13 March 2021

Runriket, Where the Power Struggle of a Viking Ruler is Written in Stone

If your interest in the Viking Age includes the runes, this article from Ancient Origins will peak your interest. (Ed.)

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Runriket

 UPDATED 1 DECEMBER, 2020 - 00:59 ED WHELAN

Where the Power Struggle of a Viking Ruler is Written in Stone

The Viking era (800 -1066 AD) is arguably one of the most fascinating in history. Runriket, or the Rune Kingdom, is a unique archaeological area in Sweden, containing more than a hundred runestones with a great number of inscriptions. Runriket is the largest known concentration of runestones in the world and they offer us the opportunity to get close to Sweden’s ancient Viking past.

The Rune Kingdom and the Age in Transition
Runestones are monuments with inscriptions written in the Runic alphabet . They were typically engraved by experts known as ‘rune masters’. While Christian writers often portrayed the runes as sinister, many of them were simply memorials. Researchers are able to better understand the mindset and history of the Viking world through these writings as the Rune Kingdom demonstrates the complexity of Viking society and culture in ancient Sweden.

The majority of the runes date to the 11th but especially the 12th century. While we may regard the Vikings as pagans who worshipped the gods Thor and Odin, the reality was rather different. Many of them had been Christianized or at least partly Christianized. Through the 11th century, the pagans and the Christians had agreed to co-exist in a unique instance of tolerance in the Middle Ages . By the 12th century, Sweden was mostly Christian

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