR = ‘beaten’. This can interpret by:

‘Fast - Decider (could be a name) beaten on the horse’

which could be kind of epitaph.

Antonsen gives 'Advisor of lords slain on (his) steed'


62. Nebenstedt Bracteate 1 

glļaugiR uļu rnR

glļaugiR = ‘the one with the brilliant eyes’; uļu = wiju = ‘I hallow’; rnR = runoR = ‘runes’


63. Nedre Hov Scraper (1st half of the 4th century)

ek ad / / /

ek, ‘me’, is generally followed by the name of the rune master which has been partially deleted here.


64. Noleby Stone (around 600)

Side 1: runo fahi raginaku(n)do. tojeka

‘a rune I write coming from counselors. I prepare’

Side 2: unažou: suhurah: susiX hwatin

‘the satisfaction: suhurah (= magical formula): susiX (= magical formula) they can incite’

Side 3: hakužo

‘these as a vulture’Antonsen says that this word has realtive in Old Swedish and Old English, meaning 'pike-fish'

The inscription says that the two magical formulae start the magic for someone able to shape change and become a vulture, in other words, a sorcerer.

Moltke only gives runo fahi raginaku(n)do and translates it as: ‘The rune I paint, from ruling powers derived.’


65. Nordhuglo Stone (Norway, 1st half of the 5th century)

ek gudija ungandiR i h / / /

gudija is the word that designates a "goši" in Iceland, what I call a "chief - priest" in this book. ungandiR breaks down into un-, a privative prefix, and gandiR, meaning ‘bewitched’.

‘Me, goši, not bewitched to H...’

As this inscription is dated in the 5th century, Paganism was still thriving and had many centuries to enjoy in Norway when this inscription was made. Therefore it is not because of a "christian spirit" that this godi asserted that he was not bewitched.

Antonsen translates ungandiR by 'not beatable' while noticing that Old Icelandic 'gandr' means a charm (originally, a staff, a stick). He finds his 'unbeatable' by assimilating gandiR to the root '*gud' meaning 'battle', which I find very daring since 'gandr' exists.


66. Norway Bracteate

ano-ana

A magical formula based on the word ana meaning 'on'.


67. Nydam Arrow-shaft (around 400)

lua

A version of "alu".

Moltke speaks of a set of Nydam arrows. One of them bears the inscription alu.


68. Naesbjerg Fibula (around 200)

waraf[lu]s[a]

Possibly, a name meaning: "the one who holds himself in front of the chatter" .

Moltke calls it "bow fibula", reads the runes as warafnisa, and translates them as "one wary of tittering, a man of gravity".

Antonsen reads warawnis and translates 'caring friend'


69. Novling Fibula (around 200)

bidawarijaR talgidai

bida = ‘to demand’, ‘desire’ (Antonsen: 'oath'); warijaR = ‘the one who protects’; talgidai = ‘I have carved’; bidawarijaR can be interpreted as the name, Bidar, or by keeping the meaning:

‘The one who protects desires has carved (these runes)’.

Moltke provides the same runes, but gives ‘Bidar has carved’ as the translation. He states that the verb used, talgian, refers rather to working with wood.


70. Opedal Stone (1st half of the 5th century)

birgh guboro swestar minu liubu meR wage

There are two possible meanings in this inscription, according to the way the first word is split up.

Meaning 1:

birgh gu-boro

‘Grave-Bora, sister mine, love me of audacity’.

Meaning 2:

birg-h guboro

‘Has help, Yngbora, sister mine dear, to me the audacity'

Krause specifies some linguistic problems presented by the second version.

Antonsen remarks that wage (a masculine dative form) has been obviously added later since its direction is oblique as compared to the rest of the inscription. He links this word to 'rough waters' and not to 'audacity'. I conclude that there is no 'audacious love' in this inscription.


71. Over-Hornbaek Bracteate 2

Xuža žit Xih uilald tXuiu uXtwX

uilald = ‘work of art’

For the rest, Krause declares that it is an unintelligible inscription.


