NFI2102 – Runology - Runic Inscriptions of the Middle Ages

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Runology covers 1300 years of the history of writing. Runes were a distinctive writing system for a number of Germanic peoples from the second century AD until runic writing died out in Norway in the 15th century. This course provides a study in depth of the runic inscriptions from the Middle Ages 1050-1400. In addition to a close study of inscriptions, the inscriptions are also studied in the context of cultural history, in particular with reference to the relationship between the runes and the Latin alphabet. Why did runic writing continue to be in use after the introduction of the latin alphabet.

Learning outcome

The aim is to provide students with specific skills in reading and interpreting runic inscriptions from the Middle Ages and to place these in the context of cultural history. Students will also gain insights into the discussion of orality - literacy as a historical perspective on the Middle Ages in terms of forms of writing.


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Formal prerequisite knowledge

NFI1100 - Runology – a general introduction or equivalent. The course presupposes a good knowledge of Old Norse. One should also be able to read not only runic inscriptions but also Old Norse literary texts in the original.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with NFI4122 – Runology - Runic Inscriptions of the Middle Ages


The teaching is given in 14 double lectures and seminars. Teacing takes place throughout the semester. A qualifying paper has to be approved before the student may take the final exam.

Approved obligatory assignments are valid the next two times the course is given.


The final exam will be an oral examination.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Explanations and appeals

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every other spring starting 2007


Every other spring starting 2007

Teaching language