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Handbook of the Old-Northern Runic Monuments: Of Scandanavia and England

Handbook of the Old-Northern Runic Monuments: Of Scandanavia and England

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N.B.: This 300+ page book contains many, many illustrations! * * * * * A excerpt from the first few pages of the FOREWORD: I have often been askt to publish in a cheap and handy shape the runelaves in my great folio volumes, which many cannot well buy or have time to read. And this I have long wisht to do; but I waited for more finds and a better knowledge of this hard science. The day has now come when I can lay this Handbook before all lovers of our Northern mother-tung, same timely with my third folio tome, which holds more than 70 new pieces bearing Old-Northern staves1. This additional gathering and the on-flow of runic studies have, of course, thrown fresh light on the monuments already known. I have therefore been able, as I think, here and there to amend a former version or an approximate date, and I give these ameliorations accordingly. Some more of the Bracteates now seem to me barbarized copies, and therefore meaningless. But, as before, all I do is only tentative. The engravings2 have also been corrected, where any fault has been discovered. On the whole, my system of transliteration and translation remains, as far as I can see, not only unshaken, but abundantly strengthened and proved by the many new finds. We thus clench the conclusion — so probable on the mere ground of Comparative Philology — to which I have pointed again and again, that in the very early period to which these Scando-Anglic remains chiefly belong (say the first 700 years after Christ), the Northern dialects here treated were on very much the same footing in essentials as all the other olden Scando-Gothic folk-talks. Those peculiar features, (especially the Passive or Middle Verb and Post-article), which now stamp the Scandinavian branches of the Scando-Gothic tree, are quite simply of later local Scandian growth. They were unknown when the first great Northern settlements wrested England from the partly Romanized Kelts, and they were not yet formed when the same mother-lands sent out their wiking-swarms in the 9th and 10th centuries. Hence they have never been found in Britain. 1. The whole tale of these O.N. rune-bearers is now about 250, of which nearly 1-third is from England alone, Scandinavia's oldest colony. 2. Chiefly drawn and chemityped by Prof. Magnus Petersen, the woodcuts by Hr. J. F. Rosenstand, whom I thank for all their friendly aid.