An Introduction to English Runes

May 2006
23 black and white, 54 line illustrations
272 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9780851159461
Format: Paperback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BISAC LAN009010, LIT011000, HIS015000

An Introduction to English Runes

R.I. Page

Introduction to the use of runes as a practical script for a variety of purposes in Anglo-Saxon England.
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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Remains the only book-length study providing a comprehensive and scholarly guide to the Anglo-Saxon use of runes. The new edition has been substantially updated and expanded...No serious library of Anglo-Saxon studies should be without it. JOURNAL OF ENGLISH AND GERMANIC PHILOLOGY [John Hines]

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