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Thread: Rune Origins

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    Senior Member KveldulfR's Avatar
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    Rune Origins

    In reading about rune origins, I found it troubling that the most likely culprit is Old Italic or some other Mediterranean language. How does this square with some of you other Heathens? How can the runes still contain mysteries if they are essentially a borrowed writing system?

    Thanks

    RSG

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    Quote Originally Posted by KveldulfR View Post
    How can the runes still contain mysteries if they are essentially a borrowed writing system?
    It was only the principles and the basic material forms of the Italic alphabet that was adopted by Germanic Heathens. The 'mysteries' and powers of the runes were instilled by the Germanic 'rune magicians' themselves. The origin of the runes may not lie in our Germanic ancestors, but it was shaped and evolved into something of our own.

    Quote Originally Posted by KveldulfR View Post
    In reading about rune origins, I found it troubling that the most likely culprit is Old Italic or some other Mediterranean language.
    I see no more problem with that than I do with ancient Germanics using sails on their ships, even though they didn't invent it themselves. Adopting other people's customs and inventions is harmful when it is done so by having them 'forced over one's head', as many Westerners experience today, with the growing presence and dominance of alien immigrants and their cultures in our communities. But adopting customs and inventions by their sheer merits and according to the premises of the People itself, is hardly detrimental to any Nation.
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    Senior Member velvet's Avatar
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    The use of symbols in carvings is much older than scripture, but the latter certainly developed from symbols.

    The transition between actual scripture (as we understand it today) from symbols is rather blurry. When one carves detailed descriptions of - instructions for? - rituals f.e., then this does indeed constitute scripture, as it serves the same purpose and employs the same methods, ie using a systemized language/set of symbols (letters) that is understood by other members of tribe / people / language group to transmit information.

    When you look for example on the rock carvings from Alta (Norway), they have been dated as far back as 4200 BCE, and a recent correction even to around 5000 BCE.

    This site alone contains more than 6000 individual carvings with a wide variety of motives and therefore purposes, but such carvings are fairly common throughout northern Europe.

    From that can be argued that scripture as such was indeed known long before the Romans came.

    In fact, it is way more likely, if scripture was adopted and did not develop independently among various cultures, that it came rather directly out of Sumer (where the oldest letter-type scripture known was found; Cunei-form), via the trading routes that have been in use for millenia, a known cross point already during the Bronze Age was Nebra (today's East Germany; also finding place of the Nebra Disc, the probably oldest know calendar that marked all important annual events (solstice etc)). Considering the detailed knowledge of the seasons, the movement of stars in the sky and their importance to the people, it is fairly hard to imagine that they had no scripture, since those are complex fields of knowledge that require studying and actually, noting of past events.

    Although the alleged connection that "the enlightenment with scripture came with the Romans/Christians" (as alleged also by Saxo still, but also others) somehow became a historic dogma and scientists went to great length to prove this assumption, the long before carved symbols indicate something else though. Either that scripture originated indeed in Sumer and spread from there to all others, also to the Romans, or that several scripture systems developed independently.

    The similarities could be mere chance, once one starts systemizing symbols for pheonetical use, the chance that completely seperate cultures come to similar results is rather high. If one wants to assume that Cunei-form is indeed the "mother of all written languages", then this blue-print allows for all derivations, from Greek letters over Roman letters (both rather "angular", like the Cunei-form) and Runic letters (runes had both, curved and angular forms) to Arabic and Indian letters (very soft and curved).


    Cant remember where I've read this, but there was a researcher who even assumed that the Runic letters rather inspired the Greek than vice versa, despite that the Runes were not used so excessively for writing than the Greek letters. But maybe this is also not true. Papyros remains just more longer intact than for example lether or other natural material. The climate might also add, here in northern Europe climate is rather wet, while the more dry climate in the south helps to preserve better. So maybe our ancestors wrote too but there is just nothing left of it, who knows.

    However, since the time frame of adaption had already to be corrected, from Roman letters to "Old Italic" (without taking other possibilities into account at all, it still has to be the Roman/Italic source, eh), whatever may be the truth, the Itali people were certainly not the first to write (in fact, they started rather late with that too) and so the origin of the Runic letters remains dark for now.

    But in recent times, archeologists had to correct their former assumption that the Germanic tribes were isolated. They were certainly not and had way more trade exchange with other cultures than previously thought (there are some good docus about the Nebra Disc that also shed light onto the every-day life of people back then; in German at least). In this light it is fairly hard to imagine that they resisted "literalisation" so to speak, while they happily learned and adopted all sorts of technique from other cultures or teached techniques themselves to others.
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    Aka Bazlekar Dvergr's Avatar
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    I find it very suspect when main stream academia tends to link many cultures history to few small areas to fulfill their Darwin Evolutionary gaps. It is nothing more then today's politically powerful historians deciding the facts.

    It is absurd to reject that more then one culture couldn't have come up with characters similar to the Elder Futhark runes. I mean these are basic and simple single or intersecting lines. The most rational, especially for people living in the heavily forested Germanic areas is that they were just easy to carve in wood, which is why you don't have curvature in the characters.

    Mainstream academia has to continuously attempt to hypothesize a link between cultural origins and traditions because they are paid by how many thesis they write. They aren't paid to publish that they have no idea how different cultures spawned in different areas simultaneously, some with similar customs / traditions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazlekar View Post
    It is absurd to reject that more then one culture couldn't have come up with characters similar to the Elder Futhark runes. I mean these are basic and simple single or intersecting lines. The most rational, especially for people living in the heavily forested Germanic areas is that they were just easy to carve in wood, which is why you don't have curvature in the characters.
    Sure. But why is the following letters practically identical in both the Elder Fužark and the Old Italic alphabet?
    I, S, R, K/C, H, T, B, F

    And with very minor adjustments, these letters would also be identical in both alphabets;
    A, E, M, N, O

    Note that these letters also more or less represent the exact same sounds, as well. That is a bit too many "coincidences" for my taste.
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    Senior Member Olavssųnn's Avatar
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    The Runes (approximately meaning "secret", "mystery") described in the Germanic lore as having a sacred/divine/magical origin, are not simply the art of writing sounds and words using particular "symbols", but rather a system of "esoteric" knowledge probably developed by the ancient Germanic sorcerers/shamans.
    Note that Óšinn discovered the Runes by sacrificing himself in a typical shamanistic initiatory rite, and that the knowledge he won did not consist merely of written "letters", but clearly had elements of "magical" knowledge.
    What's most important here is not merely the chosen shapes of the different Runic symbols, but rather the deeper meanings that was associated with them by the people.
    Much of this "ideology" was most certainly developed at an earlier time than what one would think if one only looked at the earliest dated archaeological evidence of Runic carvings.
    So I agree with Žoreišar here.

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