Jelling Stones, Part I

‘Haraldr kunungr bað gǫrva kumbl þausi aft Gorm, faður sinn, auk aft Þórví, móður sína. Sá Haraldr es sér vann Danmǫrk alla auk Nórvæg, auk Dani gærði kristna.’
‘King Harald bade these monuments made after Gorm, his father, and Thórví, his mother. That Harald who won for himself all of Denmark and Norway, and made the Danes Christian.’

Many today associate runes only with Paganism, but in reality, the majority of (surviving) runestones date to after the conversion to Christianity. The younger Jelling Stone (DR 42) is one of the earliest examples of this, where King Harald Blue-tooth declares that he ‘Dani gærði kristna,’ ‘made the Danes Christian.’ Besides this, the stone is the first recording of the name of Norway in Scandinavia, still possessing the ‘v’ which will be lost before the introduction of the Roman alphabet.

Photos: Jelling gr Stein 1, Jelling gr Stein 2, and Jelling gr Stein 3 by Wikimedia User:Casiopeia, CC BY-SA 2.0 DE / Link, Link, Link

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