Tirsted Stone

‘Ásráðr auk Hildulfr ræisðu stæin þænnsi aft Freða, frǽnda sinn, en hann vas þá fæikn vera; en hann varð dauðr á Svéþjúðu auk vas fyrst í Frekis sæði, þá allir víkingar.’
‘Ásráđ and Hildulf raised this stone after Fređi, their kinsman, and he was then the terror of men; but he died in Sweden and was first into the satisfaction of the wolf (i.e., into battle), [they were] then Vikings all.’

The Tirsted Runestone (DR 216) is a usual runestone in most respects: it names the raisers, after whom it was raised, the relation between the raisers and the deceased, and the place where the deceased died. But the language on the stone is quite elusive, and my reading differs from Moltke’s (Moltke, Erik. Runerne i Danmark og deres oprindelse, Copenhagen, Forum, 1976.) due to my dissatisfaction with the reading of ‘iąþi’ as ‘liði.’

To elaborate on my reading, I take ‘frikis’ to read ‘Frekis’ the genitive of a long ja-stem variant of ‘Freki’ (compare: the name of Óđin’s brother, which appears as both ‘Vili’ and ‘Vílir’), the name of one of Óđin’s wolves, and the following ‘iąþi’ as ‘sæði,’ supplying the ‘s’ from the end of ‘frikis’ (runic inscriptions regularly omit repeated sounds between word barriers), which I take to be derived from the verb ‘seðja,’ meaning ‘satisfaction, satiation.’ This creates the kenning ‘satisfaction of Frekir/Freki (i.e., the wolf),’ i.e., ‘battle.’

Photo: Kbh DR216 Tirsted sten 1 by Christian Bickel, CC BY-SA 2.0 DE / Link

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