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Although much runological fieldwork has been undertaken over the years, little has been written about it. The procedures adopted by the field runologist, the problems encountered and their solutions, are matters that can often only be dimly glimpsed in the text of the edition or article that emerges as the end product of the fieldwork. […]

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Obwohl die Runenschrift in der Frühneuzeit auf Island als verpönt und verdächtig galt – wie uns Björn Jónsson in seinem Samtak um rúnir (1642) unterrichtet – vermehren sich ausgerechnet im 18. und 19. Jh. die Runeneinträge in isländischen Handschriften. Dort stellen sie ein sekundäres Phänomen dar, das trotz Übereinstimmungen mit der gelehrten Tradition aus Skandinavien […]

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Whilst the runica manuscripta of the English tradition (Derolez 1954, Derolez 1991), the Scandinavian rune poems (Heizmann 1998, Bauer 2003), their recording in the scholarly, early medieval treatise (De inventione litterarum), their occasional use as the writer’s signature and within the Old High German glosses have been comparatively well-researched  (Nievergelt 2009), this does not apply […]

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There is a great variety of spelling of the same words and word forms in the runic inscriptions. This is something you cannot find in present-day texts. Obviously, the main reason for this spelling variability is the absence of any spelling standards. The main goal of this study was to find the factors of the […]

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Scandinavian Viking-Age runic epigraphy is according to Sawyer (2000, 8) always rendered in Old Scandinavian. However, there remains a tiny residue of 11th–12th c. epigraphs, which are reminiscent of texts in a natural language, yet not amenable to a Scandinavian (or Latin) reading and hence usually considered to be magical, encrypted, or nonsensical. Eliasson (2007, […]

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New additions to the modest corpus of Anglo-Saxon runic inscriptions are always to be welcomed, and a number of new discoveries have been made in recent years.  This paper reports on two inscriptions in Britain, one of which can be added to the Anglo-Saxon corpus and one to the less well-studied corpus of probable modern […]

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Als erste skandinavische Runen, die in einem gedruckten Werk auftauchen, wird das „gotische“ Alphabet in Theseus Ambrosius‘ 1539 erschienenem Werk Introductio in chaldaicam linguam, Syriacam atque Armenicam, et decem alias linguas angesehen. Dieses stammt laut Text von Johannes Magnus. Im selben Jahr wurde außerdem Olaus Magnus berühmte Carta marina gedruckt, die ebenfalls eine kurze Runeninschrift […]

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RTI wurde im Jahr 2001 von Mitarbeitern der Hewlett-Packard Laboratories entwickelt und erstmalig in einem Paper mit dem Titel „Polynomal Texture Maps“ beschrieben. Die daraus entstandene unter der GNU General Public License 3 veröffentliche Software RTIBuilder erstellt ein mathematisches Modell der Oberfläche des fotografierten Objekts und ermöglicht so eine interaktive Neuauslichtung des Objekts in der […]

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Around the turn of the last Millennium, two papers published by Judith Jesch and Anders Andrén respectively expressed the idea that the visual proximity of words in Swedish runic inscriptions of the 11th century may have been more than a mere coincidence. Both researchers argued independently that the Swedish rune-carvers of the Late Viking Age […]

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When dealing with documenting runic inscriptions, there are two ways in which the inscription is presented: individually, dealing with its transliteration, interpretation, background, etc. and/or as part of a larger corpus with which the inscription may share some commonalities. These commonalities may be graphic, phonetic, archaeological, etc., but in this paper I will talk about […]

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Min presentation gäller bildinnehållet på U 448, Harg i Odensala socken, Uppland, som består av en påfågel och en ryttare. Inskriften är en ren minnestext och har inte något explicit kristet element. Stenen har heller inte något kors. Jag kommer att behandla både fågeln och ryttarfiguren och jämföra med andra avbildningar, såväl på runstenar som […]

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In the spring of 2014, a Viking Age rune-stone was discovered at Sockburn, in Cleveland, a site already associated with a considerable number of Anglo-Scandinavian sculptures in the form of both hogbacks and crosses. The poster presents a preliminary interpretation of the inscription by the members of the Cleveland team of the Languages, Myths and […]

