Print

Print


2014-06-21 08:10, R A Brown skrev:

> On 21/06/2014 00:23, Siva Kalyan wrote:

> > Coming to think of it, we almost don’t need a conhistorical
> > scenario for a runic bookhand—perhaps
>
> No you don't. BPJ has posted at least two sites where examples
> of actual Runic bookhand was used:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex\_Runicus
>
> and: http://www.e-pages.dk/ku/579/

Those are actually the same unique manuscript, and all it took to
call it into being was probably a nobleman who was illiterate in
Latin script but literate in runes who wanted to have a book with
the laws of his land.

There are several notable facts about the use of runes in
medieval Scandinavia:

-   There was never any opposition between runes and
     Christianity. Most runestones are decorated with crosses and
     contain the phrase "God help his soul". A lot of the later
     inscriptions are found in churches and church law forms no
     small part of the Codex Runicus. The pagan-magicness of
     runes, and of the younger Scandinavian runes in particular is
     largely an invention of mostly pre-mid-20th-century scholars
     or pseudo-scholars. Runes could be used for magic, but so
     could Latin letters. Many late inscriptions are even in
     Latin!

-   Runes continued to be used as an everyday script at least
     into the fourteenth century. It was rather the Black Death
     and the bans against unauthorized travel outside one's parish
     which put an end to them, if not rather the Reformation. The
     16th century exiled Catholic cleric Olaus Magnus claimed that
     there had been many runic manuscripts which would have been
     destroyed by the Reformers along with lots of other MSS. It's
     fashionable among scholars to think that he imagined or made
     up that, but there is no evidence either way.

-   It so happened that the normal medium of runic writing,wooden
     sticks, were perishable. When they had fulfilled their
     purpose they were burnt or left to rot. Favorable conditions
     preserved a great mass of such runic writing to be
     eventuality excavated at least in one place: the harbor of
     Bergen. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bryggen_inscriptions>

-   After the Latin alphabet was introduced the younger runes
     were expanded to a 1:1 correspondence with the local version
     of the Latin alphabet, which included þ, by diacritics and by
     specializing allographs much like Latin i/j u/v a couple of
     centuries later. See the WP page about Codex Runicus for one
     version of that expanded rune alphabet.
     <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_runes>
     <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Medeltida_runor.svg>
     <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CodRunFuthark.jpg> (The
     missing runes are attested elsewhere in the codex.)

-   If Olaus Magnus was actually spinning yarn, and had just
     happened to have heard about the Codex Runicus, the reason
     there weren't any more runic MSS was probably that runes were
     as impractical for books as Latin letters were for carving.
     The two scripts simply filled different ecological niches.

-   At least someone in viking age Sweden became aware that the
     main stave of the runes was mostly redundant -- exept in
     __i__, which made them more suitable as an everyday script
     but even less suitable as a bookhand.
     <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staveless_runes> Interestingly
     they were apparently not considered entirely proper for
     inscriptions in stone!

It occurred to me today that the runes of the younger hand in the
Codex Runicus -- near the end -- is already a good deal more
adapted to quill-writing than the older, although that may be
incidental.

BTW I naturally made my own cursive runes, of the medieval long
alphabet, in a somewhat fudged variant using more allographs and
fewer diacritics. I shall see if I can find a sample. My hands
aren't quite up to producing a new one I'm afraid! Finding
Unicode equivalents like Siva did seems a fun idea as well!
Incidentally some of my 'developments' were the diametrical
opposite of Siva's, FWIW I actually used that alphabet in my
diary, so it was tried and worn in actual use!
Alas I won't post any samples of my teenage diary!

> [snip] > Now, thinking of the subject line which has not (yet)
> > been changed: What about runes masquerading as >
> Devanagari? :)

I sort of tried to runify Brahmi -- only vertical and slanted
lines suitable for cutting against the fibers of a stick, for the
native Euia Twas script. There actually is a script, Lontara,
which probably originated that way.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lontara_alphabet>

/bpj