Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Ancient Germanic studies/Runes

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Catalogue of Futhark-related articles[edit]

The current discussions, either directly or indirectly, touch on numerous articles. The following is intended to be an inventory of articles directly related to one of the Futharks or runes in general (i.e. excluding inscription articles). Please add links as necessary. —Aryaman (talk) 11:58, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Futhark series[edit]

Rune series[edit]

Elder Futhark[edit]


Non-standalone rune articles[edit]

Debate moved from my talkpage:

Hi Dab, I noticed that you had redirected Sowilo back to Sól (Sun) from the Sowilo rune article. You also left the redirect templates at the top of the pages unchanged, so now things are not exactly as they should be. I think that when most people type Sowilo in the search field, they are looking for the rune, and not the goddess. A simple google search supports that argument, most of the serach results are related to the rune. I did not want to revert anything before I had spoken this through with you. Can you please give an explanation to your edit? I'd appreciate it. --Holt (talk) 13:23, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

you are right. I think we could also merge the two articles. As with Wynn, I think there is nothing wrong with treating the rune in an article's section rather than in a standalone article if there is a natural candidate. --dab (𒁳) 14:53, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I do not fully understand what you mean with the Wynn example.
I have previously split the Sól (Sun) into a separate article for the rune. As you have said eariler, the rune articles are "clearly an article series, tied together by the {{Runes}} navbox", and should thus, in my opinion, be separate articles, while the deities of Norse and Germanic mythology are important enough to have their own articles, and are tied together by the {{Norse mythology}} navbox. An article should in general deal with one particular concept, there's no need to merge two different concepts when they both are important enough to have their own articles. With cases like Tiwaz, Sowilo and Dagr, it is much more clear to have separate articles, and rather provide a good general overview of the rune's and the deity's connection in both articles. I also think it looks disorderly with the two navboxes in one article, and in addition the rune infobox on the right, which may look out of place at first. As a part of the rune task force I think I will split the current Dagr article into one regarding the rune and another one regarding the deity, so that the coming outline structure for separate rune articles can be implemented in the smoothest way.
I will redirect Sowilo back to Sowilo rune now, and I hope to get your opinion on the splitting of the Dagr article. --Holt (talk) 16:16, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
my answer is, it depends. In the Aesir and perhaps the Tyr case, the split may be justified. I do not agree to a split of Wynn, Mannaz, Dagaz or Yngvi, and to splitting Sowilo only relucantly, because this will result in pointless fragmentation of material into stubs. Perhaps we could ask for wider input on this at Talk:Runic alphabet? dab (𒁳) 16:44, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
There are apparently several cases where a split may be heavily considered. You are welcome to futher this problem to the runic alphabet talk page to get an overview of the general consensus. As a reply to "pointless fragmentation of material into stubs" - there is written a lot about many of these stubs, and it should be the potential of the stub that decides whether it should be merged or split, not the stub itself. A goal of getting a long article should not be a goal in itself, a concise stub or shorter article is almost always better than a long one without coherence. --Holt (talk) 17:26, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
The point is that Wynn and Wunjo discuss the evolution of the same letter. In the Mannaz and Dagaz cases, discussion of etymology would just pointlessly be duplicated in two articles. No, it is not the "potential" of a stub that prejudices its staying separate. We have {{R with possibilities}} for that: that's for merged stubs that may conceivably become standalone articles, pending the accumulation of enough material to warrant a split. Please do not split these without consensus for now. dab (𒁳) 17:31, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I see that my conception of stubs and merging is not compliant with Wikipedia standards. I understood what you meant with Wynn/Wunjo now, and I agree that they should stay in the same article. See section below on Wynn. --Holt (talk) 18:45, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Articles for discussion[edit]

Below is a list of articles that either deal with several concepts, or pairs that belong together i.e. etymologically. Everyone are encouraged to comment, and feel free to add cases to the list if I have forgotten anything. --Holt (talk) 18:45, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

In general, I think this idea of merging wherever there is some kind of connection between a rune's name and another concept is highly questionable. I mean, what's next? Merging Berkanan and Birch? Eihwaz and Yew? This is just bad practice... —Aryaman (talk) 20:14, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Aryaman and for exactly the same reasons. :bloodofox: (talk) 22:23, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. --Holt (talk) 22:43, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Ansuz rune vs. Æsir[edit]

