[MUD-Dev] Scripting Languages and Magic

McDonald McDonald
Tue Oct 28 11:04:19 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


Marian Griffith said, regarding viking-era scandinavian runes:

> However, it is uncertain if those runes were really used as an
> alphabet. It may well be that they were more like the signs of the
> zodiac.  Part of an extensive religious and magical system, but
> not an alphabet.  (i.e. you can not write down arbitrary messages
> in them)

The Norse runes most certainly were used as an alphabet.  Their use
as an alphabet dates to several centuries before the viking period.
Runic inscriptions are quite common throughout the Scandinavian
countries, and the language has been translated.  Any decent book on
medieval scandinavian culture will include pictures of inscriptions
and their translations.  And it was definitely used for more than
religious and magical inscriptions.  I recall reading about one
archaeological find which included a tablet (I believe wood) with
what was essentially a shopping list. Unfortunately, I can't recall
a reference for that.
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