An Introduction to English Runes

Front Cover
Boydell Press, 2006 - Literary Criticism - 249 pages
2 Reviews
Runes are quite frequently mentioned in modern writings, usually imprecisely as a source of mystic knowledge, power or insight. This book sets the record straight. It shows runes working as a practical script for a variety of purposes in early English times, among both indigenous Anglo-Saxons and incoming Vikings. In a scholarly yet readable way it examines the introduction of the runic alphabet (the futhorc) to England in the fifth and sixth centuries, the forms and values of its letters, and the ways in which it developed, up until its decline at the end of the Anglo-Saxon period. It discusses how runes were used for informal and day-to-day purposes, on formal monuments, as decorative letters in prestigious manuscripts, for owners' or makers' names on everyday objects, perhaps even in private letters. For the first time, the book presents, together with earlier finds, the many runic objects discovered over the last twenty years, with a range of inscriptions on bone, metal and stone, even including tourists' scratched signatures found on the pilgrimage routes through Italy. It gives an idea of the immense range of information on language and social history contained in these unique documents. The late R.I. PAGE was former Professor of Anglo-Saxon in the University of Cambridge.
 

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Contents

Runes and runesters
1
The runes of the lost Bewcastle cross head British Library
3
The Chessell Down scabbard mount runes
11
When and where
16
The CaistorbyNorwich astragalus runes
19
Post650 runic monuments
26
The AngloSaxon runic letters
38
Condition preservation and record
49
The AshGilton pommel inscription
167
59
168
The Wheatley Hill ring
169
The Whitby disc
170
Christ and Mary on St Cuthberts coffin
172
The Welbeck Hill bracteate
180
The Dover brooch runes
181
The Thames silvergilt mount
182

The Hartlepool I namestone
50
The Overchurch stone runes
56
Runica manuscripta and the runenames
60
The AngloSaxon Runic Poem from Hickess Thesaurus
64
The abbreviated name of Solomon in the Corpus Christi College
78
The divided futhorc and runic codes
80
Norse cryptic rune types from Bergen
84
Runic or runelike
89
How to use runes
96
Runic coins
117
50
122
Runestones
130
Runes elsewhere
157
51
159
The fragmentary Southampton bone plaque
160
The Keswick runic disc
161
The Manchester ring legend
162
The Derby bone plate
164
The Whitby comb
165
The repairers inscription on the Harford Farm brooch
166
The Undley bracteate with a schematic drawing of its runes
183
The skanomodu solidus
184
More manuscript runes
186
Part of the runic passage from Solomon and Saturn I Corpus
188
AngloSaxon and Viking
200
The Penrith brooch futhark
205
The Bridekirk font runes
207
The Conishead Priory runes
209
Runic and roman
212
New runic coin type from Billockby
214
Runes on a sherd from Worcester
219
Runic marginalia in Corpus Christi College Cambridge MS 41
220
78
222
The Orpington sundial
223
Runic graffito from Monte SantAngelo Italy
224
The study of runes
226
Bibliography
233
Indexes
241
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