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Passion and desire

People also used runes to write about love and sex. Several rune-sticks from the German Wharf in Bergen tell of throbbing hearts and hot love. Examples are:

‘I love another man’s wife so much that fire seems
cold to me.’
‘Love me, I love you; Gunnhildr, kiss me.’
‘Ingibjörg slept with me when I was in Stavanger.’

In the display are four objects from medieval Oslo – all with runes concerning passion and desire. They mainly concern love between men and women.

The large rib-bone has runes on both sides written by two people in a dialogue. The first asks what was written in the Church of the Holy Cross in Oslo. The rude answer on the side we see here is: ‘Óli is unwiped behind and fucked in the arse’.

Bildet kan inneholde: brun, fotografi, rav, bildekk, lys.

Bildet kan inneholde: brun, khaki, rektangel, så, beige.

Bildet kan inneholde: gul, linje, skrift, oransje, skråningen.

1. ‘Nikulás loves so much the woman called Gýríðr, the stepdaughter of Pitas-Ragna.’ Decorated wooden wheel (spindle whorl) from Oslo. 1100s/1200s?

Bildet kan inneholde: brun, khaki, så, beige.

Bildet kan inneholde: gul, linje, skrift, oransje, håndskrift.

2. ‘The man who carved these runes loves you, Þordís.’/ [‘Þóra, I know how to make love.’] Cow rib from Oslo. 1200–1250.

Bildet kan inneholde: brun, atmosfære, rav, så, khaki.

Bildet kan inneholde: gul, linje, skrift, oransje, illustrasjon.

3. [‘How did that statement go that you carved in the Church of the Holy Cross? ???.’] / ‘Óli is unwiped behind and fucked in the arse.’ ‘???. That went well!’ Rib from Oslo. 1200–1250.

Bildet kan inneholde: brun, stein, khaki, geologi, berggrunn.

Bildet kan inneholde: gul, oransje, linje, skrift, håndskrift.

4. ‘Ása loves St(einn?).’ / [‘I know.’] Rib fragment from Oslo. 1125–1175.

All photos: Eirik Irgens Johnsen © Museum of Cultural History

Published Dec. 16, 2020 1:14 PM - Last modified Mar. 8, 2021 9:12 AM