HomeIndexthe runesthe runic poemsAbecedarium Nordmannicum


Transcribed in the 9th century, the Abecedarium Nordmannicum is the oldest known catalog of Norse rune names, although it contains no definitions; partly it is in the upper ancient German and also contains a number of typically Anglo-Saxon runes. The text is kept in Codex Sangallensis 878 page 321, in the abbey of St. Gallen (Switzerland), and may be originally from Fulda (Germany).

The Abecedarium Nordmannicum presents the 16 runes of the new Futhark as a poem.
The runic text was unfortunately destroyed in the 19th century by chemical agents in an attempt to preserve the document, however the text survives in an 1828 illustration by Wilhelm Grimm.
Grimm’s illustration, under the name “Abecedarium NORD” features the new Futhark in 3 lines.

Linguistically, the text is a mixture of the ancient Nordic, the ancient Saxon and the old Germanic; probably structured on an original Danish, perhaps imported from Haithabu of lower Germany, and adapted to the idiom of its recipients.

Original Poem

Feu forman/Ur after/Thuris thritten stabu/Os ist (t)hemo oboro/ Rat endos(t) uurita(n)
Cha(on) thanne cliuot /Hagal/Nau(t) habet/Is/Ar/endi Sol
T(ir)/Brica midi/endi Man/Lagu the leohto/Yr al bihab(et)



1) Livestock before/uri after/giant the third letter/like this one who follows/travels like the last carving
2) The torch scinde/ hail/needs to hold/ice/year/ and sun
3)Tyr (the God)/birch with them/and the human/bright lake/rate embraces everyone.


other possible interpretation

“”Feu [writes] before, your after, Thuris the third letter, Os follows them, Rat writes at the end.”
“Chaon then follows (“cleaves” “), Hagal, Naut has Is, Ar, and Sol.
“[Tiu], Brica and Man in the middle, Lake the Bright, Yr contains the whole thing.”

read the other runic poems



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