Terms

The information in the fields of the data-base is taken from different sources - depending on the runic corpus (older fuþark, younger fuþąrk/fuþork, Anglo-Frisian fuþorc or Runica Manuscripta). A list of sources is to be found here.

As a rule the information has been adapted to the terms below. In some fields (transliteration, translation) the data was transferred directly from other sources without further adjustments. These entries are marked with ©️.

If the sources used contained contradictory or no information for certain fields or if it was impossible to adapt the information found to the terms, further explanations may be found in the commentary.


Shelf marks

The shelf marks of the runic inscription/the runic entry. The main shelf mark is in bold type.

The shelf marks are given in the form used in other databases (rundata, runer.dk etc.) and in the relevant standard editions.

Some of the shelf marks vary only slightly in their use of blank spaces, capital letters and minuscules or further additions, e.g. “IK 129,2ˮ, “DR IK129,2ˮ (shelf mark in rundata) and “SJy IK129,2ˮ (shelf mark in runer.dk) for the Darum (IV) bracteate.

For the Runica Manuscripta the shelf mark of the manuscript is provided.

For new finds or inscriptions not yet published in standard editions, author, year and page of the first publication are cited instead.

The most common shelf mark of the runic inscription is used as the main shelf mark. For the Danish inscriptions these are the shelf marks in runer.dk, for the Swedish and Norwegian inscriptions the shelf marks in rundata 3.1, for the bracteates the shelf marks in Ikonographischer Katalog (IK), for the inscriptions in the older fuþark which are neither from Denmark, Sweden or Norway nor bracteate inscriptions the shelf marks in Krause/Jankuhn (KJ), for most of the other inscriptions the shelf marks in rundata 3.1.

Click here for a list of shelf marks.


Names

If the commonly used name of an inscription deviates from the pattern “findspot objectˮ, it is given here, e.g. “Franks Casketˮ oder “Skanomodu Solidusˮ.

If an inscription is known under different names or if there are names which were used in older publications, they can be given here, too, as well as alternative/older spellings and alternative numbers.

For the Runica Manuscripta names of codices can be given, e.g. “Codex Frisianusˮ.


Findspot

The place where the runic object or the runic entry was found. Usually the findspot forms the first part of the runic object’s commonly used name, e.g. “Alnmouth Stoneˮ, “Thorsberg Chapeˮ.

The findspot usually appears in the national language and in modern form (orthographically and grammatically). Different or older spellings of the place name are given in small print below the heading and can be found by using the search function.

If the findspot is unknown, this is marked as “Unbekannter Fundort/Unknown Findspotˮ.

For the Runica Manuscripta the exact position of the runic entry in the manuscript is identified, e.g. “bl. 8v untere Marginaleˮ. The country of the institution where the manuscript is kept is added in brackets.

For an exact geographical classification of the findspot the community, the county, the area and the country are added in brackets, e.g. “(Himlingøje Sogn, Præstø Amt, Sjælland, DK)ˮ for the Himlingøje Bow-fibula.

Community: units at municipal level, e.g. in Sweden socknar or kommunar, in Norway kommuner, in Denmark sogne, in Germany Gemeinden, in the UK civil parishes etc.

County: subordinate (administrative) units, e.g. in Germany Landkreise, in the UK counties, in Sweden härader, in Denmark amter etc.

Area: units at a higher (administrative) level, e.g. Bundesländer in Germany, or larger regions or provinces, e.g. fylke in Norway. For findspots in some countries, historical provinces are named which are no longer in use as modern administrative units, e.g. in Sweden “Västmanlandˮ or “Östergötlandˮ, or in the UK “Northumbriaˮ.

Country: As abbreviations for the countries the international vehicle codes are used.


Transliteration

Field which is provisionally used to collect transliterations from different sources with their respective transliteration principles.

The transliterations are taken from the following sources:

- inscriptions in the older fuþark: database Runenprojekt Kiel (runenprojekt.uni-kiel.de)

- inscriptions in the younger fuþąrk/fuþork from Denmark: database Danske Runeindskrifter (runer.ku.dk)

- inscriptions in the younger fuþąrk/fuþork from other countries: rundata 2.5

- Runica Manuscripta: Bauer, Alessia / Heizmann, Wilhelm. Runica manuscripta: die nordische Tradition. (forthcoming) For more information on the transliteration process click here.

