Rune Book Hoard

               Rune Book Hoard

This Rune Book Hoard lists some of the better known recommended academic works on the fuark runes but is by no means an exhaustive list

Runes: An Introduction
by Ralph W. V. Elliot
New York: Philosophic Library, Inc., 1959.

Professor Ralph Elliott was born in Germany into a family of long academic traditions. His ancestors include Martin Luther and the distinguished 19th-century German jurist, Rudolf von Jhering, whose many honours include the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun. Among his more recent kin are the Nobel Laureate physicist Max Born, the Australian singer Olivia Newton John, and the British novelist, actor, comedian Ben Elton. Professor Elliott was educated in Germany and Scotland, is a graduate of the Scottish University of St Andrews, and has taught English Language and Literature at St Andrews and at the universities of Keele, Adelaide, Flinders, and The Australian National University, where he was Master of University House for thirteen years and is now a Visiting Fellow and honorary Librarian at the Humanities Research Centre.

Elliot has lectured at many Australian and overseas universities and was Visiting Fellow in the USA in 1981 and in Japan in 1988. His rune works is noted as an excellent source from several Usenet discussion groups for historical context and linguistic value for runes. There is a very good chapter on the uses of runes which describes how they were used as both mystic symbols and an alphabet, and how the two distinct functions gradually came together over time. The book is broken down into parts: the origin of runes, the Germanic runes, the Scandinavian runes, the English runes, inscriptions, and uses of runes. Elliott balances the magical and the mundane quite beautifully without compromising his solid academic stand truth.

Runic Amulets and Magic Objects
Mindy MacLeod & Bernard Mees

16 line illustrations
288 pages
Size: 23 x 15 cm
ISBN: 1843832054
Binding: Hardback
First published: 2006
Price: 65.00 USD / 35.00 GBP
Imprint: Boydell Press

The runic alphabet, in use for well over a thousand years, was employed by various Germanic groups in a variety of ways, including, inevitably, for superstitious and magical rites. Formulaic runic words were inscribed onto small items that could be carried for good luck; runic charms were carved on metal or wooden amulets to ensure peace or prosperity. There are invocations and allusions to pagan and Christian gods and heroes, to spirits of disease, and even to potential lovers. Few such texts are completely unique to Germanic society, and in fact, most of the runic amulets considered in this book show wide-ranging parallels from a variety of European cultures.

The question of whether runes were magical or not has divided scholarship in the area. Early criticism embraced fantastic notions of runic magic - leading not just to a healthy scepticism, but in some cases to a complete denial of any magical element whatsoever in the runic inscriptions. This book seeks to re-evaulate the whole question of runic sorcery, attested to not only in the medieval Norse literature dealing with runes but primarily in the fascinating magical texts of the runic inscriptions themselves.
Dr MINDY MCLEOD teaches in the Department of Linguistics, Deakin University, Melbourne; Dr BERNARD MEES teaches in the Department of History at the University of Melbourne.

The Viking-Age Rune-Stones Custom and Commemoration in Early Medieval Scandinavia by Birgit Sawyer, Professor of History, Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet, Trondheim, Norway

304 pages; 38 b/w plates, 7 maps, & 7 figs.;

This is the first historical study of the whole body of late Viking runic inscription stones in Scandinavia. The 2300 inscriptions yield unexpected information on a wide range of topics, including the conversion of Scandinavia to Christianity, the growth of royal power and, most important of all, the inheritance customs of the period. "[Sawyer's] work...puts the English-speaking reader for the first time in possession of the basic information painstakingly recorded by Scandinavian scholars, as well as providing an entirely fresh and convincing explanation of the Viking Age corpus.... A model of patient and dispassionate research in a potentially exciting and contested area."




ISBN13: 978-0-19-926221-2

ISBN10: 0-19-926221-7

In all about 3,500 runic inscriptions are known from Swedish territory. Because of this unique wealth of material, they make an important contribution to our knowledge of early culture and society in Sweden. Rune stones are a natural element of the Swedish landscape. They are the oldest linguistic monuments and they provide much contemporary information of inestimable value. The inscriptions often permit us to draw significant conclusions relating to general cultural history. This book, written by Swedens leading runologist Professor Sven B F Jansson, presents a survey of the Swedish runic material, both in words and pictures.




Sven B F Jansson: Runes in Sweden (2nd ed 1997, transl Peter Foote, photo Bengt A Lundberg)

ISBN 91-7844-067-X

The Language of the Oldest Runic Inscriptions. A Linguistic and Historical-Philological Analysis
by Enver A. Makaev
Almquist & Wiksell International, Stockholm, Sweden, 1996

Makaev is known for some excellent works on Germanic linguistics which never reached the broad readership they deserved because they had appeared only in Russian. This translation is a first step to improve this. Originally published in 1965 this book starts with a critical analysis of runological studies, calling for the application of a stricter methodology, followed by chapters devoted to the language of the oldest inscriptions, to the orthographic fit of the writing system, to the significance of onomastic evidence and to word structure. The second part gives the data and this makes it a good source: there is a complete corpus of the early inscriptions and bracteates, lists of runic names and of attested grammatical forms and finally a helpful glossary.