72. Reistad Stone (2nd half of the 6th century)

Side 1: iužingaR

‘Iužing’ (a name with an unclear meaning)
Antonsen contests that it is impossible to read a u here, he reads idringaR : 'of memorable lineage'

Side 2: ek wakraR: unnam

‘me Woke (a name, meaning 'awake', probably the one of the rune master): I know ('I understand myself')’

Side 3: wraita

'that which is engraved'


73. Roes Stone (middle of the 8th century)

iu žin: udR rak

iu = ‘horse’; žin = ‘this one’; udR = ‘Udd’ (a name meaning "point" ); rak = ‘pushed’.

‘Udd pushed (incited) this horse.’


74. Rosseland Stone (middle of the 5th century)

ek wagigaR irilaR agilamu(n)don

The meaning of wagigaR is unsure, one possible meaning is: ‘the one who finds his way inside’; (Antonsen: 'the active one') irilaR has the same meaning as erilaR, ‘the master of runes’; agilamu(n)don is a name ‘coming from Agilamundo’, which can be split into agila-mundo. Agila became the name Egill, famous in the sagas because of Egill Skalagrimsson; it’s root means "fright". Mundo can attach to either mundr, ‘gift from betrothed to his betrothed’, or mund, ‘hand’. In the end, the expression is ambiguous (Antonsen: protectress of the blade?). In

'Me, Wagigar, master of the runes, (coming from) Agilamindo',

either the master of the runes comes from the region called Agilamundo, or he is the son of Agilamundo, or he is at her service.

Moltke translates it as: "I WagigaR eril of Agilamundo" and notes that Agilamundo is the name of woman. That would show that some women could have had an extremely respected position since they had an "eril" at their disposition. He notes that Krause’s translation above is obviously also possible.


75. Rävsal Stone (middle of the 8th century)

harižulfs . stainaR

The Thurisaz rune could be interpreted as a Wunjo since the two runes are so similar. The stone on which this inscription is engraved is surrounded by others stones that allow us to understand the meaning:

‘The stones of Hariwulf’.

The name Hariwulf means ‘the horde of wolves’.

Moltke insists on the reading of "ž", without proposing a translation.


76. Rö Stone (around 500)

Side 1: ek hraRaR satido [s]tain / / /

‘Me HaraRaR I have erected the stone’

Side 2a: swabaharjaR

‘SwabaharijaR (a name)’

Side 2b: anaXXXXr

‘on XXXXr’

Side 3: s[a]irawidaR

‘s[a]ira - widaR = ‘injury-large’

Side 4: [ek] stainawarijaR fahido:

‘me, StainwarijaR I have drawn (runes).’

The complete inscription can therefore mean:

‘Me Hararar, I have erected this stone. SwabaharijaR (rests here) with deep injuries. Me, StainwarijaR I have drawn (runes).’

The meanings of the names found on this inscription are as follows:

hraRaR = ‘quiet’; ‘agile’ (from Antonsen); swabaharjaR = swaba-harijaR = ‘swabian-group’ (a name) ; StainwarijaR = Stain-warijaR = ‘stone - protector’


77. Saude Stone (around 500)

wa(n)daradas

A name, Wandaras, which means

‘the one who has struggled against difficulties’.

Antonsen gives the inscription in words as:

ajaradas

‘Wajaradaz's [i.e. woe-counsellor] (monument)'.


78. Schonen (or Skåne) Bracteate-1 (Skåne, Sweden, 500-550)

lažu laukaR. gakaR alu

gakaR is interpreted as gauka, ‘the cuckoo bird’.

‘Laukaz evocation. magic cuckoo’


79. Schonen Bracteate-5

ehwX

Krause notes, as one possibility, that one could see the rune Ehwaz being called here, which seems clear enough to me.

Antonsen reads :

ehwu

‘Ehwu [i.e. mare]'.

(ehw-u, fem. nom. sg.)


