The written rune: alphabets and rune-rows in medieval manuscripts from the continent and the British Isles

Van Renterghem, A.M.S. (2018) The written rune: alphabets and rune-rows in medieval manuscripts from the continent and the British Isles. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis aims to create a fundamental historical and geographical framework for the study of runes written in medieval manuscripts. It does so by examining the transmission of Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian rune-rows and runic alphabets within the wider context of contemporary medieval scholarship. The focal points of this study are the questions of the origin of the phenomenon, and how it developed between the eighth and the twelfth centuries, as evidenced by manuscripts currently held by continental and English libraries.

In order to contextualise this study, a brief introduction is dedicated to the concept of runic manuscripts and to an overview of the scholarship which has been carried out on this material thus far. The observations from this discussion are then used to define the limitations of this work. Finally, a number of the issues currently faced by scholars with regard to defining the field of manuscript runology are examined, and the comparison with its epigraphical counterpart is made.

The study includes thirty-nine manuscripts with alphabets or rune-rows; these are listed and described in a catalogue which comprises the main body of the thesis. Each manuscript receives a description of its history and contents, an analysis of the runic material it contains, and an examination of the immediate and wider contexts in which the runes appear.

The information gathered in the catalogue is collectively analysed in the final chapter, which focuses on determining the origin and development of the phenomenon of runes in manuscripts. The examination of origin uses commonalities between the contexts of the runes to achieve insight into the medieval perception of manuscript runes, and to construct a possible point of origin. The development section then follows the evolution of the tradition and compares and contrasts its execution on the Continent and in the British Isles. Finally, these results are used to indicate the place of written runes within medieval learning, and to construct a general framework which can be used to build upon for future research.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Jesch, Judith
Cavill, Paul
Keywords: rune rows, runes, medieval manuscripts, european, europe, continent, british isles, english, anglo-saxon
Subjects: P Language and literature > PD Germanic languages
Z Bibliography. Library science. Information resources > Z Bibliography. Library science. Information resources
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of English
Item ID: 49713
Depositing User: Van Renterghem, Aya
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2018 04:40
Last Modified: 01 Jan 2023 04:30

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