EMSN, INSCRIPTION ON A VIKING THOR'S HAMMER

MS 1708
MS Short Title EMSN, INSCRIPTION ON A VIKING THOR'S HAMMER
Text EMSN, INSCRIPTION ON A VIKING THOR'S HAMMER
Description MS in Old Danish or Latin(?) on bronze, Yorkshire, England, ca. 1000, 1 hammer-headed staff, 4,3x0,9-1,2 cm, 1 line in capitals with an uncial M, preceded by a cross, pierced at one end for use as a pendant, a punched cross and decoration at the hammer end.
Provenance 1. Excavated in Yorkshire, England; 2. Neil Clayton, Lavenham, Suffolk (- 1993); 3. Jeremy Griffiths, Oxford.
Commentary Around 50 examples of Thor's Hammer are found widely distributed throughout Scandinavia from 9th to 11th c., with a few examples from England. As amulet it symbolises the god's protection of the wearer. The 2 crosses suggest a Christian owner, and makes it an unusual and interesting example of the birth of Christianity among the Vikings, still clinging to the old heathen god Thor. Thor (Anglo-Saxon Thunor and German Donar) was the son of Odin the Allfather. He was the god of order and chief antagonist of the giants, the demons of chaos. His chief weapon was his shorthandled hammer. His main enemy was the serpent, Jörmundgand, symbol of evil, who surrounded the world. Thor was sometimes equated with Jupiter. Jove's Day became Thor's Day (Thursday). He causes the thunderstorms whenever he uses his hammer or rides his chariot across the heavens.
See also See also MS 1697, Runic incantation formula. Denmark, ca. 1000
Place of origin Yorkshire, England
Dates ca. 1000 AD

Location