Lowenskold Ring (Norvic Press Series a)

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Fig 112 .� With the exception of the ornamental capital TZ� [or TS] that begins the name of the god, all the letters are easily recognizable from the table of Woden-lithi's alphabet.... [ Table 2 ].� Remember that vowels are nearly always omitted in all Bronze Age inscriptions except when they occur at the beginning of a word, or where possible confusion of meaning might result.� The line of text of the dedication reads: The last two letters are written in ogam and form a rebus of a ship, on the right, all the others are in Bronze Age Tifinag.� The meaning of the text is "Image dedicated sacred to Tziw by Woden-lithi."� The individual words are as follows. ������ W-K, matching Old English (Anglo-Saxon) wig, a heathen idol, in this case a bas-relief ground into limestone, depicting the god.� Probably we have to supply the same vowel, i, to make the letters w and k pronounceable, g and k are related consonants, both formed in the throat; the only difference is that g requires the vocal cords to reverberate (as can be felt by placing the fingers on the throat when uttering the sound of g), while in pronouncing k the vocal cords remain inactive, so no vibration is felt on the throat.� Jakob Grimm, the great German philologist, first showed how pairs of consonants, such as g and k d and t, b and p, change (mutate) from voiced to unvoiced if they occur in certain positions in words.� Woden-lithi apparently spoke with an incipient "German" accent, and preferred to use a k at the end of words where we in English are usually content to retain the ancient g sound. ������ The next word, rendered by Woden-lithi's scribe as H-L-GN means hallowed or, as we would prefer to say in Modern English, dedicated.� It is a root that is common to all the Teutonic languages.� Germans, for example, retain it to this very day as heilig, meaning holy, which in turn is another Modern English word derived from H-L-GN.� In the Scandinavian languages the word survives unchanged, as helgen, meaning holy or to make holy, and the Anglo-Saxon form of the word is represented by such old terms as halig (holy), halgan (a saint), halgung (a consecration or dedication), with hallow, hallowing, Halloween (All-Saints' Eve) as surviving English derivatives.� Halloween is the night before the first day of the ancient Norsemen winter (November 1), when ghosts are reputed to roam at large.� These spirits could be bought off, by bribes, from any evil intention during the following year, hence our modern surviving custom of given token gifts to children dressed as demons and ghosts.� The children of Woden-lithi's Ontario settlers no doubt carried on the same custom. ������ The next word is the name of the god himself, here rendered as TZ-W.� This implies a pronunciation similar to the ancient German name of the god of war, Tziwaz.� Our Anglo-Saxon forebears called him Tiw, and in the Middle Ages the surviving form of the name, in the word Tuesday, became what we still say today, for the god of war is still commemorated by having the second day after the sun god's day named for him. ������ The last word is the name of King Woden-lithi himself, and it is written beside a pictograph of a man wearing a robe and crown, to show the reader that the word is the personal name of a king.� Elsewhere in the various texts on the site we find the word king spelled out in Tifinag, and it then has the form konungn, matching Anglo-Saxon cyning, Old Norse konungr and other similar forms in all the Teutonic languages.� Lithi, here rendered as litya, means "servant," thus the king's name is "Servant of Woden."� Woden was the king of the Aesir or sky gods. ������ "The dedication to Tziw illustrates the way in which we can use dictionaries of Anglo-Saxon or Old Norse, as well as modern English dictionaries that give the old roots (such as the OED or the American Heritage), not only as a guide to understanding what Woden-lithi is saying, but also as a means of guessing approximately what his language-- our ancestors' language-- actually must have sounded like. ������ It is not needful here to continue treating in detail the rest of the numerous texts that lie about the site at Peterborough and at other places such as the sites along the Milk River, Alberta, or in Coral Gardens, Wyoming.� Readers can devise their own philological checks, if these interest them, or ignore the subject if they are more interested in other aspects.� ......" [This discussion is merely to show how to approach the ancient inscriptions].� [Please refer now to Figs. 65, 66, 67, 68, 69 & 70 ]. ������ Now that we have seen that the alphabet really does give us the means of reading the various texts that King Woden-lithi had engraved at the Peterborough site, when he selected it for the sacred center of his colony, following are some comments on the origin of this alphabet. ������ It is essentially the same alphabet as that used by the Tuareg Berbers.� A possible reason for this surprising circumstance is suggested [later]."� However, none of the scholars who have worked on Tifinag inscriptions in North Africa could ever understand the relationship between the Tifinag alphabet and the Berber language.� it has now become clear that there is no relationship.