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Anglo-Saxon (Anglo-Frisian) Alphabet

Anglo-Saxon (Anglo-Frisian) Alphabet

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Anglo-Saxon (Anglo-Frisian) Alphabet

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  1. Anglo-Saxon (Anglo-Frisian) Alphabet By Alex Kriteman March 30, 2011

  2. Origins of the Alphabet – Elder Futhark • Developed from an earlier alphabet, named the Elder Futhark • Derived from an alphabet with 24 runes • Runes- means “secret, something hidden” • Knowledge of runes was originally considered to be restricted to the elite class • Thought to be created for magical signs and charms and not a writing system

  3. Transition to Anglo-Saxon Alphabet • 2 theories • Developed in Frisia (the southeastern corner of the North Sea) and later spread to England • Runes were first introduced to England from Scandinavia where the futhorc was modified and then exported to Frisia

  4. Transition (continued) • In England, the futhorc was further extended to 28 and finally to 33 runes • Anglo-Saxon Futhorc was generally used from 400 A.D. to 1100 A.D. • Runic writing in England became closely associated with Latin scripture and Christian scripture in the 7th century

  5. Features of the Alphabet • Called “Futhorc” after the first 7 letters of the alphabet • Up to 33 characters with no horizontal lines • Expanded due to sound changes in Old English • The direction of writing varied, though later the writing developed from left to right • No spaces between words, but sometimes dots were used

  6. Features (Continued) • Use of runes include being inscribed on stone slabs, stone crosses, bones, rings, brooches, weapons, urns, writing tablets, sun dials, combs, caskets, and dishes • Used for spells, divination, poems, and ornamentation

  7. Actual Anglo-Saxon Alphabet 400 – 1100 A.D.

  8. The Loss of the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc • Started to be replaced by the Latin alphabet in the 9th century • Gradually replaced by the Younger Futhork • The Norman Conquest marks the end of Old English and the beginning of Middle English

  9. Modern References and Uses • Nazis used runes in their party symbols • J.R.R. Tolkien used runes in his book The Hobbit on a map • The character of Hermione studies runes in the Harry Potter series • Modern English derived from Anglo-Frisian dialects

  10. References • http://www.omniglot.com/writing /runic.htm • http://www.uponreflection.co.uk/runes/rune _histroy.htm • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runicalphabet