The two articles share etymology, but the Æsir article deals with a much broader sense of the term, while the rune article has a decent amount of information explaining i.e. the evolution of the shape of the rune and gives a general overview of the different versions of the rune. No need for merging, in my opinion. --Holt (talk) 18:45, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
ok with me. dab (𒁳) 19:34, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Agree. —Aryaman (talk) 19:37, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Split. :bloodofox: (talk) 22:23, 21 May 2008 (UTC)


The article deals with both the god of daytime, and the rune Dagaz. Altough similar to other cases, there is little information about both concepts in the article. If split, we would have two inadequate stubs, but I believe both have potential. The Dagr section needs expansion to cover for exmaple where the god's name is mentioned in Norse literature (as in Sól (Sun), and the Dagaz section needs a general cleanup and some thorough referencing. I think two separate articles is necessary in this case. --Holt (talk) 18:45, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Suggestion for new article names: Dagr and Dagaz rune. --Holt (talk) 19:06, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
oppose split per above. dab (𒁳) 19:34, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Split: Seems like OR to have them both in the same article - I've yet to hear of the rune being connected to the figure (unlike Týr, for example), nor have I read anyone making reference to Dagr when discussing Dagaz. Maybe someone will (pleasantly) surprise me with a nice quote from Dumezil, Hollander, Nordal or Simek, however... :) —Aryaman (talk) 19:55, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
That is a good point, Aryaman — keeping the two merged may further a misconception that they are somehow connected. --Holt (talk) 20:14, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Split. :bloodofox: (talk) 22:23, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Oppose split. We're talking of a rune that was named after the day in the context of Germanic paganism. I think both the personification of the day and the rune benefit from being treated together since it shows the reader that the concept day was more than just the bright period between sunrise and sunset.--Berig (talk) 14:32, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
We have two different topics (a rune and a figure from mythology) with two different names (Dagaz and Dagr), connected by etymology. How is having them in the same article not OR/SYN? The reconstruction of the figure's name is *Daguz according to Höfler, and I still can't find a connection to *Dagaz (rune) in the literature. —Aryaman (talk) 14:41, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it's OR/SYN to treat them in the same article, because there are many articles where etymologically related topics are treated together, such as Roderick (name) and Haguna. There's a difference between treating two topics in the same article and showing the wider context of a term, and claiming that there is a causal relationship, which would be OR/SYN.--Berig (talk) 17:32, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Berig, unless I'm missing something here, your examples (Roderick (name) and Haguna) prove what I'm talking about. If someone tried to merge Roderick (name) and Hreðric and Hroðmund, Hrœrekr Ringslinger, Rorik of Dorestad, and Rurik on the grounds that we could better "show the wider context" of the name, we would clearly put a stop to it. These are different people, and the fact that they shared a name is certainly no ground to merge them. The same is true with *Dagaz/*Daguz. Yes, the name (or a variant thereof) was used to refer to more than one thing. And that is no reason to merge the two otherwise unrelated subjects. —Aryaman (talk) 18:18, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
It's possible that I have seen the article so many times that I have come to take it for granted. If it's important to you, go ahead and split it. I doubt anyone would undo your efforts.--Berig (talk) 18:20, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
It's not that this particular article is bothering me or anything. I (and I think others here are with me on this) am trying to find some kind of general guideline for this kind of thing to be applied more or less universally. While I initially agreed with the 'case-by-case' approach - and I think the individual discussions are important - I would find it very difficult to accept any resolution based on something as fickle and arbitrary as 'preference'. Let's devise some kind of 'rule' here (no, not a 'hard and fast' rule, but a guideline that we can fall back on in the absence of any special/extenuating circumstances). I'm not afraid of stubs, and I think merging out of desperation is a mistake. In any case, a short but correct stub is preferable to a longer but ill-conceived etymological grab-bag. —Aryaman (talk) 18:41, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

we can take this to Talk:Dagr. This is a split discussion, and there is no reason to have it on an esoteric page such as this one. I oppose already due to the stubbiness of the Dagr article upon removal of the discussion of the rune. dab (𒁳) 17:14, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Anglo-Saxon Gar rune & Gyfu[edit]

