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another name for the North Germanic, or Scandinavian, group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languagesGermanic languages,
subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages, spoken by about 470 million people in many parts of the world, but chiefly in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.
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). The modern Norse languages—Danish, Faeroese, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish—all stem from an earlier form of Norse known as Old Norse. Now extinct, Old Norse was the language spoken by the Germanic tribes living in Scandinavia before A.D. 1000. It was first written in runesrunes,
ancient characters used in Teutonic, Anglo-Saxon, and Scandinavian inscriptions. They were probably first used by the East Goths (c.300), who are thought to have derived them from Helleno-Italic writing.
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, some examples of which go back to the 3d cent. A.D., but later the Roman alphabet was used. The earliest extant Old Norse manuscripts in the Roman alphabet are from the 12th cent. Old Norse is also noteworthy as the language of the Eddas and sagas (see Old Norse literatureOld Norse literature,
the literature of the Northmen, or Norsemen, c.850–c.1350. It survives mainly in Icelandic writings, for little medieval vernacular literature remains from Norway, Sweden, or Denmark.

The Norwegians who settled Iceland late in the 9th cent.
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; Icelandic literatureIcelandic literature,
the literature of Iceland. For the earliest literature of Iceland, see Old Norse literature. Early Writings

With Iceland's loss of political independence (1261–64) came a decline in literature, although the linguistic tradition continued
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See E. V. Garden, An Introduction to Old Norse (2d ed. 1957).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


1. of, relating to, or characteristic of Norway
a. the N group of Germanic languages, spoken in Scandinavia; Scandinavian
b. any one of these languages, esp in their ancient or medieval forms
3. the Norse
a. the Norwegians
b. the Vikings
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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Norseman Gold PLC (NGL.LN), an Australia-based gold producing and exploration company, is planning to secure its fifth mine.
More island than mainland Kintyre is Scotland's only mainland island,thanks to a determined Norseman. Magnus Barefoot was offered all the islands offthe west coast of Scotland that he could sail around but to secure Kintyre as well, the crafty King got his warriors to drag his longboat over the narrow, one-mile wide isthmus at Tarbert.
The Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre is receiving $500,000 in government funding for Science North to produce and install multi-media technology for an HD video of the historical impact of the Norseman floatplane.
VALHALLA RISING 15, 92 mins, opens Friday, April 30 A brutally bleak Viking tale starring Mads Mikkelsen (from Casino Royale) as violent Norseman "One-Eye" who joins an expedition to the Holy Land led by Scottish crusaders.