List of runestones
The runestones are unevenly distributed in Scandinavia: The majority is found in Sweden, estimated at between 1,700 and 2,500 (depending on definition). Denmark has 250 runestones, and Norway has 50.
There are also runestones in other areas reached by the Viking expansion, especially in the British Isles (Manx runestones, England runestones, Scotland and Ireland) and other islands of the North Atlantic (Faroer, Greenland, but not in Iceland), and scattered examples elsewhere (the Berezan' Runestone in Eastern Europe, and runic graffiti on the Piraeus Lion from Greece but today in Venice, Italy).
The vast majority of runestones date to the Viking Age and the period immediately following the Christianisation of Scandinavia (9th to 12th centuries). A small number predates the 9th century; one of the last runestones was raised in memory of the archbishop Absalon (d. 1201). A small number of runestones may date to the late medieval to early modern period, such as the Fámjin stone (Faroer Islands), dated to the Reformation period. Modern runestones (as imitations or forgeries of Viking Age runestones) began to be produced in the 19th century Viking Revival.
- 1 Elder Futhark runestones
- 2 Younger Futhark runestones
- 2.1 Scandinavia proper
- 2.2 North Atlantic
- 2.3 Other
- 3 Image stones
- 4 Modern runestones
- 5 References
Elder Futhark runestones
The vast majority of runestones date to the Viking Age. There is only a handful Elder Futhark (pre-Viking-Age) runestones (about eight, counting the transitional specimens created just around the beginning of the Viking Age).
- Einang stone (4th century)
- Tune Runestone (250-400)
- Kylver Stone (5th century)
- Möjbro Runestone (5th or early 6th century)
- Järsberg Runestone (transitional, 6th)
- Björketorp Runestone (transitional, 7th century)
- Stentoften (transitional, 7th century)
- Eggjum stone (8th century)
- Rök Runestone (transitional, ca. 800)
Younger Futhark runestones
The Swedish district of Uppland has the highest concentration with as many as 1,196 inscriptions in stone, whereas Södermanland is second with 391).
- Varangian Runestones - inscriptions that mention voyages to the East (Austr) or the Eastern route (Austrvegr).
- Ingvar Runestones - 26 Varangian runestones that were raised in commemoration of those who died in the Swedish Viking expedition to the Caspian Sea of Ingvar the Far-Travelled.
- Serkland Runestones - six or seven runestones which are Varangian Runestones that mention voyages to Serkland, the Old Norse name for the Muslim world in the south.
- Greece Runestones - 29 Varangian runestones that talk of voyages to Greece, i.e. the Byzantine Empire.
- Viking Runestones - Stones that mention Scandinavians who participated in Viking expeditions in western Europe, and stones that mention men who were Viking warriors and/or died while travelling in the West.
- Jarlabanke Runestones - a collection of 20 runestones written in Old Norse related to Jarlabanke Ingefastsson and his clan.
- The Ramsund carving
- Sparlösa Runestone
- Rökstenen - the longest runic inscription in the world, located in the province of Östergötland in Sweden
District of Hälsingland
- Färentuna Runestones (U 20, U 21 and U 22)
- Broby bro Runestones (U 135, U 136 and U 137)
- Hagby Runestones (U 152, U 153, U 154 and U 155)
- Lingsberg Runestones (U 240, U 241 and U 242)
- Hargs bro runic inscriptions (U 309, U 310 and U 311)
- Snottsta and Vreta stones (U 329, U 330, U 331 and U 332)
- Granby Runestone (U 337)
- Näsby Runestone (U 455)
- Vaksala Runestone (U 961)
Denmark has a total of 250 known runestones.
Norway has a total of 50 known runestones.
- England Runestones - a collection of 30 runestones that refer to Viking Age voyages to England, from Sweden, Norway and Germany.
- Manx runestones: 26 surviving stones.
- Princes Street Gardens Runestone, Edinburgh, Scotland
- Maeshowe chambered cairn, Orkney Islands: Although not a Runestone, the tomb contains the largest collection of runic writing from the Viking age in the British isles.
Germany has a total of 4 known runestones.
- Piraeus Lion,coming from Greece and today in Venice
- Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo, Apulia (South Italy)
- Berezan' Runestone, Berezan' Island
A number of notable runestones of modern origin exist. Some of them are intended as hoaxes, their creators attempting to imitate a Viking Age artefact. Especially since the late 20th century, runestones in the style of the Viking Age were also made without pretense of authenticity, either as independent works of art or as replicas as museum exhibits or tourist attractions.
This concerns especially runestones found in North America. There is also a limited set of early modern runestones created after the end of the Viking Age but before the "Viking Revival".
- Zilmer, Kristel (diss. 2005), "He Drowned in Holmr's Sea": Baltic Traffic in Early Nordic Sources (PDF), Tartu University Press, ISBN 9949-11-089-0 Check date values in:
|year=(help) p. 38.
- Olstad, Lisa (2002-12-16). "Ein minnestein for å hedre seg sjølv". forskning.no. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
- Page, Raymond I. (1995). Runes and Runic Inscriptions: Collected Essays on Anglo-Saxon and Viking Runes. Parsons, D. (ed.) Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 207-244
- Pritsak, O. (1987). The Origin of Rus'. Cambridge, Mass.: Distributed by Harvard University Press for the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. Sawyer, Birgit. (2000). The Viking-Age Rune-Stones: Custom and Commemoration in Early Medieval Scandinavia. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 306.
- "Runsten", Nationalencyklopedin (1995), volume 16, pp. 91-92.
- Jansson 1997:166
- Harrison, D. & Svensson, K. (2007). Vikingaliv. Fälth & Hässler, Värnamo, p. 138.
- Page 1983:227
- "In December 1997 I moved to Adelsö, the Island there the kings lived in the viking period, near the Island of Birka [...] My capabilities to live on my handicraft became bigger and I extend with guided tours in the ancient area, protected by UNESCO. On a piece of land, near this area, I build up my place of work and exhibition. [...] The year 2000 I got honored to carve a runestone as a memory of Leif Eriksson who did the exploration of North America, thousand year ago. The runestone was carved here at Adelsö. When the work was completed, the stone transferred to Canada and became raised at the northern point of Newfoundland / Vineland." (Kalle Dahlberg, runstonecarver.com) "The three types of contemporary runestone carvings highlighted in the article are those that are "exact copies of existing stones", "explicitly contemporary", and "new, but with Old Norse"." (ireadrunes.blogspot.com 2012)