BabelStone Fonts


BabelStone Anglo-Saxon Runic Fonts

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All BabelStone Runic fonts on this page are licensed under the SIL Open Font License 1.1, which means you are free to use them for personal or commercial purposes, and to redistribute them by themselves or as part of a free or commercial software package, just as long as you do not sell the fonts on their own. The license also allows you to modify the fonts in any way you like, as long as the modified fonts do not use "BabelStone" in their name. Please read the license for details.



Description

These are a set of six Runic fonts that each cover the subset of 34 characters in the Unicode Runic block that are used in Frisian and Anglo-Saxon inscriptions from the 5th to 11th centuries :


Since version 1.06 all fonts also cover three runes devised by J. R. R. Tolkien (U+16F1 ... U+16F3) and five cryptogrammic runes used on the Franks Casket (U+16F4 ... U+16F8), which were added in Unicode 7.0 (June 2014). A transcription of the runic text of the Franks Casket using the Unicode 7.0 characters is available here.

These fonts use OpenType features to implement kerning, ligatures (bind runes and mirror runes), mirrored glyphs for Right-to-Left contexts, and stylistic alternative glyphs, as described below.



Samples

BabelStone Runic Beagnoth (24 points)


BabelStone Runic Beorhtnoth (24 points)


BabelStone Runic Beorhtric (24 points)


BabelStone Runic Beowulf (24 points)


BabelStone Runic Berhtwald (24 points)


BabelStone Runic Byrhtferth (24 points)



Character Repertoire

The tables below render each character in the specified BabelStone Anglo-Saxon Runic font, either using the font installed on your local machine or using WOFF fonts if the font is not installed on your local machine (OpenType features such as ligatures and kerning may not work if your browser is relying on the WOFF fonts; and WOFF fonts won't work in IE8 or earlier).


Runic [16A0..16FF]

Code Point Character Name Rune Name BabelStone Runic
Beagnoth Beorhtnoth Beorhtric Beowulf Berhtwald Byrhtferth
16A0 RUNIC LETTER FEHU FEOH FE F feoh
16A2 RUNIC LETTER URUZ UR U ūr
16A3 RUNIC LETTER YR ȳr
16A6 RUNIC LETTER THURISAZ THURS THORN þorn
16A9 RUNIC LETTER OS O ōs
16AA RUNIC LETTER AC A āc
16AB RUNIC LETTER AESC æsċ
16B1 RUNIC LETTER RAIDO RAD REID R rād
16B3 RUNIC LETTER CEN ċēn
16B7 RUNIC LETTER GEBO GYFU G ġyfu
16B8 RUNIC LETTER GAR gār
16B9 RUNIC LETTER WUNJO WYNN W wyn
16BB RUNIC LETTER HAEGL H hæġl
16BE RUNIC LETTER NAUDIZ NYD NAUD N nȳd
16C1 RUNIC LETTER ISAZ IS ISS I īs
16C4 RUNIC LETTER GER ġēr
16C7 RUNIC LETTER IWAZ EOH ēōh
16C8 RUNIC LETTER PERTHO PEORTH P peorð
16C9 RUNIC LETTER ALGIZ EOLHX eolh, eolhseċġ
16CB RUNIC LETTER SIGEL LONG-BRANCH-SOL S siġel
16CF RUNIC LETTER TIWAZ TIR TYR T tīr
16D2 RUNIC LETTER BERKANAN BEORC BJARKAN B beorc
16D6 RUNIC LETTER EHWAZ EH E eh, eoh
16D7 RUNIC LETTER MANNAZ MAN M man
16DA RUNIC LETTER LAUKAZ LAGU LOGR L lagu
16DD RUNIC LETTER ING ing
16DE RUNIC LETTER DAGAZ DAEG D dæġ
16DF RUNIC LETTER OTHALAN ETHEL O ēþel
16E0 RUNIC LETTER EAR ear
16E1 RUNIC LETTER IOR ior
16E2 RUNIC LETTER CWEORTH cweorð
16E3 RUNIC LETTER CALC calc
16E4 RUNIC LETTER CEALC cealc
16E5 RUNIC LETTER STAN stān
16EB RUNIC SINGLE PUNCTUATION
16EC RUNIC MULTIPLE PUNCTUATION
16ED RUNIC CROSS PUNCTUATION
16F1 RUNIC LETTER K
16F2 RUNIC LETTER SH
16F3 RUNIC LETTER OO
16F4 RUNIC LETTER FRANKS CASKET OS
16F5 RUNIC LETTER FRANKS CASKET IS
16F6 RUNIC LETTER FRANKS CASKET EH
16F7 RUNIC LETTER FRANKS CASKET AC
16F8 RUNIC LETTER FRANKS CASKET AESC


Ligatures (Bind Runes)

All fonts include a number of ligatures (bind runes) that can be activated by inserting a Zero Width Joiner character (U+200D or &zwj; in HTML) between the characters to be ligatured (e.g. <16BB 200D 16D6 200D 16DA> produces the HEL ligature). All attested Anglo-Saxon bind runes that I know of are included, but if there are any of others that you need, please let me know.

