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211

(1927) [MARC] Author: Sigurd Agrell - Tema: Runic inscriptions
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victory of the contemporary Germans. Rune ᛏ, no. 17 in the fuþark — that is, no. 16 according to the author’s theory — is called in ON Týr, and is mentioned in the Edda as the »victory rune». The one preceding — no. 15 according to the explanation given — is the sun rune (ON sól), and the fifteenth mystical chant of Óðinn rang fyr Dellings durom, i. e. »before sunrise». The names of the runes following can also be explained more or less obviously by reference to the Avestan-Persian calendar. For the last, no. 24, ᚠ (ON ), we find a corresponding symbol in the Avestan-Persian month for the meaning, and as nearly as possible for the number too. The 25th day in the Avestan-Persian month is dedicated to the goddess of riches, Ashi Vañuhi, Mithra’s sister. Because it was desired to have an alphabet of not more than 24 letters, like that of the Greeks, the riches rune was assigned the twenty-fourth place and was thus characterised by the highest number in the series.

Chapter III is devoted to a discussion of the numerical magic in some of the Edda poems (Lióðatal and Grógaldr) and in OHG, AS and ON incantations (galdrar). In these poems, as in a number of Scandinavian mystical formulas, some of later date, a mathematical principle seems to have been applied, involving the counting of words.

In Chapter IV is shown how, by means of the author’s reconstruction of the uþark series, the mystical old runic inscriptions can be calculated according to the principles of gematria. For instance, ᚫᛚᚢ is 3 + 20 + 1 = 24. The numerous talismans on which this inscription — or ᛚᚢᚫ (also = 24) — is found were supposed to bring the wearer happiness or riches (ON ). Many old inscriptions — those on the Bracteate of Vadstena, the Lindholm Charm, and the Golden Horn of Gallehus, for instance — are real feats of gematria. Each group of runes contains a mystical
combination of numbers, and the numerical value of the whole inscription contains one also. On the Golden Horn there was a triple mystic use of the number 13: ek hlewagastiʀ has the
numerical value 143 = 11 × 13, holtijaʀ the numerical value 104 = 8 × 13, and the whole inscription the numerical value 390 = 30 × 13. The decoration of the horn corresponded; in the space beneath the inscription there were 39 = 3 × 13 figures, and the

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