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  • 1.
    Beck, Wolfgang
    et al.
    Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    Schuhmann, Roland
    Saxon Academy of Sciences in Leipzig.
    Die ältesten Runeninschriften im Kontext (sprach)wissenschaftlicher Editionen2015In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 1892-0950, Vol. 5, p. 7-24Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Comprehensive editions of the oldest runic inscriptions are few and largely outdated;even the more recent ones do not meet modern critical standards. Other runic publications that treat this material tend to concentrate on selected data only. An up-to-date scholarly edition of the oldest runic inscriptions is thus currently lacking. The question is: what criteria must a new edition fulfil? Of course, information has to be provided concerning the rune-bearing object, such as (1) a description of the artifact, including the present place of keeping, (2) the find circumstances and (3) an archaeological dating. The description of the inscription itself has to be thorough, and must include (1) a plausible reading of the runes with remarks on runic forms and the textual composition, and (2) a transliteration, which constitutes the basis for a transcription. The transcription is the starting point for the internal, viz. linguistic interpretation that has to contain etymological as well as syntactic information (where necessary). In the etymological component, all important proposals have to be reconsidered. The linguistic interpretation must be the starting point for any broader analyses, which of necessity will require an interdisciplinary approach. The paper shows how such an edition can be laid out by means of one selected example.

  • 2.
    Wicker, Nancy L.
    The University of Mississippi, USA.
    Bracteate Inscriptions and Context Analysis in the Light of Alternatives to Hauck’s Iconographic Interpretations2015In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 1892-0950, Vol. 5, p. 25-43Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Runic inscriptions on Scandinavian Migration Period gold bracteates have long been considered problematic. Although many of them are readable, only a few are interpretable. One of the major questions about bracteate texts is whether they are related to the images depicted on the pieces. During the past quarter century, these inscriptions have been interpreted chiefly on the basis of Karl Hauck’s identification of the major figure depicted on bracteates as Odin. However, there are other interpretations of the pictures that may also assist our understanding of the texts. This paper examines some of these alternative explanations of bracteate imagery, with particular reference to how the objects were used and by whom, the aim being to arrive at a better understanding of the inscriptions.

  • 3.
    Zimmermann, Ute
    Kiel University.
    Bier, Runen und Macht: Ein Formelwort im Kontext2015In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 1892-0950, Vol. 5, p. 45-64Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The runic formulaic word alu, mainly found on Migration Period gold bracteates, has been interpreted, amongst other things, as ‘protection’, ‘magic’ or ‘beer’. While the last interpretation is preferable on phonological grounds — Ancient Norse alu could have developed regularly into Old Norse ǫl ‘beer’ — it has often been rejected for semantic reasons, because the meaning ‘beer’ does not seem to fit with the assumed function of the bracteates as amulets. This article argues that there might well be a context in which a meaning ‘beer’ would make sense. If the bracteates had the function of representing and authorising power and if they were distributed by the Scandinavian rulers among their allies and followers, perhaps in connection with a ceremony in the ruler’s hall in which the ritualised drinking of beer played a central role, it seems quite possible that bracteate inscriptions could contain a reference to alu ‘beer’.

  • 4.
    Waldispühl, Michelle
    University of Bern.
    Runes in Action: Two South Germanic Inscriptions and the Notion of a “Literate” Epigraphic Culture2015In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 1892-0950, Vol. 5, p. 65-90Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article investigates two well-known South Germanic inscriptions, the iron sax from Steindorf and the silver disc brooch from Bülach. Detailed epigraphic analysis reveals such great uncertainties in readings for each of these that the previous interpretations of both must be re-evaluated. A subsequent contextual analysis of the function of the epigraphy considers technical features of writing and of layout and composition, as well as the material properties and function of each of the objects. Employing a broader approach to literacy which examines not only the writing itself but also the situational communicative setting, the author interprets the inscribed objects as a means of performance in various conceivable situations. The main conclusion is that greater attention should be given to the visual characteristics of runic writing.

  • 5.
    Birkett, Tom
    University College Cork.
    Unlocking Runes? Reading Anglo-Saxon Runic Abbreviations in Their Immediate Literary Context2015In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 1892-0950, Vol. 5, p. 91-114Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Runic abbreviations appear sporadically in a number of Old English manuscripts, including three of the four major poetic codices. A convincing rational for the apparently erratic deployment of these unusual abbreviations has yet to be proposed.

