Viking Myths: Stories of the Norse Gods and Goddesses - Thor Ewing
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Viking runes

Viking Myths


The Vikings wrote in letters called runes, which they usually wrote on a wooden stick using a knife. The runic alphabet is called Futhark, after the first six runic leters:  F  U  TH  A  R  K

The earliest runes go back hundreds of years before Viking times. We call this early runic alphabet the ‘Elder Futhark.’
Elder Futhark Runes

Archaeologists have discovered that around the start of the Viking Age, Scandinavians started to use a new runic alphabet called the ‘Younger Futhark.’
Younger Futhark Runes

As well as being a letter for writing, each rune also has a meaning of its own. So, the first letter is called which means ‘wealth’. Other letters have names such as ‘ice,’ and ‘man.’

According to Viking myth, Odin learned the runes during his journey to the roots of the holy tree called Yggdrasil or Mimir’s Wood. He taught them to gods, dwarfs and people.

Sometimes runes were used in Viking magic.

The story of how Odin discovered the runes is told in ‘Nine Worlds and Mimir’s Wood’, Chapter 2 of Viking Myths: Stories of the Norse Gods and Goddesses.

Viking Myths: Stories of the Norse Gods and Goddesses 
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