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The Skåäng stone (KJ 85) is one of Sweden’s most remarkable rune stones with its brief inscription in the older futhark and its considerably longer Viking-Age inscription from the 11th century. The inscription with the Viking runes is known since 1830 while the older one was discovered during a visit by Hans Hildebrand in 1866. […]

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The location of the runic stones in the landscape is a key to the understanding of these monuments and their underlying meaning. By studying their location in the landscape in detail, it is possible to achieve a better understanding of the context where the stones textual messages were formulated. Often runic stones have been discussed […]

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The paper discusses the aims, methods, and results of a publication of the Greenlandic runic inscriptions. The aim is to describe the tradition of writing in a rural community in the North Atlantic. Due to the exceptional preservation conditions, more inscriptions have been preserved in Greenland than anywhere else. Inscriptions have been found during almost […]

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The surviving evidence suggests that there was a long-standing and geographically widely-distributed tradition of runic writing in Norway. Relatively large numbers of inscriptions in the older futhark have been found in the country, on both portable objects and memorial stones. There are more medieval inscriptions known from Norway than anywhere else, mainly on objects found […]

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This paper considers the changing nature of discourse surrounding monuments bearing runic inscriptions in the Northern Isles.  In particular it will examine the runic inscription (Br OR05) on one stone from the late Neolithic/ early Bronze Age Ring of Brodgar.  This is an uncertain inscription; its ‘Viking age’ authenticity is not validated.  Amongst its interpretations […]

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A fundamental working tool for the joint RuneS project will be a comprehensive database for documenting, describing and analyzing all research results of the three research centres. At the heart of this database the file “find” will compile necessary primary information on the runic inscriptions themselves comprising, among other things, the name(s) of the respective […]

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In the 11th C AD, a picture stone tradition (including runic inscriptions) with a strong local character on Gotland is replaced by a rune stone tradition similar to that in the Mälar valley of the Swedish mainland. Gotland maintains some characteristics, such as the door-like shape of the monument, but the runic ornament is now […]

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In this paper I focus on writing norms associated with runic script, bringing into the discussion a largely unused source to Medieval writing, namely inscriptions written in Roman script. Not marking a nasal consonant before a plosive, not marking double consonants, not repeating a rune in initial position if it is same as the preceding […]

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The Old English runic corpus contains (at least) thirty-six inscriptions on stone monuments, almost all from the north of England, produced in the period ca. 700-900. The texts recorded vary greatly in length, content, care of execution, placement on the monument, and quality of survival. The majority of these inscribed monuments are memorials and many […]

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While the oldest runic inscription in Thorsbjerg has been found on a dendrodated object from AD 164, nothing prevents the barbaric script imitations from representing a continuous tradition that existed alongside Latin, Greek and runes well into the 4th century AD. The find of a 4th century barbaric gold coin imitation with a partially legible […]

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During the course of the eleventh century runic monuments came to be erected in Christian cemeteries in central Sweden. The earliest examples of churchyard monuments in this area are the early Christian grave monuments, often called Eskilstuna cists, which in their most elaborate form consisted of a lid slab, two side slabs and two gable […]

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In Old Norwegian a phenomenon dubbed vowel harmony affects the realization of the unstressed phonemes /i/ and /u/. Researchers see this phenomenon as a progressive distant assimilation, where the closeness of a stressed vowel influences the closeness of the vowel in the following syllable. There has been debate concerning both the geographical distribution of this […]

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One of the most important contributors to our understanding of older runic epigraphy, Elmer Antonsen was a controversial scholar. Best remembered for bringing an overtly structural and neo-Bloomfieldian approach to the study of the earliest inscriptions, he was also something of a contrarian, promoting readings and interpretations of older runic texts which did not find […]

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For those who are interested in Danish history the Jelling dynasty from the second half of the 10th century to 1042 has had a special meaning. The successive 6 kings from Gorm the Old (-958) to Hardecnut (-1042) transformed a small Danish kingdom into one of the most influential states in Northern Europe in the […]

