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  • 1.
    Holmberg, Per
    et al.
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Gräslund, Bo
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Archaeology.
    Sundqvist, Olof
    Stockholms universitet.
    Williams, Henrik
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
    The Rök Runestone and the End of the World2020In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 2003-296X, Vol. 9-10, p. 7-38Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Rök runestone from central middle Sweden, dated to around 800 CE, is famous, among other things, for a supposed reference to the emperor Theodo­ric the Great. This study proposes instead that the inscription deals with an anxiety triggered by a son’s death and the fear of a new climate crisis similar to the catastrophic one after 536 CE. Combining perspectives and findings from semiotics, philology, archaeology, and history of religion, the study presents a completely new interpretation which follows a unified theme, showing how the monument can be understood in the socio-cultural and religious context of early Viking Age Scandinavia. The inscription consists, according to the pro­posed interpretation, of nine enigmatic questions. Five of the questions con­cern the sun, and four of them, it is argued, ask about issues related to the god Odin. A central finding is that there are relevant parallels to the inscription in early Scandinavian poetry, especially in the Eddic poem Vafþrúðnismál.

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  • 2.
    Åkerström, Hanna
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
    Läsordning i tidigvikingatida runristningar2020In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 2003-296X, Vol. 9-10, p. 39-134Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The primary aim of this essay is to clarify the visual aspects of reading order in the early Viking Age Scandinavian runic material. The investigation in part identi­fies the visual principles of reading which occur in the inscriptions and in part uses these principles to support new reading orders in three inscrip­tions: Bo Boije4 Skee, U ANF1937;163 Björkö and DR NOR1988;5 Malt. The read­ing order which is examined is the one offered by the text itself, for which reason the intention of the carver and the behaviour of the actual reader is ignored. The theoretical framework of the study is based on social semiotics and a multimodal approach to text, i.e. meaning is expressed not only by lan­guage but also via tools such as image and layout. The analysis model of Kress and van Leeuwen (2006) of the grammar of visual design is specifically em­ployed as the point of departure. The result establishes a number of visual semiotic resources. These resources express concepts such as salience, creation of associations or demarcation, which can be connected in diverse ways to func­tions of reading order such as start of reading or the reading pathway. Some resources seem to express none of these three concepts and can therefore be assumed to be directly linked to reading order via convention. Bo Boije4, U ANF1937;163 and DR NOR1988;5 offer several visual possibilities of reading order which are considered in turn. New reading orders have been proposed for all of these cases.

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  • 3.
    Waldispühl, Michelle
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Roman and Runic in the Anglo-Saxon Inscriptions at Monte Sant’Angelo: A Sociolinguistic Approach2020In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 2003-296X, Vol. 9-10, p. 135-158Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper addresses the Anglo-Saxon personal name inscriptions at Monte Sant’​Angelo in Southern Italy from a sociolinguistic angle. The main interest lies in the mix between Roman and runic writing and its inter­pretation in the light of indi­vidual literacy and the cultural context of medieval pilgrimage. Four from a total of five inscriptions were written in runes; two of these show sig­nif­icant in­fluence from Anglo-Saxon scribal practices and Roman epi­graphic writ­ing. The fifth Anglo-Saxon name is written entirely in Roman letters. Draw­ing on theo­retical approaches from modern sociolinguistic studies of multi­lin­gualism in writ­ing, this study suggests that the use of mixed Roman-runic prac­tices reflects the biscriptal background of the respective carvers and was applied in situ to indi­vidualize the inscriptions. However, not all the in­scrip­tions show such a mix; hence either skill or personal preference varied among the pilgrims. The prac­tice of mixing evident in the runic inscriptions does not fully correspond to previ­ously described features of multilingual and multi­scrip­tal writing, which is why a new term, “heterographia”, has been coined in this study to include mix­ing not only in a language and a writing system, but also on a graphetic and ortho­graphic level. Finally, the use of runes or Roman script for one’s personal name is inter­preted as an expression of social identity dependent on the person’s social embedding.

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  • 4.
    Þorgeirsson, Haukur
    Árni Magnússon Institute, Reykjavík.
    Runic and Skaldic Evidence of Palatal r in West Norse2020In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 2003-296X, Vol. 9-10, p. 159-177Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Runic evidence shows that the phonemes r and palatal ʀ merged at an early date in West Norse. I argue here that skaldic poetry also comprises valid evidence of this merger and that there is no reason to believe that r and ʀ should have rhymed until the two phonemes had actually coalesced. All the poets of the Viking Age whose verse consists of at least eighty rhymed lines show examples of rhyme between r and ʀ, except Bragi Boddason, whose poetry, traditionally dated to the 800s, is the most archaic to be preserved. There are, on the other hand, five examples of r and ʀ rhyming with each other in the poem Haustlǫng by Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, traditionally dated to c. 900. These admittedly sparse data would date the merger of r and ʀ to the late 800s. This is essentially the same dating shown by the runic evidence, which is also quite meagre. The linking of runic and skaldic chronology can be shown to strengthen both.

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  • 5.
    Källström, Magnus
    Riksantikvarieämbetet.
    En återuppstånden runsten från Källa ödekyrka på Öland (Öl 57)2020In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 2003-296X, Vol. 9-10, p. 179-191Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper discusses the relationship between the now lost runestone fragment Öl 57 from Källa Old Church and some later finds of runestone fragments from the same place. Similarities between these fragments show that they originally must have belonged to the same stone, which also makes it possible to recon­struct part of the inscription and obtain a better understanding of the original monument.

