‘Ragnhildr, systir Ulfs, sætti stæin þænnsi auk gærði haug þænnsi aft, auk skæið þǽssi, Gunnulf, ver sinn, glamulan mann, sun Nærvis. Fáir verða nú fǿddir þæim bætri. Sá verði at “rita” es ælti stæin þænnsi eða heðan dragi.’
‘Ragnhild, Ulf’s sister, set this stone and made this mound after – and this ship – Gunnulf, her husband, a talkative man, son of Nærvir. Few will now be born who are better. May that one become a “rita” who removes this stone or drags it from here.’
The Tryggevælde Runestone (DR 230) is curious for its connection to the Glavendrup Runestone (DR 209). It was commissioned by the same Ragnhild and carved by the same runemaster.
What is unclear is which husband was her first. However, no sons of Gunnulf are mentioned, so it is therefore possible her marriage to Alli may have been during her younger, fertile years.
The Tryggevælde Stone was found on Sjælland (Zealand), whilst the Glavendrup Stone is located on Fyn (Funen). The former was moved before its first historical reference, and was said to have sat upon a nearby gravemound. No stone ship is known in relation to the Tryggevælde Stone, but one must have existed, as one is referenced in the inscription, and the related Glavendrup Stone is part of one such ship.
The name of Gunnulf’s father, Nærvir, appears to mean ‘The Narrow One,’ from the adjective ‘nǫrr,’ which is not attested by itself, but is within the Norse name for the Straight of Gibraltar, ‘Nǫrvasund.’ It has been noted that the names ‘Narfi’ and ‘Nǫrfi,’ variants of the name of one of Loki’s sons, are likely of the same derivation.
Notably, despite my choice to normalize with diphthongs, spelling choices in both the Glavendrup and Tryggevælde Stones indicate that Sóti, the runemaster, did not retain diphthongs in his speech, as indicated by the spelling of ‘ailti’ (shared by both inscriptions), ‘þaisi,’ and ‘nairbis.’ We can assume then that Sóti pronounced the former diphthong ‘æi’ as ‘æ,’ and the use of ‘ai’ is an intentional archaicism.
Photo: Kbh Mus Run Tryggevelde 1 by Christian Bickel, CC BY-SA 2.0 DE / Link
(Side C not pictured.)