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The Runes In Bonaventura Vulcanius De Literis & Lingua Getarum Sive Gothorum (1597): Provenance And Origins

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Chapter Summary

Most scholars, agree that the seventeenth-century Danish antiquarian and physician Ole Worm deserves the laurel for being the real pioneer of runic studies. In his Runer seu Danica literatura antiquissima, published in Amsterdam, in 1636, Worm discussed runes, the ancient writing system, in the context of Old Norse- Icelandic poetry, literature and language. Vulcanius published his treatise De literis in 1597 as a companion piece to his annotated edition of historical accounts of the Goths, also printend at the Plantin press, in Leiden,the same year. The unfolding history behind the accumulation of the runes in Vulcanius De literis reveals a network of scholars from the second half of the sixteenth century who were interested in runic alphabets and, to a lesser extent, in runic inscriptions. The interest in the Gothic past connects Bonaventura Vulcanius with his Scandinavian colleagues, and formed an important reason for the publication of De literis.

Keywords: Bonaventura Vulcanius; Danish antiquarian; runes; seventeenth-century



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