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H 234 x W 156 mm

86 pages

45 figures (colour throughout)

Published Jan 2022

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781789698558

Digital: 9781789698565

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Isle of Man; Manx Crosses; Engravings; Viking; Early Medieval

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Thorvald’s Cross

The Viking-Age Cross-Slab ‘Kirk Andreas MM 128’ and Its Iconography

By Dirk H. Steinforth

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The 'Manx Crosses', Scandinavian-style gravestones from the Isle of Man, are a unique collection of stone monuments unequalled in the medieval Viking World. Focussing on one particular example, 'Thorvald's cross', this book collates all the available information and presents a new interpretation as to how to understand this remarkable monument.



Introduction ;

Background ;

The Manx Crosses ;

‘Thorvald’s Cross’: the fragment Kirk Andreas MM 128 ;
The stone’s date ;
Description ;
The figural elements of Face 1 ;
The figural elements of Face 2 ;

The iconography of the two faces of Thorvald’s Cross ;
Interpretation of Face 2 ;
Interpretation of Face 1 ;

The juxtaposition and the message ;
Combination 1: Óðinn’s fall and Christ’s triumph ;
Combination 2: Víðarr’s victory and Christ’s triumph ;
Combination 3: Óðinn’s fall and Víðarr’s victory and Christ’s triumph ;

Summary and conclusion ;

Acknowledgements ;

Bibliography ;

Places to visit

About the Author

Dirk H. Steinforth is a medieval archaeologist. He gained his MA and PhD from the Georg-August-University of Gottingen, Germany, and specialises in the early Viking Age in the Isle of Man and Irish Sea area. He has published two books as well as a number of articles on the subject. His interests include history and chronology, religion and burial-customs, art-history and iconography, ethnogenesis, and settlement archaeology. His current research as an independent scholar focuses especially on the early Vikings in north-west England, and medieval stone monuments and their imagery. He also works as a translator, proofreader, and editor.


‘Although the book is rather thin, the wealth of its content would be enough for an encyclopaedia. Moreover, its interestingly worded and lucid language proves that scholarly works do not need to be boring; such a well-written book will certainly interest not only scholars but laypeople who follow the archaeology of the Isle of Man, or those interested in the iconography of Early Christian sculpture.’ – Joanna Pyrgies (2022): The Journal of Irish Archaeology Volume XXXI

'Ultimately, the book is a useful summary of current and past ideas, and it argues an interesting and largely plausible case for one particular theory.' – Thomas Williams (2023): Medieval Archaeology vol 67.1