Nobody downloaded yet

Runic Alphabets in Scandinavia - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Rune, which was derived from the word "run", meaning "mystery" in Old Norse and Old English, best suits these letters which were carved in wood or stone, placed in a bag then thrown to look into the future. They have been closely associated with divination while early Christian Church leaders condemned them as tools for communicating with the devil (Carroll 2006).
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER95% of users find it useful
Runic Alphabets in Scandinavia
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Runic Alphabets in Scandinavia"

Download file to see previous pages Sadly, the meanings of these symbols and their purpose are now lost. Like runes, they were believed to be used for divination and they may have strongly influenced the magical function of later runic alphabets (Smith 1996).
Historians and anthropologists are uncertain about the early uses of runes. They may have been used as actual characters for writing. However, the name rune suggests that they were also used as mystical signs or symbols which possess powerful magic. Early Germanic literature bear testimony to the magical character of runes. The Edda, a series of poems, and folk songs to these modern days attest to the influence that runes have on humanity.
In fact, the supernatural powers of runes are said to have not only influence, but can overcome natural and physical laws. Runes can summon rain or violent thunderstorms. They can break chains and shackles, or bind men into them. They can heal illness or cause someone to suffer disease. They could raise the dead from their graves. Warriors can become invincible with the help of runes, and cause his weapon to inflict mortal wounds to the enemy. Runes can make men mad, as they can also protect men from the deceitful designs of others.
Runes are generally considered as of divine origin, since Odin himself, as related in the Edda, had to sacrifice his person in order to learn the secrets of the runes. Odin was also the foremost runemaster, according to Germanic literature, and was known to have used the stones to exercise personal revenge.
Simultaneous with the magical use of runes, there is also evidence that they were used as a means of communication. These messages may have been popular or used in secret. Saga of Egill Skallagrmsson, his daughter Thorger apparently carved the Sunatorrek -- a beautiful poem on a runic staff or runakefli -- where Egill laments the death of his son.
Stone monuments are also lasting evidence of the roles played by runes in olden times. These are more common in England and Scandinavia. Some of these monuments simply bear the name of a fallen warrior. Others relate his life and exploits. Since these runic inscriptions were often found in England and Scandinavia, it could be inferred that the use of runes for such purpose may be a later development (Ward & Waller, ed.).
II. Discussion
A. General Development and Transformation of Runes
Runes are also known as Futharks, named for the first six letters in their alphabet, namely, F, U, Th, A, R, and K. The Elder Futhark has 24 letters, the Younger Futhark has 16 letters. Futhark was brought into England by the Anglo-Saxons and transformed into the 33-letter Futhorc, which accommodated the phonetic changes which occurred in Old English (
The runes of Scandinavia can be classified into three periods. They are also not related to the Futhorc of the Anglo-Saxon. The first period dates from around 175 A.D. to the 8th century. However, some evidence show that the period may have started much earlier, as far back as 50 A.D. This period is referred to as the Primitive Norse, and Christianity had not yet reached that far north. The language was called Primitive Old Norse for the Nordic Inscriptions and were in Germanic or Gothic languages in lands farther south. The language of this ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Runic Alphabets in Scandinavia Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2250 words”, n.d.)
Runic Alphabets in Scandinavia Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2250 words. Retrieved from
(Runic Alphabets in Scandinavia Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2250 Words)
Runic Alphabets in Scandinavia Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2250 Words.
“Runic Alphabets in Scandinavia Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2250 Words”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Runic Alphabets in Scandinavia

Religion in the Medieval Europe

...” be weary of sorcery, few things are mightier than words and magic” in which the mothers knowledge was based on dream definition. It was not that witchcraft had the ability to change the visible realities by visible means beyond the reach of ordinary people. Rune stone was also associated with witchcraft while runic alphabets were associated with magical activities. In the noise witchcraft, it was possible to work with knowledge imposed on faith and finding key to hidden parts of reality, which required a guardian spirit. The guardian spirit was connected to individuals or families in visible forms as animals or women, which represented certain qualities. That in the shape of a woman was protective;...
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay

Modernism in Architecture in Italy and Scandinavia: 1920-1970

...?Modernism in Architecture in Italy and Scandinavia: 1920-1970 0 Introduction The architecture movement in Scandinavia and Italy between 1920 and 1970 were largely underpinned by political, social and cultural conditions. This is especially true during the earlier part of the 20th century, the interwar periods and the period after World War II. For the Scandinavian countries, there was newfound freedom and prosperity in the early 20th century and on the opposing end, Italy, a fascist government that had close ties with Nazi Germany, had largely restricted architectural movements up to the end of the Second World War. Nevertheless, great architecture emerged from both sides. After the dust of the last war...
9 Pages(2250 words)Essay

