According to experts, the runes are of North Italian origin. It is known that the runic alphabet was used by the peoples of Northern Europe, starting from the 1st century AD and up to the Middle Ages. But besides this function, runes were also an important tool in magical rituals.
The main difference between the runic alphabet and other European alphabets is that each rune has its own specific meaning. If the name of the letters is just a meaningless set of sounds, then the names for the runes are the words of the Germanic proto-language. For example: the rune "feu" means "cattle", and the runes "uruz" and "turisaz" - respectively, "bison" and "giant". The oldest of the runic alphabets are the 24 runes of the Elder Futhark. Later, the younger Scandinavian runes developed from them, in which there were 16 letters.
In addition, each rune has its own special religious and magical meaning. Which automatically turns the writing process into a magical ritual. Runes have long been used for fortune telling and writing various magic spells.
Runes are linear signs, depicted in such a way that they can be easily carved out of wood. Most of the runes were based on 1 or 2 vertical lines cut perpendicular to the direction of the wood grain. They tried to avoid horizontal lines.
In addition to wood, runes were carved on coins, gold plates, stone slabs and boulders, as well as on clay pots. It was believed that runes applied to gilded tablets bring good luck and happiness. There are known runic inscriptions made in the Cathedral of St. Sophia in Constantinople and on the marble lion in Piraeus.
Runic inscriptions, as a rule, consisted of one word, less often - of several. Multi-word lettering is extremely rare. Runes were depicted on a variety of objects - from coins to coffins.
The magical function of the runes became the reason for their official ban. It happened in 1639, during a church witch hunt. The runic masters had to hide, many of them were destroyed. Knowledge began to be passed from mouth to mouth, so ancient traditions were intertwined with later esoteric knowledge. It is in this form that information about the runes has come down to our days.