The Runic Alphabet
Runic alphabets provided a brief background about the mystical lettering systems used by the Germanic people in ancient and medieval times.
Variations of the Runes
The runes were set of Germanic alphabets that were used by the North German tribes, from the 2nd century BC to the 13th century AD. The runic alphabets were often called “Futhark”, which is derived from the first six runic letters of the runic alphabets (F-U-TH-A-R-K).
There are three different variations of the Runic alphabets.
The Etruscan or the Latin alphabets probably influenced the runic scripts in the 2nd or 1st century BC, particularly when that some of runes match the Latin alphabets in form. The Teutonic (Early or Common Germanic) scripts consisted of 24 characters.
It was used in northern Europe, right up to the 8th century AD. The image on the right, I have shown the Early or Common runes (with the English equivalents to the sound, written in white).
The Anglian or Anglo-Saxon scripts, also known as Futhork, varied in number, from 28 to 33 characters. The additional characters in the Anglian runes were used to compensate for the Old English sounds that does not appeared in the Early Futhark runes. These scripts were used in the British Isle, from the 5th to the 12th century AD.
There are two variations of the Anglo-Saxon scripts. With Frisian runes, 4 new scripts were added to the Early Futhark: ac, ae, o (os), and yr. Then another five were added to the Anglo-Saxon runes; the extra runes known as the Northumbrian runes included: q, k, st, and gar.
The third variation was the Nordic (Scandinavian) runes, is called the Younger Futhark, which was used in Scandinavia, including Iceland, between the 8th and 13th century AD. More than half of the runic inscriptions discovered, were found in Sweden.
The Nordic scripts had originally contained the same 24 characters of the Early runes, but had gradually reduced them to 16 characters.
There are two variations of the Nordic runes: Short-twig and Danish.
The illustration on the left is the Danish variation of the Nordic scripts. The following scripts have remained unchanged from the Teutonic scripts: f, u, th, r, k, n, i, t, b and l.
The Short-twig have the same number of characters as the Danish variation, yet it has simplified the Danish scripts. Simplified as in some stroke were truncated. For now, I don’t have a diagram on the list of Short-twig scripts.