Viking and medieval amulets in Scandinavia

Fuglesang, Signe Horn
Fornvännen 84, 15-27
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1978. All texts on medicine and leechcraft are late (the earliest is from the 13th century) and depend on WestEuropean prototypes (Sorensen. Duczko. and consequently what survives may not be representative. Norway. The Sigrdnfumdl. In the Viking period. Apart from T h o r ' s hammer. T h e miniatures of weapons from the dwellings at Eketorp. Finally. earlier objects from graves in England and on the Continent (Meaney. Identification of Viking period and medieval amulets entails problems of source criticism: the literary sources on medicine. The suggested association of some of these models with particular pagan gods raises further questions. most of them are miniatures of tools and weapons which have a fairly long European tradition (Fig. Minbture objects are normally of metal. The interpretation of them as amulets rests partly on the simultaneous occurrence of identical models in iron (Arrhenius. pp. 1981). They may reflect contemporary Scandinavian practices. Schwarz-Mackensen. Odin's rävens or Freyr's boar. Öland. contains a famous passage on how to incise " r u n e s of victory" on weapons. Thor and Freyr rests mainly on inference. 163167). and to distinguish between amulets. T h o r ' s goats. Näsman. for kunsthislork og klassisk arkeobgi. 1989. which seems certain. it is noteworthy that none of the Scandinavian Viking amulets depicts animals of the species wich låter sources associate with the pagan gods. ornaments and cult objects is difficult. 1972-73.000 or so weapons surviving from the Viking and Medieval periods bear runic inscriptions.Viking and medieval amulets in Seandinavia By Signe Horn Fuglesang Fuglesang. Viking and medieval amulets in Seandinavia. 1) (Arrhenius. Universitetet i Oslo.g. are all late and depend on West-European prototypes. Inst. potentially relevant plant and animal remains in the archaeological material may have dissolved or been overlooked. 1966). It is also notoriously difficult to draw the line between amulets on the one hand and orna- ments or cult objects on the other. but the theories sometimes seem exaggerated. For instance. 1981. Postboks 1019 Blindem. e. 1986). H. probably date from the 6th-7th century and conform to contemporaneous West-European types of models (Näsman. esp. Fornvännen 84. written in the 13th century. attention may be drawn to the discrepancy between literature and actual remains in the case of runic inscriptions on weapons. Stockholm. all Scandinavian texts concerning amulets are late and projecting their information backwards in time can easily result in a circular argument. For example. Oslo 3. S. but their value for our understanding of earlier customs remains doubtful unless confirmed by archaeological finds. leechcraft etc. 1961) partly on the interpretation of similar. miniatures of tools and weapons of silver or bronze were frequently worn on a necklace (Fig. In fact. 1.) They can easily have been ornaments. none of them is an obvious attribute and their identification with Odin. The identification of Viking and medieval amulets from Seandinavia entails several problems of source criticism. and none of them has a magical content (Diiwel. Many types of amulets have been postulated for the Viking period and the Middle Ages. 1981. T h e Viking miniaFornvännen »4(1»»») . In actual fact only 20 of the 5. 1972-73). 1961. Signe Horn Fuglesang. Meaney.

Since they are not usually associated with other miniature weapons. Scandinavian Viking miniatures include spade-like objects.) — Miniatyrer av bronse: hest. Arbman. the Viking sieve spoon normally lacks a handle. Thor and the fertility god Freyr have been mentioned in this connection (Arrhenius. esp. but raises the possibility of their being ornaments. Miniature chairs are apparently peculiar to Seandinavia. Ninety-five per cent of the approximately 450 " T h o r ' s r i n g s " of this type come from the Mälar region. Gotland) and Denmark Fornvännen 84 (!»»») (ind. Horn Fuglesang OoÖ Fig. and most of them date from the 9th century. spear. 289. spyd og stol fra Sverige. p. and one from Birka grave 552 has a runic inscription indicating that it was used aginst vermin (Duczko. They date from the midViking period (c. Bornholm). 47 f.and L-shaped miniatures. Andersen. and have (been connected with the cult of Odin (Arrhenius. occasionally with additional rings and spirals. Duczko. and its position on a necklace suggests that its function was amuletic or ornamental rather than practical.) Circular shieldshaped pendants of bronze or silver are found on necklaces from the lOth century. 50. Votive rings are a group of amulets peculiar to East-Scandinavia.and late-Viking contexts (Stenberger. esp. 1961. Museum of National Antiquities. They presumably contained fragrant herbs. They are large rings (diameter about 15 cm) made from an iron rod with twisted locks of different types. 294 f). 1958. pp. but since the overwhelming majority of such rings come from cremation graves their use in the world of the living remains conjectural. Fig. Meaney. sword. 97:1-20. This facilitates their distinction from toilet implements. p. 1971). Meaney 1981. provenance unknown. 1961. Duczko. they have suspended hammer-. 61-66). spatula. Pendant miniatures of bronze: horse. sverd. they may have been regarded as ornaments although their form and decoration coincide strikingly with early Anglo-Saxon examples (e. Pendant capsules of silver occur sporadically in mid. For a practical function of those on chatdaines see Gräslund. (Photo ATA. 1. 13 examples are known from Sweden (ind.16 S. V:o). esp. strike-a-lights and staffs (Arrhenius. to Uppland. T h e association of such rings with the . When found complete. Stockholm. as shown by some of the inhumation graves at Birka. So far. ukjent funsted. p. (Duczko 1985. Drescher and Hauck. 1985). 1961). although Odin. pp. 299. 1940. 1978-79. 181-185. 157. In addition to those from Western Europé. 1981. pp. For instance. 1985. scythes. tures which have been found tn situ in graves seem normally to have been suspended from a necklace rather than a chatdaine. Their precise symbolic connotations are unknown. p. Pl. They could be worn around the neck.g. chair. 1978-79 and 1985. Södermanland and Västmanland in Sweden (Fig 2. from Sweden. 152. 875/900-950/975). Drawing from Arrhenius 1961. 1982. esp. Stockholm. pp. 1974 and 1984). Ström.

