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Runic Inscriptions Reflecting Linguistic Contacts between West Slav Lands and Southern Scandinavia
University of Copenhagen.
2014 (English)In: Scripta Islandica: Isländska Sällskapets Årsbok, ISSN 0582-3234, Vol. 65, 153-172 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article discusses the discrepancy between historical accounts of the contacts between Scandinavians and West Slavs in the late Viking Age and early Middle Ages on the one hand and linguistic evidence — loan words, place-names, personal names, and runic inscriptions — on the other. The main focus is the small corpus of runic inscriptions found in urban contexts along the south coast of the Baltic Sea. The inscriptions were previously seen as signs of hostilities, but the finds from Starigard (Oldenburg) in particular now point in a much more peaceful direction. The runic texts represent a high degree of literacy and the text types are very similar to finds from urban runic finds in mainland Scandinavia. This suggests a state of peaceful co-existence between Scandinavians and West Slavs and a permanent presence in the Slavic Towns, for instance of a diplomatic or mercantile nature or by a band of mercenaries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 65, 153-172 p.
National Category
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Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-241344OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-241344DiVA: diva2:778544
Runes, Viking Age, contact linguistics in the South Baltic Sea, runic stray finds, urban runic text types, runic literacy
Available from: 2015-01-10 Created: 2015-01-10 Last updated: 2015-01-13Bibliographically approved

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