Portal:Ancient Germanic culture/Runic inscription

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Selected runic artefact

Pietroassa ring 1875.jpg

The ring of Pietroassa (or Buzău torc) is a gold torc-like necklace found in Pietroassa (now Pietroasele), Buzău County, southern Romania (formerly Wallachia), in 1837. It formed part of a large gold hoard (Pietroasele treasure) dated to between 250 and 400 AD. The ring is generally assumed to be of Roman-Mediterranean origin, and features a Gothic inscription in the Elder Futhark runic alphabet.

Pforzen Inschrift.JPG

The Pforzen buckle is a silver belt buckle found in Pforzen, Ostallgäu (Schwaben) in 1992. The Alemannic grave in which it was found (no. 239) dates to the end of the 6th century and was presumably that of a warrior, as it also contained a lance, spatha, seax and shield. The buckle itself is assumed to be of Roman-Mediterranean origin, possibly the product of a Lombard or Gepid workshop, and it bears a runic inscription in early Old High German.

Bulach Inschrift.jpg

The Bülach fibula is a silver disk-type fibula with almandine inlay found in Bülach, Canton Zürich in 1927. The Alemannic grave in which it was found (no. 249) dates to 6th century and contained the remains of an adult woman. The fibula, dated to between the 3rd and 6th centuries, bears an Elder Futhark inscription, the only one found in Switzerland to date.

U 112, Ed (side A).JPG

Runestone U 112, a large boulder measuring 18 metres in circumference, is located on a wooded path named Kyrkstigen ("church path") in Ed. It has been known to scholars since Johannes Bureus' first runological expedition in 1594, and it dates to the mid-11th century. The inscriptions are in the mid-Urnes style (Pr4), and they were commissioned by a former captain of the Varangian Guard named Ragnvaldr in memory of his mother as well as in his own honour. Very few could boast of returning home with the honour of having been the captain of the Varangian Guard, and the name Ragnvaldr shows that he belonged to the higher echelons of Old Norse society, and that he may have been a relative of the ruling dynasty.

Franks Casket vorne links.jpg

The Franks Casket (or the Auzon Runic Casket) is a whalebone chest, carved with narrative scenes in flat two-dimensional low-relief and inscribed with runes, dateable from its pagan elements to the mid-seventh century (that is, during the height of the Heptarchy and the period of Christianization of England). The casket is densely decorated with images and Anglo-Saxon runic inscriptions whose interpretation have occupied linguists. It is now kept in the British Museum. Generally reckoned to be of Northumbrian origin, it is of unique importance for the insight it gives into secular culture in early Anglo-Saxon England.

The imagery is multiform in its inspirations and includes a single Christian image, the Adoration of the Magi, depicted along with images derived from Roman history (Emperor Titus) and Roman mythology (Romulus and Remus), as well as depictions of legends indigenous to the Germanic peoples: the Germanic legend of Weyland the Smith, an episode from the Sigurd legend, and a legend that is apparently an otherwise lost episode from the life of Weyland's brother Egil.

Inscription on Golden horn of Gallehus.jpg

The Golden Horns of Gallehus (DR 12 †U) were two horns made of gold, one shorter than the other, discovered in Gallehus, north of Tønder in Southern Jutland, Denmark. The longer horn of the two was found in 1639, and the second in 1734, 15-20 meters apart from the first discovery. The horns are believed to have dated to the fifth century and depict mythological figures of uncertain origin. The smaller of the two bore a Proto-Norse Elder Futhark inscription.

The original horns were stolen and melted down. However, copies based on illustrations of the original horns were produced and are exhibited at the National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark and the Moesgaard Museum, near Aarhus, Denmark. Since then, copies of the horns have been stolen (and retrieved) twice.


The Ramsund inscription is a runic inscription from the early 11th century in Södermanland, Sweden and which depicts the legend of Sigfried known from later Germanic sources such as the German Nibelungenlied and the Icelandic Völsunga saga. In modern times the story has been part of the inspiration for works such as the Lord of the Rings and Der Ring des Nibelungen.


The Rök Runestone (Ög 136) is a 9th century runestone which is located in Östergötland, Sweden. It is notable not only for its references to lost Germanic legends from the Migration Period and its references to Norse mythology, but also for its use of cipher runes. Scholars still debate its purpose.

Ruthwell Cross Christ on south side.jpg

The Ruthwell Cross is a stone Anglo-Saxon cross probably dating from the 8th century, when Ruthwell was part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria; it is now in Scotland. It is both the most famous and elaborate Anglo-Saxon monumental sculpture, and possibly the oldest surviving "text" of English poetry, predating any manuscripts containing Old English poetry. It has been described by Nikolaus Pevsner thus; "The crosses of Bewcastle and Ruthwell ... are the greatest achievement of their date in the whole of Europe." The cross was smashed by Presbyterian iconoclasts in 1664, and the pieces left in the churchyard until they were restored in 1818 by Henry Duncan. In 1887 it was moved into its current location in Ruthwell church, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, when the apse which holds it was specially built.[1]


  1. ^ Information boards, Ruthwell Church.