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Writing system used by Germanic peoples of northern Europe, Britain, Scandinavia, and Iceland from roughly the 3rd to the 16th or 17th century AD. Of uncertain origins, it is clearly derived from one of the alphabets of the Mediterranean area. Three main varieties were used in different regions and time periods: Early, or Common Germanic (Teutonic); Anglo-Saxon, or Anglian; and Nordic, or Scandinavian. More than 4,000 runic inscriptions and several runic manuscripts are extant, of which about 2,500 come from Sweden.
Variants of RUNIC WRITING
runic writing or futhark
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on runic writing, visit Britannica.com.
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