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The aim of the paper is to present a model for the description of runic graphs and a method for their classification into graph-types and graph-type variants. The classification of runic graphs into graph-types and variants requires the establishment of typological criteria. Runologists have described runic graphs in various ways, employing different sets of graphic […]

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In the past there seemed to be quite an amount of consensus of how the older Runic inscriptions were to be read (cf. W. Krause, Die Runeninschriften im älteren Futhark. I. Text. II. Tafeln. Mit Beiträgen von Herbert Jankuhn. Göttingen, 1966). This consensus was also codified in a nearly coherent grammar of the early Runic […]

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The aim of this paper is to revise and further analyse the functions of the runes ᛞ and ᛗ in the Glosses to the Lindisfarne Gospels. The work presented here is part of a project funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation which addresses various aspects of the morphosyntax and lexis of the […]

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In recent years, researchers involved in projects representing the Runic writing system electronically have discovered that the repertoire in the Unicode Standard / ISO 10646 is insufficient. In order to address this shortcoming, we hereby propose establishing a Runic Font Initiative. Like the Medieval Unicode Font Initiative (MUFI) and other, similar initiatives, which have been successful on just […]

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The medieval corpus of Danish runic inscriptions includes a group of 12 cast censers, one of which has been lost. The censers have been dated to the middle of the thirteenth century on the basis of several different typological characteristics: art historical style typology rune typology linguistic typology (Old Danish and Latin) text typology The […]

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In recent years scholarship on the Viking Age rune-stones has tended to focus on single aspects of the stones and their features, without a ‘bigger-picture’ view. This paper sets out to begin filling in this gap, through a focus on a larger-scale interpretation of the rune-stones and what they disclose (implicitly) about the people(s) of […]

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It is well known that the predecessor of Old Norse (ON) must have gone through a process of final devoicing at some point in time. As pointed out by O. Grønvik and H. Bjorvand, among other scholars, this follows quite clearly from internal reconstruction of Old Norse. Forms like 3. sg. pret. ON batt ‘bound’ […]

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The Anglo-Saxon runic poem is often regarded as the most popular and well-known representative of the English runica manuscripta tradition. It was discovered on a separate folio attached to MS Cotton Otho B. X, which, unfortunately, was lost in the 1731 Cottonian fire. The existence of the folio and its runes were recorded twice before […]

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The goal of this work is to classify the types of the “lock” element and its functions in the ornaments of the Uppland runestones. The lock is a natural (in a picture of a snake) or an artificial element of the ornament connecting the opposite ends of the snake, on which the runic inscription is […]

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In this paper, I address two important issues regarding the description and decipherment of runes on metal objects. The first point concerns a comprehensive epigraphic analysis of runic writing prior to identifying runic graphs. Exemplified with autopsy-based results from the Continental runic corpus, I will present a systematic way of analysing and documenting epigraphic features, […]

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The inscription alu, found on bracteates as well as other objects including the Elgesem stone (KJ 57), has been examined repeatedly, with interpretations as diverse as “magic,” “ale,” “hale,” and “protection.” Nearly all of the analyses of alu have begun from the assumption that the use of bracteates was sacral and thus the meaning of […]

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Although (North) Germanic languages are known to have been in close contact with Finnic and Sámi languages throughout their history, to my knowledge no systematic attempts have been made to identify possible Finno-Ugric elements in runic inscriptions. This may in part reflect assumptions about linguistic and cultural contacts that appear outdated in the light of […]

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Die Inschriften der Goldbrakteaten der Völkerwanderungszeit stellen insofern eine Besonderheit dar, als die auf ihnen vorkommenden Zeichen verschiedenen Kategorien (Runenschrift, Lateinschrift, Beizeichen, Ornamente, Bildelemente) zugeordnet werden können. Während die Identifikation bei vielen Zeichen keine Schwierigkeiten bereitet, ist die Zuordnung bei einigen unklar.  Dabei stellen sich verschiedene Fragen: Handelt es sich um ein  Schriftzeichen oder liegt […]

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