www.avrosys.nu - Copyright-free Scandinavian Archive Prints

Runes and Rock Carvings


"Rökstenen", Rune Stone at Rök Church, Östergötland, Sweden



"Rökstenen", Rune Stone at Rök Church, Östergötland, Sweden. Rökstenen, runsten vid Röks kyrka, Ödeshög från 800-talet.



  "Rökstenen",  Rune Stone at Rök Church, Östergötland, Sweden

The famous rune stone at Rök church in Östergötland is very old. It is dated back to the first half of the 9th century. It is not known where it was raised from the beginning, but it was probably not far from its present location. When the old Rök church was built, the stone was built into the wall of an adjacent storehouse. Not a very unusual thing in those days. When the old church and the storehouse were demolished in 1843, it was discovered that the stone had runes on all sides, even on the top. The stone was built into the new church but was removed in 1862 and raised outside the church. The stone very mighty. It is 2,5 m high over the ground and 1,4 m wide.

The runes, over 750 of them, are of different types. The main runic alphabet used consists of so called short-twig runes (in Swedish “kortkvisttyp”). There are also runes from the Old Futhark and encrypted runes. The code is made either by displacement, by number codes or by using cipher runes.

Most rune experts agree on the reading of the runes, but the interpretation of the text and its meaning is still under discussion.

At the rune stone in Rök, the Swedish National Heritage Board has placed an information board. On this, one possible interpretion of the runes is mentioned:


Line Translation to Swedish Approx. Translation to English  
1. Till minne av Vämod står dessa runor In memory of Vämod stand these runes  
2. Varin skrev dem, fadern, till minne av den döde sonen Varin wrote them, the father, in memory of the dead son  
3. Jag säger de unga det, vilka de två stridsbytena var I say to the young men, which the two booties of fight were  
4. som tolv gånger blev tagna som krigsbyte which twelve times were taken as booties of war  
5. båda på en gång från man efter man. Det säger jag som det and- both together from various men. I say this sec-  
6. ra vem som för nio släktled sedan miste livet ond to who nine generations ago lost his life  
7. hos reidgoterna och han dog with the Reidgoths and he died  
8. hos dem till följd av sin skuld at them for his guilt  
9. Då rådde Tjodrik den dristige, sjökrigarnas Then Tjodrik the bold, the sea-warriors'  
10. hövding över Reidhavets kust. Nu sitter han rustad på chief ruled the Reid Sea coast. Now he sits armed on  
11. sin gotiska häst, med sköld över axeln, den främste av Märingar his Gothic horse, his shield over his shoulder, the First of the Märings  
12. Det säger jag som det tolfte var Gunns häst I say this the twelfth, where the horse of Gunn  
13. ser föda på slagfältet, där tjugo konungar sees fodder on the battlefield, where twenty kings  
14. ligger. Det säger jag såsom det trettonde, vilka lie. This I say as thirteenth, which  
15. tjugo konungar satt på Själland under fyra twenty kings sat on Zealand for four  
16. vintrar, med fyra namn, födda winters, of four names, born  
17. åt fyra bröder. Fem med namnet Valke, Rådulfs sö- of four brothers. Five with the name Valkis, Rådult's so-  
18. ner, fem Reidulf, Rugulfs söner, fem Haisl, Hord- ns, five Reidulf, Rugulf's sons, five Haisl's, Hord-  
19. s söner, fem Gunnmund, Björns söner s sons,  five Gunnmund, Björn's sons  
20. Nu för de unga säger fullständigt envar (?)... eftersporde (?) Now I say the tales in full. Someone  (?)... asked (?)  
21 Jag säger de unga det, vem av Ingvalds- I say it to the young men, which of the Ingvald  
22. ättlingarna som blev gäldad genom en hustrus offer descendants were repaid by a wife's sacrifice
23. Jag säger de unga, åt vilken kämpe en ättling I say  to the young men, to which a valiant a relative  
24. är född. Vilen är det. Han kunde krossa is born. Vilen it is. He could crush  
25. en jätte. Vilen är det. a giant. Vilen it is.  
26. Jag säger de unga: Tor I say to the young men: Tor  
27. Sibbe viets väktare Sibbe the watcher of the holy place,  
28. avlade nittioårig (en son) begot ninety years age (a son)  


Order an image in full size (1488 x 1094 pixels)

The scanning in full size (1488 x 1094 pixels) is sold as a JPG-file for 5 or $ 5. Mail me at henriksson@avrosys.nu  Ref. no. 100314.




Custom Search
  © 2008 Lars Henriksson. Updated: 2010-01-15.