80. Schonen Bracteate 4

eelil

Krause suggests that the bound runes eli should read as eh . Moreover, the last l could be read as an e. The whole thing would then read as e-ehe where "ehe" means ‘to the horse’, which gives a magical formula based on Ehwaz:

'Ehwaz to the horse'


81. Seeland (or Sjęland) Bracteate 2 (around 500)

hariuha haitika: farauisa: gibu auja:

Krause translates:

‘Hariuah I am called: the dangerous knowledgeable one: I give chance.’

hariuha is a name whose meaning is not clear; haitika = I am called; farauisa = fara-uisa = travel-wise; gibu = I give; auja = chance. The final drawing: can obviously be interpreted as a "magical tree" but I believe instead that it must be seen (in the runic context) as a triple Tiwaz linked to itself, in the sense that the ‘hat’ of Tiwaz is repeated twice again along the length of the ‘shaft’. (Antonsen supports this interpretation and calls it a triple t.)

‘I am called Hariuha: travel wise: I give chance: Tiwaz (three times)’.

This one is called the Sjaelland bracteate by Moltke who translates farauisa as ‘one who is wise about dangers.’


82. Selvik Bracteate

tau

Interpreted by Krause as tauju, ‘I manufacture’.


83. Setre Comb (beginning of the 7th century)

Side 1: hal maR || mauna:

‘Greetings young girl || of the (between the) young girls’

Side 2: alu na alu nana:

‘Magic Na, magic Nana’

Nana is the name of Baldr’s wife. I suppose that this is a "true" formula of seduction, ‘I bewitch Na, I bewitch Nana’.

Moltke notes that archaeology dates this piece in the 7th century, and he considers it incomprehensible.


84. Sivern Bracteate

r wrilu

Interpreting the l as a t (Laukaz and Tiwaz certainly look alike), gives: runoR writu = ‘runes I have written’


85. Skodborg Bracteate

auja alawin, auja alawin, auja alawin, j alawid

‘Chance Alawin, Chance Alawin, Chance Alawin, Happy New Year Alawid!’

The isolated j is taken as the rune Jeran meaning ‘good year’. In the names, ala means ‘all’, win means ‘friend’, and wid means ‘large’ . Thus, another interpretation is:

‘Chance with you, friend in all, (3 times) Let the year be propitious with you in all!’

The alliterations in the original poem are certainly very important and "activate" the magic of the runes.


86. Skonager Bracteate 3

niuwila || lžu

Name meaning ‘novice’, ‘little newcomer; lžu = lažu = ‘invocation’.

Moltke gives the same runes without a translation.


87. Skrydstrup Bracteate

laukaR || alu

‘Laukaz’ || ‘magic’

Moltke gives the same inscription, without translation.


88. Skaang Stone (around 500)

harija leugaR

harija = ‘the troop’, ‘the band’; leugaR = ‘joined of their own free will’.

‘Independent troop of men.’

Moltke sees a name in harija, Harija, and in leugaR a word whose root is ‘deceived, lied’ as in German 'lügen.' Antonsen reads both as a name and he translates them as follows:

‘Harija’s [=warrior] (monument). Leugaz [=oath-taker] (erected it).’


89. Stärkind Stone (middle of the 5th century)

skižaleubaR

skižaleubaR = skinža - leubaR = ‘fur - the one who likes’. Antonsen: 'the one who loves justice'.


90. Stenstad Stone (middle of the 5th century)

igijon halaR

halaR = ‘the stone’; igijon can be to be taken as a name: ‘Igja’, as i(n)gijon = of Ingwi (Ingwi’s) = of the lord (name also given to Frey).

‘Igjae’s stone’, or ‘the lord’s stone’, or ‘Frey’s stone’.

Antonsen insists on the feminine ending of igijon. He translates: 'Ing's daughter' which leads me to believe that the inscription means actually 'Freya's stone', as explained in my presentation of the rune Ingwaz.


91. Stentoften Stone (middle of the 7th century, Sweden)

I 1: nihua borumR

‘new’ (acc.), ‘son’ (or ‘peasant’)

I 2: nihua gestumR

'new’ (acc.), ‘guest’ (acc.)

I 3: hažuwolafR gaf j

‘combat - wolf' (a name), gave Jeran’

I 4: hariwolafR (m)aXXu s nu h(l)e

‘herd-wolf (a name), (m)aXXu s = ?; nu = ‘now’; hle = ‘treasure’

I 5: hideR runono felaheka hed / / era ginoronoR

I 6: heramalasaR arageu weladud sa žat / / bariutiž

For I1-I4, Krause translates:

‘The new peasant (?), the new guest gave a good year to Half, Herjolf now... a treasure.’