The transliterations of the inscriptions in the Anglo-Frisian fuþorc were created especially for the field Transliteration. They are work in progress an may change during the course of the project. For a list of transliteration principles click here.


Translation

Field which is provisionally used to collect German or English translations from different sources.

The German translations are taken from the following sources:

- Runica Manuscripta: Bauer, Alessia/Heizmann, Wilhelm. Runica manuscripta: die nordische Tradition. (forthcoming)

The English translations are taken from the following sources:

- inscriptions in the younger fuþąrk/fuþork from Denmark: database Danske Runeindskrifter (runer.ku.dk)

- other inscriptions in the younger fuþąrk/fuþork: rundata 2.5

The transliterations of the inscriptions in the older fuþark, the inscriptions in the Anglo-Frisian fuþorc and the English translations of the Runica Manuscripta were created especially for the field Translation, in some cases making use of translations in other sources.

Information on the object

Class of object

General classification of the object, e.g., “personal adornmentˮ for brooches, belt buckles etc. or “weapon/weapon accessoryˮ for spear-/lance-heads.

A corresponding subordinate classification can be found under type of object.

Possible values for the fields 'Class of object' and 'Type of object' are listed on the right.


Type of object

Subordinate classification of the object, e.g. “beltˮ for belt buckles or “close-quarters weaponˮ for spear-/lance-heads.

A corresponding general classification can be found under class of object.

Possible values for the fields 'Class of object' and 'Type of object' are listed on the right.


Object

The object on or in which the runic inscription is transmitted. Usually the object forms the second part of the runic object’s commonly used name, e.g. “Alnmouth Stoneˮ, “Thorsberg Chapeˮ.

As a rule, the object’s designation is given without distinguishing between different materials or composition of materials. Exceptions are made for those inscriptions on stone, plaster, wood etc., where the material is a part of the runic object’s commonly used name.

For the Runica Manuscripta the shelf mark of the manuscript is used, e.g. “NKS 138 c 8voˮ.

To distinguish inscriptions on identical objects from the same find-spot the commonly used additions are given, such as Arabic or Roman numerals or letters, e.g. “1ˮ (Vimose Chape 1), „II“ (Nordendorf Bow brooch II) or “Aˮ (Weimar Bow brooch A).

If different numberings for an inscription are used in different publications, the most common of these is used for the main entry. Alternative or older numberings are listed in small print below the heading, e.g. “Vester Marie-stenen IVˮ for the Vestermarie Stone 1.


Preservation [object]

The object’s/manuscript’s state of preservation.

On the basis of the data provided here, a general assessment of the state of preservation of the inscribed object / the manuscript is rendered possible.

The following options exist:

good 

if surface and form are well preserved

impaired; good   

if the surface is impaired, but the form well preserved

good; fragmented 

if the surface is well preserved, but the form damaged

impaired; fragmented

if the surface is impaired and the form damaged

For objects consisting of different fragments the information on the single parts is listed, using “+ˮ, e.g. “impaired; fragmented+goodˮ.

If the object is lost or destroyed, the entry is “†ˮ.


Class of material

General classification of the material the object is made of, e.g.  “stoneˮ for rune stones or “woodˮ for spear-/lance-heads. For Runica Manuscripta, the options “parchmentˮ and “paperˮ exist.

A corresponding subordinate classification can be found under material.


Material

Subordinate classification of the material the object is made of, e.g. “granite” for rune stones or “ash” for spear-/lance-heads. For Runica Manuscripta no further differentiation is made.

A corresponding general classification can be found under class of material.

If there are several possibilities, none of which seems unequivocally preferable, these may be listed with a slash between them, e.g. “yew/ash”.

If possible, information about the material may also be further specified, e.g. by giving colour and grain size of stones (such as “grey, fine-grained”), or animal and kind of bones (such as “moose, long bone”).


Measurements

The measurements of the object/runic inscription.

Usually three measurements are listed in a fixed order (length/height; width; thickness resp. number of pages for the Runica Manuscripta). The largest expansion/the highest number is taken as length/height.

All measurements are given in centimetres.

If measurements vary in different places of the object, they are given as “from … to …”, e.g. “85-87; 62-75; 24-28”.

