Sønder Kirkeby Stone

‘[Sas]surr sætti stén þænnsi aft Ásgǿt, bróður sinn, en [hann] varð dǿðr á Go[tlandi]. Þórr vígi rúnar.’
‘Sassur set this stone after Ásgǿt, his brother, and he died on Gotland(?). May Thór hallow [these] runes.’

The Sønder Kirkeby Runestone (DR 220) was carved some time after the younger Jelling Stone, and therefore after the King Harald declared that he ‘made the Danes Christian.’ This might explain why the phrase ‘Þórr vígi rúnar’ is obscured as it is, being written horizontally to the rest of the inscription in the ‘same-stave’ manner. These have been called ‘hidden,’ although I think it more accurate to say, as I have above, that they are ‘obscured.’

Above the inscription is the remnants of what must have once been a full image of a ship. One could interpret this as an allusion to the afterlife, which in old Indo-European belief was held to lie across a body of water, or to Ásgǿt’s apparent sea-faring occupation, assuming the interpretation of ‘gu-’ as ‘Gotlandi’ is correct. Or, perhaps, both images are meant to come to mind.

Photo: Sønder Kirkeby runestone I by Wikimedia User:Skadinaujo, CC BY-SA 2.5 / Link

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