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The wild life of the Vikings..........

Jelling   Denmark

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photos

runic stones in Jelling

The Jelling Church

The Jelling Mounds

 

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The certificate of Baptism of Denmark

 

The Certificate of baptism

 

Harald Bluetooth`s  runic stone whit the picture of Christ, which is the oldest of the country.


Oddly enough it was a politician and not a poet, who for the first time used the appellation  "The certificate of baptism of Denmark" about the monuments in Jelling. The expression is incisive, and it has since moved to the place, where it rightly belongs, namely to the big and filled with pictures runic stone, which is standing in front of the door of the church in Jelling. This stone fills an undisputed leading place among Danish runic monuments, about that everybody can agree (agreement is normally not what has marked the research in Jelling mostly).
The stone is as nown from the school books set up by king Harald Blåtand in memory of his parents Gorm and Thyre, about whom not many runes are wasted. As it was costum of the time it is the achievements of the man, who sets up the stone, that is gloryfied:-----that Harald who won for himself all of Denmark and Norway and made the Danes Christians.

 

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While all other Danish runic stones have vertical runic types, the Jelling stone is using horizontal lines and begins by this a new time, where you wrote more often on parchment than stone. Also the sumptuous ornamentation whith pictures is without any domistic parallel. There are some similarity to the art language of other countries in the pictures of the stone; staying at home was not what the lords of the viking period did most of the time.

The lion side

The writing side

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The largest of the tree sides of the stone carries the mainpart of the inscription. On one of the smaller flats you can see a decoration with a sterilized animal with claws ( a lion ) fighting with a snake; underneath the incription "og Norge" (and Norway). On the third side is thefamous picture of Christ, the oldest in Denmark, and the inscription "og gjorde danerne kristne" ( and made the Danes Christians). Christ is pictured as crucified, but the cross is missing, perhaps because the artist did nit now the history of the picture and has understood it only as a background for the man.


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The translation of the runics 

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Haraltr  kunukr  bath  kaurua
Harald konge bød gøre
Harald the king told to do


kubl thausi aft kurm fathur sin
kumler disse efter Gorm fader sin
runics these in memory of Gorm father his


auk aft thaurui muthur sina sa
og efter Thyra moder sin, den
and in memmory of mother his, that


haraltr ias sar uan tanmaurk
Harald som sig vandt Danmark
Harald who for himself won Denmark


ala auk nuruiak
al og Norge
all and Norwey


auk tani karthi kristna
og danerne gjorde kristne
and the Danes made Christians  

 

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Read yourself

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It is an old observation, that the large stone stands exatly halfway between the two burial mounds. If the assertion is correct, if really it can be proofed against the examination of the modern instruments, it beyond question speaks  that the stone is standing at its original place, for the people of the Viking period as known had a sense for symmetry. During the great excavations which was done in Jelling at the  beginning of the forties under the leadership of Ejnar Dyggve, an excavation was done at the large runic stone. It  appeared with certainty, that the stone has been moved, for one of the graves of the cemetery lay under it. It deserves notice, that the grave also lay under a grouping of stones, which was found under the runic stone, so that this foundation could have nothing to do with king Harald. The removal stands, but it can be discussed, whether it has been short or long, or if the stone only has been overturned and set up again.

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