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Rudiments of Runelore – the Basis of the English Runic Tradition

The weathered runic inscription on the early eight century cross at Bewcastle, Cumbria, September 2008 (Sam Newton

with Steve Pollington

at Tranmer House, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday 14th November 2009

A beginner’s guide to the runic alphabet, its origins and history.

From sword-hilts to amuletic rings, from cryptic manuscripts to the world of Tolkien, runes have exercised a fascination as part of the linguistic and cultural tradition of the Northern World. This series of talks will unveil the earliest beginnings of runic tradition, explore some of the early texts, discuss the old English Rune Poem and look at the subsequent history of the runes. With a period of use of over a thousand years, the subject offers much to the student of literacy, language and cultural history.

Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 Background, earliest runic texts, runic origins  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.45 The Old English Rune Poem  
  12.45 Lunch break  
  14:00 Runes in other traditions– Scandinavian, German, Gothic  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 Secrets and Lies – cryptic and magical runes, and modern rediscovery  
  16:15 Close  

About Steve Pollington

Steve Pollington has been active in Old English studies for over twenty years. Aside from authoring a dozen books on various aspects of early English culture and language, he has recorded CDs, worked as a script advisor for television, appeared on television and radio, and contributed to the prestigious Oxford Companion to Military History.

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Alexander, M., The First Poems in English (Penguin Classics 2008)
Elliott, R.W.V., Runes: An Introduction (Manchester University Press, 1959)
Kemble, J. M. Anglo-Saxon Runes, ed. B.Griffiths (Anglo-Saxon Books, Pinner, 1991)
Kirk Dobbie, E. van (ed.), The Anglo-Saxon Minor Poems (Columbia University Press, New York, 1942)
Krapp, G.P. and E. van Kirk Dobbie, (eds.), The Exeter Book (Columbia University Press, New York, 1936)
McClure, J. & R.Collins, (ed. & tr.), Bede: the Ecclesiastical History of the English People (Oxford 1999).
Page, R. I., Reading the Past Runes (British Museum Publications, London, 1987)
Page, R. I., An Introduction to English Runes (Methuen & Co. London 1973)
Pollington, S., The Mead-Hall. The feasting tradition in Anglo-Saxon England (Anglo-Saxon Books 2003)
Webster, L., and J.Backhouse, The Making of England: Anglo-Saxon Art and Culture AD 600-900 (British Museum 1991)

Bookings

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 wuffingeducation.co.uk
(replace 'AT' by '@' in order to send email - we used 'AT' to avoid spam robots automatically sending us emails)
Website www.wuffingeducation.co.uk

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