For I5-I6, one notices the quasi - identity with the south side inscription of the Bjöketorp stone:

B1: haidRruno ronu

B2: falahak haidera g

B3: inarunaR arageu

B4: haeramalausR

B5: uti aR weladaude

B6: saR žat barutR

Aside from the slight differences in vocabulary, and by noting that the Bjöketrop stone is slightly younger than the Stentoften stone (2nd half of the 7th century), it is impossible that the Bjöketorp rune master ignored the Stentoften inscription. Since the two inscriptions are almost identical, it is interesting to note the inversion: Stentoften’s "heramalasaR arageu" becomes "arageu haeramalausR" in the Bjöketorp.

If the dating were the opposite, one would say, without hesitating, that the Stentoften rune master wanted to correct the ambiguity of the Bjöketorp rune master by avoiding the possible interpretation "ginoronoR arageu". Conversely, since the dating forbids this interpretation, I see only one possibility, and it is that the Bjöketorp rune master wanted to introduce this ambiguity.

Moltke translates: ‘To the??? dwellers, to the??? guests Hadulv gave "year" (a fruitful year, prosperity). Haerulv??? - I master of the runes (?) bury here potent runes. With no cessation of sorcery, a malevolent guile's death for the man who breaks it (the memorial)!’

He also comments on the word argr, translating it by "to go soft, perverse". Contrary to my own interpretation, which is that practicing magic became synonymous with sexual perversion (which is what the scholars say, meaning homosexuality), as explained in volume 1, chapter 3, Moltke supposes that being called argr means to practice magic. It is hard to understand then, why such a malediction would be involved in these inscriptions.


92. Strand Fibula (around 700)

siklķs nahli

sikli = ‘fibula’, ‘necklace’; na-hli = ‘death-protection’

This fibula is a protection against death.


93. Strarup Neckring (around 400)

ležro

'leather?’

Moltke thinks that it is the name of the woman who owned the diadem.


94. Strom Whetstone (around 600)

A: wate hali hino horna:

‘dampen the stone this horn’

B: haha skaži, hažu ligi

‘At-the-second-reaping-of-the-grass, I-want-to-cause-pain, the-one-who-is-beaten I-want-to-lay-down.’

A: ‘This horn moistens the stone.’

B: ‘I cause pain to the freshly cut grass, I want to lay down the ones that have been been beaten.’

In a rare style, this inscription describes the reaper’s work.

Antonsen provides a rather poetical version: 'Wet this stone, horn! Scathe, scythe! Lie, that which is mown down!'


95. Sunde Stone (around 500)

widugastiR

widu = ‘of the forest’; gastiR = ‘guest’


96. Svarteborg Medallion (middle of the 5th century)

ssigaduR

Krause prudently lets the initial double "s" fall, and translates it as "Siegfried".

s = Sowelo, sun or victory, sigaduR = sigi-haduR = victory - combat. This makes ssigaduR a very early "Sieg heil", an interpretation that Krause could not allow without pleasing the Nazis a bit too much. I believe that one can now interpret it without fear:

‘Sun, victory in the combat!’

Antonsen refuses to read the two s at the beginning as runes, he claims they are simple "embellishment". He translates then igaduR as a name: Ingaduz.


97. Sonder Rind Bracteate

uiniR ik

‘Friend me’ interpreted as: ‘me, friend’.

Antonsen reads: uigiRik which gives: 'Wigiz' [i.e., Fighter]


98. Tanem Stone (around 500)

mairlhu

Marilihu, a feminine name (of a rune master?), a derivative of ‘mari-’ meaning ‘famous’.

Antonsen: 'Marilingu [i.e., female descendant of Marila]


99. Thorsberg Chape [a metal piece from the sheath of a sword] (around 200)

A: owlžužewaR:

o = Othala = ‘property inherited’; wlžu = wulžu = ‘of the God Ull’: žewaR = ‘servant’

B: ni wajemariR:

ni = negative form; waje - mariR = ‘evil-doer - proclaimed-one’

‘Property inherited. WulžužewaR (The servant of Ull) without a bad reputation.’

