Return to the Viking Answer Lady Home Page The Viking Answer Lady
Return to the Viking Answer Lady Home Page General Information about the Viking Age and its History Articles About Daily Life in the Viking Age The Technology and Science of the Viking Age Agriculture, Crops and Livestock in Viking Times Viking Warriors, Weapons, Armor, and Warfare The Art and Literature of the Viking Age and Medieval Scandinavia Viking Age Mythology and Religion Viking Expansion, Raids, Trade, and Settlements in the Viking Age Bibliographies by Subject for Books and Articles Dealing with the Viking Age Shop for Viking-Themed Gifts, T-shirts, and More


Old Norse Numeric Reckoning

Dear Viking Answer Lady:

Can you tell me how Vikings would have written numbers, if they did? For example if they wanted to include a number in a runic inscription. Were there number symbols which they used, or would they have written the number as a word?

(signed) Counting the Minutes 'Til You Answer

Gentle Reader:

In the Vikings' runic inscriptions, we do find numbers written down, but it's very rare. Usually numbers are spelled out as whole words, although on rare occasion the first letter of the number-word is used to stand for the number (see below for the runic inscriptions with numbers).

Old Norse Words for Numbers

Cardinal Numbers

  • ein "one"
  • tveir "two"
  • þrír "three"
  • fjórir "four"
  • fimm "five"
  • sex "six"
  • sjau "seven"
  • átta "eight"
  • níu "nine"
  • tíu "ten"
  • ellifu "eleven"
  • tólf "twelve"
  • þrettán "thirteen"
  • fjórtán "fourteen"
  • fimtán "fifteen"
  • sextán "sixteen"
  • sjaután "seventeen"
  • átján "eighteen"
  • nítján "nineteen"
  • tuttugu "twenty
  • tuttugu ok ein "twenty and one, twenty-one" *or* ein ok tuttugu
  • tuttugu ok tveir "twenty-two" *or* tveir ok tuttugu (etc. for 23-29)
  • þrír tigir "thirty"
  • tíu tigir "100"
  • ellifu tigit "110"
  • hundrað "120"
  • hundrað ok átta tigir "200"
  • tvau hundrað "240"
  • þúsund "1200"

Ordinal Numbers

  • fyrstr "first, foremost"
  • annarr "second, another"
  • þriði "third"
  • fjórði "fourth"
  • fimmti "fifth"
  • sétti "sixth"
  • sjaundi "seventh"
  • átti *or* áttundi "eighth"
  • níundi "ninth"
  • tíundi "tenth"
  • ellifti "eleventh"
  • tólfti "twelfth"
  • þrettándi "thirteenth"
  • fjórtandi "fourteenth"
  • fimtándi "fifteenth"
  • sextándi "sixteenth"
  • sjautándi "seventeenth"
  • átjándi "eighteenth"
  • nítjándi "nineteenth"
  • tuttugandi "twentieth"
  • tuttugandi ok fyrstr "twentieth-and-one, 21st" *or* fyrstr ok tuttugandi
  • þrítugandi "thirtieth"

Old Norse did not have ordinal numbers for 100 or higher.

And some other related terms:

  • tví "twice, double"
  • þrennr "triple, three-fold"
  • fjór-faldr "four-fold"
  • sex-faldr "six-fold"
  • fjórðungr "fourth, a quarter"
  • settungr "sixth, a sixth part"

Runic Inscriptions with Numbers

The following represent most of the runic inscriptions with numbers, taken from the Samnordisk runtextdatabas (Rundata). Inscriptions that commemorate "two sons" or "one daughter" and the like have not been included. The top set of each numbered pair is a transliteration of the runic inscription using standard scholarly notation for the runes, followed by a second numbered line with an English translation of the inscription. These are all Younger Futhark unless otherwise noted.

To see how these runic letters looked, you can find several versions of the futhark, or runic alphabet, on the web: Norwegian Runes, Swedish Runes, and Danish Runes.

