Gothic alphabet

The Gothic alphabet is an alphabet for writing the Gothic language, created in the 4th century by Ulfilas (or Wulfila) for the purpose of translating the Bible.[1]

The alphabet is essentially an uncial form of the Greek alphabet, with a few additional letters to account for Gothic phonology: Latin F and G, a questionably Runic letter to distinguish the /w/ glide from vocalic /u/, and the letter ƕair to express the Gothic labiovelar.

Wulfila bibel
Time period
From c. 350, in decline by 600
Parent systems
Mostly Greek, with Latin and Runic influences (questionable)
  • Gothic
ISO 15924Goth, 206
Unicode alias


Ulfilas is thought to have consciously chosen to avoid the use of the older Runic alphabet for this purpose, as it was heavily connected with heathen beliefs and customs.[2] Also, the Greek-based script probably helped to integrate the Gothic nation into the dominant Greco-Roman culture around the Black Sea.[3]


Below is a table of the Gothic alphabet.[4] Two letters used in its transliteration are not used in current English: thorn þ (representing /θ/), and hwair ƕ (representing //).

As with the Greek alphabet, Gothic letters were also assigned numerical values. When used as numerals, letters were written either between two dots (•𐌹𐌱• = 12) or with an overline (𐌹𐌱 = 12). Two letters, 𐍁 (90) and 𐍊 (900), have no phonetic value.

The letter names are recorded in a 9th-century manuscript of Alcuin (Codex Vindobonensis 795). Most of them seem to be Gothic forms of names also appearing in the rune poems. The names are given in their attested forms followed by the reconstructed Gothic forms and their meanings.[5]

Letter Translit. Compare Gothic name PGmc rune name IPA Numeric value XML entity
Gothic letter ahsa.svg 𐌰 a Α aza < ans "god" or asks "ash" *ansuz /a, aː/ 1 &#x10330;
Gothic letter bairkan.svg 𐌱 b Β bercna < *bairka "birch" *berkanan /b/ [b, β] 2 &#x10331;
Gothic letter giba.svg 𐌲 g Γ geuua < giba "gift" *gebō /ɡ/ [ɡ, ɣ, x]; /n/ [ŋ] 3 &#x10332;
Gothic letter dags.svg 𐌳 d Δ daaz < dags "day" *dagaz /d/ [d, ð] 4 &#x10333;
Gothic letter aihvus.svg 𐌴 e Ε eyz < aiƕs "horse" or eiws "yew" *eihwaz, *ehwaz // 5 &#x10334;
Gothic letter qairthra.svg 𐌵 q Greek Digamma cursive 06.svg (Ϛ), ϰ quetra < *qairþra ? or qairna "millstone" (see *perþō) // 6 &#x10335;
Gothic letter iuja.svg 𐌶 z Ζ ezec < (?)[6] *algiz /z/ 7 &#x10336;
Gothic letter hagl.svg 𐌷 h Η haal < *hagal or *hagls "hail" *haglaz /h/, /x/ 8 &#x10337;
Gothic letter thiuth.svg 𐌸 þ (th) Φ, Ψ thyth < þiuþ "good" or þaurnus "thorn" *thurisaz /θ/ 9 &#x10338;
Gothic letter eis.svg 𐌹 i Ι iiz < *eis "ice" *īsaz /i/ 10 &#x10339;
Gothic letter kusma.svg 𐌺 k Κ chozma < *kusma or kōnja "pine sap" *kaunan /k/ 20 &#x1033A;
Gothic letter lagus.svg 𐌻 l Λ laaz < *lagus "sea, lake" *laguz /l/ 30 &#x1033B;
Gothic letter manna.svg 𐌼 m Μ manna < manna "man" *mannaz /m/ 40 &#x1033C;
Gothic letter nauthus.svg 𐌽 n Ν noicz < nauþs "need" *naudiz /n/ 50 &#x1033D;
Gothic letter jer.svg 𐌾 j G, gaar < jēr "year" *jēran /j/ 60 &#x1033E;
Gothic letter urus.svg 𐌿 u uraz < *ūrus "aurochs" *ūruz /ʊ/, // 70 &#x1033F;
Gothic letter pairthra.svg 𐍀 p Π pertra < *pairþa ? *perþō /p/ 80 &#x10340;
Gothic numeral ninety.svg 𐍁 Ϙ 90 &#x10341;
Gothic letter raida.svg 𐍂 r R reda < *raida "wagon" *raidō /r/ 100 &#x10342;
Gothic letter sauil.svg 𐍃 s S, Σ sugil < sauil or sōjil "sun" *sôwilô /s/ 200 &#x10343;
Gothic letter teiws.svg 𐍄 t Τ tyz < *tius "the god Týr" *tīwaz /t/ 300 &#x10344;
Gothic letter winja.svg 𐍅 w Υ uuinne < winja "field, pasture" or winna "pain" *wunjō /w/, /y/ 400 &#x10345;
Gothic letter faihu.svg 𐍆 f Ϝ, F fe < faihu "cattle, wealth" *fehu /ɸ/ 500 &#x10346;
Gothic letter iggws.svg 𐍇 x Χ enguz < *iggus or *iggws "the god Yngvi" *ingwaz /x/? 600 &#x10347;
Gothic letter hwair.svg 𐍈 ƕ (hw) Θ uuaer < *ƕair "kettle" - // 700 &#x10348;
Gothic letter othal.svg 𐍉 o Ω, Ο, utal < *ōþal "ancestral land" *ōþala // 800 &#x10349;
Gothic numeral nine hundred.svg 𐍊 Ͳ (Ϡ) 900 &#x1034a;

