the the Germanic Iron Age
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 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
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
The three key Old English texts are reproduced in full, accompanied
by new translations.
- Bald's Third
- Old English Herbarium
Rudiments of Runelore
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
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.
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