The various runic alphabets used by the Vikings would be the ones found roughly between 800AD and 1100AD, which are the dates for the Viking Age.

Runes used as numerals

Although it is very uncommon, on occasion the Vikings would use the runic letters to stand for a numeral. I was only able to find a couple of inscriptions that used this practice, and here they appear to just be abbreviating the word for the number and representing it by its first letter. This would be like an English speaker writing numbers as O=1, T=2, TH=3, Fo=4, Fi=5, Si=6, Se=7, E=8, N=9 etc.:

Gokstad, Norway (Viking Age).

N A39 $M §A æilifr * uiri*uæhr * a mek * mit : stæin:grimr : ha=fum : mælt : ma=rt : o=kka=r imilli : firir : þa so=k : at ek : uil : nema : a=f þi : runa=r : §B eaa=uo : knor : ek : spu:r þek : uilt * tu * gifta * mer * æina*þa * en * þa=r er : <þisar> mrþk iiiii sssss ttttt lllll * §C æ t þ f f s s a n t æ t þ f f s s a n t §D : þa=u : ero : bæþe : i buþ : saman : kla=uua:kare : o=k : ko=na : uilia=lms : hæil=lþu : hæil=l * sæl * þu * tha §E -------

N A39 $M §A Eilífr the Worthy owns me. We two, Steingrímr and I, have spoken much between ourselves for the reason that I want take/learn runes of it. §B ... ..., I ask you: do you want to marry me, one of these these: mistletoe, ploughshare, 'tistill', 'histill', casket. §C O[ne], t[wo], t[hree], f[our], f[ive], s[ix], s[even], e[ight], n[ine], t[en], e[leven], t[welve], t[hirteen], f[ourteen], f[ifteen], s[ixteen], s[eventeen], e[ighteen], n[ineteen], t[wenty]. §D They are both lodging together, Clumsy-Kári and Vilhjalm's wife. Hail! Hail and good fortune to you then! §E ...

Bergen, Norway (High Middle Ages, post-Viking Age)

N B89 M §A -hurþrlslrþsr lafra=nc r rr þr -- §B s m t o þ f l æ t þ f f s s a n t æ -

N B89 M Lafranz carved these runes ... S(unday), M(onday), T(uesday), W(ednesday), Th(ursday), F(riday), S(aturday); o(ne), t(wo), th(ree), f(our), f(ive), s(ix), s(even), ei(ght), n(ine), t(en), e(leven) ...

The other way runes were used to stand for numbers was in runic calendars. We can't say exactly how the Vikings would have done this, since no runic calendars from the Viking Age actually survive. However, the practice of using a stave of wood and cutting runes on it for a calendar was widespread in medieval Scandinavia from just after the Viking Age (1200) up through almost the present day, so we think the Vikings probably did something very similar. On these calendars, the runes were not used exactly to represent a number, nor a specific day of the week, but rather "1st day of the week" (not always a Sunday!), "2nd day of the week", "3rd day of the week" and so on. This went up to the seventh rune and then repeated, so Day1=f, Day2=u, Day3=þ, Day4=a, Day5=r, Day6=k, Day7=h. You can learn more about these calendars and time reckoning at

Numbers Written as Whole Words Using Runes

This is the usual practice of the Vikings in representing numbers.

Sölvesborgs Church, Gummarp, Listers, Blekinge, Denmark. 500-700AD (pre-Viking Age, Elder Futhark)

DR 357 $U §AP niuhAborumz niuhagestumz hAþuwolAfz gAf j hAriwolAfz (m)A--u snuh-e hidez runono fe(l)(A)h ekA hederA §AQ niu hAborumz niu hagestumz hAþuwolAfz gAf j hAriwolAfz (m)A--u snuh-e hidez runono fe(l)(A)h ekA hederA §B ginoronoz §C herAmAlAsAz ArAgeu we(l)Aduds| |sA þAt §D bAriutiþ

DR 357 $U §AP(To the) dwellers (and) guests Haþuwulfar gave full year, Hariwulfar ... ... I, master of the runes(?) conceal here §AQ nine bucks, nine stallions, Haþuwulfar gave fruitful year, Hariwulfar ... ... I, master of the runes(?) conceal here §B runes of power. §C Incessantly (plagued by) maleficence, (doomed to) insidious death (is) he who this §D breaks.