Most of the letters have been taken over directly from the Greek alphabet, though a few have been created or modified from Latin and possibly (more controversially[7]) Runic letters to express unique phonological features of Gothic. These are:

  • 𐌵 (q; derived either from a form of Greek stigma/digamma (Greek Digamma cursive 06.svg),[7] or from a cursive variant of kappa (ϰ), which could strongly resemble a u,[7] or by inverting Greek pi (𐍀) /p/, perhaps due to similarity in the Gothic names: pairþa versus qairþa)
  • 𐌸 (þ; derived either from Greek phi (Φ) /f/ or psi (Ψ) /ps/ with phonetic reassignment; possibly the letterform was switched with 𐍈)[7]
  • 𐌾 (j; derived from Latin G /ɡ/[7])
  • 𐌿 (u; possibly an allograph of Greek Ο (cf. the numerical values), or (less plausibly)[7] from Runic /u/)[8]
  • 𐍈 (ƕ; derived from Greek Θ /θ/ with phonetic reassignment; possibly the letterform was switched with 𐌸)[7]
  • 𐍉 (o; derived either from Greek Ω or from Runic ,[9] or from a cursive form of Greek Ο, as such a form was more common for omicron than for omega in this time period, and as the sound values of omicron and omega had already merged by this time[7])

𐍂 (r), 𐍃 (s) and 𐍆 (f) appear to be derived from their Latin equivalents rather than from the Greek, although the equivalent Runic letters (, and ), assumed to have been part of the Gothic futhark, possibly played some role in this choice.[10] However, Snædal notes that “Wulfila’s knowledge of runes was questionable to say the least”, as the extreme paucity of inscriptions attests that knowledge and use of runes was rare among the East Germanic peoples.[7] No indisputably Gothic Runic inscriptions are known to exist.[7] Some variants of 𐍃 (s) are shaped like a sigma and more obviously derive from the Greek Σ.[7]

𐍇 (x) is only used in proper names and loanwords containing Greek Χ (xristus "Christ", galiugaxristus "Pseudo-Christ", zaxarias "Zacharias", aiwxaristia "eucharist").[11]

Regarding the letters' numeric values, most correspond to those of the Greek numerals. Gothic 𐌵 takes the place of Ϝ (6), 𐌾 takes the place of ξ (60), 𐌿 that of Ο (70), and 𐍈 that of ψ (700).

Diacritics and punctuation

Diacritics and punctuation used in the Codex Argenteus include a trema placed on 𐌹 i, transliterated as ï, in general applied to express diaeresis, the interpunct (·) and colon (:) as well as overlines to indicate sigla (such as xaus for xristaus) and numerals.