    In this article I identify the immediate literary context as an important factor influencing the distribution of Anglo-Saxon runic abbreviations, noting in particular that the runic brevigraphs often appear in passages which deal with unlocking. To illuminate this association, I turn to Bede’s story of the prisoner Imma, whose chains become unlocked each time he is bound. His credulous captors believe this miracle to be the work of litteras solutorias, or ‘releasing letters’, the Old English translation of Bede’s work referring explicitly to the alysendlic, or ‘unlocking’, rune. This episode may help to explain why runes appear in a riddle about a lock and key, in the context of Elene’s prayer to open a hoard, and in a passage in which Saturn asks how he may unlock the doors of heaven. If such an association indeed exists, it has implications for our understanding of the perception of the runic script in late Anglo-Saxon England, and it also suggests that the rationale for the use of runes in the Exeter Book riddles may be connected with revealing rather than concealing information.

  • 6.
    Bianchi, Marco
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
    Vielseitige Runentexte: Multilinearität in Runensteininschriften2015In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 1892-0950, Vol. 5, p. 115-135Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study discusses how segmentation, both visual and linguistic, is used to structure runic inscriptions. The questions are (1) if there is any correlation in the chosen examples between the visual and the linguistic design, and, if so, (2) how a particular layout adds meaning to the verbal message. Studies are conducted on two small sets of Upplandic and Södermanlandic runestones. The first part of the paper deals with runestones with more than one rune-carved surface and demonstrates that there is indeed a strong correlation between the verbal message and the layout. In most cases, the use of a new carving surface can be seen as a means to underline thematic aspects of the inscription. In the second part of the paper, inscriptions with signatures with a dedication are dealt with. Almost all such signatures are placed in a new visual unit. They repeat, complement and accentuate the message of the memorial formulas and offer additional starting points for a reading.

  • 7.
    Stille, Per
    Linnéuniversitetet.
    Runstenarna i landskapet: En undersökning om placeringen av runstenarna i Tiohärad2015In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 1892-0950, Vol. 5, p. 137-149Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To comprehend better the meaning of a runic monument as a complex phenomenon it is necessary to have knowledge of its original location in relation to the surrounding environment. Our knowledge of such initial locations varies. Some runestones still stand in the place where they were first erected. In other cases, the first placement is well documented even if the runestone has been moved or indeed lost; sometimes, however, the documentation indicates only a general placement. In several instances the original location is wholly unknown.

    There are eighty-two known runic monuments from the late Viking Age in an area called Tiohärad in southern Sweden. For twenty-nine of these only a secondary location, mostly in or near a church, is known. Some mention bridges and eleven are known to have been located near a passage of water (which presumably also indicates the presence of a road). At least sixteen more are found near a later road, and two of these mention a crossroad. Thirteen seem to have been found near farms or villages. In many cases, the monuments could have marked ancient boundaries. Of particular interest in these instances are the examples located at boundaries that not only border two farms, but also larger administrative areas. Of the fifty-two monuments with a known location, only eighteen have any connection to grave-fields.

  • 8.
    Ljung, Cecilia
    Stockholms universitet.
    Early Christian Grave Monuments and the Eleventh-Century Context of the Monument Descriptor hvalf2015In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 1892-0950, Vol. 5, p. 151-169Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper discusses the use of the term hvalf as a monument descriptor in Swedish runic inscriptions with special focus on its first appearance, connotations and historical context. The main emphasis lies on the word itself and its relationship to early Christian grave monuments (also known as Eskilstunacists). Evidence for the use of hvalf suggests that the term was employed to denote grave monuments as early as the first part of the eleventh century. Parallels in ornamentation and design link some of the Swedish funerary monuments referred to as hvalf to a small set of stones carved with Ringerike-style ornamentation in England. It is argued that these groups of carved stones indicate reciprocal influence between Scandinavian and English burial and memorial traditions.

  • 9.
    Bäckvall, Maja
    Harvard University.
    Dvärgstenen U 359 Skepptuna kyrka2015In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 1892-0950, Vol. 5, p. 171-187Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The subject of this article is the runestone U 359, an unassuming monument with a previously largely uninterpreted inscription. The runic text seems to be lexical, but the inscription does not follow the standard formulae of Swedish Viking Age runestones. A possible explanation for this is suggested, namely that U 359 represents the last part of an inscription covering more than one stone, and the article attempts an interpretation of the inscription based on this assumption. The possible function of multiple inscription monuments is also discussed, as well as the connection between diminutive runestones and church environments.

  • 10.
    Nordby, K. Jonas
    University of Oslo.
    DR 415 Berlin: Yet Another ráð þat Inscription?2015In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 1892-0950, Vol. 5, p. 189-193Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 11.
    Fridell, Staffan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
    Den stungna m-runan2015In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 1892-0950, Vol. 5, p. 195-198Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 12.
    Palumbo, Alessandro
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
    Review of Carla Cucina. Libri runici del computo: Il calendario di Bologna e i suoi analoghi europei. Macerata: EUM — Edizioni Università di Macerata, 2013. 341 pp., 29 plates. ISBN 978-88-6056-372-9.2015In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 1892-0950, Vol. 5, p. 199-206Article, book review (Other academic)
1 - 12 of 12
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