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However, in the time when these folks thought that migrating to the British Isles was a good idea, they didn't use the Roman alphabet. The few of them who could write used runes. These beautiful letters, many of them looking like diagrams of depleted feathers, have their own story but they can be spotted on monuments and stones all over the British Isles.
There's also a famous runestone in Solem, Minnesota, discovered by a Swedish-American farmer in The inscription reads to the effect that a bunch of Norwegians camped out there inbut 10 of them ended up 'red with blood and dead'. I won't dare to enter the debate as to whether this is a genuine Viking job or not.
As far as the good people of Solem are concerned, it's the real deal. Back with the migrants into the British Isles, usually described as 'Anglo-Saxons' and usually reported as turning up just as the Romans were leaving.
In they come speaking their Germanic lingo, writing their runes.
Yet, within a couple of a hundred years they are writing with what was largely a 'Roman' alphabet. For those who were literate, this would be as big a leap as, say, the English-speaking world of today deciding to switch from the Roman alphabet to, say, the Russian, whilst still speaking English.
As is often the case with language, the change wasn't a straight swap. Some of the old system lingered on. Open a page of Old English or 'Anglo-Saxon', as some call itand you'll recognize most letters but not all. So, let's say you were looking at the unique manuscript of the epic poem Beowulf, sitting in the British Library in London.
It was written on 'vellum,' in this case meaning sheep-skin -- and as it's a long poem, that was a whole flock's worth of sheep's skins.
It was written down in around the yearalmost certainly by a monk and disappears from view until we see it in flying out of the window of the Sir Robert Cotton's library with flames licking round it. Some of the letters on the pages of Beowulf have old English names like 'thorn,' 'wynn,' 'ash,' 'eth' and 'ethel' whilst another, 'insular g' is a scholar's name.
Though we would recognize the sounds that these letters denoted, we use the letters of the modern alphabet to do that job today. One extreme oddity here, though, is the fate of the thorn which denoted the sound we make when saying the 'th' of 'thorn' but also the 'th' of 'them.
If you have ever wandered past a tea-shop or bakery in England which was trying to look old or quaint, it may well have called itself 'Ye olde Tea Shoppe' or 'Ye Olde Cake Roomes' or some such. The 'Ye' is not really a 'yee' at all.
It's a bizarre survival of the thorn. Wynn, which also looks something like a 'p'!Saxon was the language spoken at the court of King Alfred the Great, who encouraged people to translate Latin books into English, and so it became the main language of literature.
Modern standard English, however, developed from Mercian, a variety of Anglian which was spoken in the Midlands.
Feb 13, · The Lost Letters Of The Alphabet. Back with the migrants into the British Isles, usually described as 'Anglo-Saxons' and usually reported as turning up just as the Romans were leaving. In they. Old English / Anglo-Saxon was first written with a version of the Runic alphabet known as Anglo-Saxon or Anglo-Frisian runes, or futhorc/fuþorc.
This alphabet was an extended version of Elder Futhark with between 26 and 33 letters. 1 Runes in Old English literature Writing is an infectious invention.
of distinct writing systems (Trigger ). Runes The runic alphabet is one of the writing systems invented and used in Europe before the Latin alphabet became dominant. Anglo-Saxon runes The Germanic tribes settled down in England in the fifth century AD and. ale Drink made from barley. Anglo-Saxon Chronicle A history of England begun in the s.
archaeologist A person who finds out about the past by looking at old objects or . Download the free AngloSaxon Runes font by Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts.
It is a decorative font created in and has been downloaded 38, times/5(7).