The Anglo-Saxon Gar rune is treated in a section of the Migration Period spear article. Yet again we have a case where the rune is associated with a word or a concept, here spear. Per Aryaman (see reply to lead of "Articles for discussion"), I think it is unnecessary to treat individual runes in this way, it often leads to confusion and misconceptions. (Split.) –Holt TC 09:40, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Split: What? No coverage of the spearheads of Kovel or Mos here? I thought we were shooting for comprehensiveness... o_O —Aryaman (talk) 11:14, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Addition of "Gyfu." They are two different runes, but Gar is an alteration of Gyfu. Should they both be treated in a Gebo article? I think so. Merge Gar and Gyfu into Gebo. –Holt TC 08:49, 28 June 2008 (UTC)


The article deals with the etymology of the English term "man" and the rune Mannaz. I do not think this should be split, even though it strictly speaking deals with two concepts. They are closely tied together, and as stated in the deletion process of Alu, dictionary definitions are unwanted on Wikipedia. --Holt (talk) 18:45, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
oppose split per above. simple dictionary definitions are unwanted. Full discussions of etymologies are ok, even as standalone articles, see Category:Etymologies. dab (𒁳) 19:34, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
in fact, I had forgotten we had Man (word) – I am consequently for a merge of the two. dab (𒁳) 19:40, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I did not know that there was a Man (word) article. I support a merge here, but it has to be neatly done. What should be the main focus of the article (as reflected in the article name), though? *Mannaz or Man? Edit: Changed my mind on this after reading Aryaman's comment above.
New opinion: As there already exists a thorough article for the word and concept man at Man (word), I think a general explanation should be given in the Mannaz article, and that a {{main|Man (word)}} template should be added instead of having duplicated etymology
Split. :bloodofox: (talk) 22:23, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Discussion continues at Talk:Mannaz#Merge with Man (word). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Holt (talkcontribs) 18:59, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Sowilo rune vs. Sól (Sun)[edit]

Here both articles clearly have much information, and deal with two different subjects. The only argument I see for merging here is that they share etymology. I vote for keeping them as they are. --Holt (talk) 18:45, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
split is fine with me. dab (𒁳) 19:34, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Split. :bloodofox: (talk) 22:23, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Tiwaz rune vs. Týr[edit]

The Týr article is well worked through, and there is even a section regarding the rune, with a {{main}} template linking to the rune article (This is also done in the Æsir article — anywhere else?). I think this is a good exmaple of how the other cases should be handled. Keep things as they are! --Holt (talk) 18:45, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
no opinion. Merge would be arguable. dab (𒁳) 19:34, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Split. :bloodofox: (talk) 22:23, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Thurisaz (rune) vs. Thorn (letter)[edit]

Case is similar as with Wynn, but I am not sure if merging is a proper action. The main difference though, is that Wynn is no longer used in any modern alphabet, while the Icelanders still use the Thorn letter. Should we treat this case as Wynn/Wunjo, i.e. merging the two articles, and focus on a good cleaup? --Holt (talk) 00:12, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Merge if any action is warranted, analogous to Wynn, as per nom. —Aryaman (talk) 00:17, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Merge as in the case of Wynn. :bloodofox: (talk) 14:42, 22 May 2008 (UTC)


The article is about both the Latin character and the rune, but as Dab said earlier, it discusses the evolution of the "same" letter. I do not think a split is wise here. --Holt (talk) 18:45, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
IMO, the article should remain as it is, i.e. Wunjo and Wynn should be treated together. The point of entry for this article, as well as its title, should be Wunjo with Wynn as a redirect, seeing as Wynn is a later development and (until now, at least) it has been standard to treat the particular historical manifestations subsequent to the reconstructed form. OE letters derived from the Futhark should be treated no differently than runes of post-Elder rows. —Aryaman (talk) 18:50, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
opposed to split per VA. dab (𒁳) 19:34, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Oppose split per Aryaman. :bloodofox: (talk) 22:23, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Note: The case is similar with Thurisaz (rune)/Thorn (letter), any comments on this? Added Thurisaz/Thorn section above. --Holt (talk) 00:03, 22 May 2008 (UTC)


