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The Hagia Sophia ‘Halfdan’ inscription
(click on the images to enlarge)

The Halfdan inscription was discovered in 1964 on a parapet on the top floor of the southern gallery of Hagia Sophia. It published by Elisabeth Svärdström in “Runorna i Hagia Sofia”, Fornvännen 65 (1970), 247-49.

Nowadays, the inscription is covered, but it had previously suffered so much wear that only the -ftan is legible.

It probably followed the common formula “NAME carved these runes”.

The Hagia Sophia second inscription

The second inscription is in a niche in the northern part of the same gallery as the first inscription. It was discovered in 1975, but was not published.

It was rediscovered in 1988 and interpreted as “Ári m(ade)” or “Ári m(ade the runes)”.

In 2011 it was examined by Elena A. Melʹnikova who interpreted the inscription as Arinbárðr rеist rúnar þessar [older: þā(ʀ)si], ‘Arinbárðr cut these runes’.

Details of this inscription are published in Elena A. Mel’nikova “A New Runic Inscription from Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Istanbul”. You can download the full text here…

The Hagia Sophia ‘Halfdan’ inscription

Transcription of the recognizable Halfdan runes