Wikipedia:WikiProject Ancient Germanic studies/Runes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Runestone Sö 279.
The Vimose Comb from the island of Funen, Denmark features the earliest known runic inscription (150 to 200 CE) and simply reads "Harja", a male name.

Welcome to the runic studies work group of the WikiProjects Ancient Germanic studies, Norse history and culture and Writing systems.


This work group, or task force, focuses upon the improvement of any and all articles related to runes and runic inscriptions.


To do[edit]

A 16th century depiction of children being educated in runelore.

Specific Goals:

  • To apply and/or create standards for the transcription, transliteration and translation of runic inscriptions in Wikipedia articles.
  • To establish a uniform, MoS-compliant method of citation and referencing in all relevant articles.
  • To widen the research base for credible resources in runic studies and incorporate them into the appropriate articles.
  • To establish a 'standard' method of treatment (e.g. outline structure) for particular 'species' of articles, such as those on individual runes and those on inscriptions found on artefacts, etc.
  • To establish and maintain proper categorization of all relevant articles.
  • To maintain/continue proper categorization of related media, i.e. images used in runic articles.


The presentations of the runic inscriptions should contain pictures, if available. According to scholarly convention, transliterations are rendered with bold face, while transcriptions into normalized versions of the language of the inscription are rendered in italic style. The English translations should be presented within "quotation marks".

The R phoneme, present in late Proto-Norse and Old East Norse, should be rendered with <small>R</small> since not all systems show ʀ (U+01A6) properly.

Conventions in transliteration[edit]

Although, transliterations are taken in unaltered form from reliable sources, it may be useful have an overview of what the different signs mean in scholarly transliterations:

xxx| |xxx means that the runes are separated by an ornamentation.
xxy| |yxx means that one rune (represented by y here) is separated as representing two different phonemes.
xxx(y)xxx means that one of the runes (y) is difficult to read and so it is put between parentheses.
xxx---xxx means that one or several of the runes have been lost due to damage but they have no clue which runes.
xxx[y]xxx means that scholars agree or know that rune [y] is missing. If a runic inscription has been lost after its documentation, the entire text is put between brackets.
xxx ÷ xxx means that scholars don't know what the rune represented by ÷ signifies.
xxy=zxxx means that runes y and z form a bindrune.

Conventions in transcription[edit]

Transcriptions are given in scholarly reconstructed forms of the languages that the inscriptions were written in. When the Swedish and Danish dialects of Old Norse are transcribed, sources like Rundata give transcriptions both in runic Danish/Swedish and in Old Icelandic for the same inscription.


This is an example of how an article/section on a runestone may look like when giving both image, transliteration, transcription and translation:

Sm 42[edit]

Runestone Sm 42.

Runestone Sm 42, in the style RAK, is located in Tuna. It was raised in memory of Özurr who was in the service of a king named Harald, who was probably the English king Harold Harefoot.[1][2] Serving as a seaman on the king's longship was a great honour and Özurr was consequently part of the king's retinue,[1] the þingalið. According to a local tradition, "ancient coins" were once found near the stone, and these coins were possibly Özur's payment from his service in England.[1]

Latin transliteration:

tumi × risti : stin : þansi : iftiR × asur : bruþur × sin × þan : aR : uaR : s=kibari : hrhls : kunuks

Old Norse transcription:

Tumi/Tummi/Domi ræisti stæin þannsi æftiR Assur, broður sinn, þann eR vaR skipari Haralds kunungs.

English translation:

"Tumi/Tummi/Dómi raised this stone in memory of Ôzurr, his brother, he who was King Haraldr's seaman."[3]


  1. ^ a b c Jansson 1980:37
  2. ^ Pritsak 1981:343
  3. ^ Entry Sm 42 in Rundata 2.0 for Windows.


Featured articles[edit]

Good articles[edit]


Rune template[edit]

Code: {{Runes}}

Rune infobox templates[edit]

Rune infoboxes intended to be in the individual rune articles.

Runic studies coverage[edit]

To indicate that an article is covered by the Runic studies work group, add the following parameter to the project banner template code ({{WPAGS}}):


User template[edit]

Adding {{User WPRTF-Member}} to your userpage will produce the following:

Runic letter fehu.svg This user is a member of the Runic studies work group.