One could compare this with the name of the first God found on the Ribe cranium: ulfuR, which conveys the meaning of wolf (see, for instance, with Anglo-Saxon ulf = wulf = wolf, Old Norse ulfr = wolf), but ulžuR, though very similar, belongs to the root wulžu- (shining) which gave the Gothic wulžus = ‘splendour’ and the Old Norse name, Ullr.

Called the Torsbjerg Sword-chape by Moltke who suggests that, in owlžužewaR, the ‘o’ is read as a ‘w, and the ‘w’ as a ‘u’. Moltke also says that Wulžu = a God named "Ull". For the second line, Moltke says that two translations are possible. One is as Krause gives. The second one considers ni waje as 'do not spare', and then the name of the sword would be MariR ('do not spare, Marir').

Antonsen translates as Krause: 'Wolžužewaz [i.e., servant of Ullr] of immaculate repute'


100. Thorsberg Shield-boss (around 200)

aisgRh

ais(i)g(a)R = ‘the one who struggles inside himself’; h = ‘Hagala’

Krause does not give an interpretation. Hagala is the rune that knocks, that breaks. The shield-boss is there to avoid this and it contains in itself this force that struggles against Hagala. One can also compare it with the Kragehul lance where Hagala is described as breaking helmets.

I suggest this translation:

‘(This shield) struggles inside itself (against) Hagala’.

Moltke notices that the inscription is on the inside of the boss, making it invisible when the boss was in place. Moltke sees it as a magical formula; he says, "a pure swindle, aimed at hood-winking credulous customers." He also wonders why the rune-master did not use a classical alu or laukaR.

It seems the rune-master invented a formula specific to this shield-boss which is hard to understand nowadays, as it should be.

Antonsen, like Krause, does attempt to insult the rune-master, he sees in aisgR the root of many words, e.g., Old English 'ascian', meaning 'to ask' with the special undertone of challenging. He translates: 'Challenger of the hail'. Comparing with the Kragehul lance, this makes perfect sense for a shield-boss. The swindling seen by Moltke might be real for a pure rationalist, who is now blinded by his/her own rationality from understanding a world drenched in magic.


101. Tjurkö Bracteate

wurte runoR an walhakurne. heldaR kunimu(n)diu

wurte = ‘it activated’; runoR = ‘runes’; an = ‘on’; walhakurne = walha-kurne = ‘foreigner-seed’ = ‘gold’; heldaR = ‘the fighter; kunimu(n)diu = kunja-mundiu = ‘sex (or ‘family’, or ‘gender’)-protector’ (dative singular). Krause gives:

‘HeldaR of Kuminundi has activated the runes on gold.’

By interpreting the names (and by choosing ‘warrior’ for hledaR):

'The fighter, the protector of the family, has activated the runes on gold'

Moltke and Antonsen give an equivalent translation to Krause’s. Antonsen's more poetic version might be of interest to the reader: 'The runes on the foreign-grain [i.e., gold] wrought Heldaz [i.e., battler] for Kunimunduz [i.e., protector of kin]'


102. Tomstad Stone (around 500)

/// an : waruR

an is the end of a partially deleted name; waruR is ‘a protection made of stones’, a stone mound protecting a grave.

Antonsen: 'NNa's enclosure [i.e., monument of more than one stone]'


103. Trollhättan Bracteate

tawo lažodu

‘I prepare the invocation.’ (Antonsen: '(I) prepare the invitation')


104. Tu Fibula (end of the 5th century)

žiri. d[až]XX / / /

‘this one. For the action (?)’


