This is a brief overview of a number of volumes dealing with runes, medieval memorial carvings and stone sculpture that have been published over the past months.

Readers’ comments and reviews are welcome, as are announcements about new publications that are of interest to scholars of runes, monuments and memorial carvings.

Situne Dei 2013

Contains a number of contributions about runestones, by Anne-Sofie Gräslund,Magnus Källström, Helmer Gustavson and Roger Wikell.

More information, table of contents and downloads

Raising the Dead: Early Medieval Name Stones in Northumbria

By C. Maddern

This is the first work to explore and explain the form, function and theological meaning of Northumbrian name stones, both in their immediate Insular setting and within a wider European context.

This is the first work to explore and explain the form, function, and theological meaning of Northumbrian name stones, both in their immediate Insular setting and within a wider European context. Earlier studies have concentrated on the archaeological and epigraphic aspects of these monuments, which has resulted in a tentative dating framework but also a blanket designation of ‘gravestones’. This book challenges the assumptions behind this designation and focuses on the iconography of name stones as a reflection of theological ideas of the period, based on a central hypothesis that many emulate the format of manuscript pages.

The author also addresses the contentious question of the placing of name stones, in particular whether some stones were actually placed in the grave. Her analysis presents not only evidence of differential burial practices within the same Northumbrian cemeteries, but offers parallel examples from other monastic sites in both Britain and the Continent — and significantly broadens the field of argument about early medieval burial practices. In this book, the author combines approaches from ecclesiastical history and iconography, theology, and archaeology to draw out the significance of the Northumbrian name stones and to explore the ‘living’ presence of the dead in early medieval religious communities.

More information and table of contents

Sacred Sites and Holy Places: Exploring the Sacralization of Landscape through Time and Space

Edited by S.W. Nordeide and S. Brink

In this volume two important veins of interdisciplinary research into the medieval period in Scandinavia and the Baltic region are merged, namely the Christianization process and landscape studies. The volume authors approach the common theme of sacrality in landscape from such various viewpoints as archaeology, philology, history of religion, theology, history, classical studies, and art history. A common theme in all articles is a theoretical approach, complemented by illustrative case studies from the Scandinavian, Baltic, or Classical worlds. Aspects of pagan religion, as well as Christianity and the establishment of the early Church, are considered within both geographical setting and social landscape, while the study of maps, place names, and settlement patterns introduces new methodologies and perspectives to expose and define the sacral landscape of these regions. The contributions are put into perspective by a comparison with research into the sacral landscapes of Central Europe and the Classical world.

New interdisciplinary research methods and new models have been developed by the contributors to present new vistas of sacrality in the Scandinavian and the Baltic landscape. To open up these case studies, a selection of over sixty images and maps accompanies this cutting-edge research, allowing the reader to explore sacralization and the Christianization process within its medieval setting.

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Schreibpraktiken und Schriftwissen in südgermanischen Runeninschriften: Zur Funktionalität epigraphischer Schriftverwendung

By Michelle Waldispühl

Südgermanische Runeninschriften befinden sich auf mobilen Gegenständen wie Fibeln oder Waffen und datieren vorwiegend aus dem 6. Jahrhundert. Unter den Inschriften gibt es auffällig viele ohne sprachliche Botschaft: die Runenschrift wurde lediglich imitiert. Welche Botschaft sollte mit ihnen vermittelt werden? Wie sind sie im damaligen Schriftverständnis zu verorten?

Die vorliegende Studie beleuchtet die Funktionalität runenepigraphischer Schrift im Kontext sozialen Handelns, insbesondere im Zusammenhang mit den Trägerobjekten, unter Berücksichtigung der Techniken der Schriftanbringung, der visuellen Ausprägung von Schrift und interaktiv-­kommunikativer Bedingungen.

Es zeigt sich, dass das sprachliche wie auch das visuelle Potential von «Schrift» in der südgermanischen Runen­kultur selten isoliert vom Trägerobjekt funktioniert, weshalb Inschriften ohne sprachliche Botschaft in Teilen genauso aussagekräftig sein konnten wie solche mit.

Diese mit umfassendem Bildteil versehene Arbeit bietet zusätzlich eine Systematisierung der runologischen Methodik zur schreibtechnischen, graphematischen und kontex­tuellen Untersuchung der Inschriften.

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Epigraphic Literacy and Christian Identity: Modes of Written Discourse in the Newly Christian European North

Edited by K. Zilmer and J. Jesch

This collection of nine essays deals with the role of epigraphic literacy within the newly introduced Christian culture and the developing tradition of literacy in Northern Europe.

This volume examines the role of epigraphic literacy within the newly introduced Christian culture and the developing tradition of literacy in Northern Europe during the Viking Age and the High Middle Ages. The epigraphic material under scrutiny here originates from Scandinavia and North-West Russia – two regions that were converted to Christianity around the turn of the first millennium. Besides traditional categories of epigraphic sources, such as monumental inscriptions on durable materials, the volume is concerned with more casual inscriptions on less permanent materials. The first part of the book discusses a form of monumental epigraphic literacy manifested on Scandinavian rune stones, with a particular focus on their Christian connections. The second part examines exchanges between Christian culture and ephemeral products of epigraphic literacy, as expressed through Scandinavian rune sticks, East Slavonic birchbark documents and church graffiti. The essays look beyond the traditional sphere of parchment literacy and the Christian discourse of manuscript sources in order to explore the role of epigraphic literacy in the written vernacular cultures of Scandinavia and North-West Russia.