Sölvesborgs Church, Gummarp, Listers, Blekinge, Denmark. 500-700AD (pre-Viking Age, Elder Futhark)

DR 358 #$U §PA [(h)AþuwolAfA] §PB [sAte] §PC [(s)tA(b)A þr(i)a] §PD [fff] §QA [... (h)AþuwolAfA] §QB [... sAte] §QC [... (s)tA(b)A þr(i)a] §QD [fff]

DR 358 #$U §PA Haþuwulfar §PB placed §PC three staves §PD fff. §QA [In memory of] Haþuwulfar §QB [...] placed §QC [these] three staves §QD fff.

Blæsinge, Holbæk, Sjælland, Denmark (High Middle Ages, post-Viking Age, language is Latin)

DR AARB1987;205 M * so=niuro= =uos : s=æpt=(æ)(m) ÷ so=ro=ræs (a)(t)--(a)r-------(s) : ræ(s)... (æ)=(l)ffrisa : a=ffris=(e)a so=ria a=ffosa : a=ffrisala : so=niuro uos æ=t so=n:t=æsto=r : pær patræm ÷ æ=t filium æ=t spirit=um (:) sanst=um (:) (u)(t) n(o)=n : nosæatis : stam famulum : gæi : næquæ (i)n * hosulis : næquæ in mæmpris : næquæ in mægullis ÷ næs in ullo somp(-)(-)ine mæmbrorum æius : ut inhabit=æt : in te uirt=us sristi : al(t)iss(i)(m)(i) : essæ srru(u)(s)(æ)m ÷ (g)o=nmini (:) fukit(i) (:) pa=rt=(æ)s : (a)=guæ(r)s=æ : (u)i(s)(i)(t) (l)æ(o) : gæ t=r(i)b(u) (i)(u)ga ragi{X} : gauit : in nominæ pat=ris æt filii : æ=t spirit=us sa=ns=ti amæn **(*) srist=us : uinsit : srist=us : ræknit : srist=us : impæræt : srist=us : lipærat + srist=us t=æ bænægisat : a=b oomi : m=alo : (g)æfængat : a:k÷l÷a bat=ær : nostær :* ?

DR AARB1987;205 M I invoke you, seven sisters... ... Elffrica(?) Affricca, Soria, Affoca, Affricala. I invoke and call you to witness through the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, that you do not harm this servant of God, neither in the eyes nor in the limbs nor in the marrow nor in any joint of his limbs, that the power of Christ Most High shall reside in you. Behold the cross of the Lord; flee, you hostile powers. The lion of the tribe of Juda, the root of David, has conquered. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ rules, Christ liberates, Christ blesses you, defends you from all evil. Agla (= Thou art strong in eternity, Lord). Our Father. ...

DR EM85;493 - Ribe, Jylland, Denmark (1300AD, post-Viking Age)

