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Bier, Runen und Macht: Ein Formelwort im Kontext
Kiel University.
2015 (German)In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, Vol. 5, 45-64 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The runic formulaic word alu, mainly found on Migration Period gold bracteates, has been interpreted, amongst other things, as ‘protection’, ‘magic’ or ‘beer’. While the last interpretation is preferable on phonological grounds — Ancient Norse alu could have developed regularly into Old Norse ǫl ‘beer’ — it has often been rejected for semantic reasons, because the meaning ‘beer’ does not seem to fit with the assumed function of the bracteates as amulets. This article argues that there might well be a context in which a meaning ‘beer’ would make sense. If the bracteates had the function of representing and authorising power and if they were distributed by the Scandinavian rulers among their allies and followers, perhaps in connection with a ceremony in the ruler’s hall in which the ritualised drinking of beer played a central role, it seems quite possible that bracteate inscriptions could contain a reference to alu ‘beer’.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 5, 45-64 p.
Keyword [en]
Older futhark, bracteates, formulaic word, drinking ceremony, ruler, retinue
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-248490OAI: diva2:799777
The Seventh International Symposium on Runes and Runic Inscriptions, Oslo, 9–14 August 2010
Available from: 2015-03-31 Created: 2015-03-30 Last updated: 2015-03-31Bibliographically approved

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