There are over 3,000 runic inscriptions on stone made in Scandinavia in the late Viking Age. This book is the first attempt by a historian to study the material as a whole. The analysis reveals significant regional variations that reflect the different stages in the process of conversion toChristianity and the growth of royal power. Many monuments were declarations of faith or manifestations of status; but virtually all reflect inheritance customs found in later Scandinavian law codes. The results of this analysis make a significant contribution to understanding developments inother parts of the Germanic world, as well as Scandinavia. The inclusion of a digest of the data-base on which this book is based will facilitate further study of this rich vein of evidence.