DR EM85;493 M §A + io=rþ ÷ biþ a=k ÷ ua=rþæ ÷ o=k ÷ uphimæn ÷ so=l ÷ o=k ÷ sa=nt=æ maria ÷ o=k ÷ salfæn ÷ gud| |drotæn ÷ þæt han ÷ læ mik ÷ læknæs÷ha=nd ÷ o=k lif÷tuggæ ÷ at= =liuæ §B uiuindnæ ÷ þær ÷ botæ ÷ þa=rf ÷ or ÷ ba=k ÷ o=k or brRst ÷ or lækæ ÷ o=k or lim ÷ or øuæn ÷ o=k or øræn ÷ or ÷ a=llæ þe ÷ þær ÷ ilt ÷ kan i at §C kumæ ÷ suart ÷ hetær ÷ sten ÷ ha=n ÷ stær ÷ i ÷ hafæ ÷ utæ ÷ þær ÷ ligær ÷ a ÷ þe ÷ ni ÷ no=uþær ÷ þær ÷ l---r(a) ÷ (þ)en-nþþæþeskulhuærki §D skulæ ÷ huærki ÷ søtæn ÷ sofæ ÷ æþ ÷ uarmnæn ÷ uakæ ÷ førr æn ÷ þu ÷ þæssa ÷ bot ÷ biþær ÷ þær ÷ a=k o=rþ ÷ at kæþæ ÷ ro=nti ÷ amæn ÷ o=k þæt ÷ se +

DR EM85;493 M §A I pray Earth to guard and High Heaven, the sun and Saint Mary and Lord God himself, that he grant me medicinal hands and healing tongue to heal §B the Trembler when a cure is needed. From back and from breast, from body and from limb, from eyes and from ears, from wherever evil can §C enter. A stone is called Svart[r] (black), it stands out in the sea, there lie upon it nine needs, who ... ... §D shall neither sleep sweetly nor wake warmly until you pray this cure which I have proclaimed in runic words. Amen and so be it.

Eke Church, Gotland, Sweden (ca. 1361AD, post-Viking Age)

G 48 M §A [arum ÷ ...bti(r) ÷ ...u... ÷ biyrþ ÷ þusinn ÷ iþuntraþ ÷ at ÷ ok ÷ sekstih ÷ ... ... ÷ kirkia] malaþ ÷ bu ÷ ra [?ur ÷ ÷ kari ÷ (a)-l(e) ÷ na=uþ] §B [i(r)a=l ru--r]

G 48 M The church [was] painted one thousand, three hundred and sixty-one years after God's birth ...

Lye Church, Gotland, Sweden (ca. 1449AD, post-Viking Age)

G 99 M ÷ iaka=upr * i * litla=ronum * ha=n * lit * gia=ra þinna * stain * yvir * fa=þu=r * sin * o=la=f * o=k * bro=yþr * sina * liknuiþ * o=k * simo=n * biþim * f(i) þaim * o=k * a=llum * krisnum * sia=lum * o=k * þa * ua=r * liþit a=f * guz * by=rþ * fiu=rta=n * hu=nt=ra=þ * a=r o=k * ainu * are * minna * þen * {V}*tihi * a=r * o=k * i * þi * a=ri * brima=þi * k * o=k * r * su=nudahr * i *(¤) {I} * ra=þu

G 99 M Jakobr in Litlaronr/Lillrone, he had this stone made over his father Ólafr and his brothers Líknviðr and Símon. Pray for them and for all Christian souls. And then fourteen hundred years and one year less than fifty years had passed since God's birth. And in that year K was the prime-stave and R the Sunday[-stave] in the eleventh row.

Lye Church, Gotland, Sweden (High Middle Ages ca. 1449AD, post-Viking Age)

G 100 M ÷ þinna * sten : þa * lit * husfru * ru=þvi * giera * yfir sin * bo=nda * ia=ko=p * i * ma=na=ga=rd=um * sum skutin * ua=rþ * ihel * miþ * en : pyrsu*stin * a=f * uis*bo=rh * þa * en * ku=nuu=ng * erik * ua=r * be*stallaþ * pa * þi * fo=r*nemda * slot * en * þa ** ua=r * liþit * a=f * guz * by=r(þ) * fiu=rta=n * hu=nd=ra=þ : a=r * o=k * ainu : a=ri * minna * þen : fem(t)igi : a=r * biþium * þet : et * guþ : na=þi * ha=nz * sia=l * o=k * a=llum * krisnum * sia=lum : amen

G 100 M Housewife Hróðvé had this stone made over her husbandsman Jakobr in Managardhir/Mannegård, who was shot to pieces with a gun at Visborg, when King Eirkr was stationed at the aforementioned castle. And then fourteen hundred years and one year less than fifty years had passed since God's birth. Let us pray that God be gracious to his soul and to all Christian souls. Amen.

