Definition - A letter from the primordial Teutonic alphabet that was used by Scandinavians and Anglo-Saxons.

1. The runic alphabet was developed in the second or third century CE by modifying the letters of the Roman and Greek alphabets so that they would be easier to carve into wood or stone.

Example -

The Anglo-Saxon version of the runic alphabet that is called the Futhork.
The Anglo-Saxon version of the runic alphabet that is called the Futhork.

Etymology -
The term derives from the Old English rune, secret or mystery.

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation is from 1685:
"We are sufficiently assured, that the Heathen Saxons did also make use of these Runæ."
(W. Nicolson in Phil. Trans. XV. 1293 )


1. In the 8th century the runic alphabet was simplified so that, for example, the characters for the b and p sounds were both written with the B rune, and the g, k and ng sounds were rendered by the K rune. More than half of all old runic inscriptions are found in Sweden, and more than half of those in the province of Uppland. The purpose of the runestones was, e.g. to establish ownership after a landowner had died or to enhance the prestige of a chief or a family. When you read a runestone, you should begin at the head of the dragon which is found on most inscriptions from around the year 1000 CE. With the advent of Christianity and Latin script, runes became gradually rarer, but they were used by people in remote areas of Sweden until the beginning of the 20th century.

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