Stockholm. cult of Thor seems reasonable. and their regional distribution is striking. But their number increased markedly in Viking-Age Seandinavia. grave 750. 900-tallet. Museum of National Antiquities. though not exclusively. (Photo ATA. found in women's graves. Mimature hammers occur in pre-Viking times both in Seandinavia and in England (Fig 3. Arrhenius. an interpretation based on contemporaneous Fig. Ström. 167-171. 3. Fornvännen »4 ( I » » » ) . Muller-Wille. (Photo ATA. and — from the lOth century onwards — silver. Stockholm. Pendant hammer of silver from Birka.. occasionally amber. bronze. Vikingtid. 1958. Sweden.) — Miniatyrhammer av solv fra Birka. grave 985. grav 750. 1984. while most of the silver examples come from hoards of the late lOth and the llth century (Stenberger. 1981. 1971. esp. Andersen. Viking period. 1978. T h e hammer-shaped pendant is normally interpreted as the symbol of the god Thor. 1976). 2. Museum of National Antiquities. 85 with refs. 1961.) — Votivring fra Birka. Stockholm. p. Votive ring from Birka. Meaney. Stockholm. p. 151). T h e material is iron. But it should not be overlooked that they bear a marked resemblance to small rings with miniatures of both iron and other metals found in other areas of Seandinavia (e. 136).Viking and medieval amulets 17 Fig. Uppland. pp. p. Schwarz-Mackensen. grav 985.g. esp. lOth century. They are predominantly.

Horn Fuglesang Fig. in Birka grave 968. However. pp. p. iconography and on låter but fairly reliable literary evidence. Casting mould of soapstone from Trendgården. 168. pp. Jutland. and a shidd-shaped pendant (Gräslund. pp. 1976. Bröndsted. 1982. a small bronze frog crouching behind what has been interpreted as female genitals is clearly amuletic (Fig. Stockholm. p. the figure of a small woman. Some. 900-tallet. a woman or a couple. There . Finland. 1:1).18 S. 32). 115-118). Its amuletic significance is taken to be generally prophylactic. namely the small gold plaques with repoussé renderings of a man. grave 480. 4). 1985. 37 f. It was found in a woman's grave in Jutland. Similarly. induding bracteates which may have been worn as amulets (Hauck. 1984. Museum of National Antiquities. 118). Such combinations of pagan and Christian amulets correspond to the occurrence of cross pendants in graves showing pagan ritual. 176). Gräslund. are found in graves. 171181. The proliferation of silver hammers in the lOth and llth centuries has occasionally been interpreted as a pagan riposte to the Christian pendant cross with became current in the same period. are of more interest for the history of religion.H'I) Fig. As mentioned. (Photo ATA. Normally. 1942). but most of the surviving piéces are of silver and have been recovered from hoards (Stenberger. 1984. (Photo Danish National Museum. possibly a pagan "valkyrie". 1984 with refs. Gräslund. 6.) — En stopeform av klebersten fra Trendgården. 5). Denmark.) — Hengekors av solv fra Birka. O n the other hand. Muller-Wille. Danish National Museum. a grave in Taskula. T h e bosses on some types of lOth century brooches are occasionally shaped like seminaturalistic goats which may have had an amuletic function through the animaFs association with T h o r (Roesdahl. 1958. Figure representations. Copenhagen. animals associated with specific gods do not occur among the amulet miniatures. neither hammers nor crosses found in hoards are hacked (Stenberger. Pendant cross of silver from Birka. vol. Jylland. Denmark. pp. Stockholm. demonstrates that cross and hammer were manufaclured simultaneously (Fig. p. 4. anity (Gräslund. particularly bronze crosses. other animal types used for bosses are without deistic connotations. with a miniature chair which is usually interpreted as a symbol of Odin. p. lOth century. 1958. Another grave contained both a cross and a T h o r ' s hammer (Birka grave 750. 1965. 1984. Copenhagen. 162). 115). The casting mould from Trendgården. had a pendant cross and a miniature axe (Kivikoski.). Cross pendants have been found in all parts of1 Seandinavia (Fig. 5. grav 480. Jutland. esp. Crosses in graves are at times associated with other types of amulet pendants. for instance. O n e is peculiar to Seandinavia. But two groups should be mentioned. and probably reflect individual vagaries in the period of transition to ChristiF o r n v ä n n e n » 4 (1'I.