Anga Church, Gotland, Sweden (High Middle Ages, 1280s)

G 119 M --o : ger(þ)(u) ...R kirkiu : þisa : hehmu=ndr : miþ : fiau--m : eykium : ok liknuiþr miþ tuaim eykium : ok hehuiþr miþ ... botuiþr miþ ainum : eyk : ok : ahnmundr likuiþr miþ : ainum eyk : : ok fargaiR : miþ : tuaim : eykiu:m roeaikr miþ ainum : eyk : ok ioan miþ tuaim : eykium : ok : hahuer miþ : ainum : eyk : ok sihulfr miþ : tuaim : eykium ok roþualr miþ : ainum : eyk : ok ronuiþr miþ tuaim eykium : ok haluatr miþ : ainum eyk ok : alt þit : fulk : sum : hiar : hafr : arfuþi : haft : baþi : nemt : ok : onemt : þa : misku-i : þaim : guþ : baþi : lifanti : ok : dauþum

G 119 M ... made ... this church, Hegmundr with four oxen and Líknvidhr with two oxen and Hegvidhr with ... Bótviðr with one ox and Agnmundr [and] Líknviðr with one ox and Fargeirr with two oxen, Hróðleikr(?) with one ox and Jóhan with two ox and Hegviðr(?) with one ox and Sigulfr with two oxen and Hróðvaldr with one ox and Ronviðr with two oxen and Hallhvatr with one ox. And all those people, who have had .. here, both named and unnamed, then may God have mercy on them, both living and dead.

Vänge Church, Gotland, Sweden (Post-Viking Age, August 5, 1553)

G 124 M bedin * fyri * iakobs * sial * nikkarfua * han * do * fæm * daha fyri * sante * lafranz * dag ta * uar * f * sundahr * ok * m * primst-f(u)-r * i * fimtand- ra(t)...

G 124 M Pray for Jakobr of Nikkarfa/Nickarve's soul. He died five days before Saint Lafrantz' day, when F was the Sunday[-stave] and M the prime-stave in the fifteenth row.

Halla Church, Gotland, Sweden (High Middle Ages, post-Viking Age, 1400s)

G 140 M ... um to=lf mark

G 140 M ... about twelve marks.

Hejde Church, Gotland, Sweden (Post-Viking Age, April 4, 1506)

G 170 M + betin * fyrre * petars sia=l ka=upa=rfa : ha=n : to : sia=u nat=um efder ny ta= ua=r : o : o=k : k : prim : i : fiurta=ndo rato

G 170 M Pray for Pétar of Kauparfa/Kauparve's soul. He died seven nights after New [Year]. Then O and K were prime[-staves] in the fourteenth row.

Lärbro Church, Gotland, Sweden (High Middle Ages, post-Viking Age, 1350)

G 293 M [guþ : naþi : hehuars : sial : sum : h--... : gera fem þusend] ar : ok : ainu : a... mina : en : tu : hundra... -r : uaru : af : adami : ok : ti- : -uz : byrþ : et þusend : ar : ok : þry : hundr-þ ar : ok fimtihi : ar : uar : af : guz : byrþ : ok til : tihra:dauþ-...

G 293 M May God be gracious to Hegvarð's soul, which ... ... five thousand years and one year less then two hundred years were from Adam to God's birth, one thousand years and three hundred years and fifty years were from God's birth and to the Black Death.

Visby, St. Clemens, Gotland, Sweden (Medieval, Post-Viking Age)

G 341 M ??????????? [elfa hunara=þ or ok ... biþim furi ... ial stain botuiþr lit fira ...]

G 341 M ... Eleven hundred years and ... pray for ... ... stone. Bótviðr had ... made.

