Varangian Runestones

The Varangian Runestones are runestones in Scandinavia that mention voyages to the East (Austr) or the Eastern route (Austrvegr), or to more specific eastern locations such as Garðaríki (what is today Russia, Belarus and Ukraine).

There are also many additional runestones in Scandinavia that talk of eastward voyages such as the Greece Runestones, Italy Runestones, and inscriptions left by the Varangian Guard. Other runestones that deal with Varangian expeditions include the Serkland Runestones (dealing with expeditions to the Middle East) and the Ingvar Runestones (erected in honor or memory of those who travelled to the Caspian Sea with Ingvar the Far-Travelled). There is also a separate article for the Baltic expeditions runestones. In addition, there were also voyages to Western Europe mentioned on runestones that are treated in the articles Viking Runestones, England Runestones and Hakon Jarl Runestones.

Most of the runestones were raised during the Christianization of the 11th century when the making of runestones was fashionable, but notably the Kälvesten Runestone Ög 8 was made in the 9th century when the Varangians played a central role in what would become Russia and Ukraine. This vast area was a rich source of pelts, hides and people, and it was an important component in the contemporary Swedish economy. Its Old Norse name meant "land of fortresses" and was derived from the chains of fortresses that had been constructed along the trade routes.

All of the stones were engraved in Old Norse with the Younger Futhark and the message of many of the inscriptions can be summarized with a poem in the fornyrðislag style found on the Turinge Runestone Sö 338:

Brøðr vau
þæi bæstra manna,
a landi
ok i liði uti,
heldu sina huskarla ve.
Hann fioll i orrustu
austr i Garðum,
liðs forungi,
landmanna bæstr.
These brothers were
the best of men
in the land
and abroad in the retinue,
held their housecarls well.
He fell in battle
in the east in Garðar (Russia),
commander of the retinue,
the best of landholders.

Below follows a presentation of the runestones based on the Rundata project. The transcriptions into Old Norse are mostly in the Swedish and Danish dialect to facilitate comparison with the inscriptions, while the English translation provided by Rundata gives the names in the de facto standard dialect (the Icelandic and Norwegian dialect):


Read more about Varangian Runestones:  Gotland, See Also

Other articles related to "varangian runestones, runestones, varangian":

List Of Runestones - By Place - Sweden
... Varangian Runestones - inscriptions that mention voyages to the East (Austr) or the Eastern route (Austrvegr) ... Ingvar Runestones - 26 Varangian runestones that were raised in commemoration of those who died in the Swedish Viking expedition to the Caspian Sea of Ingvar the Far-Travelled ... Serkland Runestones - six or seven runestones which are Varangian Runestones that mention voyages to Serkland, the Old Norse name for the Muslim world in the south ...
Varangian Runestones - See Also
... Berezan' Runestone Trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks. ...
Ragnvald Ingvarsson
... Ragnvaldr was a captain of the Varangian Guard in the first half of the 11th century ... He may appear on several runestones, some of which suggest that he was the son of an Ingvar connecting him to the Jarlabanke clan ... Pr4, and they were ordered by a former captain of the Varangian Guard named Ragnvaldr in memory of himself and his mother ...