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The Rök Runestone and the End of the World
Göteborgs universitet.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Archaeology.
Stockholms universitet.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4304-9782
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1738-7072
2020 (English)In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 2003-296X, Vol. 9-10, p. 7-38Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Rök runestone from central middle Sweden, dated to around 800 CE, is famous, among other things, for a supposed reference to the emperor Theodo­ric the Great. This study proposes instead that the inscription deals with an anxiety triggered by a son’s death and the fear of a new climate crisis similar to the catastrophic one after 536 CE. Combining perspectives and findings from semiotics, philology, archaeology, and history of religion, the study presents a completely new interpretation which follows a unified theme, showing how the monument can be understood in the socio-cultural and religious context of early Viking Age Scandinavia. The inscription consists, according to the pro­posed interpretation, of nine enigmatic questions. Five of the questions con­cern the sun, and four of them, it is argued, ask about issues related to the god Odin. A central finding is that there are relevant parallels to the inscription in early Scandinavian poetry, especially in the Eddic poem Vafþrúðnismál.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. Vol. 9-10, p. 7-38
Keywords [en]
Rök, runestones, Viking Age, riddles, Eddic poetry, skaldic poetry, climate crisis
National Category
History and Archaeology Languages and Literature History of Religions
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-401040DOI: 10.33063/diva-401040OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-401040DiVA, id: diva2:1383036
Note

https://doi.org/10.33063/diva-401040

Available from: 2020-01-07 Created: 2020-01-07 Last updated: 2020-01-07

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Gräslund, BoWilliams, Henrik

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