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Wednesday, April 17, 2019
 

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Sun, Jul 21, 2019


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4:00pm
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5:00pm
  Scripts, Ornamentation & Jokes: Runes and Ogam in Medieval Britain  
(Seminar/Conference)

Dr. Paul Russell, Professor of Celtic, Univ of Cambridge. In the early ninth-century a learned Briton called Nemnivuus was berated by some Anglo-Saxon colleagues that the Britons had no alphabet (rudimenta), and so he made one up on the spot. What he produced (which has been preserved in a manuscript in Oxford) is a curious mixture of runic forms (futhorc) but with hints of influence from Irish Ogam script in the names of some of the letters. This paper explores the context of this brief exchange: What would an audience have need to know to understand what was going on, and would they have got the joke? The discussion draws on a number of medieval collections of scripts to suggest that there was a very sophisticated and interesting cross-fertilisation of ideas about scripts circulating in early medieval Britain. This will be of interest to all those interested in the history and the transmittion of ideas from the late antique world into (and beyond) the medieval world and how they then circulated and were then passed on to us.


Location: 370/380 Shanks Hall
Price: Free
Sponsor: Dept. of English, CLAHS International Initiatives Committee and the Dept. of Religion and Culture
Contact: Patty Morse
E-Mail: pattym1@vt.edu
5402318466
   
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