This course is discontinued

MAS3000 – Runology - as an object and museum subject

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Course content

THIS COURSE HAS BEEN MOVED TO ILN AND HAS A NEW COURSECODE: NFI3000 – Runology - Runic Inscriptions as Artefact and Museum Objects (discontinued)

The runic alphabeth was a separate writing system which was common for a number of germanic peoples from the second century A.D. and until the runes’ disappearance in Norway during the 15th century. Runology as a subject comprises, thus, of 1300 years of writing history. Runes are incised on objects of different nature – stone, weapons, tools, wooden sticks. Knowledge of the cultural-historical context represented by the objects is, therefore, a necessary premise for the understanding of every runic inscription. This course focuses on runology by studing the objects – how are the objects preserved and documented?

Learning outcome

The course is to give insight in the documentation process throught the study of the documents/ records themselves, practical experience of uncovering a runic-find and the way in which it is documented. The students are also to learn how museums, archives and other culture-institutions administrate objects with runic inscriptions.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

A requirement for admission is a completion of MAS1100 or a course with a similar content.

Recommended previous knowledge

The course builds on general basic knowledge in runology which corresponds to the content of MAS1100.

Overlapping courses

The course can be taken as a part of the following ccourse groups:

40-group - Medieval Cultural History and Language 40-group – Middelalderens kulturhistorie og språk (40MIDKULTHS) (discontinued)

40-group - Runology 40-group – Runologi (40RUN)

80-group - Specialisation in Medieval Language and Literature 80-group – Fordypning i middelalderens språkog litteratur (80MIDSL) (discontinued).


The course of study extends over a whole semester. The teaching will be a combination of lectures and supervisions in connection to assignments. The main focus will, however, be on independent studies. The course will start with three weeks of lectures, 2-4 hours per week. Thereafter, the student is to have their working place at the University Cultural-historical museum. Under supervision, the student is to study in great detail one, or a small group, of objects with runic inscriptions. The student is to get acquainted with the documents/records connected to the object and the inscription, and previous literature about them. An independent study of the object and inscription is to be performed and a written presentation is to be handed in. The written presentation is to have the nature of a part of a to-be published corpusedition, and is to function as a semester assignment. It is to comprise of 10 pages of appr. 2300 keystrokes, excluding spaces, per page. Besides, three qualifying-assignments are to be written during the semester, which will be related to the independent detailed study of objects and documents/records.


The three qualifying-assignments have to be approved by the teacher before the student may hand in the semester assignment for evaluation at the end of the semester. The semester assignment will be given an alphabetical mark. In case of illness, documented by a medical certificate, a student may apply for a deferred/ new examination in the following semester.


The course can be incorporated in Archaeology.

The teaching will be provided by teachers from both the Faculty of Arts and the Rune archive at the University Cultural-Historical Museum.

Changes may occur.

If you are handicapped or functionally disabled in a way that is essentially disadvantegous when taking the examination, you can apply for a special arrangement of your examination.

Facts about this course



Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)