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Title:Umbilicus Runicus: Runic and Mediterranean Epigraphy
Author(s):Morris, Richard Lee
Department / Program:German
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Ancient
Abstract:The dissertation examines the past 100 years of runic scholarship to show that previous investigations on the origin of the runes have been hampered by a series of ad hoc postulates, the greatest being that the runes cannot have come into existence before the birth of Christ. If one examines the runic, Greek and Latin alphabets on the basis of letter shapes, graphic-phonological correspondences, direction of writing, use of ligatures and interpuncts, use of double letters, and the orthographic treatment of nasals without any regard to time, striking similarities appear. These similarities occur between the runes on the one hand and the archaic Greek and Latin writing systems, but not the Latin and Greek writing systems after the birth of Christ. While the comparison shows a definite relationship between the runes and the archaic Greek and Latin writing systems, the runes seem to have more in common with the Greek than with the Latin. The dissertation also demonstrates that the question, 'Where did the runes come from?' has not yet been satisfactorily answered because the so-called 'primitive characteristics' of the runes have not been allowed their due weight.
Issue Date:1983
Description:224 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1983.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8410004
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1983

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