The piéces have no sign of fastening.and lOthcentury worship of Freyr and Thor respectivdy ( Vatnsdab saga. Holmqvist. and the function of the statuettes remains uncertain. exciting discovery of hundreds of such piéces in one locality on the Island of Bornholm strengthens the theory that the gold plaques served as votive gifts (Watt. Although the identification of the figures with specific gods is uncertain. The other group is. Danish National Museum. (Photo Danish National Museum. 1964. Grave amulet of bronze: frog or töad crouching behind female genitals (?). Drescher and Hauck. Copenhagen. 1958. Holmqvist. p. from Sonderteglgård. Blindheim. seems to be both a regional and a chronological distinction between the iconographies: a man and woman rendered on separate sheets appear to be pre-Viking and mainly South-east Scandinavian (Fig. Viking period. 6. 248). ch. Some have been found singly. The ithyphallic figure from Rällinge. on the strength of two saga texts of the 13th century which mention 9th. 1982. Those that can be dated are from the llth century. T h e latest. Denmark. probably lOth century. 8. Copenhagen. Sweden. Those of bone may have been gaming piéces (Roesdahl. Stenberger. p. in contrast. They are sometimes taken to be amulets. Liden. and consists of small bronze or bone statuejttes of sitting men. 1973) and they seem to have continued through most of the Viking period. found only singly and rardy. Sweden. is sometimes taken to be a model of the fertility god Freyr which Adam of Bremen mentions as one of the cult statues in the Temple of Uppsala. 1938. 26 at H d g ö . Jutland.g.Vikinp and medieval amulets 19 Fig. 1959. The earliest are pre-Viking (Stenberger. and their diminutive size and fragility argue against a practical or ornamental function. 163). Vikingtid.g. 1969). cf. however. 1987). while other statuettes of bearded men are interpreted variously as Thor or Odin (e. e. ch. the facing and sometimes embracing pair is probably a fertility symbol (Norden. Beads have at times been interpreted as posFomvannen»4(l»»») . 1982). Norway (Gustafson. while the couple is of Viking date and has a pan-Scandinavian distribution (Fig. 19 at Maere. 7). 1973). 1958. 1899. Liden. sannsynligvis 900-tallet.) — Gravamulett av bronse: frosk sammenkropet bak en vulva (?). but surprisingly often they occur together in large numbers. Turville-Petre. 10 and Hallfredar saga. 6. 1969). There is little foundation for such theories.

1981). however. a woman-shaped bead of amber. Stockholm. 7. with special emphasis on those made of jet. and even on large necklaces there are examples of amber being used for only one bead (Gräslund. e.) — "Gullgubber" fra Eketorp. sible amulets. Gotland. 1958. Plaques of gold from Eketorp. Sweden. In Sweden. 1972-73. 200203). pp. Norway. 207 f).g. and 66 glass beads (Blindheim. the necklace from Lilla Rone. Folkevandringstid. pp. 1958-59.20 S. p. 222 f. and in a woman's grave at Sunnmöre. Stockholm. 1978). may have been attributed with magic power. Since rockcrystal pendants are r a r d y found singly and were apparently imported över a short period only. 173 f). Pendants made from other imported precious and semi-precious stones. pp. Öland. There are some Viking finds which might support this view. but such interpretations rest .). Moreover the indusion ofall types of beads in jewellery hoards indicates a pecuniary rather than amuletic value (StenberFornvännen »4 ( I » » » ) ger. Most of them date from the second half of the llth century. Rock crystal seems to have been used mainly for ornamental beads. pp. 1940. Pendants of rock crystal are very rare. an amethyst found at Hedeby (Arrhenius. (Photo ATA. 1958. The most impressive example. several occurring together with other types of beads on necklaces. Öland. Migration period. amber is frequently the material when a bead is found singly in a grave. jet beads recorded from Norwegian graves seem to occur singly (Petersen. and have been found mainly on Gotland and in Finland (Stenberger. 82). amber and rock crystal (Meaney. they seem — like the beads — to have been ornaments rather than amulets. Horn Fuglesang ^ Sf r\ ^ \ ^ Fig. Against this must be held the great number of finds where amber beads are clearly ornamental. contains 14 crystal balls set in silver filigree and is clearly a very valuable ornament. For instance. a jet bead was associated with a snake of jet. Museum of National Antiquities.