Scandinavia myself

...?Scandinavia Myself The term “Scandinavia” is used to represent the kingdoms of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. However, it is loosely used to refer to the Nordic region which includes Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and various other smaller autonomous regions and provinces in the Northern Sea. There were three considerations regarding the definition of what comprised Scandinavia; the languages, cultures, and history. Herein lay all the conglomerations that blend the three concepts to produce a widely accepted term Scandinavia. (New World Encyclopedia 2008) The earliest records of Scandinavian history date back to the Nordic Stone Age, from...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

The history of the alphabet

...? Number] History of Alphabets The history of alphabets is very old. It is believed that the alphabets have their roots inside the ancient Egypt history. In the early stages symbols were used to convey some specific messages and then these symbols and signs were refined to take the shape of alphabets (Stephen, p98). History shows that the first alphabet was introduced in 2000BC developed by the Semitic workers of ancient Egypt however the basic principles for developing alphabets were formulated almost millennium ago in the Middle Bronze Age. This discovery provided the background and base for the development of several Phoenician and...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Agriculture in Scandinavia

...174836 Agriculture in Scandinavia and the rest of Europe is known to have arrived from South West Asia in pre-historic times in the form of foreign colonists and their domesticated animals, seeds, and potted plants. With the fantastic archeological sources and research combined with impressive chronology, Northern Europe, Denmark and southern Scandinavia are a mine of anthropological information today. Study of transition in Southern Scandinavia became easier and more exciting as the region proved to be a laboratory of human prehistory. There are evidences that the early cultures in Middle East around 8000 BC used wild cereals for food which led to cultivated wheat, use of pottery,...
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay

Runology in Scandinavia

... s Runology in Scandinavia There have been many theories launched over who created the runes. Some of these theories have more supporters than others, but they all have one thing in common. None of these theories can be proved 100%. No runic inscriptions, as we know the runes, can be dated with certainty to before 200 AD. By 300 AD the runic alphabet was the only alphabet used in Scandinavia. However, it went out of use in middle Europe due to the popularity of the Latin alphabet, which had followed the expansion of Christianity. There are several runic alphabets, each used during a different period of time or in a specific location. These include the Elder Futhark, the Younger Futhark, the Anglo-Saxon Futhork, and others. During... one is...
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay


...of the inscriptions’ origin is from Scandinavia, which established itself as the dominant tongue at that time. Inevitably, there are interactions with Gaelic and other languages, however, the runic collected evidence offers scarce information (Townend, 2000). An indisputable evidence of the interaction between the cultures is the erection of crosses instead of stones. In the regions where Norse settlers were residing together with people from Gaelic culture the practices of raising crosses have merged with the Scandinavian traditions of building commemorative stones (Townend, 2002). A rather disappointing fact is that it is impossible to determine by the runic inscriptions how long...
12 Pages(3000 words)Essay

The Old English Language the Language of numerous North German phrases in their Language of Old Norse. The Language utilized in this time span (500-1100) called Old English. Christian missionaries presented the literacy and Language soaked up numerous Latin phrases, particularly phrases attached with the church. Old English Language was initially in writing in runic alphabet called Runic alphabet. It occurred out of 24 Runes Elder Futhark. It was in writing level in any direction. f u þ o r c w h Alphabet called Runic alphabet, entitled after the first six letters. When he that on a certain occasion did, that he left the house of the þa...
4 Pages(1000 words)Research Paper

Linguistic journal

...Linguistic Journal “Is Danish Dying?” is a very interesting article ed by Eric Raymond and published in Armed and Dangerous on 17 May 2009. Inthis article, (Raymond) has expressed his concerns about the degeneration of Danish language. Raymond says that some years ago, he made a speaking tour in Scandinavia and stayed in Denmark for some days as part of the tour. During the stay, he noticed that Danish language was increasingly being replaced by English language. This was being done by the ethnic Danes and foreign immigrants were not to be blamed for this. Raymond notes a couple of reasons in his article that make him think that Danish language is soon to vanish into English language. Among the reasons are rapid mutation of Danish... that...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Multiculturalism and cultural policy in Scandinavia

... Multiculturalism and Cultural Policy in Sweden By Lecturer’s and Introduction According to TCHIBOZO (2013), multiculturalism refers to a broad concept that dwells on evolution of the cultural diversity in a specific jurisdiction. It is often introduced and institutionalized by its selection settlement policies respectively. As a descriptive phenomenon, it refers to the selection policies that are based on the basis of the demographic set-up of a particular place (TCHIBOZO, 2013). This usually comes about endogenously through the amalgamation of more than two ethnic groups into a single jurisdiction, or exogenously based on the aspects of immigration from various jurisdictions around the globe. As a prescriptive phenomenon... Multiculturalism ...
11 Pages(2750 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Runic Alphabets in Scandinavia for FREE!

Contact Us