Sunday, November 20, 2011

Guido von List: Part 12

The following quote was taken from the Runic script Wikipedia page:

Historically, the runic alphabet is a derivation of the Old Italic alphabets of antiquity, with the addition of some innovations. Which variant of the Old Italic family in particular gave rise to the runes is uncertain, suggestions including Raetic, Etruscan or Old Latin candidates. All these scripts at the time had the same angular letter shapes suited for epigraphy which would become characteristic of the runes. The process of transmission of the script (the oldest inscriptions being found in Denmark and Northern Germany, not near Italy) is also unknown. A "West Germanic hypothesis" suggests transmission via Elbe Germanic groups, while a "Gothic hypothesis" assumes transmission via East Germanic expansion.

As you can plainly see, there is a definite tie-in with our culture, especially via the old Raetic alphabet. This connection may not have been apparent in Guido von List's day. The perception was that everything south of the Alps was "Roman," without taking into account that the early Roman political strategy was to destroy anything Etruscan, Gaulish, or other local cultural groups in this territory.

The following text was taken from 'The Secret of the Runes', page 68, regarding the original definition, and eventual decline, of the Runes: has been proven that the runes were more than our letters are today, more even than mere syllable- or word-signs, that is, they were "holy signs" or "magical characters." They were , in a certain way of thinking, something similar to the "spirit sigils" (not "spirit seals"!) of later times, which played a conspicuous role in the notoerious "Hellish Conjuration of Dr. Faust." Actually they were nothing less than "collectors" for the purpose of auto-suggestion, "media" for concentrated thought and intensive meditation. The characterization as "holy-signs" is therefore fully justified, as is the other name "runes," that is, the "rowning [whispering], the "slightly speaking ones."

Only after these beginnings did those runes, and a number of others that the "Runatals thattr Odhins" does not name, gradually shrivel up into letters in our sense of the word--that is, into empty, inarticulate phonetic signs. The great still-uncounted mass of the other "holy signs" or "hieroglyphs," which were not simplified into insubstantial phonetic signs, but which were rather--as has already been stated--often developed with ongoing elaboration into the most elegant ornamental motifs with the characteristic preservation of the basic lines of their primary forms, and which also expanded their names and symbolic values, formed the Aryan system of hieroglyphs or pictographs which remained a secret of the skalds. Until now, no one had thought to decipher or read them, because no one recognized these widely disparate signs as hieroglyphs.

First it would also do well to ascertain where those--until now silent or in the best case misinterpreted--"holy signs" or "hieroglyphs" are to be found, this in order to prove the context of the special formations of individual signs (corresponding to the kind of the areas in which they are found), and finally to establish through their names the primal-words and ideas that they represent, and from these to form a basis for their decipherment and reading.

This particular area of text later goes into root words (see earlier runic examples in this series), or what List called "primal words," of which many other words stem from; and as they tie into the ancient runic system. On some level, List was partial to his German roots. However, we must realize that this area of study was new at that time, and it appeared wholley Germanic then. I see certain Listian "primal words" which are very similar to certain words and syllables in the Camunian dialect, like "mon," "bor," and "ur." Some of these may have had a Celto-Alpine origin, or even an origin with the mysterious ancient Alpine peoples who predated them. Of course, some could have a Norse, Slavic, or other origin.

Just to follow up with the previous primal word examples. "Mòn" is the original Camunian name for the village of Monno; which is interesting because variations of this word, in numerous ancient language origins, generally means "Moon." "Mon," usually as a prefix, is common within the Camunian dialect. Even the name for Valle Camonica in the Camunian dialect is "Al Camònega." "Mon" is a primal word associated with the Norse life rune (also with "the Moon" meaning); however, the connection is most likely just linguistic. Although, the Langobards did bring the runes back to the Italian peninsula, so there's a possibility of a greater connection there. "Borha" (bor) means business or exchange in Camunian; with "bor" being an indirect primal word associated with the Gibor rune. Lastly, "Urdèn" (ur) means order in Camunian; and although it would be fun to ponder whether or not this could linguistically tie into the name Odin, it appears not to. "Ur" is an important primal word associated with the Ur rune, which may be the most primal word associated with the runes. It stands for "the primordial," which the ancient pagan Camunni may have associated with "the order of nature." The suffixes "ur" and "ura" are very common in the Camunian dialect.

I just think much of this text from this part of the book would be difficult to deeply understand unless it was all placed here, and it would be easier for someone to just get the book. Also, some of it, again, showed a pro-Germanic partiality that could be misinterpreted due to the wording. After looking at hundreds of Camunian surnames and words, they appear to likely be of Alpine and Gaulish origin, with some Roman (Latin) and German influence. However, the Lombard language can sound French, but that could be due to the similar "Romanized Gaulish" linguistic direction.


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