Viking Runestones are large carved stones that
memorialize ancient Scandinavians who participated in various Viking
expeditions over land and sea. These expeditions went as far west – across the
Atlantic no less – and into modern day Newfoundland. They also went as far east
as Byzantium and the Middle East.
It is unlikely that the stones mention all the
Vikings who participated in these expeditions, nor is there sufficient evidence
to point to any specific Vikings who partook in any pillaging, despite the fact
that pillaging certainly occurred.
All of the inscriptions are engraved in Old Norse. The
stones were carved during the so-called “Viking Age” which is somewhat
arbitrarily defined as ranging between 793 and 1066.
The Kjula Runestone (final picture) is considered to be the most famous, as it
contain an Old Norse poem in the alliterative poetic meter known as fornyrðislag:
a verse form common in Old Norse Eddas. Fornyrðislag roughly translates to
“way of ancient words.” The Kjula Runestone recites the poem of a man
called “Spear” and his war-like ways. The poem and its translation are below.
I promised Thórr ages ago that I’d write Him a poem as thanks for something. I was kind of stumped and didn’t know what to write for a long time, and then Loki said that if I actually wanted to make it meaningful I should write about Him as I’ve experienced Him. Finally got around to actually doing it.
(I’ll schedule a reblog for a time I know more people are actually online.)
Today I’m starting the sequel to “The Illustrated Hávamál,” “The Illustrated Voluspa.” In The Voluspa, Odin calls on an “Volva” or wise-woman, bidding her to rise from the grave and foretell a great prophecy.
I will be posting a new image every week day, until I’m done. I hope you will follow along and enjoy.
If you know a man who has a really long beard, you should be able to call him “beard-Bragi” to make everyone immediately understand that he’s real about his facial hair. This according to Snorri Sturlason, who names Bragi, the god of poetry, as the one with the longest beard in all of Asgard.
I didn’t really feel like making him old and bearded, because really, he’s married to Idunn, the goddess of youth. If you’re immortal, you can grow out your beard without looking like someone’s grandpa. So here are some first sketches.
And why is his hair grey then? It’s not, I promise. It’s just the weird variety of natural blonde that’s known as “dirt-road-brown” in Finnish and “dusty blonde” in English. The scale for what’s blonde and what’s dark is skewed pretty far to the blonde side in the Nordic countries. You can see the first variants in the corner, but a “true” blonde looked too shiny and the darker dirt-road-brown was too strong.