Paper presented at the British Epigraphy Society Autumn Meeting. (Brief Report by Philip Davies)
The Earliest Runic Inscriptions: Problems of Language and Interpretation
Elizabeth Solopova, Oxford, November 21st, 2009
In keeping with the theme of the British Epigraphy Society’s Autumn Colloquium, (‘Epigraphy, but not as we know it’) this interesting paper took us away from the familiar territories of the Mediterranean to consider the Runic alphabet (or, to give it its proper name, futhark) used by Scandinavian and Germanic peoples from the second century through to, in the case of Scandinavia, the early modern period. Specifically, her paper examined the difficulties of interpreting ‘older runes’, these being the futhark as extant from approximately the 2nd to the 6th centuries AD. After this the futhark entered a phase of transition, developing and diversifying into regional variations, known collectively as ‘younger runes’.