and adze-heads. Some of them have been carved from beads. probably lOth century. a couple of men's graves contained a piece of amber together with a coin. Apart from an arm ring found at Birka. while it seems to have been »4(1»»») . Vikingtid. In addition to being used for beads. 10). Bergen. Three animal-shaped figures of jet and another three of amber. Viking period. 1944). They were lying at the feet of the deceased. 8. on the European lapidaries and not on the circumstances of the Scandinavian finds. their very rarity and regional distribution caution against this view. Some men's graves yielded small axe. but there is some evidence that it could be used for amulets. Historisk Museum. Norway. all likewise of the 9th century and from coastal Norway. p. Rogaland. 1972-73.Viking and medieval amulets 21 Fig.) — "Gullgubber" fra Hauge. There are also some indications from Gotland that amber could be used for grave amulets (Trotzig. VLww). jet does not seem to be recorded in other Scandinavian areas. 1981. At Birka. for in- stance. Bronsted. Amber seems also to have been used mainly for ornaments. a bead or such like in a purse (Gräslund.and arm-rings recovered from a few 9th century graves along the Norwegian coast (Petersen. and there is nothing to suggest that the material was regarded as inherently amuletic. 1944). cf. some women's squarish piéces with a groove (probably a vulva. Rogaland. Bergen. However. Fig. and are consequently unlikely to have been worn. 1940. 1983. Fig. 174). A critical study shows that the best evidence for the custom in the Viking period comes from eastern Sweden. Charons obol is sporadically documented in Scandinavian graves from the Roman Iron Age and the Migration period (Schetelig. Shetelig. sannsynligvis 900-tallet. jet has been carved into finger. (Photo Historisk Museum. 1944. 1907). are at times interpreted as amulets (Shetelig. Meaney. Plaques of gold from Hauge.

pp. However. 1981. for instance. and part of a snake's tongue is listed in the royal inventory at Bohus Castle in 1340. 1966-69. Scania and Norway. 1972-73. 64).. 1956). include garlic. a horse phallus. mostly unintelligible. 1974). p. contained an echinite and two small stones together with an amber ring and eight beads of glass and amber (Bröndsted. Bronze miniatures of bear teeth form a group of Fomvannn »4 (!»»») amulets peculiar to Viking-Age Finland. Klaus Diiwel. 1986). pp. Habilschrift. It was bdieved to sweat in the vicinity of poison. Horn Fuglesang rare in Denmark and the evidence from Norway and Finland is incondusive (Gräslund. critical modem studies contradict interpretations of allium as an ingredient in a phallic cult. p. 890 (Gräslund. 150 and 1982. pp. and probably derived from. 1938. pp. 102 f. only a very few examples from Sweden can be shown to have served as amulets (Petré. Jutland (Roesdahl. Universität Göttingen. 1986. 1952. fossils have been found spread över most of the town site at Hedeby. Many of them bear runic inscriptions. It is also uncertain whether the stones listed from Icelandic pagan graves can be interpreted as amulets (Steffensen. 126. as opposed to medical.. pp. p. King Magnus Lagaboter of Norway sent two snake's tongues to Bishop Ami on Iceland. pp. pp. Heizmann. included in the Flateyjar Book written in the late 14th century (Heizmann. henbane seeds and fragmentary pig's jaw found in a woman's grave at Fyrkat.). 31). Swartling and Kivikoski. Possible amulets of natural origin are r a r d y recorded from Viking graves. while a more definitdy amuletic purpose may be ascribed to the assemblage of owl pdlets. while graves on the island of Äland from the 7th century onwards often contain a clay miniature of an animaPs paw. 1977. 162). with refs. 1936. 1986. Almqvist. 1965). but one at Ramme. Sapphire was likewise bdieved to cure illness. with refs. and their amuletic function is probably similar to that of fossils and "snake stones" (Almqvist. 1966-69. and there is nothing to indicate that they were used as amulets. 144-147 with refs. Evidence for herbs. 200-209. A bear tooth was found in a child's grave. A magical function of leek and/or onion would be intimatdy related to. O n the other hand. 1976. An apotropaic function of the allium species is suggested by inter alb the runic bukaR inscriptions on some bracteates of the Migration period from Denmark (Baeksted. the plants' use in Classical and Medieval medicine (Heizmann. Ckuta and Daphne (Bo. unpublished MS. 170). King Magnus Eriksson (13161374). 143. p. Graves of the 13th and 14th centuries have documented Charon's obol from Sweden. 1940. T h e oldest Scandinavian law texts contain brief passages on sorcery. and a continuity from the Middle Ages seems likely (Gräslund. Jutland. 1978). Skaarup. 1980). Birka no. but the Icelandic Grågås seems to be alone in specifying an implement: a " s t o n e " which in medieval Norse terminology could mean either mineral or animal origin for the magic piece (Steffensen. T h e plants which seem to have been amuletic. 1965-66). In 1272.) . p. while that of the a n i m a f s paw is uncertain (Kivikoski. 192-194. 1965-1966. MullerWille. animal parts and gems as amulets is on the whole mostly literary and from låter in the Middle Ages. a type of amulet which has parallels in Russia (Kivikoski. esp. 1976. since the only reference for such usage is the very late and novdistic story of the völsa. The bear tooth miniature may have had a general apotropaic function. 1965. p. 111).22 S. Meaney. A different category of grave amulet is the Stone-Age axe-heads which have at times been found in medieval Danish and Swedish graves (Moltke. pp.) Bear daws in Scandinavian graves come generally from the pelts on which the deceased had been placed. and further amulet bags with inter alb human hair and "snake stones" have occasionally come to light in Finnish graves of the Viking period (Kivikoski. 192194). as evidenced by the inscription on a medieval finger ring from Visby: " m y power works against the poison of disease". In Swedish folklore. owned a " s t o n e " taken from a toad's head. 192 f. 1965). Snake's tongues were charms against black magic and disease. grains of barley. An amulet bag occurs in Birka grave 97 (Arbman. This evidence cautions against general interpretations of fossils as amulets in Viking Seandinavia (MetzgerKrahé. 1974). the custom can be followed again from the 18th to the 20th century. 42 f).