Codex Argenteus
First page of the Codex Argenteus or "Silver Bible", a 6th-century manuscript containing bishop Ulfilas's 4th century translation of the Christian Bible into the Gothic language.


The Gothic alphabet was added to the Unicode Standard in March, 2001 with the release of version 3.1.

The Unicode block for Gothic is U+10330–U+1034F in the Supplementary Multilingual Plane. As older software that uses UCS-2 (the predecessor of UTF-16) assumes that all Unicode codepoints can be expressed as 16 bit numbers (U+FFFF or lower, the Basic Multilingual Plane), problems may be encountered using the Gothic alphabet Unicode range and others outside of the Basic Multilingual Plane.

Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+1033x 𐌰 𐌱 𐌲 𐌳 𐌴 𐌵 𐌶 𐌷 𐌸 𐌹 𐌺 𐌻 𐌼 𐌽 𐌾 𐌿
U+1034x 𐍀 𐍁 𐍂 𐍃 𐍄 𐍅 𐍆 𐍇 𐍈 𐍉 𐍊
1.^ As of Unicode version 11.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points


  1. ^ According to the testimony of the historians Philostorgius, Socrates of Constantinople and Sozomen. Cf. Streitberg (1910:20).
  2. ^ Cf. Jensen (1969:474).
  3. ^ Cf. Haarmann (1991:434).
  4. ^ For a discussion of the Gothic alphabet see also Fausto Cercignani, The Elaboration of the Gothic Alphabet and Orthography, in “Indogermanische Forschungen”, 93, 1988, pp. 168-185.
  5. ^ The forms which are not attested in the Gothic corpus are marked with an asterisk. For a detailed discussion of the reconstructed forms, cf. Kirchhoff (1854). For a survey of the relevant literature, cf. Zacher (1855).
  6. ^ Zacher arrives at *iuya, *iwja or *ius, cognate to ON ȳr, OE īw, ēow, OHG īwa "yew tree", though he admits having no ready explanation for the form ezec. Cf. Zacher (1855:10-13).
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Magnús Snædal (2015). “Gothic Contact with Latin” in Early Germanic Languages in Contact, Ed. John Ole Askedal and Hans Frede Nielsen.
  8. ^ Cf. Kirchhoff (1854:55).
  9. ^ Haarmann (1991:434).
  10. ^ Cf. Kirchhoff (1854:55-56); Friesen (1915:306-310).
  11. ^ Wright (1910:5).

See also


  • Braune, Wilhelm (1952). Gotische Grammatik. Halle: Max Niemeyer.
  • Cercignani, Fausto, The Elaboration of the Gothic Alphabet and Orthography, in “Indogermanische Forschungen”, 93, 1988, pp. 168–185.
  • Dietrich, Franz (1862). Über die Aussprache des Gotischen Wärend der Zeit seines Bestehens. Marburg: N. G. Elwert'sche Universitätsbuchhandlung.
  • Friesen, Otto von (1915). "Gotische Schrift" in Hoops, J. Reallexikon der germanischen Altertumskunde, Bd. II. pp. 306–310. Strassburg: Karl J. Trübner.
  • Haarmann, Harald (1991). Universalgeschichte der Schrift. Frankfurt: Campus.
  • Jensen, Hans (1969). Die Schrift in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart. Berlin: Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften.
  • Kirchhoff, Adolf (1854). Das gothische Runenalphabet. Berlin: Wilhelm Hertz.
  • Streitberg, Wilhelm (1910). Gotisches Elementarbuch. Heidelberg: Carl Winter.
  • Weingärtner, Wilhelm (1858). Die Aussprache des Gotischen zur Zeit Ulfilas. Leipzig: T. O. Weigel.
  • Wright, Joseph (1910). Grammar of the Gothic Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Zacher, Julius (1855). Das gothische Alphabet Vulvilas und das Runenalphabet. Leipzig: F. A. Brockhaus.

