The Runic script was historically used to write the languages of the early and medieval societies in the German, Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon areas. Use of the Runic script in various forms covers a period from the 1st century to the 19th century. Some 6000 Runic inscriptions are known. They form an indispensable source of information about the development of the Germanic languages. The Runic alphabet is known as the futhark from its first six letters.

Like other early writing systems, runes could be written either left to right, right to left, boustrophedon or following the outlines of an inscribed object. At times, characters appear in mirror image, upside-down, or both. In modern scholarly literature, Runic is written left to right.

Present day knowledge about runes is incomplete. The set of graphemically distinct units shows greater variation in its graphical shapes than most modern scripts. The runic alphabet changed several times during its history, both in the number and shaped of letters it contained. The shape of most runes can be related to some Latin capital letter, but not necessarily with the letter representing the same sound. The most conspicuous difference between the Latin and Runic alphabets is the order of the letters.

Two sharply different graphic forms, the long branch and short twig forms, were used for nine of the sixteen Viking Age Nordic runes. Although only one form is used in a given inscription, there are runologically important exceptions. In some cases, the two forms were used to convey different meanings in later use in the medieval system; thus, the two forms have separate Unicode encodings.

Staveless runes are a third form of the Viking Age Nordic runes, a kind of Runic shorthand. The number of known inscriptions is small, and the graphic forms of many of the runes show great variability. For this reason, staveless runes do not have a separate Unicode encoding, but have been unified with runes of the other forms, usually short twig.

The wide variety of Runic punctuation has been reduced to three distinct characters based on the simple aspects of their graphical form, as very little is known about any difference in meaning between marks that look different. Other punctuation has been unified with shared punctuation elsewhere in the Unicode standard.

Runes were used as symbols for Sunday letters and golden numbers on calendar staves used in Scandinavia during the Middle Ages. To complete the number series 1 to 19, three additional calendar runes were added.

Unicode's Runic code block reserves the 96 code points from U+16A0 to U+16FF, of which 81 are currently assigned.

Ogham <-- Runic --> Tagalog

All the characters in this code block were added in Unicode 3.0

Number of characters in each General Category :

Letter, Other       Lo : 75
Number, Letter      Nl :  3
Punctuation, Other  Po :  3

All the characters in this code block are in bidirectional category Left To Right L

The columns below should be interpreted as :

  1. The Unicode code for the character
  2. The character in question
  3. The Unicode name for the character
  4. The Unicode General Category for the character

If the characters below show up poorly, or not at all, see Unicode Support for possible solutions.




