Norwegian Runes and Runic Inscriptions
Runes, a unique functional writing system, exclusive to northern and eastern Europe, were used for some 1300 years in Scandinavia, from about AD 200 till around the end of the fourteenth century, when the runic alphabet, called fu ark after the six first characters, finally gave way to the modern writing system. Runes were not written, but carved - in stone, and on jewellery, weapons, utensils and wood. The content of the inscriptions is very varied, from owner and carpenter attributions on artefacts to memorials to the deceased on erected stones; contrary to popular belief, they are not necessarily magical or mystical, and the post-it notes of today have their forerunners in such runic reminders as: 'Buy salt, and don't forget gloves for Sigrid.' The typical medieval runic inscription varies from the deeply religious to the highly trivial [or perhaps crucial], such as 'I slept with Vigdis when I was in Stavanger'. This book presents an accessible account of the Norwegian examples throughout the period of their use. The runic inscriptions are discussed not only from a linguistic point of view but also as sources of information on Norwegian history and culture. TERJE SPURKLAND is Associate Professor of Nordic Medieval Studies at the University of Oslo.
Alstad Bergen bind-rune bracteate Bryggen carve runes carved the runes carver Christianity connection context cross culture dative dead person dotted Dynna stone Eggja inscription Eggja stone Einang stone eleventh century eptir Erlingr example expressed Eyvindr farm fubark function Galteland stone Gautr Granvik graphic simplification grave Gunnarr HagustaldaR horn indicate interpretation Jaeren Jorunn King language Latin linguistic long-branch Maeshowe magic Magnus Olsen means medieval Middle Ages nasal Norway Norwegian object Oddernes Odinn Olafr Old Norse Oslo Pater Noster plural preterite priest raised this stone refer reist represent Ringerike Roman alphabet Roman letters runar rune-carver runestones runic alphabet runic inscriptions runic writing runologist runology saga Scandinavia Scandinavian script sequence short-twig runes Sigurdr someone soul sound value spelling stave church stick stone in memory symbols Tune stone twigs Vang stone variant verb Viking Age vowel whetstone WiwaR word writing system