But some inscriptions were directed against specific illnesses. The majority of amulets have similarly generalized prophylactic inscriptions. 1980. " T h o u art strong in eternity. Sogn og Fjordane. A few. Runic amulets occur normally as lead. probably to protect the living (e. Denmark and Boge. T h e earliest recovered so far is a copper sheet with what is interpreted as an invocation against disease. 140-143). U 700 (Gustavson and Brink. Runic amulet of lead sheet from Osen. But the great number of runic amulets are post-Viking. blyblikk fra Osen. Christus regnat. 637. were deposited in churchyard soil or a grave. e. No. from Bergen. 9. 6 cm. 1984). p.) — Runeamulett.e. Gusturnftinnrn 84(1989) . Many of the inscriptions are corrupt or pure gibberish. 1959 with refs. 1984. pp. A.). T h e Scandinavian examples of runic amulets (as opposed to magic inscriptions on inter alm runestones. g. and a small piece of wood from the wharf in Bergen. T h e Seven Sleepers of Ephesus were assumed to protect against fever. Sweden. the names of the evangdists or archangds. pp. Moller-Christensen. 1938. Some have been interred with the dead. g. 1981). 1200-tallet (?). Liest»!. tion. e t c ) . 120-122. vol.Viking and medieval amulets Rings can be interpreted as amuletic only by association or inscription. Others again have been found in towns under circumstances which indicate that they had been accidentally löst and hence presumably worn by their owners (e. Hoyde ca. pp. Pater Noster. 1978. such as the Odense sheet. Olsen ed. sometimes copper. notably the invocation of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus known from a lead sheet found at Alvastra. possibly to transfer illness from the living to the dead (Moltke. Some of them include pan-European magical phrases. No Scandinavian amulet ring known so far seems to be earlier than the 13th century (Moltke. Others. presumably to protect them. particularly malaria (Gustavson. found on Gotland in a grave from c. 9). pp. Runes were not inherently magical — first and foremost they were the practical script of a preparchment society. But they were also used to write magical formulae. Gustavson. notably on the lead sheets from Odense. mostly in Latin (i. pp. 1980. Uninscribed crosses must have had the same func- 23 Fig. Norway. 1924). L o r d " ) . 1940 ff. Norway. But when they can be read. g. 348. 1938. Liestöl. 4. a. Bergen. (Photo Historisk Museum. Historisk Museum. from the Migration period into the late Middle Ages. Greenland (Nörlund. 67. they normally use Christian formulae and invocations. frequently agb (for the Hebraic Allah Gibbor Leobm Adonaj. bracteates etc. i. Sogn og Fjordane. I3th century (?). Some have come to light under church floors. 73-77. Gustavson. 1943). 1980. Liestöl. in some cases specifying the person to be protected.) are sporadic. Bergen.. Gotland (Moltke. 1984). sheets which have been folded or cut into the shape of a cross (Fig. Liestöl. similar invocations on metal sheets come from Viking graves in Sweden (Norden. inserted between the planks. Their function varied. the more than fifty wooden crosses from the Norse graves at Herjolfsnes. but they were also made as runic sticks or from bone.. 73-77. No. 68 f). 1938 with refs.