If one of the measurements is unknown, this is indicated as “-” , e.g. “126; 63; -”.

If none of the measurements is known, this is indicated as “-; -; -”.

If the object is round, the symbol for diameter is used, e.g. “Ø10,3”.

For inscriptions on rock slabs and rock faces, inscriptions in plaster and on wooden or stone walls, the measurements of the inscription (not the object) are provided, i.e. length and width with the addition “(Inschrift)”, e.g. “120; 16-17 (Inschrift)”

If an object consists of several fragments, the measurements of the fragments are all listed, joined by “+”, e.g. “80; 45; - + 62; 42; -”.

It is possible to use “max.” and “ca.” in front of a number to qualify the measurements, e.g. “ca. 3; ca. 2; - ”.


Completeness [object]

The state of completeness of the object / manuscript.

yes

if the object/manuscript is complete

no

if the object/manuscript is incomplete

if the object/manuscript is lost, destroyed etc.


External dating

The most reliable dating according to current research.

In most cases, this will be the object’s archaeological dating. If an archaeological dating is impossible (e.g. for large stone monuments or Runica Manuscripta), other dating criteria may be used.

Usually beginning and end of the period of dating are given.

The basis for the dating may be specified in the field method of dating.

The datings are taken from the following sources:

- inscriptions in the older fuþark: database Kieler Runenprojekt (runenprojekt.uni-kiel.de)

- inscriptions in the younger fuþąrk/fuþork from Denmark: database Danske Runeindskrifter (runer.ku.dk)

- inscriptions in the younger fuþąrk/fuþork fromother countries: rundata 2.5

- Runica Manuscripta: Bauer, Alessia / Heizmann, Wilhelm. Runica manuscripta: die nordische Tradition. (forthcoming)

For the datings of the inscriptions in the Anglo-Frisian fuþorc see the references in the resp. comments.


Method of dating

The method of dating used for the dating in the field external dating.

The following options exist:

arch.

archaeological

arch./typ.

archaeological typological

arch./dendro.

archaeological dendrochronological

arch./strat.

archaeological stratigraphical

numismat. 

numismatical (for coins)

palaeograph. 

palaeographical (for manuscripts)

iconograph.

iconographical (for bracteates and objects with iconographic elements)

hist.   

historical

ling. 

linguistic

self-dating

 

If more than one method of dating is used, the options may be combined with “+”, e.g. “arch.+iconograph.”.


Context

The context in which the object resp. the runic entry was found.

For epigraphical runes, the archaeological context is mentioned, for Runica Manuscripta the contents of the whole manuscript.

For the archaeological context of the epigraphical runes, the following options exist: Bestattung (burial), Siedlung (settlement), Depot (depot), Einzelfund (single find), Handel (trade), Schenkung (donation) and“-”, if the context is unknown.

For the Runica Manuscripta the options are: Historiographische Literatur und Rechtstexte (historiographical and legal texts), Metalinguistisches (collections of scripts and grammatical texts), Prosaliteratur bzw. Dichtung (prose resp. poetry), Religiöse Literatur und Mythologie (religious literature and mythology), Enzyklopädisches bzw. Aberglaube (encyclopaedic texts and superstition, e.g. texts on computistics, geography, medicine; magic, astrology, geomantic, esoteric and alchemistic topics) and Sammelhandschrift (manuscripts without special focus).


Find-year

The year or period of time in which the runic object was found or the runic inscription discovered.

If the inscription was discovered years after the detection of the object, both years are given (with the year of the inscription’s discovery in brackets), e.g. “1850(1880)ˮ. If the year in which the inscription was discovered is known, but not the year when the object was found, the entry would be, e.g., “-(1880)ˮ.

If different parts of an object were found in different years, the years are given in succession, joined by “+ˮ, e.g. “1880+1885+1924ˮ.

If contradictory information about the find-year is to be found in the sources, the alternatives are provided, separated by “/ˮ, e.g. “1848/1850ˮ.

If the find-year is unknown, the year of the first mention in a document (letter, museum list) or in a publication may be provided instead in the following form, e.g. “1854>Fˮ.

If it is impossible to provide any information on the find-year of object or inscription, this is indicated as “-ˮ. For the Runica Manuscripta, the option “-ˮ is always used.

