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Norse Names

The old language of maurading Vikings, Norse is a common form of the Norwegian and Icelandic languages. Technically, it is part of the ancient Scandinavian branch of the Germanic language group, which, in turn, is a member of the Indo-European language family.

Norse is the language in which the Sagas and Eddas were written in the 12th to 14th centuries. Sagas are prose epics narrating the history of the early heroes or families of Iceland or Norway; Eddas are collections of Old Norse mythological and heroic poems.

The early Norse developed an advanced alphabet, or Runes (Futharki), of 24 characters. The earliest alphabet of the Germanic peoples, it was derived from the Greek or Latin, but smartly the characters were modified for easy cutting on wood or stone. The later Norse alphabet used 16 characters.

The Norse language, particularly its alphabet and mythology, had a great deal of influence of Modern English and German.

This page was last modified on 16 May 2003.

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