Talgje Church, Finnøy, Rogaland, Norway (Post-Viking Age, 12th century)

N 257 M §A ... uiþ : a=nlat : sit ÷ -... §B ÷ kirkio : þæsse * til : ke=rþa=r ... §C ...t(e) : til : uista=r : ua=l-... §D ... ...l : dyrþa=r : o=uk : ga=f : til : se=gs : ...

N 257 M §A ... at his demise... §B ... to the making of this church ... §C ... to provision ... §D ... to magnificence, and gave six to ...

Ystines, Nord-Trøndelag, Norway (Medieval)

N 521 M [u](n)di[r a=us](t)(a)-(u)-(r)(þ)re o=rf er gul g-(y)-- niu a=lna --þr

N 521 M Gold is hidden nine ells below under the eastern corner.

Gullskoen, Bergen, Norway (Latin inscription in runes) (Medieval, Post-Viking Age, after 1332)

N 632 M §A ÷ in nomne (p)at=ric æ=þ fi(l)i æ=þ cprit=uc| |ca=nti am=en : surraa §B pia sruc æ=þ pasio sricte ??i m(a) pacmauit æ=þ casrobat §C ?(a)=l(r) ?i?(e) (d)(e)i cin medisina cin medisina mii o §D cagine la=uit febrac (a)(d)(i)(k)oui(a)(d) fu(i) (m)(a) uecca=re lr

N 632 M §A In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen §C May God's Five Wounds be (my) medicine. May my medicine be §B Holy Cross and Christ's passion. He who moulded and washed me §D with Holy Blood. May he expel the fever which strives to torment me.

Norway (Medieval, Post-Viking Age, before 1332)

N 650 M §A ÷ æin=nriþi ÷ þeta ÷ at| |tu mer at gia=l=lda ÷ tua mæla ok ÷ þriu sa=lld ÷ en ahngarstihi ÷ sihta=n mæla §B en þu ska=l=lt ÷ æin=ndriþi ÷ taka ÷ þat ko=nn ÷ sem ÷ berþor ÷ a mer at luka ÷ eihi min=na ÷ en sehsta=n mæla §C ska=l=lt| |tu ta=ka ÷ eþa ÷ el=lihar : tak þu ehi ÷ en ÷ fa=þur min=n ÷ biþ ek ÷ a(t) ha=n=n kil=lti ÷ mer ÷ þriu sa=l=ld ÷ i

N 650 M §A Eindriði! This you owe in payment: two measures and three casks, or else(?) sixteen measures. §B And you should, Eindriði, take the corn which Bergþórr has to discharge. (You should take) no less than sixteen measures §C or otherwise take nothing. And I order my father that he pay me three casks ...

Bergen, Norway (Post-Viking Age, 1198)

N 654 M §A bet=r= =let| |t=uær mærkr * o=la=fr : þreta=n bu=(n) §B suærþo=lfr --- enku lo...

N 654 M §A Pétr let (gave) two marks, Ólafr thirteen pounds. §B Sverðolfr ... nothing discharged.

Søndre Engelgården, Bergen, Norway (Post-Viking Age, Before 1332)

N 655 M §A * (k) * barþr * t=ra=uan : ha=luan : a=nan : øyri : hein:rekr : tuær : ærtogar : brek * i uihi §B ingimundr : sauþr : ha=lfa : þriþiu : ærtog uihi §C h- (h) §D uihi

N 655 M §A Paid(?): Bárðr: scarcely one and a half ôre. Heinrekr: two ertogar, fradulently. Vígi / Acknowledged. §B Ingimundr the Sheep: two and a half ertogar. Vígi / Acknowledged. §C ... ... §D Vígi / Acknowledged.

Nordre Gullskoen, Bergen, Norway (Medieval, Before 1248)

N 656 M §A -- halluar þe slotha þrim (p)-... ... §B loþne faus haluan niunnda æyri ok h-...

