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Raymond Brown wrote:
>Do you mean the ogham script dating from the 4th cent. AD and used till
>about the middle of the 7th cent. AD?   Although oghamic inscription are
>found in Wales as well as the Isle of Man, Scotland & Ireland, the language
>is always Old Irish (the Irish ruled north Wales for some time before the
>Welsh manage to free themselves).  It is purely Irish invention, not
>Celtic.
>
>The theories about the origin of this script are almost on a par in their
>number and fancifulness as those relating Basque to practically every
>language on this planet, and IMHO just as worthless.  The saner theorists
>cannot ignore the resemblance between oghams and certain varieties of Norse
>runes, particularly 'tree runes'; and there is little doubt in my mind that
>they were devised in imitation of such runes left in graffiti of Norse
>invaders of Scotland & Ireland.

The chronology seems a bit suspect - there is AFAIK no evidence whatsoever
of Norse invasions of the British Isles in the 4th century, and at that time
the runes used in Scandinavia didn't differ systematically from those used
by continental Germanics*. Mercenaries or raiders of North Sea Germanic
origin would, to me, seem to be at least a likely channel of inspiration.

* According to Lars Magnar Enoksen in _Runor_, 1998

                                                   Andreas

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