105. Tune Stone (Norway around the year 400)

Side A-1: ek wiwaR after. woduri

Side A-2: de wita (n) da-halaiban: worahto: r / / /

Side B-1: ///R woduride: staina

Side B-2: žrijoR dohtriR dalidun

Side B-3: arbij(a) arjosteR arbijano

ek = ‘me’; wiwaR = a name meaning ‘the darting one’ ; after = ‘after’; woduride is the dative of woduridaR = ‘rider of the fury’; wita(n)da = ‘the one who keeps watch’; halaiban = ‘the bread’; worahto = ‘I have activated’ (made active); for ///R, Krause suggests either meR, or žriR, and I prefer personally žriR = ‘three’, which fits better with the rhythm of the poem (alliterations and systematic repetitions); staina = ‘the stone’ (accusative); žrijoR = ‘three’; dohtriR = ‘sisters’; dalidun = ‘have prepared’, ‘have divided’; arbij (a) = ‘inheritance’ (singular accusative); arjosteR = ‘the most elegant’; arbijano = ‘inheritance’ (genitive plural);

Krause translates it as follows:

Side A:
‘Me Wiw after Wodurid / to (my) Brotwart, I have activated the runes ‘

Side B:
‘ ... to Wodurid the stone / three sisters have prepared / the inheritance (but) the most elegant of inheritances.’

Keeping the meanings of the names, and making the hypothesis that they have prepared the stone, and the inheritance (in other words the destiny), I prefer the interpretation:

Side A:
‘Me, servant after the rider of the poetical fury, for the guardian of the bread I have made the runes active.’

Side B:
‘Three, to the rider of the trance, the stone / the three sisters they have prepared / what he had in inheritance, the most elegant of destinies.’

Moltke quotes this inscription only in passing, and says that it talks about an inheritance.

Antonsen’s translation is very similar to Krause.


106. Tveito Stone (7th century)

taitR

‘happy’, or ‘tender’, or ‘terrible’ (Antonsen: 'happy, charming')

The stone was found on a grave.


107. Torvika Stone A (beginning of the 5th century)

la(n)dawarijaR ///

landa = ‘free space, country’; dawarijaR = ‘the one who protects’.

'the protector of the country'


108. Torvika Stone B (end of the 5th century)

Xežro dwen gk

Xežro = hežro = ‘from here’; dwen = ‘distance-yourself’; gk = ‘Gebo’ and ‘Kaunan’.

Krause says that the meaning of this inscription is not very clear. I interprets it as:

‘Go from here, (you who) gives boils (or fever).’


109. Utgard stone Amulet (middle of the 5th century)

ea.

‘Ehwaz’ and ‘Ansuz’, as in the Lekkende Bracteate (# 55).


110. Vadstena Bracteate

luwa-tuwa. fužarkgw: hnijļprs: tbemlh od:

It ends therefore by a Futhark (where we can see that Othala precedes Dagaz) and where the three "aetts" are very well marked.

luwa-tuwa is clearly a magical formula, where luwa means ‘on earth’ and tuwa ‘to the sky’. (Antonsen does not interpret luwa-tuwa)

‘On earth and to the sky, the Futhark.’


111. Valsfjord Cliff Inscription (around 400)

ek hagustaldaR žewaR godagas

‘Me, bachelor (= young warrior) servant (or man of the retinue) good day (genitive, a name).’

Krause gives:

‘Me, the warrior, belonging to the retinue of GodagaR.’

Moltke prefers to see hagustaldaR as a name. Antonsen translates: 'I, Hagustaldaz [i.e., young warrior], servant of Godadaz [i.e, goody, the good one]'


112. Vatn stone (around 700)

Side A: rhoaltR:

a name taken from hrožu-waldaR that could mean ‘governor of the celebrity" .

Side B: faiXX / / /

fai =? faihido = ‘I wrote’


113. Veblungsnes Cliff Inscription (around 500)

ek irilaR wiwila

‘Me the master of runes Wiwila.’

Wiwala also means ‘small servant’.

Moltke reads it as wiwilan and translates: ‘I eril of Wiwila’.


114. Vetteland Stone (middle of the 4th century)

C 1: /// flagda-faikinaR ist:

‘Female troll threatening is’

C 2: /// magoR minas staina:

‘son’ (gen. sing.), ‘mine’ (gen. sing.), ‘the stone’ (acc. sing.)

C 3: /// daR faihido

a partially deleted name, then faihido = ‘I have written’

Krause’s translation:

‘(this place?) is threatened by a monster - (Me, NN I raised) my son’s gravestone - (Me, NN) I have drawn (runes).’