Currently deals with both the old name of Freyr and the Ingwaz rune. I suggest that a split is carried out, in order to give a better overview on both subjects. Since the Ingwaz rune is "among the problematic cases of runes", I think it is necessary to create a more reader-friendly article on the rune. --Holt (talk) 18:45, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Suggestion for new article names: Yngvi and Ingwaz rune. --Holt (talk) 19:06, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
arguable, but I remain opposed to a split pending further addition of content. dab (𒁳) 19:34, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Split. Better to treat the subjects separately. :bloodofox: (talk) 22:23, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Individual rune articles[edit]

Should we continue the discussion from the runic alphabet talk page about a standard outline for individual rune articles here? --Holt (talk) 16:33, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Standard outline[edit]

This discussion started at Runic alphabet:

Though this topic is something I wanted to tackle as part of a coordinated Ancient Germanic studies project, it seems that important decisions are being made now. I would like to come back to a point raised earlier: a 'standardized' outline. Do either of you have any concrete ideas here? I was thinking something like the following:

History (incl. Developmental theories, e.g. Mees (Celtic), Taylor (Greek), Vennemann (Phoenician), etc.; and developmentally antecedent/subsequent runes)
Phonetic value
Rune Poems
Pop Culture (?)

Criticism is expected - but so are concrete alternative proposals. Ideas? —Aryaman (Enlist!) 11:49, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

This sounds perfectly acceptable to me. This is exactly the sort of thing I had in mind. I guess the question is how exactly should we propose the lead? I think they can be largely standardized, maybe something like this for most of them:
*Runename is the reconstructed Proto-Germanic name for the (letter value)-rune in the Elder Futhark runic alphabet meaning "meaning, meaning, meaning".(ref) This reconstruction is based off of the attested (poem rune), (poem rune), (poem rune), and is related to (gothic letter name).
Of course, considering certain runes have a more problematic reconstruction than others, we ought to figure in what to be written in this circumstance for the lead. :bloodofox: (talk) 12:11, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
A very constructive contribution, Varoon. Standardization will massively improve the overall standard of the separate rune articles, and we won't get deficient and untidy articles like for example the Gyfu page. Since the rune poems are essential to the understanding of the meaning of the rune names, I think it would be more natural to move the "Rune Poems" section further up, by making it a sub-section of "Etymology" (assuming the etymologic section will deal with the meaning of the name, correct me if I'm wrong). I realize the rune poem tables I have made the last couple of days may lead to some aesthetic flaws due to the space they take, but so far this solution for the rune poems is better than how it was earlier, in my opinion. The last section called "Pop culture" should perhaps have a more neutral name like "Modern usage", and an "Ancient usage" section can be added as a counterpart, as in the current Tiwaz rune article. The "Phonetic value" section is superfluous if we are going to keep the rune infoboxes Dab has been adding lately. So to sum it up, here's the slightly altered version that I have in mind:
Lead (with the rune infobox)
Rune Poems
History (incl. Developmental theories, e.g. Mees (Celtic), Taylor (Greek), Vennemann (Phoenician), etc.; and developmentally antecedent/subsequent runes)
Ancient usage (if there is anything noteworthy)
Modern usage (same as above)
Bloodofox' lead section suggestion sounds good to me. --Holt (talk) 13:28, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Naming conventions[edit]

As for a standard outline for the rune article names (as discussed above in the collapsible navbox), I think the reconstructed Proto-Germanic name without any special characters or asterixes is fitting. Adding "rune" (no parentheses) after the Proto-Germanic name can also ward off any disambiguation problems, and clears up confusion - most people know the runes by other names, most likely the Younger Futhark ones. Where there are several reconstructions (as with *Laguz/Laukaz), the most plausible and commonly accepted term is a natural choice (*Laguz in this case), but when there are two equally accepted conflicting names (as with *Ūruz/Ûram), what is the solution here? It would be wise to have a standard template, to prevent unpleasant situations ([2] - [3]). When it comes to implementing these standardizations, I suppose we'll handle that under controlled circumstances as a part of the Ancient Germanic studies project. --Holt (talk) 14:14, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Re: Naming conventions: This is inherently tricky territory, as equally qualified experts are frequently at variance with one another and often give little to no reasoning behind their reconstructions. Case in point: Düwel (2001) has *Laguz, Haarmann (1998) has *Laukaz. Neither give good reasons for their choice, and I don't think we are going to find any sources that can decide the matter conclusively (even Düwel is undecided on a few, giving both *Īsaz/Īsan, *Haglaz/Haglan and *Ōþalan/Ōþilan. I suggest that we gather our sources and then simply decide upon one or the other convention based upon frequency of occurrence and consistency and then apply that standard universally. —Aryaman (Enlist!) 14:46, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I see. I support your suggestion. --Holt (talk) 16:52, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

