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Thread: Archaeologists given the rune around

  1. #11
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    As an anthropology major concentrating in archaeology, I'm pretty sure it's a safe bet that there is no way that the runes are "meaningless". Runes are symbols-- as such, they are to be read within the context of the culture in which they are found. Unfortunately since we can't exactly go back in time to figure out what the context is, it's all guesswork. There is SOME meaning there, whether it's ideological, religious, or written text.

    Sorry, couldn't help myself.
    The past is a ghost, the future is a dream, and all we ever have is now. -Bill Cosby


  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TigerCzarina View Post
    As an anthropology major concentrating in archaeology, I'm pretty sure it's a safe bet that there is no way that the runes are "meaningless". Runes are symbols-- as such, they are to be read within the context of the culture in which they are found. Unfortunately since we can't exactly go back in time to figure out what the context is, it's all guesswork. There is SOME meaning there, whether it's ideological, religious, or written text.

    Sorry, couldn't help myself.
    Granted. But there is a distinction to be drawn between inherent meaning and linguistic meaning, if you catch my drift. The act of creating the rune-stone is laden with meaning even if the actual inscription is gibberish.
    JFGI

  3. #13
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    I agree. Sorry I don't think I made myself clear... I didn't mean that it was necessary linguistic. Symbols can be things other than linguistics. Like the cross for christians, the pentacle for wiccans, and the star of david for jews.
    The past is a ghost, the future is a dream, and all we ever have is now. -Bill Cosby


  4. #14
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    To reply to Tiberias's 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." (the quoting thing wasn't working for my computer)

    Actually, it is exactly the opposite. In the lore it is much more common to encounter magic done by the carving of runes than by the casting. The "song of spells" in the Havamal is an example: "so I carve and color the runes," as is the portion of the Volsunga Saga where Brynhild is telling Sigurd how to use the magic of runes. Grettir was magically wounded by a woman who carved runes on a tree trunk and threw it in the sea. The reason that few magical runic carvings survive is that the majority were carved on wood (which is why there are only vertical and diagonal lines; lines carved into the grain are hard to see.) There are almost no examples, actually, of references to casting runes, although the casting of lots has often been interpreted thus.

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