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  • 6.
    Larsson, Patrik
    Högskolan Dalarna.
    Till tolkningen av runföljden huli (U 604)2020In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 2003-296X, Vol. 9-10, p. 193-200Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The inscription on the runestone from Stäket in Uppland (U 604) begins with an uninterpreted runic sequence, huli, which clearly denotes a male personal name. A consideration of the orthography of the inscription as well as onomastic parallels allows a number of possible interpretations to be discussed. The interpretation deemed most likely identifies the rune sequence huli as a name, Runic Swedish Hulli, connected to the Old Swedish adjective hulder, meaning either ‘huld, välsinnad, trogen, tillgifven; kär; benägen (för), hängifven (åt); trogen, god’ (‘fair, well meaning, faithful, affectionate, in love, inclined (to), good’ or similar) or ‘vid hull, hullig’ (‘fleshy’ or similar). The name Hulli could therefore be translated as ‘the well meaning, the faithful’ or ‘the fleshy, the fat’ or the like.

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  • 7.
    Jesch, Judith
    University of Nottingham.
    Further Thoughts on E18 Saltfleetby2020In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 2003-296X, Vol. 9-10, p. 201-213Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The article reconsiders some of the runological, linguistic and cultural aspects of the 2010 find in Lincolnshire, England, of a lead spindle whorl inscribed with Scan­di­navian runes. In particular, the discussion leads to the conclusion that the inscription, which appears to mention the god-names Óðinn and Heim­dallr, may be somewhat later than previously thought (late eleventh or even twelfth century) and that it does not necessarily provide evidence for heathen be­liefs in Lincolnshire at the time.

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  • 8.
    Ljosland, Ragnhild
    Orkney Col­lege, University of the High­lands and Islands, Scotland.
    Runic Spindle Whorl Recently Found in Orkney2020In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 2003-296X, Vol. 9-10, p. 215-229Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article gives an account of a rune-inscribed bone spindle whorl which was found by a member of the public in Orkney in January 2017. The inscription will presumably be designated as OR 24. The circumstances of the find are briefly discussed and the artefact described and depicted. Thereafter follows a transliteration and commentary on the reading and an interpretation of the text, which seems to be a futhark inscription with some notable oddities.

    Along with the spindle whorl bearing OR 24, the finder also handed in a quartzite pebble from the same site, which is decorated with a painted rune-like mark. The article discusses whether the painted mark is intended as a rune, and whether the artefact is Norse at all. The conclusion is that the mark is most probably not intended to be runic and that the artefact is likely to be Pictish rather than Norse.

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  • 9.
    Axelsdóttir, Katrín
    University of Iceland.
    All the King’s Runes2020In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 2003-296X, Vol. 9-10, p. 231-260Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The so-called Third Grammatical Treatise by the Icelandic poet and scholar Óláfr Þórðarson hvítaskáld (c. 1210–59) contains a section in which runes are compared to letters of other alphabets. Óláfr quotes a runic sentence that he attributes to King Valdemar II of Denmark, at whose court Óláfr stayed in the winter of 1240–41. The meaning of this sentence, which is said to contain all the runes of the futhark, has been considered obscure by many scholars. However, some attempts towards its elucidation have been made. It has for example been proposed that the sentence alludes to a hawk (perhaps referring to fal­conry) since one of the words might correspond to Old Icelandic haukr, Old Danish høk. Here, a different interpretation is proposed, according to which the sen­tence is a reference to King Valdemar and Óláfr’s special interest, the runes, more specifically the b-rune, and its derivate, a variant of the p-rune, i.e. ᛕ.

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  • 10.
    Cucina, Carla
    University of Macerata.
    A Runic Calendar in the Vatican Library2020In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 2003-296X, Vol. 9-10, p. 261-274Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In 2014, the present author came across a runic calendar — that is a perpetual calendar in which golden numbers and Sunday letters are represented by runes – stored in the repository of the Vatican Latin Collection as item no. 14613. It was known previously to scholars only through a set of photo­graphic repro­ductions dating back to the mid-1800s now in the Royal Library in Stock­holm. This paper is a short and corrected summary of the author’s detailed ac­count of the Vatican runic item, which was published in the Miscellanea Biblio­thecae Vati­canae 22 (2016). This well-preserved artifact, dated 1684 and belonging to the Swedish “rune-book” type, consists of eight small wooden boards carved on both sides, bound together by a cord passing through two holes near one end. Both the contents of the calendar and its structure and over­all style allow an identi­fication of its origin as belonging to the post-medi­eval Swedish pro­duc­tion in the Baltic area, more specifically in the Swedish settle­ments in present-day Estonia. Interesting analytic cues derive from the first account of the calendar as being stored in Bibliotheca Barberina in Rome, while a compar­ative investigation of the few rune-book calendars from Estonia that we know of shows that the Vatican item is original in some formal aspects and very atten­tive in responding to calendar issues and Swedish models. The feasts recorded with symbols in the calendar conform to the Åbo diocese; the holi­­day marks agree with the Swedish popular tradition, but are occasionally re-inter­preted; various onomastic initials, owner’s or identification marks (bo­märke) and the so-called Saint Peter’s game are cut on the cover pages of the rune-book.

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  • 11.
    Waldispühl, Michelle
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Review of Epigraphy in an Intermedial Context. Eds. Alessia Bauer, Elise Kleivane, and Terje Spurkland. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2018. 216 pp. ISBN 978-1-84682-716-72020In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 2003-296X, Vol. 9-10, p. 275-286Article, book review (Other academic)
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  • 12.
    Palumbo, Alessandro
    University of Oslo.
    Review of Lisbeth M. Imer. Peasants and Prayers: The Inscriptions of Norse Greenland. Copenhagen: University Press of Southern Denmark, 2017. 349 pp. ISBN 978-87-7602-345-4.2020In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 2003-296X, Vol. 9-10, p. 287-294Article, book review (Other academic)
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