Meaning of the runes
The word “rune” means “wisdom” or “secret”. They were believed to be a gift from the norse god Odin. The word “rune” means “wisdom” or “secret”. They were believed to be a gift from the norse god Odin. Runic inscriptions are the oldest original documents in Swedish and were created sometime around 100 A.D., probably with the Latin alphabet as a model. Even though runes from the begin- ning were found throughout the whole Germanic language area, it was in Scandinavia that they developed the most, were most widespread and used from the earliest time.
The runic alphabet is called Futhark, after the first six letters F, U, T, H, A, R, and K. There have been two runic alphabets used i Scandinavia, the elder Futhark containing 24 runes, which was used up til around 800 B.C. Around the same time as the Viking era started, a 16 character version of the alphabet stated being used, called Young Futhark.