Runes and their Origin. Denmark and Elsewhere
by Erik Moltke
Nationalmuseets forlag (The National Museum of Denmark), Copenhagen, Denmark, 1985

When Moltke died in 1984 he had become by far Denmark's most prominent runologist and this totally comprehensive work proves his status to be only fair and valid. Although he always was known for having his very own theories, his entertaining style of writing really makes up for that. Moltke looked to a largely Latin source for the runic characters, suggested a runic origin in Denmark. His argument may not have been wholly uninformed by patriotism, but is lent considerable weight by the fact that virtually all runic inscriptions pre-dating CE400 are Scandinavian, with only few inscriptions found in northern Germany and the Gothic regions of eastern Europe. Most of the Danish runic material is presented here, not only transcribed and translated but it comes along with a lot of good b/w photographs and there's hardly any aspect left unmentioned. An excellent and highly recommendable book.



On the Origin and Early History of the Runic Script. Typology and Graphic Variation in the Older Futhark
by Bengt Odenstedt
Almquist & Wiksell International, Stockholm, Sweden, 1990

Although the forms of runes in the Older Futhark have often been discussed in runological handbooks and elsewhere no systematic investigation of runic forms in the corpus has been made so far. This book finally fills that gap. It carefully goes through all the variants that occurred and tries to conclude their original forms. This is resulting in the thesis that that the runes were brought to the Continent from Scandinavia (and not vice versa!) and that it was the Roman alphabet that served as a model. Odenstedt claims that the Latin script was brought to the north by Scandinavian warriors who had served in the Roman Army which is not impossible, of course, although the onomastic evidence we have from the times before the Migration Age doesn't make this too likely. So one may disagree on this opinion but this well-written book has some strong arguments which shouldn't be dismissed too early. And it's a valuable source of the Older Futhark's runic forms.

An Introduction to English Runes (Paperback)

by Prof R.I.Page

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)

Book Description
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. R.I. PAGE is former Professor of Anglo-Saxon in the University of Cambridge.

Paperback: 272 pages

Publisher: Boydell Press; 2nd edition (March 2, 2006)

ISBN: 085115946X

Runic and Heroic Poems of the Old Teutonic Peoples
by Bruce Dickins
Cambridge, 1915.

Dickens Bruce (ed.) Runic and Heroic Poems of the Old Teutonic Peoples (1915)

It cannot be claimed that the Runic poems are of any great literary value; they are exactly parallel, indeed, to the old nursery rhyme: "A was an Archer who shot at a frog; B was a Butcher who had a big dog." But they are of certain interest to the student of social history and of supreme importance in the early history of the English language, a fact most unfortunately neglected in two of the most recent and otherwise the best of English historical grammars.




The Runic Poems
Text, Translation and Notes
The Anglo-Saxon Poem, The Norwegian Poem, The Icelandic Poem
Appendix: The Abecedarium Nordmannicum
The Heroic Poems
Text, Translation and Notes
The Anglo-Saxon Waldhere
The Anglo-Saxon Finn
The Anglo-Saxon Deor
The Old High German Hildebrand
General Bibliography

One of the original translations of the Icelandic, Norwegian and Anglo-Saxon rune poems, which constitute our principal sources of information on the interpretations of the rune names.

John McKinnell & Rudolf Simek, with Klaus Dwel, Runes, Magic  and Religion: A Sourcebook (Studia Medievalia Septentrionalia 10,  Fassbaender, 2004). 224pp; ISBN 3-900538-81-6.

This is an excellent book for readers who already have a basic understanding of what the runes and runic inscriptions are all about. The authors review pretty much the entire corpus of runic inscriptions with magical or religious connotations. The substantive chapter headings include:

 Introduction: The Futhark
 The Older and Younger Futhark: Changes &  Uses
 Secret or Cryptic Runes
 The Meaning of Runes in a Religious Context
 The Oldest Runic Inscriptions
 Gods and Powers in the Older Futhark
 Sacrifices and Enchantments
 Runes on Early Amulets
 Magic Formulae and Magic Words
 Heathen and Christian Religion in the AS Futhorc
                                                                Gods & Mythological Beings in the Younger Futhark                                                              Magic Formulae in the Younger Futhark
                                                                Runes, Death, Memory and Inheritance                                                                  Christian Prayers in Runes

Runes and their Secrets : Studies in Runology with Gillian Fellows Jensen, Marie Stokluind, Michael Lerche Nielsen and Bente Holmberg, Editor

This is a collection of articles written mainly in English dealing with a wide range of runological topics, all written by recognised scholars. The articles originated as papers read at an international runic symposium that was held in the year 2000. The book embraces Danish runic-inscriptions from the first to the sixteenth century, including such topics as the names of the runes, their chronology, literacy, runic coins etcetera. There are also articles on the oldest runic research and runic magic. Several of the articles present brand new knowledge, for example about runic encryption of military and erotic secrets from the middle of the sixteenth century.

