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Ansuz rune

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Title: Ansuz rune  
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Subject: Æsir, Æ, Anglo-Saxon runes, List of names of Odin, History of the alphabet, Ahsa, Runic magic, Undley bracteate
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Ansuz rune

"god" "god"; "oak"; "ash" "god"
Shape Elder Futhark Futhorc Younger Futhark
ᚩ ᚪ ᚫ
Transliteration a o; a; æ o
Transcription a o; a; æ ą, o
IPA [a(ː)] [o(ː)]; [ɑ(ː)]; [æ(ː)] [ɑ̃], [o(ː)]
Position in rune-row 4 4; 25; 26 4

Ansuz is the conventional name given to the a-rune of the Elder Futhark, . The name is based on Common Germanic *ansuz "a god, one of the main deities in Germanic paganism".

The Younger Futhark corresponding to the Elder Futhark Ansuz rune is , called óss. It is transliterated as ą. The Anglo-Saxon futhorc split the Elder Futhark a rune into three independent runes due to the development of the vowel system in Anglo-Frisian. These three runes are ōs (transliterated o), æsc "ash" (transliterated æ) and ac "oak" (transliterated a).

The shape of the rune is likely from Neo-Etruscan a (aleph.


In the Norwegian rune poem, óss is given a meaning of "estuary" while in the Anglo-Saxon one, ōs takes the Latin meaning of "mouth". The Younger Futhark rune is transliterated as ą to distinguish it from the new ár rune (ᛅ), which continues the jēran rune after loss of prevocalic *j- in Proto-Norse *jár (Old Saxon jār).

Since the name of Gothic alphabet as ahsa or aza, the common Germanic name of the rune may thus either have been *ansuz "god", or *ahsam "ear (of wheat)".

Rune poems

In the Icelandic rune poem, the name óss refers to Odin, identified with Jupiter:

Óss er algingautr
ok ásgarðs jöfurr,
ok valhallar vísi.
Jupiter oddviti.
Óss is aged Gautr
and prince of Ásgardr
and lord of Vallhalla.
chief Jupiter
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