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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


Good impressions:

image and authority in Medieval seals

Edited by Noël Adams, John Cherry and James Robinson

British Museum Research Publication 168
ISBN 978-086159-168-8
© The Trustees of the British Museum 2008

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Follow the links below to download and read the full publication in pdf format.

 Title page and contents 

 Part I 

 Part II 

 Part III 

 Part IV 

 Appendix and handlist 



Seal of Robert Fitzwalter, AD 1213-19 (Handlist no. 8.1)


Part I: contents

  • In search of a semiotic paradigm: the matter of sealing in Medieval thought and praxis (1050-1400)
    Brigitte Miriam Bedos-Rezak
  • The Knight's alter ego: from equestrian to armorial seal
    Adrian Ailes
  • Heads, arms and badges: royal representation on seals
    John Cherry
  • Queens and Powerful women: image and authority
    Elizabeth Danbury

Part II: contents

  • The re-use and copying of ancient intaglios set in Medieval personal seals mainly found in England: an aspect of the Renaissance of the 12th century
    Martin Henig
  • Seals and status in Medieval English towns: a case-study of London, Newcastle and Durham
    Elizabeth New
  • Glasgow, Italy and France: 13th and early 14th-century seals from the Cathedral
    Virginia Glenn
  • The seals of the Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem in England
    David Marcombe
  • The judicial seals of the Welsh courts of great sessions
    David H. Williams

Part III: contents

  • The oldest equestrian seals in Sweden: Karl Svekersson, Birger Brosa and Karl the Deaf
    Coran Tegner
  • The re-engraved matrix: bishop versus chapter in Nidaros around 1300
    ErlaBergendahl Hohler
  • Medieval seal matrices found at castles and castle mounds in Denmark - what does archaeology tell about ther use?
    Michael Andersen
  • Seals of Swedish towns before 1350
    Henrik Klackenberg

Part IV: contents

  • Curial narratives: the seals of Cardinal Deacons 1280-1305
    Julian Gardner
  • The sealed saint: representations of Saint Francis of Assisi on Medieval Italian seals
    Ruth Wolff
  • '...in quella era unico al mondo': A reassessment of cinquecento seal engraving and the seal matrices of Lautizio da Perugia
    Matthew Sillence