Hungarian Runic Writing


Early forms of writing began with numerical and seasonal notations; pictographs followed. In Mesopotamia, these symbols evolved into cuneiform writing. In Egypt they developed into the high art of hieroglyphics. Afterward, the runic writing which was taught was believed to be the descendant of these two ancient forms of writing. A Hungarian researcher, Csaba Varga believes that the runic writing actually goes back some 30,000 years and developed on its own. After all, it is highly improbable that simpler forms of writing such as this would evolve into the more intricate cuneiforms or hieroglyphics. So, a reexamination or perhaps the revision of present day knowledge, especially regarding the origin of said writing, should be in order.


                                                                           Hieroglyphics      Hung. rune


                                                       A:  s-A-s                   =     


                                                       F:   FE-száll            =    


                                                       H:   -ló                   =  


                                                       L:    -p                 =  



                                                           M:                                            =   



                                                       T:   TE-nyér        =    



Many people used runes, among them Hungarians. Some historians believe that the Hungarian runes are of Khazar-Turkish origin. Comparative studies, however, suggest otherwise. The Hungarian runic characters show a 28.6% resemblance to the Turkish, while showing a 43.4% resemblance to the Etruscan and 50.0% to the Phoenician. Many Hungarian runic letters show close resemblance to some of the Egyptian hieroglyphics also.


Exhibit 19: Hungarian runic alphabet


There are 34 letters in the Hungarian runes, one for each basic sound in the Hungarian language. In order to shorten the writing, these letters have been used in the manner of ligature (combining of multiple letters). Some two hundred years ago the runes were still in use in Transylvania.

            In 1999 a piece of a clay blowpipe (Exhibit 20) used for pumping air into an iron smelting foundry was found in Bodrog (Western Hungary) with runic inscriptions on it. The characters are typically Hungarian, and only the first letter has two possible interpretations. Everyone agrees that it is written in Hungarian, and it is about eleven hundred years old.


Exhibit 20: Blowpipe from Bodrog


The numbers of runic writings that remain from the early Christian era are few and far between. The reason for this is twofold. For one, they used wood to (write) on, and as we know wood is highly perishable. The second is that in the year 999 or 1000 Pope Sylvester II ordered the "pagan" writing of the Hungarians to be destroyed. (The Viking runic writing suffered the same fate.) This has provoked a revolt against the Roman Catholic Church, which is characterized as anti Christian "pagan" uprising. It would be far more accurate to say that the two cultures - the Christian and the Hungarian - collided head-on. The nobility at this time was Christian; presumably they would not lead a revolt against the Church for religious reason.