When we talk about runes, the first thing that comes to mind. is associating these with the Germanic/Norse writing, which nowadays for neo–pagans it hadbecame something banal or even funnyto write with runes any word in any language. But in reality the runes were used as a system of anancient language with magical purposes, and not just to tell a story, or to make sence in random sentences.
Naturaly we associate the runes with the Scandinavian and Germanic peoples, for during the time of the Saxons and the Vikings, while they spread terror all over Europe, their culture and ways of writing was also spread into the regions they conquered, and the runes became an exclusive mark of the northern peoples. However, this was so, because Europeans already lived in a time where christianity was spreading and before that, the Romans had invade most of Europe and forced people to their ownculture and tradition, and most Europeans forgot and lost their ancient traditions, their ancient religions and magical symbols, because in truth the runes were European symbols not only of writing but also to for different types of religious works, magic and divination, actually, it was seldom used for writing.
The runes are an ancient system of ideograms of sixteen, eighteen or even twenty-four characters,each rune is a combination of straight lines vertical, horizontal and inclined. Tradition tells us aboutancient runes as a secret language known only to the initiated in their mysteries. The word “Raunen” associated with the word rune means “murmuring” or “Whispering”, making a clear allusion to the transmission of a secret oral knowledge.
Runes are often found in Scandinavia, Great Britain, Germany, and all the other countries where the Norse people settled, but the runes are also found in Central and Northern Portugal, Northern Spain, France, Italy and so on, it is something to be expected because in truth, germanic tribes were in these places, especially in Portugal and northern Spain, because the Portuguese, in ancient times the Celtic Lusitanian people, shared a germanic culture and languege, and in fact they were Celts and Germanic for almost 2000 years, and after the romans came and went, northern Portugal was still germanic for at least 300 more years, so it is perfeclty natural to find runes in these mediterranean regions, but it isn’t that natural that these runic symbols are from an era way before the Saxons and the Vikings, like i said, almost 2000 years of Celtic and Germanic culture, the runes in Portugal, northern Spain, Italy and so on, are from a period between 1500-700 B.C. and some runes are even older than that, which we are led to believe, that these symbols might have been used by so many Europeans in times more ancient than what we think, for we also know about the Ur-Runes, runic symbols similar to the runes of the Elder Futhark that we know today, the symbols that preceded those runes.
It isn’t hard to know why the runes remained an exclusive mark of the Germanic and Norse culture, because the cold north was the last one to be christianised, and by the time it was, the famous Saxons and Vikings already had spread their culture to a great level, all the other European countries were conquered by the Romans and later by the christian faith and were under the influence of such culture and religion for so many centuries that there was plenty of time unfortunately to forget their ancient traditions and symbols.
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