runes

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Secrets of the Runic Lion

The Lion of Pireus is a large 4th century BC marble statue that was moved from Pireus, the port of Athens, to Venice in 1688. It is now at the city’s Arsenal. The Lion has unmistakeable Swedish 11th century runic inscriptions which have been known to Scandinavian scholars since 1798/99. Clearly they have something to…

We interrupt this transmission for a puerile message from Medieval Bergen. It was found carved with runes on a stick at the Hanseatic docks. ion silkifuþ a mek en guþormr fuþcllæikir ræist mik en : ion fuþkula ræþr m(e)k (N B434) “John Silkencunt owns me and Guttorm Cuntlicker carved me and John Cuntball reads me”…

The Stone of Sälna is a runestone (U 323) erected about AD 1000 at Sälna hamlet where a major road crossed Hargsån stream in Skånela parish, Uppland. (This is not far from where Arlanda airport now sprawls.) None of this is unusual. But the stone’s great height, its inscription and its later fate are. Here’s…