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The Scriptorium
(By Iarlaith ni Fionnallain as appeared in the October 1989 Bolt)

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Since I am Irish, I though an article on ancient Irish "line writing" or OGHAM (pronounced ohm) would be in order. they were a series of straight or slanted lines which intersected or crossed a straight central line, or trunk line.

This form or writing has been in use since 600 BC. Translatable ogham has been found in caves near Denver and other cities in America.

Ogham were said to have been given to the Irish people by Ogma Sunface and were therefore named for him.

There were codified hand signs that were used by the Druids to speak without words. The ogham letters were formed with the fingers of one hand held against the forearm, shinbone or nose to illustrate the letters. Ogham letters were arranged phonetically in five groups of five letters, as shown below.

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These simple forms could, of course, be made more complex, as the Irish love to do. For example:

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 Page last updated 12/27/99