External links


Ahsa may refer to:

Al-Ahsa (disambiguation), the Saudi Arabian oasis region (also spelled al-Hasa and Hassa)

American Horror Story: Asylum, an American television miniseries

The American Horse Shows Association

The American Hunters and Shooters Association

, the Gothic letter a; see Gothic alphabet, Ansuz rune


Ceirt (queirt) ᚊ is a letter of the Ogham alphabet, transcribed as Q. It expresses the Primitive Irish labiovelar phoneme. The 14th century Auraicept na n-Éces glosses the name as aball, meaning "apple tree". Its phonetic value is [kʷ].

The Bríatharogam (kennings) for the letter are:

Morainn mac Moín: Clithar baiscill ‘the shelter of a lunatic’

Maic ind Óc: Bríg anduini ‘substance of an insignificant person’

Con Culainn: Dígu fethail ‘dregs of clothing’McManus (1991:37) compares it to Welsh perth ‘thorn bush’, Latin quercus ‘oak’ (PIE *perkwos). The name was confused with Old Irish ceirt ‘rag’, reflected in the kennings.

In the framework of a runic origin of the Ogham, the name has also been compared to the name of the Anglo Saxon Futhorc p-rune, Peorð: This name is itself unclear, but most often identified as ‘pear’, a meaning not unrelated to ‘apple’. The p letter of the Gothic alphabet has a cognate name, pairþra, alongside the clearly related qairþra, the name for the Gothic labiovelar. Since an influence of Ogham letter names on Gothic letter names is eminently unlikely, it seems most probable that the Proto-Germanic p rune had a meaning of ‘pear tree’ (*pera-trewô?), continued in the Anglo-Saxon peorð rune (with the meaning of the name forgotten), and was introduced into 4th century Ireland as the name of a rune named after a pear or apple tree. As p was nonexistent as a phoneme in Primitive Irish, the p and q runes would have been considered equivalent.

Circled dot

The circled dot, circumpunct, or circle with a point at its centre is an ancient symbol. It can represent:

Solar systemSolar symbol used to represent the Sun

The sun / Gold (Alchemical symbols)

The sun / Ra (Egyptian hieroglyphs)

The sun / a day (Chinese oracle script, the modern character being 日)Religion and philosophyKeter (Kabbalah)

Spirit (Ojibwa)

MonismLanguage and linguistics

Bilabial clicks ʘ (International Phonetic Alphabet) (Unicode IPA Extensions)

Hwair 𐍈 (Gothic alphabet) (Unicode Gothic)

Berber languages ⵙ ( Tifinagh Alphabet ) (Unicode Tifinagh)

Tha 𑀣 (Brāhmī script) (Unicode Brahmi)

Eye (Blissymbols)

Fisheye ◉ (Unicode Geometric Shapes)

Circled dot operator ⊙ (which represents the XNOR gate; Unicode Mathematical Operators), and n-ary circled dot operator ⨀ (Unicode Supplemental Mathematical Operators)

A brief contact (brush) of the signing hand in SignWriting

An indication of selected choice of radio buttonsOther usesA nazar is a circled-dot-shaped amulet believed to protect against the evil eye

Center of pressure

Mensuration sign for 9/8 meter 𝇇 (Unicode Musical Symbols)

Used, or cancelled, stamp (philately)

The trademark of the Target Corporation

As a symbol of the phallus or nature's generative principle and of an Entered Apprentice Freemason

City centre (European road-signs)

End of trail. Gone home. (scouting)

The Symbol of "Waterhole" in the Australian Aboroginies Symbol resembles the Circumpunct

In Germany it is symbol for a "Gestempelte Briefmarke" (canceled stamp), while a star means "postfrisch" (mint Stamp)

In geometry, it is often the symbol for a circle

In physics, it can be used to denote a vector facing out of the page

Codex Vindobonensis 795

The Codex Vindobonensis 795 (Vienna Austrian National Library Codex) is a 9th-century manuscript. It contains letters and treatises by Alcuin, including a discussion of the Gothic alphabet. It also contains a description of the Anglo-Saxon futhorc.


The d rune (ᛞ) is called dæg "day" in the Anglo-Saxon rune poem. The corresponding letter of the Gothic alphabet 𐌳 d is called dags. This rune is also part of the Elder Futhark, with a reconstructed Proto-Germanic name *dagaz.