Instead of ‘monster’, I think that it is much better to keep the expression ‘female troll’ that is found in the sagas and in the poem Beowulf.

Antonsen gives the Old Icelandic 'flagš' meaning 'troll-woman'. He refers also to Old Icelandic 'flaga': 'attack', Old High German 'fluohhan': 'to curse', and Old English 'flocan': 'to strike'. For faikinaR he refers to Old High German 'feihhan', Old Saxon 'fekn', Old English 'facen', all three meaning: 'deceitful', and to Old Icelandic 'feikn': 'disaster'.

Following these linguistic relationships, I prefer to translate flagdafaikinaRist by: '... is a deceitful female-troll.


115. Vimose Woodplane (end of the 3rd century)

Side A: talijo gisai oj: wiliR XXla oXXX

Side B: tkbis: hleuno: anX: regu

This inscription poses several problems. It dates from the end of the 3rd century and the k of tkbis is written as the k of the Younger Futhark. Many words are incomprehensible.

The only words that Krause is able to understand are: talijo = ‘plane’; wiliR = ‘you want’; hleuno = ‘means of protection’. It is not enough to give a global meaning to the inscription.

Moltke dates it to the year 200, and only understands the word, talijo = ‘plane’.

Antonsen relates talijo to Old High German 'zellen', Old English 'tellan', Old Icelandic 'telja', all three meaning: 'to tell' (as in 'telling a tale'). wiliR relates to Old High German 'wili', Old English 'wilt', Old Icelandic 'vill', all three meaning: 'will'. Interestingly, he sees in hleuno the Proto-Germanic root '*hleun-non' meaning 'fame' or 'protection' feminine nominative singular. That he does not see here the name of a woman is a mystery for me since runologists precisely tend to jump on the interpretation "a name". The other words of the inscription, he does not succeed interpreting. Taking into account Antonsen's translation, I suggest the following: 'Telling a tale ... you wish ... Hleuno [meaning: she-fame, or protectress]'


116. Vimose Comb (middle of the 3rd century)

harja

A name that is close to harija = ‘the troop’, ‘the group’, 'the army'.

Moltke simply says that Harja is certainly the name of the owner of the comb.


117. Vimose Chape (middle of the 3rd century)

SideA: mariha || iala
Side B: makija

Mariha has a questionable meaning, Krause interprets it as ‘mari’ (a name = ‘the famous’) ; ha =? hai =? aih = ‘owned'; iala =? the name of the sword or an owner of the sword, a masculine name, Alli or Alla; makija = ‘the sword’. Either:

‘Mari (or The famous) has possessed Alli, (his) sword.’ Or:

‘Alli (sends) to Mari a sword.’

Moltke says that the archaeology dates it around the year 250-300, and that the only thing that is certain is that the inscription mentions a sword and "famous".

In place of mariha, Antonsen sees marida, and he cuts the inscription differently as follows: maridai ala, where maridai means 'has decorated' and ala the same name as in Krause. This gives: 'Alla has decorated the sword'.


118. Vimose Buckle (around 200)

Side 1: aadagasu =? Ansuz-a(n)dag-a(n)su

Side 2: laasauwija =? la-a(n)sau-wija

a = rune Ansuz; adag =? andag = a name, meaning: ‘meditative, ‘pious’; ansula = ‘the small Aesir’; ansau = ‘Aesir’ (dative); wija = wiju = ‘I hallow’. Krause’s translation:

‘Aesir! Andag (the pious) I devote, the small Aesir, to the Aesir’

It could also be said as in a galdr:

‘Ansuz! pious, (me,) Small - Aesir, hallow to the Aesir’

Moltke does not give an interpretation for these runes, other than to say he suspects that whoever wrote them did not know what he was doing. I must confess that I find this way of scorning what is not understood slightly irritating. Antonsen provides a very clear interpretation. He reads aadagast in place of aadagasu, which leads to the words: aada = eminent, extreme; gast = guest; laas = lack (of); wija = luck, thus translating: 'Andogast [i.e., eminent guest] lack-luck' which makes perfect sense if, for instance, the buckle was a gift to an "eminent guest" that was to be murdered later, not an impossible situation if referred to Snorri's Heimskringla ("The Lives of the Norse Kings").


