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3.83  ·  Rating details ·  64 ratings  ·  10 reviews
From late antiquity through to the early middle ages, people across north-western Europe were inscribing runes on a range of different objects. Once identified and interpreted by experts, runes provide us with invaluable evidence for the early Germanic languages including English, Dutch, German and the Scandinavian languages and reveal a wealth of information about our ear ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published 2014 by The British Museum Press
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure I remember any of what I read but it was all very interesting while I was reading it. I liked how it claimed runes weren't really some mystic code but a few chapters later was explaining exaclty why they were a mystic code. I thought the whole runes in Nazism bit at the end was extremely interesting and a bit scary. ...more
This was a wonderful book—a great introduction to an ancient writing system, with enough linguistic, geographical, historical, and cultural detail to offer readers a sense of the scope of runology (without overwhelming them). If it weren't for the last chapter, this book would be a solid 5-star that I would recommend to all my friends.

In the last chapter, Findell explores some modern ideas associated with runes, such as the relatively recent construct that runes are magical (or have the innate a
Katelis Viglas
Excellent study. It is one of the best introductions to runology in our times. The book contains many paradigms, clear and large photos, liguistic and historical analysis. Τhe pages of the book are of thick, high quality paper. What a pitty that the extent of the study is comparatively small. I wish the author to give us and other larger in extent books, with coherent and well-structured content as it is this one.
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a really solid reference/non-fiction book. For what it is - a short, basic but academic introduction to a complex topic - it's absolutely excellent. No matter where you're coming from with an interest in runes, you'll learn something you want to know, and probably tons you didn't even think you wanted to know. I'll definitely be buying a copy to refer back to - apart from anything else, I had fun decoding the Tolkien map in the back using the runic alphabet and very much intend to do the ...more
Danny Whatmough
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-shelf
4 stars only due to comparison with the previous Cuneiform book I read.

It's an interesting book that goes into some details and stories and the like, but one of the things that I liked in the Cuneiform book was the type of "try it yourself" section at the end showing all the symbols with each other, this one lacks that and due to the difference Rune dialects (is dialects right for written languages?) the symbols and their meanings are kind of separated across various parts of the book.

Again poss
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great short introduction to runes and their history
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really interesting book with plenty of scope in terms of history and geography of Runes.
Emma Harpham
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
A brilliant introduction - only wish it were longer!
Sep 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Läst snabbt på Akademibokhandeln för att utbilda mig lite mer om vikingskultur. fick en bra översikt om Runes
Joseph F.
Jun 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
A neat, easy to read short book on the basics of the runes. The author covers the different runic alphabets, their history and names, and how they were used for inscriptions in Europe for almost 2000 years. The book is published by the British museum and is illustrated with many nice color photos of the museum's runic artifacts. Many books on runes that are easily available are mostly New Age nonsense; invented in the earlier twentieth century. Introductory books by serious runologists can be a ...more
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