N 656 M §A ... To Hallvarðr the Slothful: three pounds(?)... §B To Lodinn the Reckless(?): eight and a half ôre and ...

Gullskoen, Bergen, Norway (Medieval, Before 1248)

N 735 M §A couæk a þræþr þisa §B ho=f : fimta mo=rk

N 735 M §A Sölveig owns these threads. §B Four and a half marks.

Nedre Langgate, Vestfold, Norway (Medieval, Post-Viking Age)

N A347 M ÷ sægs : o=k æyrir

N A347 M Six (marks?) and (one?) øre

Gamla Högby Church, Östergötland, Sweden (Viking Age, 10th century)

ÖG 81 §A * þukir * resþi * stin * þansi * eftiR * asur * sin * muþur*bruþur * sin * iaR * eataþis * austr * i * krikum * §B * kuþr * karl * kuli * kat * fim * suni * feal * o * furi * frukn * treks * asmutr * aitaþis * asur * austr * i krikum * uarþ * o hulmi * halftan * tribin * kari * uarþ * at uti * §C auk * tauþr * bui * þurkil * rist * runaR

ÖG 81 §A Thorgerðr(?) raised this stone in memory of Özurr, her mother's brother. He met his end in the east in Greece. §B The good man Gulli got five sons. The brave valiant man Ásmundr fell at Fyri(?); Özurr met his end in the east in Greece; Halfdan was killed at Holmr (Bornholm?); Kári was (killed) at Oddr(?); §C also dead (is) Búi. Thorkell carved the runes.

Rök Church, Östergötland, Sweden (Viking Age, 9th century)

ÖG 136 $ aft uamuþ stonta runaR þaR n uarin faþi faþiR aft faikion sunu sakum| |mukmini þat huariaR ualraubaR uaRin tuaR þaR suaþ tualf sinum uaRin| |numnaR t ualraubu baþaR somon o umisum| |monum ' þat sakum onart huaR fur niu altum on urþi fiaru miR hraiþkutum auk tu miR on ub sakaR raiþ| |þiaurikR hin þurmuþi stiliR flutna strontu hraiþmaraR sitiR nu karuR o kuta sinum skialti ub fatlaþR skati marika þat sakum tualfta huar histR si kunaR itu| |uituoki on kunukaR tuaiR tikiR suaþ o likia ' þat sakum þritaunta huariR tuaiR tikiR kunukaR satin t siulunti fiakura uintur at fiakurum nabnum burnR fiakurum bruþrum ' ualkaR fim ra=þulfs| |suniR hraiþulfaR fim rukulfs| |suniR hoislaR fim haruþs suniR kunmuntaR fim (b)irnaR suniR * nuk m--- (m)-- alu --(k)(i) ainhuaR -þ... ...þ ... ftiR fra sagwm| |mogmeni (þ)ad hOaR igOldga OaRi gOldin d gOonaR hOsli sakum| |mukmini uaim si burin| |niþR troki uilin is þat knuo knati| |iatun uilin is þat (n)(i)(t) akum| |mukmini þur sibi uiauari ul niruþR

ÖG 136 $ In memory of Vémóðr stand these runes. And Varinn coloured them, the father, in memory of his dead son. I say the folktale / to the young men, which the two war-booties were, which twelve times were taken as war-booty, both together from various men. I say this second, who nine generations ago lost his life with the Hreidgoths; and died with them for his guilt. Ţjóðríkr the bold, chief of sea-warriors, ruled over the shores of the Hreiðsea. Now he sits armed on his Goth(ic horse), his shield strapped, the prince of the Mærings. I say this the twelfth, where the horse of Gunnr sees fodder on the battlefield, where twenty kings lie. This I say as thirteenth, which twenty kings sat on Sjólund for four winters, of four names, born of four brothers: five Valkis, sons of Hráðulfr, five Hreiðulfrs, sons of Rugulfr, five Háisl, sons of Hôrðr, five Gunnmundrs/Kynmundrs, sons of Bjôrn. Now I say the tales in full. Someone ... I say the folktale / to the young men, which of the line of Ingold was repaid by a wife's sacrifice. I say the folktale / to the young men, to whom is born a relative, to a valiant man. It is Vélinn. He could crush a giant. It is Vélinn ... I say the folktale / to the young men: Thórr. Sibbi of Vé, nonagenarian, begot (a son).

