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Only of the text. Many have come to grief through studying an inscription, perhaps in transliterated form, without taking note of what it was inscribed upon, what were the physical constraints upon the carver. On the other hand, archaeologists and art historians are usually ill-trained in linguistic method, and will concentrate their interest on the object inscribed, its design, purpose, materials, and the circumstance of its discovery. ', and it is sometimes impossible to give a succinct answer to that question.
Page 10 misconceptions about the nature of runes which derive from mistaken theories of earlier and speculative runologists. On the positive side, it points to the necessary distinction between script and language, directing the reader's attention to the specifically Anglo-Saxon forms of the runic characters which are the subject of this book; it introduces the beginner to the variety of disciplines the runologist must call upon to help him in his work; and it suggests the uncertainty of much of our interpretation of the texts, and the range of different meanings the student may find given for any one inscription.
We are still in his debt, since for some monuments, like the Anglo-Saxon Runic Poem whose manuscript went up in the Cotton library fire of 1731, the Thesaurus is our only source. 2), and the pseudo-runic Sutton, Isle of Ely, brooch, which disappeared shortly after Hickes produced his engraving of it and did not come to light again until 1951. In the third section of the Thesaurus, called Grammaticæ Islandicæ Rudimenta, he printed a group of runic alphabets in part from Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, and copied the inscriptions of the Bridekirk font and the Ruthwell cross from Archdeacon Nicolson's drawings.