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Rune sheet

Rectangular copper runic plate. A hole in each edge shows that it was worn as an amulet pendant. Five rows of Runes on the front of the plate and four on the back. After the last rune on the back a fish has been drawn. The 140 runes make the inscription one of the longest we know of. There are a number of different interpretations of their meaning. The runes are easy to read and large parts of the inscription are completely clear, while other parts still have no explanation. The main disagreement regards the beginning of the inscription, which consists of 'bind runes", meaning characters composed of a number of different runes. One suggestion is that the text may be "Hēr risti’k þēR berg, Bōfi', "Here I engraved protection for you, Bōfi". According to folklore, one way to overcome the evil forces was to get them to occupy themselves with an unachievable task, and this may be the purpose of the bind runes. After a short unclear part, the continuation should probably be interpreted as: "And may lightning keep evil from Bōfi. Thor protect him with his hammer which.... Flee from evil. Nothing may be obtained from Bōfi. The gods are above and below him". This is an invocation of the Aesir god Thor, to protect the owner of the amulet. It also speaks of gods, those of the heavens and those of the underworld, which is evidence of a conception of the world far away from the pious prayers of the rune stones. Nevertheless, the amulet belongs to the same time as them, and perhaps Bōfi was also aware of the Christian beliefs. The engraved fish, a well-known Christian symbol, may support this. The plate is a stray find, found in 1920 in a garden in Södra Kvinneby, Stenåsa Parish, Öland.

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Object number: 120571_HST

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