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Runes and commemoration in Anglo-Saxon England

Findell, Martin; Kop�r, Lilla

Runes and commemoration in Anglo-Saxon England Thumbnail


Lilla Kop�r


Runic inscriptions are of interest not only as evidence of language and literacy in early medieval England, but also of the cultural functions of the objects on which they appear. In this paper, we present three case studies to examine the ways in which runic writing was used to commemorate the dead in Anglo-Saxon England: a cremation urn from Loveden Hill, Lincolnshire; the wooden coffin of Saint Cuthbert; and a carved memorial stone from Great Urswick, Cumbria. Our study highlights the diversity of rune-inscribed objects in their material and function, from containers for human remains to monuments on public display. In each case we discuss the linguistic problems of the text and the relationship of the inscription to the object and its find context, before turning to a broader examination of the role of inscribed objects in the act of commemoration and the question of the choice of runic over the Roman script.


Findell, M., & Kopár, L. (2017). Runes and commemoration in Anglo-Saxon England. Fragments, 6, 110-137

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 23, 2017
Publication Date 2017
Deposit Date Nov 7, 2018
Publicly Available Date Nov 8, 2018
Journal Fragments: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Ancient and Medieval Pasts
Electronic ISSN 2161-8585
Publisher Michigan Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Pages 110-137
Public URL
Publisher URL;view=fulltext


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