Its "butterfly" shape is possibly derived from Lepontic san.


*Ehwaz is the reconstructed Proto-Germanic name of the Elder Futhark e rune ᛖ, meaning "horse" (cognate to Latin equus, Gaulish epos, Tocharian B yakwe, Sanskrit aśva, Avestan aspa and Old Irish ech). In the Anglo-Saxon futhorc, it is continued as ᛖ eh (properly eoh, but spelled without the diphthong to avoid confusion with ᛇ ēoh "yew").

The Proto-Germanic vowel system was asymmetric and unstable. The difference between the long vowels expressed by ᛖ e and ᛇ ï (sometimes transcribed as *ē1 and *ē2) were lost. The Younger Futhark continues neither, lacking a letter expressing e altogether. The Anglo-Saxon futhorc faithfully preserved all Elder futhorc staves, but assigned new sound values to the redundant ones, futhorc ēoh expressing a diphthong.

In the case of the Gothic alphabet, where the names of the runes were re-applied to letters derived from the Greek alphabet, the letter 𐌴 e was named aíƕus "horse" as well (note that in Gothic orthography, represents monophthongic /e/).


The Fe rune ᚠ (Old Norse fé; Old English feoh) represents the f-sound in the Younger Futhark and Futhorc alphabets. Its name means "(mobile) wealth", cognate to English fee with the original meaning of "sheep" or "cattle" (Dutch Vee, German Vieh, Latin pecū, Sanskrit pashu).

The rune derives from the unattested but reconstructed Proto-Germanic *fehu in the Elder Futhark alphabet, with the original meaning of "money, cattle, wealth".The corresponding letter of the Gothic alphabet is 𐍆 f, called faihu. Such correspondence between all rune poems and the Gothic letter name, as well, is uncommon, and gives the reconstructed name of the Old Futhark a high degree of certainty.

The shape of the rune is likely based on Etruscan v 𐌅 , like Greek Digamma Ϝ and Latin F ultimately from Phoenician waw .

Fixedsys Excelsior

Fixedsys Excelsior is an unofficial pan-Unicode extension of the popular Microsoft font Fixedsys. The most recent version, last updated in 2007, is 3.01; the official site remains available but has not been updated in over a decade.

In addition to the basic Latin alphabet supported by the original Fixedsys, this font supports Arabic alphabet, Cyrillic script, Runic alphabet, IPA, etc., but not CJK (a complete listing of coverage can be seen below). It also contains narrow, serif, reverse, italic, cursive, and reversed (mirror image) forms of Fixedsys stored in its Private Use Area. The font is fitted entirely into the Basic Multilingual Plane, and as such, some characters with Unicode support in other planes (such as the Gothic alphabet and Mathematical Alphanumeric Symbols) are instead mapped into the PUA for greater accessibility. The fullwidth character section is instead filled by small capitals and text figure forms of Fixedsys. Overall, 5,993 glyphs are covered in the typeface.

Fixedsys Excelsior is free software and appears to have been released by its author into the public domain; he declared the font to be free for any use and encouraged its distribution. The font has no hinting.

Gothic runic inscriptions

Very few Elder Futhark inscriptions in the Gothic language have been found in the territory historically settled by the Goths (Wielbark culture, Chernyakhov culture). This is due to the early Christianization of the Goths, with the Gothic alphabet replacing runes by the mid 4th century.

There are about a dozen candidate inscriptions, and only three of them are widely accepted to be of Gothic origin: the gold ring of Pietroassa, bearing a votive inscription, part of a larger treasure found in the Romanian Carpathians, and two spearheads inscribed with what is probably the weapon's name, one found in the Ukrainian Carpathians, and the other in eastern Germany, near the Oder.


Gyfu is the name for the g-rune ᚷ in the Anglo-Saxon rune poem, meaning ‘gift’ or ‘generosity’:

The corresponding letter of the Gothic alphabet is 𐌲 g, called giba. The same rune also appears in the Elder Futhark, with a suggested Proto-Germanic name *gebô ‘gift’. J. H. Looijenga speculates that the rune is directly derived from Latin Χ, the pronunciation of which may have been similar to Germanic g in the 1st century, e.g., Gothic *reihs compared to Latin rex (as opposed to the Etruscan alphabet, where /𐌗 had a value of [s]).

