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Runic and Mediterranean Epigraphy

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Abstract

Runic and Mediterranean Epigraphy examines the past 100 years of runic scholarship to show that previous investigations on the origin of the runes have been hampered by a series of ad hoc postulates, the greatest being that the runes cannot have come into existence before the birth of Christ. If one examines the runic, Greek, and Latin alphabets on the basis of letter shapes, graphic-phonological correspondences, direction of writing, the orthographic treatment of nasals, the use of ligatures, interpuncts, and double letters, without any regard to time, striking similiarities appear. These similarities occur between the runes on the one hand and the archaic, pre-classical Greek and Latin writing systems, but not the Latin and Greek writing systems after the birth of Christ. While comparison yields a definite relationship between the runes and the archaic Greek and Latin writing systems, the runes seem to have more in common with the Greek than with the Latin. Runic and Mediterranean Epigraphy demonstrates that the question, 'Where did the runes come from?' has not yet been answered.

Subjects: Historical linguistics; Germanic linguistics; Writing and literacy

References

http://jbenjamins.metastore.ingenta.com/content/books/9789027272911
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