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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


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  • Object type

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  • Description

    Amulet-ring; gold; once nielloed(?); hoop of triangular section with reserved inscriptions.

  • Date

    • 14thC
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 0.92 inches
    • Weight: 55 grains
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

  • Curator's comments

    Text from Dalton 1912, Catalogue of Finger Rings:
    The ground between the letters was perhaps filled with niello.
    Ananizapta (Anamizapta) or Ananizaptus was usually a charm against epilepsy or falling sickness, though it appears also to have served against intoxication. The couplet on the present ring is more correctly given on a ring in the Waterton Collection (in the Victoria and Albert Museum):
    Est mala mors capta dum dicitur Ananizapta
    Ananizapta ferit illum qui laedere quaerit
    Another variant is given in a magical MS. in the British Museum (Sloane 389), where it is connected with the Signum Tau (Journ. Brit. Arch. Assoc. xl, p. 311; and see no. 721 for the connection of the Tau with St Anthony). The Stockholm MS. says (f, 35): For ye fallyg ewell. Sey yis word anamzaptus in hys ere qhwa he is fallyn dou in yt ewyll, and also in womanys ere anamzapta ....
    Cf. no. 876, and for other rings with Ananizapta see Arch. Journ. xvi, p. 303; xviii, p. 91; Journ. Brit. Arch. Assoc. xxxiii, p. 117.
    The word may be susceptible of an explanation on principle similar to that which resolved the mystery of AGLA (cf. no. 866). As early as 1491 Guarinus in his Vocabularium gives an explanation based on this principle, though the language to which he applies it is not Hebrew but Latin: Ananisapta mala mors interpretatur et quaelibet littera repraesentat unam dictionem, scilicet: Antidotum Nazareni Auferat Necem Intoxicationis Sanctifice(n)t Alimenta, Pocula Trinitatis Alma. Here drunkenness is the evil against which the charm is employed (see E. Le Blant, in Rev. Arch., 1892, Pt. 1, p. 57). Ananizapta is found in conjunction with Agla, and is also associated with the names of God, Emmanuel and Tetragrammaton (Reichelt, Exercitatio de Amuletis, 1676, p. lvi, fig. 2).


  • Bibliography

    • Dalton 1912 870 bibliographic details
  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


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Object reference number: MCM5608

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