The gyfu rune is sometimes used as a symbol within modern mysticism, particularly amongst those interested in Celtic mythology. It’s described, for example, in the book The Runic Tarot as a representation of the giving-receiving balance in friendships.


Jera (also Jeran, Jeraz) is the conventional name of the j-rune ᛃ of the Elder Futhark, from a reconstructed Common Germanic stem *jēra- meaning "harvest, (good) year".

The corresponding letter of the Gothic alphabet is Gothic 𐌾, named jēr, also expressing /j/.

The Elder Futhark rune gives rise to the Anglo-Frisian runes ᛄ /j/, named gēr /jeːr/, and ᛡ /io/, named ior, and to the Younger Futhark ár rune ᛅ, which stood for /a/ as the /j/ phoneme had disappeared in Old Norse.

Note that ᛆ also can be a variation of dotted Isaz used for /e/; e.g. in Dalecarlian runes.

List of languages by writing system

Below is a list of languages sorted by writing system (by alphabetical order).


ᛈ is the rune denoting the sound p (voiceless bilabial stop) in the Elder Futhark runic alphabet. It does not appear in the Younger Futhark. It is named peorð in the Anglo-Saxon rune-poem and glossed enigmatically as follows:

ᛈ peorð byþ symble plega and hlehter / ƿlancum [on middum], ðar ƿigan sittaþ / on beorsele bliþe ætsomne

"Peorð is a source of recreation and amusement to the great, where warriors sit blithely together in the beerhall."The name is not comprehensible from Old English, i.e. no word similar to peorð is known in this language.

According to a 9th-century manuscript of Alcuin (Codex Vindobonensis 795), written using the Gothic alphabet in Britain, the letters p (based on a Greek Π) and q (an inverted Π) are called "pairþra" and "qairþra", respectively. One of these names clearly is derived from the other. However, the names are not comprehensible in Gothic either, and it is not clear which is derived from which, although it is known that the Elder Futhark had a p, but no q rune.

In any case, it seems evident that peorð is related to pairþra.

The Anglo-Saxon futhorc adopted exactly the same approach for the addition of a labiovelar rune, ᛢ cƿeorð, in both shape and name based on peorð, but it is not known if the Gothic runes already had a similar variant rune of p, or if the labiovelar letter was a 4th-century creation of Ulfilas.

The Common Germanic name could be referring to a pear-tree (or perhaps generally a fruit-tree).

Based on the context of "recreation and amusement" given in the rune poem, a common speculative interpretation is that the intended meaning is "pear-wood" as the material of either a woodwind instrument, or a "game box" or game pieces made from wood.

From peorð, Proto-Germanic form *perðu, *perþō or *perþaz may be reconstructed on purely phonological grounds. The expected Proto-Germanic term for "pear tree" would be *pera-trewô (*pera being, however, a post-Proto-Germanic loan, either West Germanic, or Common Germanic, if Gothic pairþra meant "pear tree", from Vulgar Latin pirum (plural pira), itself of unknown origin).

The Ogham letter name Ceirt, glossed as "apple tree", may in turn be a loan from Germanic into Primitive Irish.

The earliest attestation of the rune is in the Kylver Stone futhark row (ca. AD 400). The earliest example in a linguistic context (as opposed to an abecedarium) is already in futhorc, in the Kent II, III and IV coin inscriptions (the personal names pada and æpa/epa), dated to ca. AD 700. On St. Cuthbert's coffin (AD 698), a p rune takes the place of Greek Ρ. The Westeremden yew-stick (ca. AD 750) has op hæmu "at home" and up duna "on the hill".

Looijenga (1997) speculates that the p rune arose as a variant of the b rune, parallel to the secondary nature of Ogham peith. The uncertainty surrounding the rune is a consequence of the rarity of the *p phoneme in Proto-Germanic, itself due to the rarity of its parent-phoneme *b in Proto-Indo-European.

