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Runjämtskan på Frösöstenen och Östmans bro
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
1996 (Swedish)In: Jämtlands kristnande: The Christianization of the province of Jämtland / [ed] Stefan Brink, Uppsala: Lunne böcker , 1996, 45-63 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Lunne böcker , 1996. 45-63 p.
, Publikationer / Projektet Sveriges kristnande, ISSN 1102-5603 ; 4
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-32992ISBN: 91-88504-03-4OAI: diva2:60890
Jämtlands kristnande

The Jämtlandic dialect on the runestone from Frösön and Östman's bridge


The runestone on Frösön stands close to the narrow sound of Östersundet. The Frösön stone is the only Viking age stone in Jämtland, and the furthest north of all runestones in present-day Sweden. It bears a remarkable inscription: "Austmaðr, the son of Guðfastr, caused this stone to be erected and this bridge be built, and he caused Jämtland to become christianized. Ásbjôrn made the bridge. Trjónn and Stæinn inscribed these runes."

                      In the first part of this article, the author supports previous scholars who place the Frösön stone within the Runic Swedish tradition; the runestone has little or nothing in common with Runic Norwegian practices, although these are geographically less distant. As has also been stated earlier, the personal names of the Frösön inscription, especially Trjónn, point specifically towards Jämtland. The present author attempts to show that not only does the name Trjónn occur exlusively in Jämtland, it also evidences a specific development of the original cluster consonant + *eu + r to ió, instead of the development to ý in contemporary Upplandic inscriptions. Together with the representation of nasalized vowels, this trait indicates that the Frösön inscription represents a Jämtlandic variation within main stream Runic Swedish and its runic traditions.

                      The second part of the article is devoted to a discussion of where the bridge mentioned in the inscription was constructed. A bridge across Östersundet would entail the crossing of a 200 meter wide and sometimes more than 6 meter deep body of water. The 700 meter long bridge over Ravning Enge in Denmark, probably comissioned by king Haraldr in 971, could be a parallel, but it was built in a swamp rather than over open water. The author suggests that the bridge might have been constructed over Mjällebäcken, a brook between the lake Ändsjön on Frösön and the great Storsjön surrounding the island. Mjällebäcken passes through Mjälle, the site where the first known thing and royal estate on Frösön were located. The fact that only one person is said to have "made" the bridge, according to the inscription on the Frösön stone, indicates the building of a smaller bridge, such as one over Mjällebäcken, rather than the magnificent construction necessary over Östersundet. Only new archaeological studies can solve the problem.

Available from: 2012-11-08 Created: 2008-10-17 Last updated: 2012-11-08Bibliographically approved

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