Information on the inscription

Rune row

The runic alphabet/rune row used in the inscription.

The following options exist: älteres fuþark (older fuþark), pre-fuþorc, fuþorc, jüngeres fuþąrk/fuþork (younger fuþąrk/fuþork), Mittelalterrunen (medieval runes) and nachreformatorische Runen (runes from the post-reformation period).

If an object carries two inscriptions from different rune rows, both rune rows are combined with “+”, e.g. “älteres fuþark+jüngeres fuþąrk/fuþork” for the Skåäng Stone.

If it is disputable which rune row an inscription is to be attributed to, both rune rows are given, divided by a slash, e.g. “älteres fuþark/pre-fuþorc (?)” for the Bergakker Scabbard Mount.

If it is impossible to assign an inscription to a rune row, “-” is used, e.g. for the Eketorp Stone slab.


Category of inscription

Category of the individual characters or of the whole inscription.

The following options exist:

run.  

exclusively runic

scripta mixta 

runes and other characters side by side in one word/one inscription or, for the Runica Manuscripta, in an immediate context

bi-script

runes and other characters (usually Latin) side by side in two separate inscriptions on one object

rune row

rune row or parts of it (fuþark order)

runic alphabet

runic alphabet or parts of it (alphabetical order)

?run.

rune-like characters or inscriptions with questionable runic character

cryptica

cryptic runes

Two or more of these options may be combined with a “+”, e.g “run.+?run.” or “run.+Runenreihe”.


Iconographic elements

Information about the co-occurrence of text, iconographic elements and other signs on the runic object or in the runic manuscript entry.

The following options exist:

yes

if the object/the manuscript has pictures, signs, ornaments etc.

no

if there are no iconographic elements.


Preservation [inscription]

The inscription’s/runic entry’s state of preservation.

On the basis of the data provided here, a general assessment of the state of preservation of the inscription / the runic manuscript entry is rendered possible.

The following options exist:

good

if surface and form are well preserved

impaired; good

if the surface is impaired, but the form well preserved

good; fragmented

if the surface is well preserved, but the form damaged

impaired; fragmented

if the surface is impaired and the form damaged

For objects consisting of different fragments the information on the single parts is added using “+”, e.g. “impaired; fragmented+good”.

If the inscription or the object (with the inscription) is lost or destroyed, the entry is “†”.


Completeness [inscription]

The state of completeness of the inscription / runic entry.

The following options exist:

yes

if the inscription/runic entry is complete

no

if the inscription/runic entry is incomplete

if the inscription/runic entry is lost, destroyed etc.

Information on the present location

Depending on where and how the rune inscribed object is currently kept, different information can be found here.

Museum: If the object is kept in a museum or some other public institution, the name of the museum/institution (with place and country) is given here, e.g. „National Museum of Scotland (Edinburgh, GB)“ or „Riksantikvarieämbetet (Stockholm, S)“.

This information is supplemented by the inventory number, links to the website and a map showing the position as well as the possibility to look at all finds kept in this museum/institution.

If the object is in possession of one museum, but on display in another museum, both museums are named, e.g. „Historiska museet/Gotlands museum (Stockholm, S/Visby, S)“. The additional information refers only to the museum in which the object is currently on display.

For the Runica Manuscripta the library is named in which the manuscript is kept, e.g. „Landsbókasafn Íslands (Reykjavík, IS)“. Under inventory number the manuscript's shelf mark is given.

Private property: If an object is privately owned, no data is given.

: If an object is lost or destroyed, no information on the present location can be given. If possible, information on the object's former location may be found in the comment.

in situ: If the rune inscribed object is still in the original findspot, this is indicated by "in situ". It is possible to show the position on the map and, in some cases, to find further information on the findspot as well as a secondary link.

other locations: If the object/the inscription is neither in situ nor in a museum, but in a church, a churchyard, in the open air etc., this location is described in detail, e.g. „inside the church, Andreas Church, Andreas, Isle of Man, GB“. For inscriptions from D, DK, N, S, IS, FO and GB the information is given in the respective national language, for inscriptions from other countries in German or English. It is possible to show the position on the map and, in many cases, to find a secondary link.

unknown/not entered yet: This entry is used, if the object's present location is unknown or not yet entered in the database.