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Literacy in the the Germanic Iron Age

Stephen Pollington

This new survey investigates the origins of runes and the reasons for their creation. What combination of factors impelled the script's creation? How was it transmitted from generation to generation? Who used it, when and how?

The author divides the thousand-year history from inception to widespread adoption into phases and traces the runes' transition from the secret of a closed social class to the common property of entire societies.

This up-to-date study takes into account recent finds from Britain, Scandinavia and the Continent together with new interpretations of old finds.

£29   428 pages  82 black & white illustrations

Aspects of Anglo-Saxon Magic

Bill Griffiths

Magic is something special, something unauthorised; an alternative perhaps; even a deliberate cultivation of dark, evil powers. But for the Anglo-Saxon age, the neat division between mainstream and occult, rational and superstitious, Christian and pagan is not always easy to discern.

To maintain its authority (or its monopoly?) the Church drew a formal line and outlawed a range of dubious practices (like divination, spells, folk healing) while at the same time conducting very similar rituals itself, and may even have adapted legends of elves to serve in a Christian explanation of disease as a battle between good and evil, between Church and demons; in other cases powerful ancestors came to serve as saints.

In pursuit of a better understanding of Anglo-Saxon magic, a wide range of topics and texts are examined in this book, challenging (constructively, it is hoped) our stereotyped images of the past and its beliefs. Texts are printed in their original language (e.g. Old English, Icelandic, Latin) with New English translations. Contents include:- twenty charms; the English, Icelandic and Norwegian rune poems; texts on dreams, weather signs, unlucky days, the solar system; and much more.

£16·95    252 pages

Early English Charms, Plantlore and Healing

Stephen Pollington

An unequaled examination of every aspect of early English healing, including the use of plants, amulets, charms, and prayer. Other topics include: Anglo-Saxon witchcraft, shaminism, tree-lore, omens, dreams, runes, gods, elves, dwarfs, and theories of magic.

The author has brought together a wide range of evidence for the English healing tradition, and presented it in a clear and readable manner.

The three key Old English texts are reproduced in full, accompanied by new translations.

- Bald's Third Leechbook
- Old English Herbarium
- Lacnunga

28 illustrations

£25·00   544 pages

Rudiments of Runelore

Stephen Pollington

The purpose of this book is to provide both a comprehensive introduction for those coming to the subject for the first time, and a handy and inexpensive reference work for those with some knowledge of the subject.

The Abecedarium Nordmannicum and the English, Norwegian and Icelandic rune poems are included as are two rune riddles, extracts from the Cynewulf poems and new work on the three Brandon runic inscriptions and the Norfolk 'Tiw' runes.

Headings include: The Origin of the Runes; Runes among the Germans; The Germanic Rune Row and the Common Germanic Language; The English Runic Tradition; The Scandinavian Runic Tradition; Runes and Pseudo-runes; The Use of Runes; Bind Runes and Runic Cryptography.

Rune tables and illustrations

£5.95   A5

Anglo-Saxon Runes

John. M. Kemble

Kemble's essay On Anglo-Saxon Runes first appeared in the journal Archaeologia for 1840; it draws on the work of Wilhelm Grimm, but breaks new ground for Anglo-Saxon studies in his survey of the Ruthwell Cross and the Cynewulf poems. It is an expression both of his own indomitable spirit and of the fascination and mystery of the Runes themselves, making it an attractive introductions to the topic.

For this edition new notes have been supplied by Bill Griffiths, which include translations of Latin and Old English material quoted in the text, to make this key work in the study of runes more accessible to the general reader.

£5·95   A5



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