� Tifinag is not a Berber invention-- instead it is Norse-- and that changes the whole problem. ������ The decipherment of any ancient and unknown inscription requires first that the alphabet in which it is written must be solved.� Various methods can be used to achieve this first essential.� In the case of Woden-lithi's inscription Fell found the solution relatively easy, for he had previously traveled widely in the Scandinavian countries, where shorter but similar inscriptions occur on Bronze Age monuments, and he had also carried out research on the ancient scripts of North Africa, including the Tifinag of the Tuaregs.� The Tuaregs had preserved their unique system of writing since time immemorial, and its origin was unknown, though all epigraphers, including me, supposed it to have been their own invention. ������ Four thousand years ago the ancestors of the present-day peoples who speak Teutonic languages were all grouped together in Scandinavia, in parts of Germany, and along the Baltic coasts.� They had not yet differentiated into Germans, English or Scandinavian, so we can refer to them collectively as Norsemen.� Their descendants today not only live in northern Europe but also have spread across the world.� Most people in North America now speak a tongue directly descended from the ancient Norsemen of the Bronze Age. ������ Although short inscriptions in the Ancient Norse alphabet have recently been recognized in Scandinavia, that discovery stemmed from the more significant one of Ancient Norse engraved on North American rock.� Thus North America has now become custodian of the oldest and most precious of the ancient records of the Norsemen peoples, and to Canada is assigned the responsibility of preserving them intact, and the thanks of millions of people must go to the geologists, surveyors, and archaeologists who uncovered the main site and placed it under the protection of the local government. ������ Our ancestors of the Bronze Age inherited some of the signs of their alphabet from their Neolithic predecessors, who also spoke a Norse tongue and used a number of signs.� Thus the following signs were already known in northern Europe before the Bronze Age, and we now know that they give us the sounds shown in Table 2. ������ As is quite obvious, these are hieroglyphs in which the signs depict recognizable objects, and the sound they stand for is that of the first letter in the name of the object.� Thus, the crescent that is m is obviously the first letter of m�n, the older form of our modern English moon.� Similarly the circular sign r, or hr, is the first letter of the word hringr, meaning our modern word ring.� So also the circle with a dot in the center, s, is the first letter of sol and of sunu, the two Ancient Norse names of the sun.� The b symbol is clearly the Old Norse buklr, the circular shield with a leather arm-strap, which is still called a buckler in modern English.� These four signs, with the indicated sound values, were needed by the Neolithic wizards to indicate certain words that mean magic (bur- in Proto-Norse), sailing ship (also bur-, though a different root), and the combinations of these two words with signs for the sun and moon, both of which were viewed as celestial gods that sailed their sun ship and moon ship by magic across the heavens.� Simple statements of this kind can now be read, by sound as well as by pictograph, in the Neolithic engravings on rock in Scandinavia and also in North America, as far west as California. ������ The German philologist Jakob Grimm traveled among the village communities of Germany and the Baltic lands 150 years ago, and discovered old words such as those have been mentioned.� He used his findings to develop a forecast of modern theories on how language evolves through time.� He also recorded the old names of the constellations.� This is fortunate for us, for when we look at the deciphered Norse alphabet of the Bronze Age we can now recognize more of the origins of the alphabet.� For just as the letter s and m reflect the form of the sun and the crescent moon, so also we now perceive that the dots that make up other letters, in a kind of Braille system, are really the constellations. ������ Thus, just as the ancient Irish (noted as Celts) gazed at their fingers and invented a writing system called ogam based on the varying combinations of five strokes above, below, and across a central writing axis, so also the ancient Norsemen people gazed instead at the sky and saw their letters writ large upon the face of heaven.� No doubt they said their script was divine, sent from the sky by the sky god Woden (Odin), lord of magic and of runes, the secret writing of the magicians.� As this word runes has already been applied to later types of writing developed by the Norsemen after the Iron Age, we cannot use it without some qualification for our Bronze Age alphabet, to which it undoubtedly was originally applied.� So we have to compromise and call the oldest writing of the Norsemen peoples, Bronze Age Runes. ��� ���There remain a number of other letters that seem to be formed from more commonplace objects of everyday life in ancient times.

Pages: 125

Publisher: Norvik Pr; 1St Edition edition (December 31, 1991)

ISBN: 1870041143

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