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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

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finger-ring

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    OA.10262

  • Description

    Gold finger-ring, engraved with a runic inscription around the hoop between nielloed lines; three letters continuing on inside of hoop.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 8thC-10thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 2.7 centimetres
    • Weight: 360 grains
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        Runic
      • Inscription Language

        Old English
      • Inscription Transliteration

        + ÆRKRIUFLTKRIURIÞONGLÆSTÆPONTOL
  • Curator's comments

    Original of 1875,0410.1Text from Dalton 1912, Catalogue of Finger Rings, no. 184:
    'Archaeologia', xxi (1817), p. 25; Stephens, 'Runic Monuments', i, 496. Another gold ring with an almost identical inscription, found at Bramham Moor, Yorkshire, appears to be that now in the Museum of Copehagen (Worsaae, 'Nordiske Oldsager', fig. 442, p. 105). The various attempts to decipher the inscriptions on these two rings and on 1875,0410,1 and 1873,0210,3 are not regarded as successful. Three words occur in each case, and the sense is very probably magical.

    Handwritten notes in Dalton:
    For reading of inscription see Anglo Saxon Guide, 1923, p. 116.
    The same hand has also crossed out a 'wrong reference' (not given here)
    Given in 1858. Standing Committee ref.
    Also in different handwriting:
    Fin Magnusen in Arch. AEI. vol. 1.Wilson 1964
    Transliteration is + ÆRKRIUFLTKRIURIÞONGLÆSTÆPONTOL. As it cannot be interpreted it must be assumed that the inscription is meaningless and of magical import.
    The ring was found by a young man employed in levelling a fence on Greymoor Hill, in the hamlet of Kingmoor, two and a half miles from Carlisle. It passed into the possession of the Earl of Aberdeen before 1822. Sometime after 1823 it was given to the Museum.

    Ninth century.

    See pp. 23, 27, 69, 70, 71, 73-75 and pl. XIX.

    Bibliography: 'Catalogue of the Archaeological Museum formed at Carlisle during the meeting of the Archaeological Institute of Great Britain, Carlisle 1859, 14; Magnusen, F. (1820): 'Forsøg til Forklaring over en Runeindskrift paa en i Engelland i Aaret 1818 funden Guldring . . .', Antiqvarisk Annaler, iii, 339-51; Magnusen, F. (1822): 'De Annulo aureo Runicis Characteribus signato, nuper in Anglia invento, et pluribus ejusdem generis', Archaeologia Aeliana, i, 136-41; Hedley, A. (1822): 'An Essay towards ascertaining the etymology of the names of places in the county of Northumberland', Archaeologia Aeliana, i, 245 f; Haigh, D. H. (1861): 'The Conquest of Britain by the Saxons', London, 46 and fig.; Hamper, W. (1827): 'Observations on a Gold Ring with a Runic Inscription, in the posses¬sion of . . . the Earl of Aberdeen . . .', Archaeologia, xxi, 25-30; Dietrich, F. (1867): 'Drei altheidnische Segensformeln', Zeitschrift für deutsches Alterthum, xiii, 197 and 201; Franks, A. W. (1876): 'On a Ring with a Runic Inscription', Archaeologia, xliv, 481; Liljegren, J. G. (1833): 'Run- Urkunder', Stockholm, 218; Stephens, G. (1866-1901): 'The Old-Northern Runic Monuments of Scandinavia and England . . .', London/København, i, 496-7; Rask, R. K. (1838): 'Samlede Afhandlinger', iii, København, (a letter reprinted from 'The Foreign Review', 1828, 259-62), 294-303; Stephens, G. (1884): 'Handbook of the Old-Northern Runic Monuments of Scandinavia and England', London/Copenhagen, 157; Kemble, J. M. (1840): 'On Anglo-Saxon Runes', Archaeologia, xxviii, pl. xx, vi; Jones (1890), 150; Newton, W. H. (1851-4): 'Inscribed Runic Ring', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, i, 25; Ferguson, R. S. (1893): 'An Archaeological Survey of Cumberland and Westmorland,' Archaeologia, liii, 509; Stephens, G. (1894): The Runes, whence came they, London/København, 30; Agrell, S. (1927): 'Runornas talmystik och des antika förebild', Lund, 206-7; British Museum, Alfred the Great Millenary Exhibition, London 1901, 15; Harder, H. (1931): 'Eine angelsächsische Runeninschrift', Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen, clx, 87-9; Dickins, B. (1935): 'Runic Rings and Old English Charms', Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen, clxvii, 252; 'Victoria History of the Counties of England: Cumberland, i, 281; Harder, H. (1936): 'Die Inschriften angelsächsischer Runenringe', Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen, clxix, 224-8; Collingwood, W. G. (1906): 'Late and Magic Runes in Cumberland', Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, new series vi, 308; Sierke, S. (1939): 'Kannten die vorchristlichen Germanen Runenzauber?' Königsberg/Berlin, 91; Brade-Birks, S. G. (1953): Teach Yourself Archaeology, London, 127; 'British Museum: A Guide to Anglo-Saxon . . . Antiquities . . .', London, 1923, 116 and fig. 148; Wilson, D. M. (1959b): 'A Group of Anglo-Saxon Amulet Rings', The Anglo-Saxons (ed. P. Clemoes), Cambridge, 166-7 and fig. 8.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Dalton 1912 184 bibliographic details
    • Wilson 1964 27 bibliographic details
    • Tait 1976 363a bibliographic details
    • Tait 1986a 569 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G41/dc3

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1817 (after)

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    OA.10262

Gold finger-ring with runic inscription round the hoop between nielloed lines, 3 letters continuing on inside of hoop.

Gold finger-ring with runic inscription round the hoop between nielloed lines, 3 letters continuing on inside of hoop.

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