1986. I n t h e V i k i n g p e r i o d . T h e M u s e u m of National Antiquities. Swartling. Ergebnisse der Grabungen auf H d g ö . 1961. E. Den ickemonetära delen av en nyupptäckt silverskatt från Dalarna. J. Gustavson. Arrhenius. A n o t h e r p e c u l i a r i t y of t h e V i k i n g a m u l e t s is t h e a b s e n c e of close c o n n e c t i o n s w i t h p a g a n gods. E v e n a l l o w i n g for losses a n d o v e r l a p s . and Dyvik. Dk Gräber. Fornvännen. 1966. Fruhmitteblterlkhe Studien 3. Lange. — 1972-73. R. p p . Fruhmiltelalterlkhe Studkn 16. A frog as a Viking Age burial gift. Knudsen. Neumunster. I. A. N o r w a y . Hagberg. K. "Lac-geplanter". C. 1981. " M a g i " . Suomen Museo 72:2. G. Skalk 1971:3 Arbman. Gräslund. 1978-79. 1899. L. O. Runblecket från Boge och nägra paralleller. Stockholm. Et fund af figurerede guldplader. Stockholm. Studier tillägnade Aron Andersson. Berlin/New York. Birka I. J. H. Universitetets OMsaksamling. T h e exeavation of Maere church in Tröndelag. Tor 11. t h e r e is n o verifiable i n s t a n c e of d i v n e a t t r i b u t e s u s e d as a m u l e t s . W. and Moltke. Fornvännen »4 ( I » 8 » ) Bo. 1965. Tor 18. Köbenhavn. Miinchen. References Almqvist. 1982. 1940-41. H. Horn Fuglesang t a v s o n a n d B r i n k . Birka V. Bröndsted. Runor och runinskrifter. J . Kivikoski. SchmidtWiegand ed. Örslevar. Ejerfeldt. Runfynd 1980. t h e t e n d e n c y s e e m s m a r k e d e n o u g h to b e c u l t u r a l l y significant. Jacobsen.24 S. . — 1984 Kreuzanhänger. t h e r e is a fairly clear d e m a r k a t i o n as r e g a r d s t h e u s e of a m u l e t s b e t w e e n t h e V i k i n g p e r i o d a n d t h e late M i d d l e Ages. Thefiligree andgranulatkm work ojlhe Viking period. Konferenser 15. From pagan sanctuary to Christian church. Tor 7. 1959. Christus regnat. Heizmann. Berkhle uber dk Ausgrabungen in Haithabu 12. Bildformel und Formelwort. B. 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Tor 15. t h e e m p h a s i s is o n m i n i a t u r e s w h i l e a m u l e t s of n a t u r a l o r i g i n a n d r u n i c a m u l e t s a r e relatively few a n d often of q u e s t i o n a b l e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Gjerlow. Stockholm. Birka 11:1. 1974. Et runekors fra Sogn og Fjordane. Årbok 1958i-59. A. Uppsala. Aarbog 1899. J. 1981. H . Tbrdenguden. Gustavson. K.-S. M. Norwegmn Archaeobgkal Revkw 2. Kruzifix und ReliquiarAnhänger. T. Drescher. Holmqvist. Gustafson. a r u n i c lead cross from S u n n f j o r d . 1966. and Hauck. — 1981. " A m u letter". Diiwel. Wörler und Sachen im Lkhte der Bezekhnungsforschung.-E. 1957. Studies 4. Kulturhistoriskt lexikon för nordisk medeltid 2. Vikingatidens Köping på Oland. Magisches fundgut aus finnischer Eisenzeit. E. Runeninschriften auf Waffen.-E. Den ljusa medeltiden. Föredrag vid Riksantikvarkämbetets och Vitterhetsakademiens symposium 8-11 september 1985.. — 1976. Götterthrone des heidnischen Nordens. Hauck. H. E. B. a p a r t from t h e T h o r ' s h a m m e r . H. Runemagiske studkr. Baeksted. 1952. Kulturhistoriskt lexikon för nordisk medeltid 18. Viking 21-22. — 1978. Stockholm. 1971. Vikingatidens miniatyrer. 1969. Andersen. 1980). Dk Goldbrakteaten der Völkerwanderungszeit 1:1-3. Zum symbolischen Sinn des Almandin im friihen Mittelalter. w h i l e t h e n u m e r o u s r u n i c a u l e t s f r e q u e n t l y d e m o n s t r a t e ties w i t h t h e C h r i s t i a n cult t h e cross b e i n g t h e o n l y m i n i a t u r e . Acta archaeobgka 13. Finska fornminnesföreningens tidskrift 75. a n d i n d i c a t e s i n t e r alia t h a t o n l y w i t h t h e u t m o s t c a u t i o n s h o u l d låter. Arbeiten zur Frunmilteblterforschung 3. 1980. Zu den laukaR-Inschriften auf Goldbrakteaten der Völkerwanderungszeit. C o n v e r s d y . Kulturhistoriskt lexvkon för nordisk medeltid 11. Arwidsson ed. 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— 1973. — 1985. 1983. E. Lac-geboger. and Strid. Tryllemidler. British Antiquities of the Viking period. G. 1938. A. 1940. av Statens historiska museum. Neumiinster. Stenberger. Moltke. Kristiania. — 1966. vol. Norden. Offa-Bucher 36. Sorensen. F. Samisk trolldom. 1908. Turville-Petre. Weiser-Aall. Bidrag till svensk runforskning. T. Näsman.Viking and medieval amulets Liestöl. Köbenhavn. 1969. Fornvännen. utg. London. Kulturhistoriskt lexikon för nordisk medeltid 19. Angb-Saxon amulets and curing stones. 