Mirror runes (where the glyph is mirrored around the central stem) are implememented as ligatures of the same rune doubled (e.g. <16A2 200D 16A2> produces the mirrored form of the ur rune).

N.B. The ligatures in the "Unicode Runic Text" examples below render correctly with Internet Explorer version 8 and later under Windows 7 and later if the BabelStone fonts are installed (OpenType features may not work if your browser is relying on the WOFF fonts), but may not render as ligatures with other operating system / browser combinations (e.g. ligatures do not work with Chrome version 33 under Windows 7).


Example 1 : Dragon's Head Knife Mount with Cryptic Runic Inscription

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Screenshot of BabelStone Runic Beowulf at 24 points

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Unicode Runic Text

ᛋᛒᛖ‍ᚱᚫᛞᚻᛏᛇᛒᚳᚪᛁ ᛖ‍ᚱᚻ‍ᚪᛞ‍ᚫᛒᛋ

Note ligatured runes E/R, H/A and D/Æ


Example 2 : The Wheatley Hill Ring Inscription

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Screenshot of BabelStone Runic Berhtwald at 24 points

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Unicode Runic Text

[ᚻ]ᚱᛁᚾᚷᛁᚳᚻ‍ᚪᛏᛏ[ᚫ]

Note ligatured runes H/A


Example 3 : The Undley Bracteate Inscription

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Screenshot of BabelStone Runic Beorhtric at 24 points

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Unicode Runic Text

ᚷ‍ᚫᚷ‍ᚩᚷ‍ᚫ ᛗᚫᚷᚫ ᛗᛖᛞᚢ

Note ligatured runes G/Æ and G/O (the text on the bracteate runs right-to-left, but for technical reasons explained later on this page, the Unicode text is rendered left-to-right)


Example 4 : Mirror Rune Stamp on Cremation Urns from the Spong Hill Saxon Cemetery

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Screenshot of BabelStone Runic Beorhtric at 24 points

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Unicode Runic Text

ᚫ‍ᚫᛚ‍ᛚᚢ‍ᚢ

The word ælu "ale" written in mirror runes (implemented by writing each letter twice, with a Zero Width Joiner character [U+200D] in between)


Example 5 : Cover of The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

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Screenshot of BabelStone Runic Beowulf at 24 points

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Unicode Runic Text

ᚦᛖ᛫ᚻᚩᛒᛒᛁᛏ᛬ᚩᚱ᛬ᚦᛖᚱᛖ᛫ᚫᚾᛞ᛫ᛒᚫᚳᛱ᛫ᚫᚷᚫᛁᚾ᛬
ᛒᛖᛁᛝ᛫ᚦᛖ᛫ᚱᛖᚳᚩᚱᛞ᛫ᚩᚠ᛫ᚫ᛫ᚣᛠᚱᛋ᛫ᛁᚩᚢᚱᚾᛖᚣ᛫
ᛗᚫᛞᛖ᛫ᛒᚣ᛫ᛒᛁᛚᛒᚩ᛫ᛒᚫᚷᚷᛁᚾᛋ᛫ᚩᚠ᛫ᚻᚩᛒᛒᛁᛏᚩᚾ᛬
ᚳᚩᛗᛈᛁᛚᛖᛞ᛫ᚠᚱᚩᛗ᛫ᚻᛁᛋ᛫ᛗᛖᛗᚩᛁᚱᛋ᛫ᛒᚣ᛫ᛁ᛫ᚱ᛫ᚱ᛫
ᛏᚩᛚᛱᛁᛖᚾ᛬ᚫᚾᛞ᛫ᛈᚢᛒᛚᛁᛋᚻᛖᛞ᛫ᛒᚣ᛫ᚷᛇᚱᚷᛖ᛫
ᚫᛚᛚᛖᚾ᛫ᚫᚾᛞ᛫ᚢᚾᚹᛁᚾ᛫ᛚᛏᛞ᛬

This text shows the contrastive use of letters 'c' and 'k' (but 'sh' is written as two letters)



Kerning

All fonts except for BabelStone Runic Berhtwald provide kerning between runes where appropriate. N.B. Kerning is not applied in Internet Explorer 11 or Chrome 33 under Windows 7; and kerning for runes added in Unicode 7.0 (U+16F1..U+16F8) does not seem to be applied by any application that I have tested under Windows 7.



Alternate Glyphs

BabelStone Runic Beowulf and BabelStone Runic Beohtric include stylistic alternate glyphs for some characters using the OpenType salt (Stylistic Alternates) feature. Some applications may allow you to select a particular stylistic alternate glyph, but I do not have access to any such application, so I have not been able to test that this feature has been implemented correctly in my fonts.