More information and table of contents

Futhark 3

Was already available online, and now also as printed volume.

Order printed copies of Futhark and Scripta Islandica

Dowload Furthark articles as pdf

Memories in the Making

On his blog, Howard Williams offers a sneak preview of a volume about early medieval inscribed and sculpted stone monuments that Meggen Gondek, Joanne Kirton and he are currently preparing.


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There are numerous SD WAN gateways available on the market. Cisco devices, such as the Cisco Meraki network service appliances, can be deployed as SD WAN gateways to deploy FOSS services in multi-host private clouds and data centers. In addition, many existing proprietary and open source network gateways and VPN Gateways from various vendors have also been shown to be able to operate as SD WAN gateways, with a few caveats.

The situation with respect to security is similar with proprietary, closed source, or open source networking hardware and software, which if used as SD WAN gateways is more problematic.

The use of closed source software does not necessarily guarantee security. For example, most Linux distributions for cloud computing, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2, are proprietary, and do not contain security patches or changes. While many vendors offer an upgrade path, a new update can be purchased as soon as a patch becomes available, which greatly increases the risk of the new bug being released by accident and to hurt an organization’s security.

Open source software can help provide security upgrades, while being upgrade-capable, that have been written by experts in secure software development. Similarly, open source cloud software like EC2 is generally provided as software patches, with updates made to the software packages as they are released, which also limits an attacker’s opportunities of compromising a particular system.

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DNS over TCP allows one to do two things. First, when accessing a name through the DNS server, that name may need to be resolved. DNS over TCP does this using an IP address, and IPv6 address discovery, which are a part of an IPv6 address space. IPv6 use of DNS over TCP DNS clients will still often need to specify DNS names in the IPv6 IP address. Second, to implement the routing of names as they are requested via DNS over TCP, an IP address needs to be configured for the DNS server. Experts like Treasure Valley IT can help with migrating your servers. If you’re interested, you can learn more about Treasure Valley IT here.

Pictish Studies at the University of Glasgow in honour of Dr Isabel Henderson

Glasgow University’s Centre for Scottish and Celtic Studies—Ionad Eòlas na h-Alba is na Ceiltis—warmly invites you to attend a day conference celebrating:

Pictish Studies at the University of Glasgow in honour of Dr Isabel Henderson on the occasion of her 80th Birthday

Friday 7 June 2013  10.15am – 5.30pm

Boyd Orr Building (Lecture theatre 222) University Avenue, University of Glasgow, G12 8QQ

Featuring current staff and post-graduate students: Adrian Maldonado, Dauvit Broun, Ewan Campbell, Guto Rhys, Katherine Forsyth, Simon Taylor, Cynthia Thickpenny, Stephen Driscoll, Thomas Clancy

Registration is free but booking is essential for catering arrangements

Register on-line:

Further details from:  Michelle Nicholl, School of Humanities

michelle.nichol(a)   Tel: 0141-330-5690
or from the Centre for Scottish and Celtic Studies web-site

To commemorate the occasion, you are invited to contribution to a fund in Dr Henderson’s name to support students and younger scholars in Pictish Studies and related fields to participate in the XVth International Congress of Celtic Studies, Glasgow 2015.

Donations may be made on the day (cash or cheques to ‘Glasgow University Trust’) or via the Development and Alumni Office (Attn. Bicola Barratt-Crane), University of Glasgow, 3 The Square, Glasgow, G12 8QQ. Please complete a copy of the attached donation form which will enable us to benefit from Gift Aid.


Podcast from Workshop Keynote Lecture

As many of you will already know the keynote lecture from the recent Chester Workshop, delivered by Prof. Howard Williams, was filmed by the University of Chester’s Learning and Information Services who have kindly turned the event into a podcast. In his lecture Prof. Williams discussed the workshop theme ‘audience’ from a number of angles, including his recent fieldwork conducted at the Pillar of Eliseg in north east Wales.

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The keynote lecture was hosted at the historic St John the Baptist Church, which houses a considerable collection of Viking period sculpture.

Below you can view the recorded lecture and accompanying presentation by clicking on ‘Keynote Lecture’.

‘Captivating and Captive Audiences’ by Professor Howard Williams: Keynote Lecture

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Another runic talk on 21 March

Thursday 21 March turns out to be a great day for runic talks!

At 18.00 at the Gamla Uppsala Museum, Magnus Källström (Riksantikvarieämbetet) will talk about runic inscriptions on objects.

Earlier that day, the Runstenarnas Tid seminarium takes place at Stockholms läns museum 12.30-17.00. Registration for this event ends tomorrow.

And over in Denmark, the Minisymposium om runer og runesprog takes place 13.15-17.15 at the Syddansk Universitet in Odense.

31. tværfaglige vikingesymposium: all about Jelling, the stones, and their context

The proceedings of the 31. tværfaglige vikingesymposium are out now. It contains the following contributions:

  • Judith Jesch: ‘Reading the Jelling Inscription’a photo of the cover of the proceedings of the  31. tværfaglige vikingesymposium
  • Jens Peter Schjødt: ‘Kristningen af Norden: en diskussion af religions-typologiske karakteristiska ved henholdsvis hedenskaben og kristendommen’
  • Else Roesdahl: ‘…vandt sig Danmark al … – hvad mente Harald?’
  • Mads Kähler Holst, Mads Dengsø Jessen and Anne Pedersen: ‘Runestenes Jelling’

Buy the publication here, it costs only 50 DKK.