What the Runes are?

Runes of Avalon puzzle game makes a great use of the Runes. But what are they? Do they really exist? What the Runes are?

Runes are an ancient Germanic alphabet, used for writing, divination and magick. They were used throughout northern Europe, Scandinavia, the British Isles, and Iceland from about 100 B.C.E. to 1600 C.E. Runic inscriptions of great age have even been found in North America, supporting stories that the Vikings arrived in the Americas long before Columbus.

There are many sources where you can read about the runes. The major runic alphabets are called futharks based upon the first six symbols. The oldest runic alphabet is called Elder Futhark. Here is a piece of text about origins of the runes from Wikipedia:

The origins of the runic scripts are uncertain. Many characters of the elder futhark bear a close resemblance to characters from the Latin alphabet. Other candidates are the 5th to 1st century BC Northern Italic alphabets, Lepontic, Rhaetic and Venetic, all closely related to each other and themselves descended from the Old Italic alphabet. These scripts bear a remarkable resemblance to the Futhark in many regards.

I took a quote from another great source of knowlegde about runes:

The runes might be read from left to right or from right to left, even on the same artifact. Translation of runic inscriptions is therefore extremely difficult, and complicated by the fact that rune masters sometimes wrote cryptic puzzles or in secret script.

Runic alphabet - the Older Futhark

In Elder Futhark the runes are broken into three sections or groups of eight, called aett (aettir, plural). This helps one to remember their order, and later, has significance in magical uses.

Each rune has a name and it’s meaning. For example, Fehu, first symbol in runic alphabet, stands for wealth: possessions won or earned, earned income, luck. Abundance, financial strength in the present or near future. Sign of hope and plenty, success and happiness. For this fact runes are widely used for divination.

Here are some runes used in the Runes of Avalon game.

Runes fell into disuse as the Roman alphabets became the preferred script of most of Europe, but their forms and meanings were preserved in inscriptions and manuscripts.

If you want to know more about the runes check out following sites:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runic_alphabet
http://www.sunnyway.com/runes/

If you fall in love with the Runes, just like we did, then make sure to play Runes of Avalon game.

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