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Two personal names in recently found Anglo-Saxon runic inscriptions: Sedgeford (Norfolk) and Elsted (West Sussex)

Hines, John ORCID: 2019. Two personal names in recently found Anglo-Saxon runic inscriptions: Sedgeford (Norfolk) and Elsted (West Sussex). Anglia 137 (2) , pp. 278-302. 10.1515/ang-2019-0025

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In 2017 two objects carrying runic inscriptions that are identifiable as personal names were found. Both date to the ninth century; both are dithematic (compound) names. The object, identified as a spoon or fork handle from Sedgeford in Norfolk, bears a familiar male name, Biarnferð. This contains a runic graph hitherto unseen, which may, despite the provenance of the find, be interpreted as a representation of the diphthong ia that developed in the Kentish dialect by the middle of the ninth century. There is in fact a historically known individual of this name who witnessed a series of Canterbury charters in the mid-ninth century. The other object, a strap-end from Elsted in West Sussex, carries what can be identified from its final element, flǣd, as a female name, although the whole name cannot be read. What is legible cannot be identified with any previously recorded personal name. Evaluation of these finds emphasizes how Anglo-Saxon runic writing practice continued to adapt to changes in the language and the regularization of roman-script literacy in the ninth century. Finally, the role of literacy within a nexus of cultural relationship involving individuals and artefacts is also highlighted.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
P Language and Literature > PD Germanic languages
P Language and Literature > PE English
Publisher: De Gruyter
ISSN: 0340-5222
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 April 2019
Date of Acceptance: 1 April 2019
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 00:20

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