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Wickham flatly states: “Harald was Christian, but the imagery of the stone is not”.Ole Worm made a famous drawing of the images in his (1643).On top of the historical abuse of runes the imagery of the Vikings and the popular imagination still fired by their reputation for ransacking and plundering has deeply marked the way Scandinavian history is looked upon. The grim stories collected in the and in particular in the Icelandic sagas picture this northern region as a dangerous area of medieval Europe.It is necessary to be aware of this background, but at the same time one needs to step backwards and to look at Scandinavia’s medieval history in all its aspects, including laws and legal culture.In fact inscriptions in runic script do not very often contain legal texts.Legal manuscripts from medieval Scandinavia, too, use seldom runes.One of the images in his book shows the famous Jelling runestone set up by the Danish king Harald Blåtand (Bluetooth).
The Nationalmuseet in Copenhagen has devoted a special website to Jelling and the Jelling runestone.
For two reasons I feel prompted to write here about runes.
The first impulse comes from Chris Wickham’s book (2009).
Wickham writes that king Harald ruled from 958 until 987. Harald ruled Denmark from Jelling where he put this stone to commemorate his father Gorm.
On Mark Handley’s splendid portal to early medieval inscriptions you can use nearly 500 links to all kind of websites for this subject.