Preface; Standardised fuarks: A useful tool or a delusion?; On pirs pictures; How to Do Things with Runes: A Semiotic Approach to Operative Communication ; Rune-names: the Irish connection; Dating the Swedish Viking-Age rune stones on stylistic grounds; Runic writing and Latin literacy at the end of the Middle Ages: A case study ; The introduction and use of runic letters on Danish coins around the year 1065; South Germanic runic inscriptions as testimonies of early literacy; Ligatures in Early Runic and Roman Inscriptions; Runes in the First Century; The Early Runic Inscriptions and Germanic Historical Linguistics; Anglo-Saxon Runes: some statistical problems; The Jelling Monuments -- Ancient royal memorial and modern world heritage site; From Tune to Eggja -- the ontology of language change; Chronology and Typology of the Danish Runic Inscriptions; The yew-rune and the runes , G, h and i in the Old English Corpus (Epigraphical Material); Bracteate Inscriptions through the Looking Glass: A Microscopic View of Manufacturing Techniques; Christian Runic Inscriptions in a Dynamic Context; Closing Speech, Fifth International Symposium on Runes and Runic Inscriptions, Jelling: August 2000

Title: Runes and their Secrets : Studies in Runology
Author: Gillian Fellows Jensen, Marie Stokluind, Michael Lerche Nielsen and Bente Holmberg, Editor
ISBN: 8763504286 : 9788763504287
Illustrations: b&w illus
Format: Hardback
Size: 180x260mm
Pages: 461
Weight: 1.127 Kg.
Published: Museum Tusculanum Press - September 2006
List Price: 40 Pounds Sterling
Availability: In Print
Subjects: English: German: BCE-c500CE: c1000CE-c1500: Palaeography (history of writing): European archaeology

The Periodical Nytt om runer

The international periodical for runic studies Nytt om runer: Meldingsblad om runeforskning ("News about Runes: Bulletin of Runic Research") is published yearly by the Runic Archives. The Runic Archives is part of the University Museum of Cultural Heritage at the University of Oslo; it contains archival information about Norwegian runic inscriptions. This web site makes news about runic research available before publication in the periodical.

Runic Bibliography for 2004

Rudiments of Runelore by Stephen Pollington

ISBN: 1-898281-16-5

The purpose of this book is to provide both a comprehensive introduction for those coming to the subject for the first time, and a handy and inexpensive reference work for those with some knowledge of the subject. The Abecedarium Nordmannicum and the English, Norwegian and Icelandic rune poems are included as are two rune riddles, extracts from the Cynewulf poems and new work on the three Brandon runic inscriptions and the Norfolk 'Tiw' runes.
Headings include: The Origin of the Runes; Runes among the Germans; The Germanic Rune Row and the Common Germanic Language; The English Runic Tradition; The Scandinavian Runic Tradition; Runes and Pseudo-runes; The Use of Runes; Bind Runes and Runic Cryptography.

Stephen Pollington was born in 1957  has been active in the field of Old English studies since the publication in 1990 of his book The Warrior's Way, which is a study of the events surrounding the Battle of Maldon in 991. I consider him a first class scholar of runes and recommend his works on runes and Anglo-Saxon Heathenry.





See also:

Leechcraft Early English Charms, Plantlore and Healing;544 pages by Stephen Pollington

ISBN: 1898281238

This new book by Stephen Pollington, author of Wordcraft and The English Warrior, covers the early English tradition of healing with plants, with amulets, with charms, and with prayers. Drawing on original translations of three key OE texts, Pollington explores the many aspects of the rich and ancient tradition of herbal healing in England. Sections cover the identification of plants; the uses to which they were put; the naming systems of Old English; the nature and structure of the invocations which released their power; archaeological evidence for amulets and talismans; the lore of trees; evidence for the English lce or healer; the nature of gods, elves and dwarves in English mythology; Anglo-Saxon witchcraft. Far from a narrow examination of English ethno botany, this new work attempts to synthesize the vast range of evidence for the English healing tradition, and to present it in a clear and readable format.

The three OE texts Balds Third Leechbook, The OE Herbarium, Lacnunga are given in full with new modern English parallel translations.

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