The Asmild Stone

Viborg was not just a centre of power and law in the Viking Age. When the Christian Church became firmly established in Denmark towards the end of the period, it also chose Viborg as its headquarters. A cathedral was built here, along with twelve parish churches and six monasteries and convents. One of these was Asmild Kloster, situated on the banks of Søndersø Lake, just opposite the cathedral. Today only the church remains, and when it was restored in 1950 by the National Museum, the Asmild Stone was revealed in the north tower of the outer church wall. The tower was built around 1100. The stone was placed upside down 0.5m above the then floor level at the north gate of the church, with the runes outwards, so that anyone who could read runes could read the text – at any rate if they stood on their heads. The text states that “Thorgun(d), daughter of Thorgut, son of Thjodulv, set this stone in memory of Bose, her husband, a man of tidings(?) {muaR} H ... daughter.” It’s not impossible that the persons mentioned were connected with the powerful Thrugot family. Thorgun makes noticeably more out of her own family than her husband’s: his name, Bose ("‘the fat"), is almost squeezed in among smaller runes in the upper right-hand corner, almost as though he had been forgotten. We are told that Bose was a man of tidings, which may mean "one who brings tidings (= news) to a great man", i.e. a herald, or in modern terms a kind of press officer. This was a position close to power. The stone is in the church porch.