Karlevi Runestone

The Karlevi Runestone, designated as Öl 1 by Rundata, is commonly dated to the late 10th century.

Description

The runic inscription on the Karlevi Runestone is partly in prose, partly in verse. It is the only example of a complete scaldic stanza preserved on a runestone and is composed in the "lordly meter" the dróttkvætt. It is notable for mentioning Thor's daughter Þrúðr and Viðurr, one of the names for Odin, in kennings for "chieftain." In the second half of the stanza a reference is made to Denmark, but it is not clear what exactly this means in this poetic context.

The stone is contemporary with the Battle of the Fýrisvellir and it is consequently possible that the stone was raised by Jomsvikings in memory of their lord.

The inscription is classified as being in runestone style RAK.

Inscription

+ s-a... --(s)- i(a)s * satr * aiftir * si(b)(a) * kuþa * sun * fultars * in hons ** liþi * sati * at * u * -ausa-þ-... +: fulkin : likr : hins : fulkþu : flaistr (:)* uisi * þat * maistar * taiþir : tulka * þruþar : traukr : i : þaimsi * huki * munat : raiþ:uiþur : raþa : ruk:starkr * i * tanmarku : --ntils : iarmun**kruntar : urkrontari : lonti
Transcription into Old Norse (the Swedish-Danish dialect):

S[t]æ[inn] [sa]s[i] es sattr æftiR Sibba Goða, sun Fuldars, en hans liði satti at ... ...

Fulginn liggR hinns fylgðu, flæstr vissi þat, mæstaR dæðiR dolga ÞruðaR draugR i þæimsi haugi; munat Ræið-Viðurr raða rogstarkR i Danmarku [Æ]ndils iarmungrundaR uRgrandaRi landi.
Older translation:

This stone is set up in memory of Sibbi Góði/Goði, son of Foldarr, and his retinue set on ...

Hidden lies the one whom followed (most know that) the greatest deeds, Þrud's warrior of battles, in this mound. Never will a more honest, hard-fighting 'wagon-Viðurr' upon Endill's expanses rule the land in Denmark.
Newer translation:

This stone is placed in memory of Sibbi the good, Fuldarr's son, and his retinue placed on ... ...

He lies concealed, he who was followed by the greatest deeds (most men knew that), a chieftain (battle-tree of [the Goddess] Þrúðr) in this howe; Never again shall such a battle-hardened sea-warrior (Viðurr-of-the-Carriage of [the Sea-king] Endill's mighty dominion ( = God of the vessels of the the sea) ), rule unsurpassed over land in Denmark.

A more idiomatic English translation of the poetic stanza is provided by Foote & Wilson:

Tree of Thrúd of hostilities, the man whom the greatest virtues accompanied - most men know that - lies buried in this mound; a more upright chariot-Vidur of wondrous-wide ground of Endil will not rule, strife-strong, land in Denmark.

The reverse side of the stone also has a non-runic inscription In nomin[e] (?) Ie[su] (?) which may mean "In the name of Jesus." This inscription appears to be accompanied by a small Christian cross and pagan Thor's hammer.

Notes

External links

Bibliography

  • Foote, Peter & Wilson, David M.: The Viking Achievement. 1989 ISBN 0283979267.
  • Jansson Sven B. F.: Runinskrifter i Sverige. 1984. 201 pages.
  • Salberger, Evert: "Dedikationen på Karlevi-stenen, mansnamn och versform." Sydsvenska Ortnamnssällskapets årsskrift 1997. pp. 88-115.
  • Strid, Jan Paul: Runstenar. Malmö 1991. 119 pages.
  • Söderberg, Sven: Sveriges Runinskrifter. Bd 1, "Ölands Runinskrifter." Stockholm 1900-1906.
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