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Picturing a World

Rune staves

In connection with my post on Fanny Brate, I looked up her husband Erik Brate and ran across this 16th image of children being taught to read runes. Look! just as a boy learns from a man on the right, a girl learns from a woman on the left! It makes me want to learn more about literacy in the Nordic world—or maybe write a fantasy story in which the heroine can read rune staves.

For 148 images from Olaus Magnus’s History of the Northern Peoples (Rome, 1555), click here.
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