1981. H . Sproglige og historiske afhandlinger viede Sophus Bugges minde. I. Spor av en graesk gravskik i Norge. Några ord om en Fröbild. V. Aspects of life in Iceland in the heathen period. Bergens Museum. — 1943. 1972-73. Historisk-antikvarisk rekke nr. E. I. 1980. Arbok 1944. Neumunster. En kngekndsk gravpkds med grave fra romersk jernalder og vikingetkl. 1978. — 1982. Steffensen. Serning. Oslo 1941Petersen. Öländska figurbleck av guld. — 1978. Kulturhistoriskt lexukonför nordisk medeltid 15. Kulturhistoriskt lexikon för nordisk medeltid 11. 1976. Myth and Religion of the North. Meddelelser om Grenknd 67. 1966. Lac-gemidler.-L. — 1911. A. En miniatyroks av bronse fra vikingetiden. Stengade II. Köbenhavn. Lac-gekunst. " R u n e m a g i " . M. and Kuuski. Christie ed. Kulturhistoriskt lexikon för nordisk medeltid 14. Ström. Fyrkat II. Oslo. 1970. Norges innskrifter med de yngre runer. L. Runfynd 1981. A. Kulturhistoriskt lexikon för nordisk medeltid 18. Oxford. A. Viking anliquilks. and Moltke. P. London. Snaedal Brink. Honos Ella Kivikoski. E. Trotzig. 1938. Berkhte uber dk Ausgrabungen in Haithabu 12. H. 65. V. J. Shetelig ed. Nyt fra Natwnalmuseet 22. Le probleme des " b o n h o m m e s en or''. Kulturhistoriskt lexikon för nordisk medeltid 11. Rudköbing. Lapska offerpktsfynd från järnålder och medeltid i de svenska kppmarkerna. 1913. Kulturhistoriskt lexikon för nordisk medeltid 11. Medieval rune-amulets in Denmark. 1. Skaarup. 1956. Guldageren. J. found in Norway. G. Moller-Christensen. Berkhte uber dk Ausgrabungen in Haithabu 12. Das wikingerzeitliche Gräberfeld von Thumby-Bienebek. Neumunster. Lund. K. 1977. Faergepengen. Thorshammerringe und andere Gegenstände des heidnischen Kults. M. — 1944. Stoklund. Oslo. M. Norges innskrifter med de yngre runer. Bergens Museum. Meaney. Nesheim. 1966-67. Arbok 13. 1975. Lom stavkirkeforteller. Stockholm. J. J. Muller-Wille. 1959. Salin. Petrefakten aus Haithabu. Fortidsminner vol. (Festskrift til P. Den gamla och den nya religionen. Finska Fornminnesföreningens tidskrift 75. Kungl. T h o r s h ä m m e r aus Haithabu. 6. Feber. Torshamrar. K. Vapenminiatyrer från Eketorp. B. — 1966. Gutar och vikingar. Saga Book 17.K r a h é . Petré. Runes and their origin. 1984. Magiska runinskrifter. Roesdahl. Kulturhistoriskt lexikon för nordisk medeltid 6. . H . J. The religion of ancknt Scandinavm. 25 Schwarz-Mackensen. P 1982. Oslo. B. Viking Age Denmark. Watt. Nörlund. L. Köbenhavn. Magnus Olsen ed.»4(1»»») . Skalk 1987:2. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademiens Handlingar 55. 1976. Dk Schatzfunde Gotknds der Wikingerzeit 1. Opuscula archaeokgka Oscari Montelio septuagenarw dedkala. U. E. A. Glob. — 1984. 1978. 1964. Shetelig. Stoklund. Danmarks lac-ngste runeindskrift — en middelalderindskrift på latin. 1924. M. Runefunn under gulvet. Acta Ethnologka 1938:2-3. Stockholm. 1987. Arwidsson ed. Acta Archaeohgka 9. G. 5. 1981. 1958. — 1980. M e t z g e r . Antikvariska studier 1. Denmark and elsewhere. G. Tor 15. Björnfallen i begravningsritualen — statusobjekt speglande regional skinnhandel? Fornvännen. 1974. Runblecken. Buried Norsemen at Herjolfsnes. O. Stockholm. Birka 11:1. Stockholm.) Köbenhavn. M. BAR British Series 96. Smykker av jet i norske vikingfunn. Futharken — hvorfor står den? Det skabende menneske.

sigd. Figurfremstillinger er normalt ikke amuletiske.g. tolkes tidvis som amuletter og noen funn bestyrker dette synet. stol. 2). kultobjekt og ornament er vanskelig å presisere. som Sigrdrifumål om "seierrun e r ' ' på vapen (c. redskap o. 5). Dyrefigurer er normalt ikke brukt som amuletter. 450 eksemplarene er funnet i Mälarområdet (fig. Kong Magnus Eriksson (1316-1374) eiet en " s t e i n " fra et paddehode. Belegg for amuletter av urter. Bronseminiatyrer av bjornetenner er spesielle for Finland i vikingtid. overcnsstemm d s e r med europeiske paralleller. og det er ikke bevart ekscmpler på guders attributdyr. diktning kan vaere direkte misvisende. spesielt av rav. ildstål. Hengekors er funnet i alle deler av Skandinavia (fig. Hammeren tolkes normalt som Torssymbol. er sene (eldste: 1200-tallet) og bygget på europeiske forbilder. nemlig en "stein". Mange av dem har ulesdig runeinnskrift. cf. Votivringer av jern er spesielle forOstskandinavia. men bare Grågås spesifiserer et tryllemiddel. har de fleste påhengt hammer-. jet og bergkrystall. dyrepotens betydning er ukjent. fra 12. stav. Horn Fuglesang Sammandrag Identifikasjonen av skandinaviske amuletter byr på en rekke kildekritiske problem: i arkeologisk materiale kan organiske gjenstander vaere formullet eller översett. Gjenstandsgruppene omfatter vapen. 