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Odds and Ends
Keep your hands to yourself
22 12, 7:43pm
actually the runic inscriptions were not always that brief, some were very long (it's actually how we know the structure of proto-norse and germanic scripts)
true the most common ones (such as those found on weapons) were brief usually just a name, but there are long inscriptions that have been found.
and while yes it is true that the norse used "law speakers" to recite the laws this does not mean that they did not or could not write.
it's also worth mentioning that christianity was in scandinavia as early as the 6th century. they didn't suddenly become christian but it was a gradual process over which time both the norse and christian religions exsisted side by side.
the only diffrence between the latin writing system brought by the christians and the norse writing system is that the christians used expensive parchment while the norse used specially prepared wooden staves on which to write (which was cheeper and more plentyful than the later manuscripts)
for the earliest example of written law dating back to around 900 look at
Inger Larsson, 'The Role of the Swedish Lawman in the Spread of Lay Literacy',
in Along the Oral-Written Continuum: Types of Texts, Relations and the Implications, ed. by Slavica Ranković,
Leidulf Melve, and Else Mundal, Utrecht Studies in Medieval Literacy
there are records of runic inscriptions found on doors dating to the 900s that have been translated as a list of laws and fines