What just happened?

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


Shakespeare's Restless World
BBC Radio 4 series

16 April – 11 May 2012
13.45 and 19.45 weekdays


A BBC/British Museum partnership

Recommend this series

In a 20-part series to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4, Neil MacGregor, the Director of the British Museum, looks at the world through the eyes of Shakespeare's audience by exploring objects from that turbulent period.

Neil uses objects to explore the great issues of the day that preoccupied the public and helped shape the works and considers what they can reveal about the concerns and beliefs of Shakespearean England.

Contributing to the programmes will be Shakespeare scholars, historians and experts on witchcraft and warfare, fencing and food, luxury trade and many other topics. They discuss the issues these objects raise – everything from exploration and discovery to violence, entertainment and the plague.

Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, and Paul Kobrak, BBC Radio 4, recording the radio series.


Explore the website

Listen to the programmes and more

With fresh insights into the restless world of Shakespeare's day, this series brings a new perspective to how we view our most famous playwright's work 400 years on. Find out more about the objects and their place in the culture and society of Shakespeare's world.

See the website 


All blog posts 

Online discussion

See what was said

Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, and curator and radio series curator, Barrie Cook, answered questions from the public during a live online event.

See the discussion