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Thread: Archaeologists given the rune around

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    Archaeologists given the rune around

    Archaeologists given the rune around

    A new study of rune stones from Viking times shows that many of the carvings are meaningless

    http://www.cphpost.dk/culture/culture/122-culture/49171-archaeologists-given-the-rune-around.html

    opinions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by germania-thule View Post
    Archaeologists given the rune around

    A new study of rune stones from Viking times shows that many of the carvings are meaningless

    http://www.cphpost.dk/culture/culture/122-culture/49171-archaeologists-given-the-rune-around.html

    opinions?
    There is a possibility that the Runes carved upon these stones were magical rune charms rather than something spelled out as a message or memorial in the runic Futhark. They could be something very meaningful and powerful to the Vitki who carved them, but gibberish to others that do not understand his spell and formulae.

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    Ehm... he studied rune stones in the remote north of Sweden?
    Because most of the rune stones are in the south of Sweden, and the most northern ones are found in the county of Jamtland...

    I smell a little bit of bullshit, or at the very least bad reporting. Remote north of Sweden? Bah...
    Previously known as Njorun Alma


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    The rune stones are not "gibberish" but esoteric messages that some (not all) people could understand.
    The only thing that sucks around here is a straw.

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    It makes a certain amount of sense. Note that Bianchi is not claiming that all rune-stones are gibberish. Rather, the rune-stones he was examining, generally in the north of Sweden, were largely gibberish and meant to establish social standing as someone who could, supposedly, write, rather than to express an actual message. The same sort of behavior occurs all the time archaeologically. Specific to Northern Europe, for instance, there was a massive influx of Roman goods north of the Empire's borders in large part because possession of those goods was a marker of social standing. The same thing occurred with certain types of amphorae in western Britain. What matters isn't that you're actually using an amphorae for storing wine or Roman coins as currency (because they, generally speaking, weren't - the coins, for instance, were more commonly used as jewelry), it's that by possessing that item or undertaking certain behaviors you increase your own standing in your social network. Given the scarcity of literate individuals in 1000 AD Scandinavia, particularly far from the political and economic centers of eastern Sweden and Denmark, carving rune-stones would be a great way to go about doing something similar.

    And there are some rune-stones in the far north. I have a few friends that excavate ancient Sami bear graves, and you do occasionally see them.
    JFGI

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    Quote Originally Posted by ~Runa~ View Post
    The rune stones are not "gibberish" but esoteric messages that some (not all) people could understand.
    Exactly, upon studying Skaldic Numerology and it's importance with rune magic there can be many different meanings and magical formula that these rune stones could represent rather than just an ancient illiterate Scandinavian trying to impress his folk with senseless carvings... Although, there is many documented occasions of counterfeit rune-risters throughout the Germanic lands when none who true were to be found.

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    To the best of my knowledge, rune "magic" is attested in the Eddas and Sagas almost solely as a divination method involving the casting of runes, not their inscribing. I don't recall any mention of rune-stones being used in any mystical manner (the closest example being Egils Saga's mention of carving protective runes on a cup). On the other hand, there are countless rune-stones in the Scandinavian landscape that describe various historical events, brag about personal prowess, and illustrate various mythological narratives, particularly the Sigurd story.

    I'm extremely skeptical of this rune-stones as magic idea. Primarily because I don't see any pre-modern evidence of it. It sounds very much as though neo-pagans are mapping their own practices onto people who lived 1,000 years ago, which is fine if it provides some benefit to the modern practitioner (somehow), but not a good way to understand what people were actually doing 1,000 years ago.
    Last edited by Tiberias; February 17th, 2011 at 10:55 AM.
    JFGI

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiberias View Post
    To the best of my knowledge, rune "magic" is attested in the Eddas and Sagas almost solely as a divination method involving the casting of runes, not their inscribing. I don't recall any mention of rune-stones being used in any mystical manner (the closest example being Egils Saga's mention of carving protective runes on a cup). On the other hand, there are countless rune-stones in the Scandinavian landscape that describe various historical events, brag about personal prowess, and illustrate various mythological narratives, particularly the Sigurd story.

    I'm extremely skeptical of this rune-stones as magic idea. Primarily because I don't see any pre-modern evidence of it. It sounds very much as though neo-pagans are mapping their own practices onto people who lived 1,000 years ago, which is fine if it provides some benefit to the modern practitioner (somehow), but not a good way to understand what people were actually doing 1,000 years ago.
    Check out a book called "Skaldic Number - Lore" by: Robert Zoller whom is a scholar in Germanic Esoterica and a Master of the "Rune Gilde". which gets into detail even with Egil's writings and how they are numerically and cosmically meaningful. Divination actually was adapted to the use of runes in later times rather than ancient. Rune Galdor magic was the most commonly used in olden times. Again it's hard to say for the fact that so much information has been lost and destroyed by the coming of Christianity.. It's a guessing game at times, and a shot in the dark of what could be truth, or just mere theory.

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    The self-proclaimed "world's leading proponent of Western Predictive Astrology" doesn't strike me as a particularly reliable academic source regarding medieval behavior. But I'll check it out. Anything more peer-reviewed?
    JFGI

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiberias View Post
    The self-proclaimed "world's leading proponent of Western Predictive Astrology" doesn't strike me as a particularly reliable academic source regarding medieval behavior. But I'll check it out. Anything more peer-reviewed?

    I would agree with this. Any other sources?
    "The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common:
    instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views,
    which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that need altering."


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