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Title: Runes and Roman letters in the writing of Old English manuscripts
Author: Symons, V. J. D. W.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis presents a comprehensive study of Anglo-Saxon writings that contain embedded textual runic letters. Whilst all of the compositions included in this thesis have been discussed previously, this has not taken place in a single unified study. In addition, such previous studies tend to be biased heavily towards, on the one hand, treating the texts as literary constructs divorced from the manuscript page (with the runes interesting but marginal details) or, on the other, towards examining the runes alone and studying them for their linguistic and historical significance with little regard for the literary contexts in which they appear. My aim is to bridge this gap by providing close readings of the poems which focus primarily on their use of runes and the impact that this has on our understanding of both the runic and literary practices of the period. In this way, connections can be made between the different compositions in which runes are used, and a literary context can be proposed for this form of script-mixing. It is my argument that all of the works discussed in this thesis are in various ways thematically focused on acts of writing, visual communication, and the nature of the written word. The visual disconnect between the two scripts on the manuscript page allows the authors of these works to highlight the inherently written nature of their content. Moreover, the runic letters themselves are used in all of these texts specifically in order to represent the written word, in a way that roman letters are not. This thesis concludes that textual runes are consistently used throughout these works to signify not just specific letters or words that carry some importance within the texts, but simultaneously to represent the written word itself.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available