ⓘ Gamla Turingevägen Inscriptions


ⓘ Sodermanland Runic Inscription 313

The Gamla Turingevagen Inscriptions are two Viking Age memorial runic inscriptions and one image that are designated as So 311, So 312, and So 313 in the Rundata catalog, that are located in Sodertalje, Stockholm County, Sweden, and in the historic province of Sodermanland.


1. Description

These inscriptions are carved into the granite rockface along the Gamla Turingevagen, or Old Turinge Road, which was once the main road from Stockholm into southern Sodermanland, and was the forerunner of the modern Gota highway. The inscription indicates that Holmfast may have had parts of the road cleared at this location in honor of his parents, with the carving of the inscription to memorialize his parents, the work, and its Christian nature. Road and bridge-building as described in the runic text is fairly common in runestones during this time period. At this time, the Catholic Church sponsored the building of roads and bridges in a practice similar to the use of indulgences in return for the churchs intercession for the soul of the departed. There are many examples of these bridge stones dated from the eleventh century, including runic inscriptions So 101, U 489, and U 617. The inscriptions have been known since the Swedish surveys of runestones conducted in the 1600s, and were recorded as a woodcut illustration in a book published by Johan Hadorph in 1687.

The three carvings are considered to have been made contemporaneously and all made by a runemaster with the normalized name of Osten Eysteinn in the runic text, with his signature appearing on So 312.

The inscriptions are known locally as the Holmfastristningen or "Holmfast carvings" after the current name of the road that passes near them.


2. So 311

So 311 consists of runic text carved onto a serpent band. The inscription, which is rather damaged, is 1.2 meters in height and is classified as being carved in runestone style Pr3, which is also called Urnes style. This runestone style is characterized by slim and stylized animals that are interwoven into tight patterns. The animal heads are typically seen in profile with slender almond-shaped eyes and upwardly curled appendages on the noses and the necks.

Transliteration of the runes into Latin characters

hulfastr + lit + braut + ruþia + aftʀ + ik----þi + muþ-r + sina + ku-- + -r-a. + sina +

Translation in English

Holmfastr had the path cleared in memory of Ingi-. his good mother. his.

3. So 312

So 312 consists of runic text carved onto a serpent band that circles a Christian cross. The inscription is 1.5 meters in height and is classified as being carved in runestone style Pr4, which is also classified as being an Urnes style. The text in two locations follows the rule that two consecutive identical letters are represented by a single rune, even when the two identical letters are at the end of one word and the start of a second word. This inscription uses one i-rune for the words byki| |i. The inscription is signed by the runemaster Eysteinn, which is normalized as Osten, by simply adding his name at the end of the text without using any verb such as "carved" or "painted." Although such signatures are unusual on runestones, there is another example of an inscription being signed in this manner on So 266 in Sanda. This is the only surviving inscription known to have been signed by this runemaster, although two other Urnes style inscriptions, So 338 at Turinge and So 344 at Kiholm, have been attributed to Osten based upon stylistic grounds.


3.1. So 312 Transliteration of the runes into Latin characters

hulfastr lit × braut × ryþia × auk × bro kiara iftiʀ gam-- × faþur × sin × sum × byki| |i: nesby × kuþ × hialbi ant hans aystain

3.2. So 312 Transcription into Old Norse

Holmfastr let braut rydia ok bro gærva æftiʀ Gam, fadur sinn, sum byggi i Næsby. Gud hialpi and hans. Oystæinn.
  • has the highest concentration with as many as 1, 196 inscriptions in stone, whereas Sodermanland is second with 391 The largest group consists of 30 stones
  • going back to the last centuries BC. As for literacy in Sweden itself, the runic script was in use among the south Scandinavian elite by at least the 2nd
  • the total sale. The earliest written records from Scandinavia are runic inscriptions on memorial stones and other objects. Some of those contain allusions