Manx Runestones

The Manx runestones were made by the Norse population on the Isle of Man during the Viking Age, mostly in the 10th century. Despite its small size, the Isle of Man stands out with many Viking Age runestones, in 1983 numbering as many as 26 surviving stones, which can be compared to 33 in all of Norway. The reason why there are so many of them on the Isle of Man may be due to the merging of the immigrant Norse runestone tradition with the local Celtic tradition of raising high crosses.

In addition, the church contributed by not condemning the runes as pagan, but instead it encouraged the recording of people for Christian purposes. Sixteen of the stones bear the common formula, "N ... put up this cross in memory of M", but among the other ten there is also a stone raised for the benefit of the runestone raiser.

The Manx runestones are consequently similar to the Scandinavian ones, but whereas a Norwegian runestone is called "stone" in the inscriptions, even if it is in the shape of a cross, the runestones that were raised in the British isles typically call them "crosses". There are also two slabs incised with Anglo-Saxon runes at Maughold.

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