U+16A0   ᚠ   Runic letter fehu feoh fe f Lo
U+16A1   ᚡ   Runic letter V Lo
U+16A2   ᚢ   Runic letter uruz ur u Lo
U+16A3   ᚣ   Runic letter yr Lo
U+16A4   ᚤ   Runic letter Y Lo
U+16A5   ᚥ   Runic letter W Lo
U+16A6   ᚦ   Runic letter thurisaz thurs thorn Lo
ref U+00FE   þ   Latin small letter thorn (Latin-1 Supplement)
U+16A7   ᚧ   Runic letter eth Lo
U+16A8   ᚨ   Runic letter ansuz a Lo
U+16A9   ᚩ   Runic letter os o Lo
U+16AA   ᚪ   Runic letter ac a Lo
U+16AB   ᚫ   Runic letter aesc Lo
U+16AC   ᚬ   Runic letter long branch oss o Lo
U+16AD   ᚭ   Runic letter short twig oss o Lo
U+16AE   ᚮ   Runic letter O Lo
U+16AF   ᚯ   Runic letter oe Lo
U+16B0   ᚰ   Runic letter on Lo
U+16B1   ᚱ   Runic letter raido rad reid r Lo
U+16B2   ᚲ   Runic letter kauna Lo
U+16B3   ᚳ   Runic letter cen Lo
U+16B4   ᚴ   Runic letter kaun k Lo
U+16B5   ᚵ   Runic letter G Lo
U+16B6   ᚶ   Runic letter eng Lo
U+16B7   ᚷ   Runic letter gebo gyfu g Lo
U+16B8   ᚸ   Runic letter gar Lo
U+16B9   ᚹ   Runic letter wunjo wynn w Lo
ref U+01BF   ƿ   Latin letter wynn (Latin Extended B)
U+16BA   ᚺ   Runic letter haglaz h Lo
U+16BB   ᚻ   Runic letter haegl h Lo
U+16BC   ᚼ   Runic letter long branch hagall h Lo
U+16BD   ᚽ   Runic letter short twig hagall h Lo
U+16BE   ᚾ   Runic letter naudiz nyd naud n Lo
U+16BF   ᚿ   Runic letter short twig naud n Lo
U+16C0   ᛀ   Runic letter dotted n Lo
U+16C1   ᛁ   Runic letter isaz is iss i Lo
U+16C2   ᛂ   Runic letter E Lo
U+16C3   ᛃ   Runic letter jeran j Lo
U+16C4   ᛄ   Runic letter ger Lo
U+16C5   ᛅ   Runic letter long branch ar ae Lo
U+16C6   ᛆ   Runic letter short twig ar a Lo
U+16C7   ᛇ   Runic letter iwaz eoh Lo
U+16C8   ᛈ   Runic letter pertho peorth p Lo
U+16C9   ᛉ   Runic letter algiz eolhx Lo
U+16CA   ᛊ   Runic letter sowilo s Lo
U+16CB   ᛋ   Runic letter sigel long branch sol s Lo
U+16CC   ᛌ   Runic letter short twig sol s Lo
U+16CD   ᛍ   Runic letter C Lo
U+16CE   ᛎ   Runic letter Z Lo
U+16CF   ᛏ   Runic letter tiwaz tir tyr t Lo
U+16D0   ᛐ   Runic letter short twig tyr t Lo
U+16D1   ᛑ   Runic letter D Lo
U+16D2   ᛒ   Runic letter berkanan beorc bjarkan b Lo
U+16D3   ᛓ   Runic letter short twig bjarkan b Lo
U+16D4   ᛔ   Runic letter dotted p Lo
U+16D5   ᛕ   Runic letter open p Lo
U+16D6   ᛖ   Runic letter ehwaz eh e Lo
U+16D7   ᛗ   Runic letter mannaz man m Lo
U+16D8   ᛘ   Runic letter long branch madr m Lo
U+16D9   ᛙ   Runic letter short twig madr m Lo
U+16DA   ᛚ   Runic letter laukaz lagu logr l Lo
U+16DB   ᛛ   Runic letter dotted l Lo
U+16DC   ᛜ   Runic letter ingwaz Lo
U+16DD   ᛝ   Runic letter ing Lo
U+16DE   ᛞ   Runic letter dagaz daeg d Lo
U+16DF   ᛟ   Runic letter othalan ethel o Lo
U+16E0   ᛠ   Runic letter ear Lo
U+16E1   ᛡ   Runic letter ior Lo
U+16E2   ᛢ   Runic letter cweorth Lo
U+16E3   ᛣ   Runic letter calc Lo
U+16E4   ᛤ   Runic letter cealc Lo
U+16E5   ᛥ   Runic letter stan Lo
U+16E6   ᛦ   Runic letter long branch yr Lo
U+16E7   ᛧ   Runic letter short twig yr Lo
U+16E8   ᛨ   Runic letter icelandic yr Lo
U+16E9   ᛩ   Runic letter Q Lo
U+16EA   ᛪ   Runic letter X Lo


U+16EB   ᛫   Runic single punctuation Po
U+16EC   ᛬   Runic multiple punctuation Po
U+16ED   ᛭   Runic cross punctuation Po

     Golden number runes

U+16EE   ᛮ   Runic arlaug symbol Nl
* golden number 17
U+16EF   ᛯ   Runic tvimadur symbol Nl
* golden number 18
U+16F0   ᛰ   Runic belgthor symbol Nl
* golden number 19
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