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What Are The Runes Nico Lopapa Dr Connor History And Theory of Writing September 28 2000 What Are The Runes Runes are an ancient writing system much like our modern alphabet yet they also have always been far more than that They may have started as sounds and ideas rather than the means for spelling words There are four major divisions in rune alphabets the Elder Futhark the Anglo - Frisian Futhore the Young Futhark and the Armanen Futhork The most widespread of these and the one that I will be referring to herein is the Elder Futhark also refereed to as the futhark The futhark alphabet was named by the sounds of the first six staves letters f - u - th - a - r- k There are many theories on the historical origins of the futhark alphabet and its use as a writing system in the Germanic dialects Of these theories there are centrally four that should be looked into the Latin theory the Greek theory the North - Italic theory and the domestic indigenous theory L F A Wimmer first stated the Latin theory on 1874 This theory is that as the Germanic peoples came into contact with the Roman culture the Roman alphabet was adapted and put to use by the Germans The means by which the system spread would have been trade routs yet the oldest evidence of the Futhark is not found near the Roman lines but in the distant northern and eastern borders of Germania In 1899 Sophus Bugge first put forth the Greek theory which looks more to the east for the origins of the Futhark writing system Goths adapted a version of the Greek cursive script during a period of contact with Hellenic culture along the Black Sea from where it was transmitted back to the Scandinavian homeland of the Goths1 The North - Italic theory presumes that the Germanic people
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