Johannes Bureus (1568-1652) (about him and his system more in other articles) said that his “15 adalrunor [“noble runes”] [were] inscribed on a cubical stone which fell from the heavens as a sign of the powerfull divinity on the mediator between God and Man.” (Flowers 1998, p. 12). For Bureus, runes formed the most ancient, original and divine language and the many runestones that can be found in Bureus’ country (Sweden) were mediators between the world of men and the upper world. The fact that Bureus ‘chose’ a cubic stone that fell from the sky is interesting.
Cornelis Dekker (1961-) has something with Latinised names, just like during the period he wrote about. He writes about Dutchmen, but almost every single one of them is named with a Latin name so even a fellow Dutchman like myself sometimes has to think who Dekker writes about. But this is of course not what I am writing aout. Dekker made a superb study of the study of Germanic languages during the Renaissance, a subject that highly interests me. When I was writing my article about the Northern Renaissance I have been looking for a book like this, but it came too late. Well… never too late! It is almost incredible how much information Dekker compiled about people interested in native history and especially native and old languages. There is so enormously much information in this book that I decided not to rewrite my Northern Renaissance article, but just make a very long book review giving the information that I find of interest.
As you probably know, the so called “Renaissance” started in Italy around 1400 and the Renaissance in Northern Europe followed a few decades later. The Renaissance is characterised by a renewed interest in forgotten beliefs and cultures, a rapid development in the current beliefs and cultures and a disengaging from the scholastic Middle Ages. “A rebirth of paganism” or similar expressions you will run into frequently. Indeed, for the Southern Renaissance this is very clear. The libraries in the South of Europe were stuffed with ‘pagan texts’, classical mythology and ancient philosophers. These were rediscovered and however Christianity was stronger than ever, art, architecture, literature and philosophy used the pre-Christian imaginary like never before. So what happened when the Renaissance found its way to the more Northern parts of Europe ? Well, we usually hear that not only the styles of art, but also the imaginary of the Southern Renaissance were taken over. So also here Jupiter, Apollo, Venus and Mars.
When I read about Johannes Thomae Agrivillensis Bureus (latinisation of Johan Bure, 1568-1652), for the first time I realised that in Northern Europe during the Renaissance there actually hàs been a mix between pre-Christian religion/mythology and typical Renaissance magic (such as Hermetic, Kabbalah, Medieval magic, etc.). I started to look for information about this interesting character and his ideas and took up the idea to find out if there were more people in which these two interesting elements came together. I noticed that not only information about Bureus is quite scarse, but that the subject as a whole is very under lighted. The writer of the article The First Northern Renaissance (in the second volume of the Tyr magazine) Stephen Edred Flowers has released on his own Rûna Raven Press a small booklet about Bureus’ most famous work Adalruna Rediviva (first version 1605), which I of course got. It is reviewed in the book reviews section. Other information is in Swedish, but I noticed that Bureus was spoken about at length in the book Rose Cross Over The Baltic by the Swedish investigator (who fortunately writes in English) Susana Åkerman (Brill 1998, also reviewed*). Looking further it proved hard to find information about other people interested in Nordic mythology and Renaissance magic, but I kept running into Åkerman. Since the works of Flowers and Åkerman appear to be the only descent information about the Swede Bureus in English, but both are hard to get (a small publisher and a scholarly and very expensive publishing for universities) and there is also no proper information on the internet, I decided to write an article about Bureus as first introduction. This article may be regarded as advertisement for the book(let)s of Flowers and Åkerman since it is mainly built on the information that they found. If this article catches your interest, I suggest you contact mr. Flowers to order his small but highly informative booklet. The work of Åkerman you will probably have to get through a library. This book is available, but very expensive, like most of the Brill publications. More information on the bottom of this article.
Earlier I reviewed a book about Bureus’ booklet Adalruna Rediviva and wrote an article about the man himself. If you haven’t read that article, I suggest you do before you start with this one. This time I want to say a bit more about Bureus’ wonderful runic hieroglyph.
Bureus’ furthark consists of 15 runes. More about that in my other article. The rune-cross consists of all 15 runes, thus representing All or Totality. Bureus saw his runic system as the mediator between the divine and human worlds. The creative word of God is the mediator between Him and His creation. Consequentally Bureus saw the runes as the divine or original language.