‘Ana hanhé slaginaz, Frawaráðaz.’
‘Slain upon a horse, Frawaráđ.’
The Möjbro Runestone (U 877) is, like the Blekinge stones we covered before, a Proto-Norse inscription, written in the Elder Fuþark. The deceased was a horseman, a *ríðárijaz, perhaps, in his native tongue, and what we can surmise to be a depiction of him is carved on the runestone, a very rare feature on runestones (perhaps compare the ship on the Sønder Kirkeby Runestone (DR 220)). Jordanes tells us in his Getica that the ‘Suehans,’ the Swedes, ‘like the Thyringi, enjoy remarkable horses.’
The word used for ‘horse’ in this inscription is ‘hanhaz.’ The Stentoften Runestone (DR 357), however, uses ‘hængistaz.’ The latter is the origin of Old English ‘hengest’ and Standard German ‘Hengst,’ whilst the former appears to be a truncated form of *hanhistaz, the origin of Old Norse ‘hestr.’ These two forms are variants caused by Verner’s Law.
Photo: rune stone by Flickr User:mararie, CC BY-SA 2.0 / Link