Norra Sandsjö, Småland, Sweden (Viking Age, ca. 990-1010 AD)

SM 71 × erinuorþr × let × reisa × stein × þena × eftiR × heka × faþur × sin × auk × heru × faþur : hans × auk × karl × hans × faþur ... × heru × hans × faþur × auk × þiagn × hans × faþur × auk × eftiR × þe × lagfaþrga × fem ×

SM 71 Erinvarðr had this stone raised in memory of Heggi, his father and Hæra, his (i.e. Heggi's) father, and Karl, his (i.e. Hæra's) father and Hæra, his father and Thegn, his father and in memory of these five forefathers.

Kärnbo Ödekyrka, Södermanland, Sweden (Viking Age, 10th century)

Sö 176 §A ... ...(n) * þina| |aft * mik * sialbR * in aft kaiRulf * bruþur min : uarb iak * hrauR §B hi(n)uslik(R) * hi(a)-- * an(a)-- * §C [u](l) * af-raiþu ÷ i[n h]uariaR * aiku (l)(o)kmuþrk(u) þriaR * bar(n) (s)(i)ak(s) * bas[t] *

Sö 176 §A ... this stone in memory of myself. And in memory of Geirulfr, my brother, I threw up a cairn §B ... §C ... and each of the ancestresses has six children, the best (...).

Sigtuna, Uppland, Sweden (Late Viking Age, ca. 1050-1100)

U AST1;166 M §A ik * ak * uk * ris d=u * i * ueg onþ=R * tun=glunum sifgeuinum oyr þæ=t an=ge * æuþ| |þæt skin §B × ek * þ * sig þ=rio × nauþR niu uiur nank

U AST1;166 M §A ... ... ... Rise and go away beneath the benevolent stars! Make this (= the curse) crazy (ie. confuse this), (magical) mist! Destroy this (= the curse), (sun)shine! §B I say three giants, nine needs. I conjure (in the capacity of) overseer of the sanctuary.(?)

Uppland, Sweden (Viking Age, 11th century)

U Fv1933;134 $ §A þurs| × |sarriþu × þursa trutin fliu þu nu f=untin is §B af þiR þriaR þraR ulf × af þiR niu nøþiR ulfR × ikiR þik ikiR auk ik uniR ulfr niut lufia

U Fv1933;134 $ §A Spectre of the giants, lord of the giants! Flee now! You are found. §B Have for yourself three pangs, Wolf! Have for yourself nine needs, Wolf! , Wolf. Make good use of the healing(-charm)!

Saleby Church, Västergötland, Sweden (High Middle Ages, Post-Viking Age, ca. 1228, inscription in church bell)

VG 210 M ÷ þa : iak : uar : gør : þa : uar : þushundraþ : tu : hu=ndraþ : tiuhu : uintr : ok : atta : fra : bRrþ : gus :+ a+g+l+a+ ÷ ÷ aue ÷ maria ÷ gracia ÷ plena ÷ ÷ dionisius : siþ ÷ benediktus ÷

VG 210 M When I was completed, then there were thousand two hundred twenty winters and eight from the birth of God. AGLA. Ave "Maria gracia plena. "Dionysius sit benedictus.

Open printer-friendly version of this page
Like my work?
Buy me a
cup of coffee
via PayPal!


The Viking Answer Lady Website is Now an Associate

Search: Enter keywords...

Page designed by Christie Ward (Gunnvôr silfrahárr).

For comments, additions, and corrections, please contact Gunnvör at

Return to The Viking Answer Lady

Valid CSS! Valid HTML 4.01! This page was last updated on: