Odendisa Runestone

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Odendisa Runestone
Rundata ID Vs 24
Country Sweden
Region Västmanland
City/Village Fläckebo Parish
Produced c. 1050
Runemaster Red-Balli

Text – Native
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Text – English
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Other resources
RunestonesRunic alphabet
RunologyRunestone styles

The Odendisa Runestone (Swedish: Odendisastenen), sometimes called the Hassmyra Runestone, is a Viking Age runestone erected at Hassmyra, Västmanland, Sweden, that is a memorial to a woman.


The runic text carved on the serpent of the Odendisa Runestone contains a poem in fornyrðislag and is one of few runestones raised for a woman, and the only one in Sweden with a verse commemorating a woman.[1]

Kumbʀ hifrøya
til Hasvimyra
æigi bætri,
þan byi raðr.

There will come
to Hassmyra
no better housewife,
who arranges the estate.

Note that she was the one "who arranges the estate." This runic inscription is a reference to the centrality of women in early medieval Scandinavian ("Viking") society where the woman was in charge of the estates and the homesteads and wore the keys of the buildings.[2]

The theophoric name Odendisa (Old Norse: Óðindísa), which means "Goddess of Odin," is a unique name and is not known from any other source. In addition, the name of her husband is very rare.

Raising of the runestone in 1910.

The Odendisa Runestone was carved by Red-Balli, a famous runemaster who was active in the region around lake Mälaren in the second half of the 11th century. The name Red-Balli is indicated by the runes roþbalir, which is not part of the main text carved on the serpent but starts a separate outer text band at the lower left of the inscription. This stone is classified as being carved in runestone style Pr4, also known as the Urnes style. This runestone style is characterized by slim and stylized animals that are interwoven into tight patterns. The animal heads are typically seen in profile with slender almond-shaped eyes and upwardly curled appendages on the noses and the necks.

In modern times, the stone is mentioned as early as the 1660s. According to tradition, a farmer discovered the runestone while he plowed the field. A few years later it cracked into two parts, but it was mended in 1900 and raised anew at its present location.


Transliteration of the runes into Latin characters[edit]

buonti × kuþr × hulmkoetr × lit × resa × ufteʀ × oþintisu × kunu × seno × kumbr × hifrya × til × hasuimura × iki betr × þon × byi raþr roþbalir × risti × runi × þisa × sikmuntaʀ × uaʀ ... sestʀ × kuþ[3]

Transcription into Old Norse[edit]

Boandi goðr Holmgautr let ræisa æftiʀ Oðindisu, kunu sina. Kumbʀ hifrøya til Hasvimyra æigi bætri, þan byi raðr. Rauð-Balliʀ risti runiʀ þessaʀ. Sigmundaʀ vaʀ [Oðindisa] systiʀ goð.[3]

Translation in English[edit]

The good husbandman Holmgautr had (the stone) raised in memory of Óðindísa, his wife. There will come to Hassmyra no better housewife, who arranges the estate. Red-Balli carved these runes. Óðindísa was a good sister to Sigmundr.[3]


  1. ^ Jesch, Judith (1991). Women in the Viking Age. Woodbridge: Boydell Press. p. 65. ISBN 978-0-85115-360-5. 
  2. ^ Gräslund, Anna-Sofie (2001). "The Position of Iron-Age Scandinavian Women: Evidence from the Graves and Runestones". In Arnold, Bettina; Wicker, Nancy L. Gender and the Archaeology of Death. Cumnor Hill (Oxford): AltaMira Press. pp. 84–86. ISBN 0-7591-0137-X. 
  3. ^ a b c Project Samnordisk Runtextdatabas Svensk Archived 2011-08-11 at WebCite - Rundata entry for Vs 24.


Coordinates: 59°52′23″N 16°20′29″E / 59.8731°N 16.3414°E / 59.8731; 16.3414