I would advise against artificial standardization of article names. WP:NAME tells us to pick the most common name for the topic. For a well-attested rune like the g rune, this may well be gyfu, while for an obscure rune like p, this may indeed be "p rune". Runes that survive both in Anglo-Saxon and Younger Futhark rows, the runes will be known by at least two names, depending on context (strictly speaking, an Anglo-Saxon f rune is not the "same" letter as a YF f rune, but not even Unicode makes this distinction). WP:UCS on a case by case basis will be needed there. dab (𒁳) 18:52, 14 May 2008 (UTC)


See also[edit]

Some rune-related articles have "See also" sections, but even though many articles should have similar SA sections, most spit out very different links. In my opinion, if we are keeping the SA sections, the style should be much more standardized than how it is now.

Links that may generally be included in individual rune articles:

– Add more as you please.

Of course, the SA section shouldn't be too big, so an extract of links from the list above is probably best. --Holt (talk) 22:08, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

I think most of these article links should already exist in (or should be worked into) the body of almost all of the rune-related articles making a "see also" section unneeded. Template:Runes also includes all of these links. :bloodofox: (talk) 07:53, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
That is a good point. Is it common practice to exclude links from the "See also" section if they previously have been mentioned in the article? If so, your suggestion is adequate. Personally I find the "See also" sections helpful when reading about subjects I am unfamiliar with, that way I can scim through the article and then continue to read about a related topic by clicking a "see also" link. --Holt (talk) 08:58, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, this has been common practice from my experience. For policy about these sections, see: WP:SEEALSO. :bloodofox: (talk) 17:41, 23 May 2008 (UTC)


Which rune was used for "eth" (ð)? Is there a standard transliteration used by scholars? I have seen th, d, and dh used, and sometimes more than one transliteration used for different words in the same source. Briangotts (Talk) (Contrib) 18:37, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Until the appearance of the medieval runes, only the þ rune was used, and the rune is transliterated as þ. However, in transcriptions, it is rendered as þ or ð (or as another letter if scholars think it's due to a mispelling). In translations, you can probably see t, d, th and dh.--Berig (talk) 19:15, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Also - just to supplement Berig's comment - the use of ð, along with ƿ (w) and Ʒ (g) outside of critical editions of source texts, appears to be falling out of favour in newer editions of standard handbooks. —Aryaman (talk) 19:35, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

I don't think there even was a /ð/ phoneme in Proto-Germanic (unless identical to /d/), thus no rune was needed. Later /ð/ was a split off /þ/ by voicing, hence it would have been spelled þ at first. dab (𒁳) 17:18, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Article alerts[edit]

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Frei-Laubersheim fibula[edit]

I'm currently putting together an article on the Frei-Laubersheim fibula. Interested members can check my workspace for the current status. If any of you have additional information, feel free to drop me a note. Also, if any of you are able to read Danish efficiently, do let me know; I have a long passage from Wimmer which could be useful for the article, but haven't spent the time to parse it yet. Help would be appreciated. Thanks, --Aryaman (talk) 18:33, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

It took me far longer than I originally anticipated, but the article is up in the mainspace. --Aryaman (talk) 15:20, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Medieval runes in Runes template[edit]

See Template talk:Runes#Medieval runes. ᛭ LokiClock (talk) 21:25, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Unicode same-script transcription where possible[edit]

I propose that we provide Unicode transcriptions wherever possible and uncontested. Bindrunes and other characters can fall back on the methods used for Latin transliteration, so that so=n:r would become ᛌᚮ=ᚿ᛬ᚱ (from Kingittorsuaq Runestone). ᛭ LokiClock (talk) 03:44, 22 November 2010 (UTC)


Could somebody write "Midgard" in runes in the Midgard article? There is a photo, but it's hardly readable.--Baruch ben Alexander - ☠☢☣ 00:00, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Here, but I don't know where you wanted it on Midgard: ᛅ᛬ᛘᛁᚦᚴᛅᚱᚦᛁ ᛭ LokiClock (talk) 17:30, 15 August 2011 (UTC)