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A Runic Calendar in the Vatican Library
University of Macerata.
2020 (English)In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 2003-296X, Vol. 9-10, p. 261-274Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In 2014, the present author came across a runic calendar — that is a perpetual calendar in which golden numbers and Sunday letters are represented by runes – stored in the repository of the Vatican Latin Collection as item no. 14613. It was known previously to scholars only through a set of photo­graphic repro­ductions dating back to the mid-1800s now in the Royal Library in Stock­holm. This paper is a short and corrected summary of the author’s detailed ac­count of the Vatican runic item, which was published in the Miscellanea Biblio­thecae Vati­canae 22 (2016). This well-preserved artifact, dated 1684 and belonging to the Swedish “rune-book” type, consists of eight small wooden boards carved on both sides, bound together by a cord passing through two holes near one end. Both the contents of the calendar and its structure and over­all style allow an identi­fication of its origin as belonging to the post-medi­eval Swedish pro­duc­tion in the Baltic area, more specifically in the Swedish settle­ments in present-day Estonia. Interesting analytic cues derive from the first account of the calendar as being stored in Bibliotheca Barberina in Rome, while a compar­ative investigation of the few rune-book calendars from Estonia that we know of shows that the Vatican item is original in some formal aspects and very atten­tive in responding to calendar issues and Swedish models. The feasts recorded with symbols in the calendar conform to the Åbo diocese; the holi­­day marks agree with the Swedish popular tradition, but are occasionally re-inter­preted; various onomastic initials, owner’s or identification marks (bo­märke) and the so-called Saint Peter’s game are cut on the cover pages of the rune-book.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. Vol. 9-10, p. 261-274
Keywords [en]
runic calendar, time-reckoning, calendar runes, post-medieval runic inscrip­tions, Estonian Swedes, saint’s days and feast symbols, Barberini’s library, Saint Peter’s game
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-401070DOI: 10.33063/diva-401070OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-401070DiVA, id: diva2:1385973
Note

https://doi.org/10.33063/diva-401070

Available from: 2020-01-16 Created: 2020-01-16 Last updated: 2020-01-20

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