Inscribed Viking Thor’s Hammer Pendant, Yorkshire, England, C. 1000 AD
In old Danish or Latin on bronze, the inscription consists of a cross followed by the letters E M S N and a punched cross at the end.
Around 50 examples of Thor’s Hammer are found widely distributed throughout Scandinavia from 9th to 11th century, with a few examples from England. As an amulet it symbolises the god’s protection of the wearer. The 2 crosses suggest a Christian owner, and makes it an unusual and interesting example of the birth of Christianity among the Vikings, still clinging to their old gods. Thor (Anglo-Saxon Thunor and German Donar) was the son of Odin the Allfather. He was the god of order and chief antagonist of the giants, the demons of chaos. His chief weapon was his shorthandled hammer. His main enemy was the serpent, Jörmundgand, symbol of evil, who surrounded the world. Thor was sometimes equated with Jupiter. Jove’s Day became Thor’s Day (Thursday). He causes the thunderstorms whenever he uses his hammer or rides his chariot across the heavens.
Silver pendant in the shape of a stylized hammer. The obverse side engraved with interlaced bands. The suspension ring in the shape of an eagle’s head. Rare evidence of the veneration of Norse gods from the early period of Christianization.