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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


19 July – 25 November 2012
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Supported by BP

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Part of the London 2012 Festival

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Harriet Walter performs Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra. In the exhibition, you can see the full performance and a range of objects including a sculpted head of woman resembling Cleopatra and a playing card featuring Cleopatra. Speech taken from Antony and Cleopatra Act 5, Scene 2, filmed exclusively for the British Museum in collaboration with the RSC.

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Shakespeare exhibition introduction video

Shakespeare: staging the world

The British Museum is staging a major exhibition on the world of Shakespeare, in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

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Dora Thornton in exhibition

Hero and Villain

Dora Thornton examines Shakespeare's Henry V and Richard III

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Paterson Joseph performs Brutus

Assassination and Conspiracy

Paterson Joseph performs Brutus.

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Harriet Walter performs Cleopatra


Harriet Walter performs Cleopatra.

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The Tempest

Magic and Mystery of the New World

Felix Hayes (Trinculo) and Amir Hlehel (Caliban) perform The Tempest.

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Jonjo O'Neill performs Richard III

Power and Legitimacy

Jonjo O'Neill performs Richard III.

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