The rune is discontinued in Younger Futhark, which expresses /p/ with the b rune, for example on the Viking Age Skarpåker Stone,

iarþ sal rifna uk ubhiminfor Old Norse

Jörð skal rifna ok upphiminn.

"Earth shall be rent, and the heavens above."


*Raidō "ride, journey" is the reconstructed Proto-Germanic name of the r- rune of the Elder Futhark ᚱ. The name is attested for the same rune in all three rune poems, Old Norwegian Ræið Icelandic Reið, Anglo-Saxon Rad, as well as for the corresponding letter of the Gothic alphabet 𐍂 r, called raida. The shape of the rune may be directly derived from Latin R.


Ulfilas (c. 311–383), also known as Ulphilas and Orphila, all Latinized forms of the Gothic Wulfila, literally "Little Wolf", was a Goth of Cappadocian Greek descent who served as a bishop and missionary, is credited with the translation of the Bible into the Gothic Bible, and participated in the Arian controversy. He developed the Gothic alphabet in order for the Bible to be translated, sans Kings due to the war narratives he feared would entice the Goths, into the Gothic language. Although traditionally the translation of the Bible into the Gothic language has been ascribed to Ulfilas, analysis of the Gothic text indicates the involvement of a team of translators, possibly under the supervision of Ulfilas.

Ur (rune)

The reconstructed Proto-Germanic name of the Elder Futhark u rune ᚢ is *Ūruz meaning "wild ox" or *Ūrą "water". It may have been derived from the Raetic alphabet character u as it is similar in both shape and sound value. The name of the corresponding letter in the Gothic alphabet is urus.

Wulfila Glacier

Wulfila Glacier (Lednik Wulfila \'led-nik vul-'fi-la\) is located on the southern slopes of Breznik Heights, Greenwich Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica, south-southwest of Solis Glacier and west of Zheravna Glacier. It is bounded by Oborishte Ridge to the northwest, Nevlya Peak to the north, Terter Peak and Razgrad Peak to the northeast, and Ephraim Bluff to the southeast. The glacier extends 3 km in northwest-southeast direction and 2 km in northeast-southwest direction, draining southwestwards into McFarlane Strait between Ephraim Bluff and the base of Provadiya Hook.

The feature is named after Bishop Wulfila (311-383 AD) of Nicopolis ad Istrum (the present Bulgarian settlement of Nikyup near Veliko Tarnovo) who created the Gothic alphabet, and laid the foundations of the Germanic literature.


Wynn (Ƿ ƿ) (also spelled wen, ƿynn, or ƿen) is a letter of the Old English alphabet, where it is used to represent the sound /w/.

While the earliest Old English texts represent this phoneme with the digraph ⟨uu⟩, scribes soon borrowed the rune wynn ᚹ for this purpose. It remained a standard letter throughout the Anglo-Saxon era, eventually falling out of use (perhaps under the influence of French orthography) during the Middle English period, circa 1300. It was replaced with ⟨uu⟩ once again, from which the modern developed.

The denotation of the rune is "joy, bliss" known from the Anglo-Saxon Rune Poems:

ᚹ Ƿenne bruceþ, þe can ƿeana lytsares and sorge and him sylfa hæfblæd and blysse and eac byrga geniht. [Lines 22-24 in The Anglo-Saxon Runic Poem]Who uses it knows no pain,

sorrow nor anxiety, and he himself has

prosperity and bliss, and also enough shelter. [Translation slightly modified from Dickins (1915)]It is not continued in the Younger Futhark, but in the Gothic alphabet, the letter 𐍅 w is called winja, allowing a Proto-Germanic reconstruction of the rune's name as *wunjô "joy".

It is one of the two runes (along with þ) to have been borrowed into the English alphabet (or any extension of the Latin alphabet). A modified version of the letter ƿynn called Vend was used briefly in Old Norse for the sounds /u/, /v/, and /w/.

As with þ, ƿynn was revived in modern times for the printing of Old English texts, but since the early 20th century the usual practice has been to substitute the modern ⟨w⟩ instead due to ƿynn's visual resemblance to P.

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