119. Vimose Sheathplate (end of the 3rd century)

awgns

A name meaning 'grandfather'

Moltke feels that the inscription is not runic at all.

Antonsen gives:

awings

‘Awings [i.e. descendent of Awa]'.


120. Vanga Stone (around 500)

haukožuR

A name meaning ‘the one who acts like a vulture’.

Antonsen:

‘Haukožuz [i.e. croucher, hunchback]'.


121. Vaerlose Fibula (around 200)

alugod

A name, meaning ‘good magic’ .

Moltke specifies that this fibule comes from a woman’s grave. He supposes that space was limited (the inscription stops at a swastika that seems to be earlier than the runes), and so the complete inscription should have been alugodo, a woman’s name, owner of the fibule.


122. Väsby Bracteate

uuigaR eerilaR f[a]hidu uuilad

uuigaR = wigaR = ‘the warrior’ (here, a name); eerilaR = ek erilaR = ‘me, the master of runes’; f [a]hidu = fahido = ‘I wrote’; uuilad = wila(l)d = ‘work of art’.

‘The warrior (or a name), master of runes, I wrote the work of art.’

Moltke gives a similar meaning, but with runes less clearly read, and in a different order:

f(a)hid(e)i(ui)la(i)di(ui)igaeerilaR

Antonsen gives the following runes, citing the Äskatrop bracteate at the same time:

f*hi**uilaid**igazeerilaz (Vasby)

f*hid****laid**igazeerilaz (Askatrop)

‘Painted [wrote] . . . igaz I, the erilaz'.


123. Ars Bracteate 2 (450-550)

laukaR

Laukaz rune.

Moltke gives these runes without comment.


124. Arstad Stone (middle of the 6th century)

Side 1: hiwigaR

either ‘the one from this homeland’

Side 2: sar alu

‘here magic’

Side 3: uh winaR

‘young friend’ (a name)

Krause translates:

‘Hiwig here magic - Ungwins (is buried here)’

Antonsen gives:

‘Hiwigaz [i.e. one with strong familial ties]. (For?) Saralu [i.e. protectress]. I, for my friend [i.e. spouse] . . . .'

He cites the following runes :

hiwigaz
saralu
ekwinai . . .

sara-a-l-u, fem. nom. (dat?) sg., meaning ‘protectress’; ek, 1st sg. nom. pers. Pronoun ‘I’; winai, fem. dat. sg. ‘wife’


125. Asum Bracteate

ehe. ik akaR fahi

ehe = dative singular of eh(w)aR, ‘the horse’; akaR = a name meaning ‘the one who rides’; fahi = ‘I write’

‘To the horse, me Rider I write.’

Antonsen :

‘Mare. I, Akaz [i.e. leader], the suitable . . . '.

ehu, fem. nom. sg., ‘mare’ (female horse)


126. Olst Bracteate

hag alu

hag =? hagala: ‘Hagala magic’

Antonsen gives:

hagalu

‘Hailstones'.

hagal-u, neut. nom. pl., ‘hailstones’


127. Ovre Stabu Lance (end of the 2nd century)

raunijaR

‘The one who puts (someone) to the test.’

Moltke dates the inscription to the second half of the second century.


Inscriptions from the first period that were discovered after Krause's death

The only two very ancient inscriptions found after Krause’s death can be found in Moltke’s book. They are :

128. Illerup lance-heads (dated AD 200)

Both blades bear a man's name: ojingaR, and one of them in relief, meaning that it had been made with a stamp. This strongly suggests that it is an armorer’s stamp mark.


129. Meldorf fibula (dated to the first century, 50-100, which makes it the oldest runic find)

...ižih.

It was found in 1979 and is said to be a spring-case fibula. The inscription was not translated. Some modern runolgists doubt that it is runic at all.

Some Other Classical Inscriptions

Inscriptions from the Viking Period and the Middle Ages

Inscriptions from Derolez

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