Mirrored Glyphs for Right-to-Left Text

Runic inscriptions mostly read left-to-right (LTR), but sometimes read right-to-left (RTL) or are sometimes written boustrophedon (left-to-right and right-to-left in alternate lines); when written right-to-left the glyphs are normally mirrored, as for example on the front of the Franks Casket shown below, where the top line is written left-to-right with normal glyphs, and the bottom line is written right-to-left with mirrored glyphs.

You can cause a stretch of Runic text to be displayed in right-to-left order by putting U+202D (LEFT-TO-RIGHT OVERRIDE [RLO]) at the start of the text and putting U+202C (POP DIRECTIONAL FORMATTING [PDF]) at the end of the text (PDF is not required at the end of a line, as the directionality of the text is reset at a new line, but for the same reason RLO is required at the start of each line of RTL text).

The BabelStone Anglo-Saxon Runic fonts all include mirrored glyphs for use in Right-to-Left contexts. The mirrored glyphs should be applied by activating the rtlm (Right-to-left mirrored forms) OpenType feature (see discussion on "Left-to-right and right-to-left text" at Advanced Typographic Extensions - OpenType Layout) when the text is marked as RTL as descibed in the previous paragraph, but this feature appears not to be supported by Windows Vista or Windows 7.


Example of Right-to-Left Runic Text

From the Front of the Franks Casket

image

‮ᚹᚪᚱᚦᚷᚪ᛬ᛋᚱᛁᚳᚷᚱᚩᚱᚾᚦᚫᚱᚻᛖᚩᚾᚷᚱᛖᚢᛏᚷᛁᛋᚹᚩᛗ

<RLO> WARÞ GA:SRIC GRORN ÞÆR HE ON GREUT GISWOM <PDF>

the runes should be laid out right-to-left, but glyph-mirroring will probably not be applied



OpenType Features

[VOLT project files]


Script Language Features Explanation
Runic <runr> Default <dflt> Glyph Composition Decomposition <ccmp> For producing ligatured "bind runes".
Kerning <kern> Kerning of Runic letters.
Right-To-Left Alternates <rtlm> Mirrored glyphs for right-to-left layout.
Stylistic Alternates <salt> Variant glyph forms for some Runic letters.


Version History

Font Version Date Notes
BabelStone Runic Beagnoth 1.00 2010-01-01 Initial release
1.01 2010-01-05
1.02 2010-07-03
1.03 2010-07-04
1.04 2013-11-06 Licensed under SIL Open Font License 1.1
1.06 2014-04-01 Added three runes devised by J. R. R. Tolkien (U+16F1 ... U+16F3) and five cryptogrammic runes used on the Franks Casket (U+16F4 ... U+16F8) which were added in Unicode 7.0
BabelStone Runic Beorhtnoth 1.00 2010-01-01 Initial release
1.01 2010-01-05
1.02 2010-01-30
1.03 2010-07-03
1.04 2010-07-04
1.05 2013-11-06 Licensed under SIL Open Font License 1.1
1.06 2014-04-01 Added three runes devised by J. R. R. Tolkien (U+16F1 ... U+16F3) and five cryptogrammic runes used on the Franks Casket (U+16F4 ... U+16F8) which were added in Unicode 7.0
BabelStone Runic Beorhtric 1.00 2010-01-01 Initial release
1.01 2010-01-05
1.02 2010-01-30
1.03 2010-07-03
1.04 2010-07-04
1.05 2013-11-06 Licensed under SIL Open Font License 1.1
1.06 2014-04-01 Added three runes devised by J. R. R. Tolkien (U+16F1 ... U+16F3) and five cryptogrammic runes used on the Franks Casket (U+16F4 ... U+16F8) which were added in Unicode 7.0
BabelStone Runic Beowulf 1.00 2010-01-01 Initial release
1.01 2010-01-05
1.02 2010-07-03
1.03 2010-07-04
1.04 2013-11-06 Licensed under SIL Open Font License 1.1
1.06 2014-04-01 Added three runes devised by J. R. R. Tolkien (U+16F1 ... U+16F3) and five cryptogrammic runes used on the Franks Casket (U+16F4 ... U+16F8) which were added in Unicode 7.0
BabelStone Runic Berhtwald 1.00 2010-01-01 Initial release
1.01 2010-01-05
1.02 2010-07-03
1.03 2010-07-04
1.04 2013-11-06 Licensed under SIL Open Font License 1.1
1.06 2014-04-01 Added three runes devised by J. R. R. Tolkien (U+16F1 ... U+16F3) and five cryptogrammic runes used on the Franks Casket (U+16F4 ... U+16F8) which were added in Unicode 7.0
BabelStone Runic Byrhtferth 1.00 2010-01-01 Initial release
1.01 2010-01-05
1.02 2010-07-03
1.03 2010-07-04
1.04 2013-11-06 Licensed under SIL Open Font License 1.1
1.06 2014-04-01 Added three runes devised by J. R. R. Tolkien (U+16F1 ... U+16F3) and five cryptogrammic runes used on the Franks Casket (U+16F4 ... U+16F8) which were added in Unicode 7.0


BabelStone Fonts