Anglo-Saxon Futhark

runic alphabets
an example of anglo saxon runic stele

There are conflicting theories about the origins of the Anglo-Saxon Fusor. A theory proposes that it developed in Frisia and from there spread later in England; another states that the runes were first introduced to England from Scandinavia where it was modified (and the Fusorc was created) and then exported to Frisia. Both theories have their internal weaknesses, and a definitive answer will probably have to wait for new archaeological evidence.
The first Fusorc was identical to the ancient Fuchark, except for the differentiation of the ansuz rune (, a) into three different variants, (‘c’), (‘sc’), for a total of 26 runes: this was necessary to take into account the new phonemes produced by the differentiation aevonica of the long and short-term allphones. In England, Fusorc was extended further to 28 and finally to 33 runes, and rune writing in England became closely linked to Latin scriptorias from the time of the Christianization of the Anglo-Saxons in the 7th century.

Rune Ancient English name Meaning Transliteration IPA
Rune-Feoh.png Feoh “Wealth” f [f], [v]
Rune-Ur.png Ur “aurocj“ u [u]
Rune-Thorn.png Þorn “thorn” þ, ð [θ], [ð]
Rune-Os.png Ós “god” ó [o]
Rune-Rad.png Rad “ride (horse)” r [ɹ]
Rune-Cen.png Cen “Torch” c [k]
Rune-Gyfu.png Gyfu “gift” ȝ [g], [j]
Rune-Wynn.png Wynn “win, Joy” w, ƿ [w]
Rune-Hægl.png Hægl “Hail” h [h]
Rune-Nyd.png Nyd “need” n [n]
Rune-Is.png Is “ice” i [i]
Rune-Ger.png Ger “year” j [j]
Rune-Eoh.png Eoh “badger“ eo [e:o]
Rune-Peorð.png Peorð (pear) p [p]
Rune-Eolh.png Eolh “elk“ x [ks]
Rune-Sigel.png Sigel “Sun” s [s], [z]
Rune-Tir.png Tiw “Týr“ t [t]
Rune-Beorc.png Beorc “Birch“ b [b]
Rune-Eh.png Eh “Horse” e [e]
Rune-Mann.png Mann “man” m [m]
Rune-Lagu.png Lagu “lake ” l [l]
Rune-Ing.png Ing “Yngvi“ ŋ [ŋ]
Rune-Eðel.png Éðel “Heritage” œ [ø(ː)]
Rune-Dæg.png Dæg “day” d [d]
Rune-Ac.png Ac “Oak“ a [ɑ]
Rune-Æsc.png Æsc “Ash“ æ [æ]
Rune-Yr.png yr “Arc” y [y]
Rune-Ior.png Ior “Anguilla” ia, io [jɑ], [jo]
Rune-Ear.png Ear (“Grave”?) ea [ea]

Anglo-Saxon runic poem:
f u þ o r c ȝ w h n i j eo p x s t b e m l ŋ œ d a æ y io ea
scramasax di Beagnoth:
f u þ o r c ȝ w h n i io eo p x s t b e ŋ d l m j a æ y ea
alfabeto a 33 lettere:
f u þ o r c ȝ w h n i j eo p x s t b e m l ŋ d œ a æ y ea io cw k st g

Scandinavian Futhark

The recent Fuchark (or recent Futhark), also called Scandinavian runes, is a rune alphabet, a reduced form of the ancient Fuchark consisting of only 16 characters compared to the previous 24, in use since the 9th century. The reduction paradoxically occurred at the same time when some phonetic changes led to a large number of different phonemes in the spoken language, when the Proto-Norse evolved into Norse.
The recent Fuchark differs in two types, the long-branched rune (Danish) and the short-branched rune (Swedish and Norwegian). The reason for the difference between the two versions has been the subject of debate: a widespread opinion is that it is functional, i.e. long-branched runes were used to write on the stone, while those with short branches were used in daily life for public or private messages about wood; Further versions were developed from the recent Fuchark, the Runes of The Halsinge, the medieval runes, and the Latinized Dalecarlian runes.


Short and long-stick runes

rune a rami lunghi (sopra) e rami corti (sotto)
runes with long branches (above) and short branches (below)

runes or without sticks

rune senza
runes without “sticks”

medieval runes

rune medioevali.
medieval runes.

retorn to the index section

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