Re: Szekler Hungarian Rovas (or: Old Hungarian Runes)

From: Hosszu Gabor (
Date: Fri Oct 31 2008 - 05:09:16 CST

  • Next message: Hosszu Gabor: "Boustrophedon directionality of the Szekler-Hungarian Rovas"

    Dear Colleagues,

    On Fri, 31 Oct 2008, Jo dm wrote:
    > Old Hungarian was never written in boustrophedon.

    This is not true; there are examples of this direction in the proposal of
    the Community of the Hungarian Rovas Writers
    (, see Fig. 14.10-12).

    Another example is the "Bologna stick calendar" (see Fig.
    14.4-1/a,b,c,d,e,f and 14.4-2). The copy of the original stick calendar
    remained, but Sndor Forrai (he was one of the most acknowledged Rovas
    researchers) proved that this stick calendar was originally scratched into
    the four sides of the stick in boustrophedon. See Sndor Forrai: Sndor
    Forrai: Az si magyar rovsrs az kortl napjainkig, published by the
    Antolgia Kiad, Lakitelek, 1994 ("The Old Szekler-Hungarian Rovas Writing
    from the Ancient Time to Nowadays") ISBN 963-790- 830-7. This is in
    Hungarian, but on the page 145 you can see on Fig. 67 (in Forrai.s book)
    where Sndor Forrai described the reconstructed boustrophedon direction of
    the script of this relic. Nowadays some Hungarian Rovas carver already
    made the stick calendar again using naturally the boustrophedon

    > It is also worth to be clarified that there was no prior character set
    > encoded for Old Hungarian; Gbor Hossz regularly refers to his home

    Do not mix the "font" and the "character set". The basic of the character
    set was developed by the Runic Writing Section of the Society of the
    Friends of the Old Hungarian Culture, mainly by Gyz Libisch in the 1980s
    (see Fig. 14.10-9 in the proposal N3527). In 1995 I accepted this
    character set. We (with Gyz Libisch, the secretary of the above
    association) extended this character set with the bug symbols, historical
    ligatures, Rovas numerals and Rovas separator symbol). So it was not my
    "home character set". This was called "Rovs Szabvny" (=Rovas Standard in
    Hungarian). I encoded this character set using an 8-bit encoding in 1995
    and I made the appropriate True Type fonts. This "Rovas Szabvany" became a
    de facto standard from 1995.

    We never asked Michael Everson to make standard for the Szekler-Hungarian
    Rovas. However, in July of 2008 Michael Everson asked me to organize a
    meeting in Budapest for the Hungarian Rovas writers. I did so. But after
    this meeting it become clear for us that Everson-Szelp's proposal is based
    on some relics from the Middle Ages and some extensions for the
    "revivalists". I refer to the original proposal of Michael Everson and
    Andre Szabolcs Szelp (,
    2008-08-03). In this proposal there are a lot of sharp political (!)
    related statements and a strong degrading approach to the "revivalists".
    When in end of July 2008 the Community of the Hungarian Rovas Writers were
    formed (as a wide internet-based working group) M. Everson and A. Sz.
    Szelp modified the text of their proposal, however, they did not change
    their view. Especially dm Jo supports the Everson-Szelp proposal.

    Our view is basically different: our statement is that the
    Szekler-Hungarian Rovas never became extinct, it was continuously used. It
    was under development during the whole history. That is the reason why the
    sources of our proposal are based on a wider range of relics and practice
    from the historical time to nowadays.

    The core of our proposal, the "Rovs Szabvny" was accepted and supported
    (based on voting) by the World Congress of the World Federation of the
    Hungarians (August 20th, 2008).

    The N3527 proposal (including the whole character set of the "Rovs
    Szabvny") was accepted and supported (based on voting) by the "Alive
    Rovas" Symposium in October 4th, 2008.

    Best Regards


    Dr. Gabor Hosszu, Ph.D., Assoc. Prof.
    Dept. of Electron Devices, BME

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