Glavendrup Stone, Part II

‘At “rita” sá verði es stæin þænnsi ælti eða aft annan dragi.’
‘May he become a “rita” who removes(?) this stone or drags it [away] [to stand] after another.’

This last part of the Glavendrup Runestone (DR 209) is a curse of sorts, although obscure vocabulary makes it hard to interpret. A common interpretation holds that ‘rita’ should be read as ‘retta’ from earlier ‘hretta,’ and relates it to ‘skratti’ meaning ‘a sorcerer.’ This is because many communities in the Viking Age saw magic as too feminine for men to partake in.

‘rita’ could also be read as the verb ‘rétta,’ meaning ‘to make right.’ This would read: ‘May he be obliged to make things right…’ Although the use of ‘at’ suggests the reading of the verb ‘verða’ as ‘to become,’ as the infinitive marker ‘at’ is not normally present in the second use of ‘verða,’ while the preposition ‘at’ is used regularly with ‘become.’

The use of the verb ‘elta’ is also strange. Elsewhere it means ‘to chase, pursue,’ but here perceivably means ‘to cause to move.’

Photo: Glavendrup stone 02 by Danielle Keller, CC BY-SA 3.0 / Link

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