Balle (runemaster)

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Signature of Balle on runestone U 873 in Örsunda.

Balle (Old Norse: BalliR) or Red-Balle (Old Norse: Rauð-BalliR) was a runemaster who was active in the areas of western Uppland, Västmanland, and northern Södermanland of Sweden during the second half of the 11th century.[1]

Work[edit]

U 873 in Örsunda was signed by Balle.

Most early medieval Scandinavians were probably literate in runes, and most people probably carved messages on pieces of bone and wood.[2] However, it was difficult to make runestones, and in order to master it one also needed to be a stonemason.[2] During the 11th century, when most runestones were raised, there were a few professional runemasters.[2] Balle was active in the later 11th century and his work is representative of the Urnes runestone style.[3] Balle signed about twenty-four surviving runestones in south-western Uppland and northern Södermanland.[1] He often signed his name in the form of Old Norse poetry as exemplified on runestone U 729 in Ågersta. There are also an additional twenty runestones that have been attributed to him for stylistic reasons. Balle was noted for the consistency of his use of a dot as a punctuation mark between the words of his runic inscriptions, and often used dotted e-, g-, and y-runes.[1]

Signed inscriptions[edit]

The Rundata catalog lists over twenty inscriptions as being signed by Balle including Sö 92 in Husby Kyrkogård, Sö 203 in Östa, Sö 210 in Klippinge, Sö 214 in Årby, U 647 in Övergran, U 699 in Amnö, U 705 in Öster-Dalby, U 707 in Kungs-Husby, U 721 in Löt, U 726 in Ramby, U 729 in Ågersta, U 740 in Hemsla, U 744 in Gidsmarken, U 750 in Viggby, U 753 in Litslena Prästgård, U 756 in Ullstämma, U 770 in Tjursåker, U 819 in Mysinge, U 829 in Furby, U 873 in Örsunda, U 1161 in Altuna (which was signed by several runemasters), Vs 15 in Lilla Kyringe, and Vs 24 in Hassmyra.

Red-Balle[edit]

The runestones Vs 15 in Lilla Kyringe and Vs 24 in Hassmyra were signed by a runemaster named Red-Balle. The runes on both runestones show the name as roþbalir.[4] However, due to differences in ornamentation and orthography on these two signed runestones, some runologists have questioned whether Balle and this Red-Balle were one and the same person.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Weskamp, Volker (1987). "Der Runenstein U 690 Hälsingbo". Fornvännen (Swedish National Heritage Board) 82: 1–5. ISSN 1404-9430. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Vilka kunde rista runor? on the Swedish National Heritage Board website, retrieved January 13 2007.
  3. ^ Fuglesang, Signe Horn (1998). "Swedish Runestones of the Eleventh Century: Ornament and Dating". In Düwel, Klaus. Runeninschriften als Quellen interdisziplinärer Forschung. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 197–218. ISBN 3-11-015455-2.  p. 197.
  4. ^ Project Samnordisk Runtextdatabas Svensk - Rundata entry for Vs 24.

Other sources[edit]