adapted from a design by George Bain based on the Book of Kells home Programme Bookings Shop The Wuffings .
Wuffing Education

An Introduction to

An Old English amulet ring from Kingmoor, Cumbria

with Dr Elizabeth Solopova

at Tranmer House, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday 12th April, 2008

A comprehensive introduction to the runic alphabet, runic inscriptions, and their cultural contexts

This course will introduce a range of linguistic, cultural, geographical and historical issues and materials essential for the study of runic writing. Runic literacy will be examined as a developing phenomenon, evolving through a number of stages from late Antiquity to late Middle Ages both on the Continent and in Britain. The emphasis will be on its interpretation as a highly unusual but significant part of the history of European literacy. Due attention will be given to difficulties of its exploration, problems and limitations of research on runes. The course will include reading of a selection of runic inscriptions from different periods and discussion of their archaeological and cultural context. A small range of Old Norse and Old English texts which describe uses of runes and attitudes towards runic writing will be read in translation.

Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 The runic alphabet: origin and organization; names, shapes and sound values of runes.  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.30 Language and practice of runic writing.  
  12.45 Lunch break  
  14:00 Uses of runic writing: issues of literacy, magic and pre-Christian associations.  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 The development of runic writing, late medieval and post- medieval uses of runes.  
  16:15 Close  

About Dr Elizabeth Solopova

Dr Elizabeth Solopova has a D. Phil in Medieval English from Oxford University and is currently employed at the Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts at the Bodleian Library. Her research focuses on medieval manuscripts, literature and historical linguistics. She teaches courses in medieval studies at the Departments for Continuing Education at Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Derolez, R., Runica Manuscripta (Brugge, 1954)
Elliott, R. W. V., Runes: An Introduction, 2nd ed. (Manchester: University Press, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1989)
Hines, J., ‘Some observations on the Runic Inscriptions of Early Anglo-Saxon England’ in Old English Runes and their Continental Backgrounds, ed. A. Bammesberger (Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1991), 61-83
Jensen, Jens Juhl, ‘The Problem of the Runes in the Light of Some Other Alphabets’, Norwegian Journal of Linguistics 23 (1969), 132-146
Lee, S. D., & E. Solopova, The Keys of Middle-earth: Discovering Medieval Literature through the Fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005)
Morris, R. L., Runic and Mediterranean Epigraphy. NOWELE Supplement Volume 4 (Odense University Press, 1988)
Rodrigues, L. J., Anglo-Saxon Verse Runes (Felinfach: Llanerch Publishers, 1992)
Page, R. I., Runes (University of California Press/British Museum, 1987)
Page, R. I., Runes and Runic Inscriptions. Collected Essays on Anglo-Saxon and Viking Runes (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1995)
Page, R. I., An Introduction to English Runes, 2nd ed. (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999)


Please phone or email to check the availability of places and then send the application form and a cheque for £38, payable to Wuffing Education to:

Wuffing Education,
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
(tel : 01394 386498)

Email cliff AT
(replace 'AT' by '@' in order to send email - we used 'AT' to avoid spam robots automatically sending us emails)

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