20 av dem har runeinnskrifter. men de fleste er fra vikingtid (fig. f. alle teksterom medisin. 5 000 vapen bevart. Når de er intakte.a. Bjornekfor i gräver stämmer oftest fra fellen på likleiet. Tors hammer er det eneste gudeattributt som kan identiiiseres. men det er ekscmpler i kvinnegraver på Jylland.26 S. 1981). Sammenheng med Torskult er sannsynlig. 8). Charons mynt er sporadisk belagt i skandinaviske gräver. magi etc.og 1000-tallet antas å vasre reaksjon på bruk av kors (fig. 900-tallet solv. som finnes brukt . 3). og "pjotreposer" er belagt i Birka og i Finland. vesentlig av bronse. den svettet når den kom naer gift. 95 % av de bevarte c. 1).og 1300-tall også i Skåne og Norge. Materialet er jern. dels fordi smykkefunksjonen kan utdukkes siden det förekommer eksemplarer også i jern (fig. Det er ingen bevis for slike teorier. lign. Perkr.o. er identifisert som amuletter dels p. De fleste av jern og bronse er funnet i kvinnegraver. De eldste skandinaviske lover har korte bestemmdser om straff for trolldom. Diiwel.m. Små statuetter av bein eller bronse er tidvis tolket som amuletter og kopier etter gudebilder. Men i långt de fleste funn er perlene smykker. er funnet i gräver. 6). bronse. Symbolfunksjon er ukjent. Minbtyrer av vapen. de fleste av solv er fra skattefunn. Ormetunge vernet mot sykdom og svart magi. i noen tilfelle rav. men slik tolkning er basert på de europeiske lapidariene. solveksemplarene vesentlig i skattefunn nedlagt sent 900. ikke de skandinaviske funnomstendigheter. Naluramuletter er meget sjeldne i vikingtid. En sannsynlig amulett (ved fodFornvännen »4 ( V I » ' » selshjelp?) er derimot en halvnaturalistisk frosk sammenkropet bak en vulva (?) (fig. Dateringene dekker merovingertid og vikingtid. Minbtyrhamre kjennes for vikingtid i både England og Skandinavia. ingen innskrift kan tolkes magisk. men et par ekscmpler fra Sverige er sannsynlige amuletter. " G u l l g u b b e n e " som er spesielle for Skandinavia. er sannsynligvis votivgaver (fig. mens gräver på Äland ofte har leirminiatyr av en dyrepote. 4). 7. o g e n e r nevnt i inventariet fra Båhus i 1340.og 1000-tall. spade. Noen. Ökningen av solvhamre på 900. De fleste funn fra vikingtid er fra Sverige. Vänligvis er hverken hamre eller kors i skattefunn hakket. Henger av andre importerte halveddsteiner kan ha vasrt tillagt amulettfunksjon. Det samme gjelder sannsynligvis henger av bergkrystall. og amulettfunksjonen som generell profylaktisk. d y r e d d e r og steiner er ievrig vesentlig litteraere og fra hoymidddalderen. kong Magnus Lagaboter sendte to av dem til biskop Ami på Island i 1272. Steinalders ekser er funnet i noen svenske og danske gräver fra midddalder. Bjornetannminiatyren kan ha vaert alment apotropaisk. skjold. spatulaog L-formete miniatyrer. skillet mellom amulett. og amulettfunksjonen tilsvarer sannsynligvis fossiler og "ormsteiner". silskje.

og må tolkes utfra de enkelte funnomstendigheter: i grav. Men når de er lesdige. de var forst og fremst en skrift til praktisk bruk. som er sammenfoldet eller skåret til et kors (fig. Men hovedmengden av runeamuletter er fra senere i middelalderen. Runer var ikke i seg selv magiske. under husgulv. Fornvannrn »4 ( I 'I»») . En apotropaisk funksjon for allium er sannsynlig bl.Viking and medieval amulets som term for amuletter av både mineralsk og animalsk opprinndse. siden det eneste belegget er den sene og fantasifulle historien om valsa i Fbteyjarbök. 700 e. men noen er rettet mot spesielle sykdommer. oftest feber. tidvis av kopper. Ekscmpler på runeamuletter (i motsetning til magiske runeinnskrifter) er sporadiske. i byhus. Kr. De fleste innskriftene er alment profylaktiske. a.. Det eldste funnet til nå er et kopperblikk fra ca. utfra bukaR-mnskriften på danske gullbrakteater fra folkevandringstid. Men de ble også brukt til magiske formler. oftest på latin. 9). Mange av innskriftene er imitasjoner av runer. lignende stykker fra vikingtid. innskriften er tolket som en formel mot sykdom. inneholder de normalt kristne formler og påkalldser. fra en 27 grav på Gotland. men runepinner av tre eller bein förekommer også. I Sverige er funnet noen få. Derimot går möderne kritiske studier mot tolkninger av allium som ledd i en fallisk kult. fra folkevandringstid til sen midddalder. Runeamuletter er oftest av blyblikk. Bruken varierte. under kirkegulv. trolig er amulettfunksjonen avledet av plantens bruk i klassisk og middelaldersk medisin.

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