Octavia Me Wrat
This legend appears on the title page of The Circle of Ceridwen. It means ‘Octavia wrote me’ in Old English, with ‘me’ being the book itself. The Anglo-Saxons (and Danes, who lacked any alphabet save runes) gave voice to their everyday objects, allowing them to speak for themselves.
Jewelery, mirrors, combs, and especially weapons often bore the names both of maker and owner:
Osbert me worte Sigewif me ah
Osbert made me, Sigewif (a lovely name which means ‘victory-woman’) owns me
The beautiful and important Ælfred jewell, thought to be a pointer commissioned by Ælfred the Great and sent as a gift for use in reading, is inscribed:
Ælfred mec heht gewyrcan
Ælfred ordered me to be made
An Anglo-Saxon ring made for and by two now forgotten, still proclaims:
Æthred mec an Eanred mec agrof
Æthred owns me Eanred made me
This particular inscription is written in a mixture of Old English and runes – a not unusual combination.
Swords, the supreme weapon of the elite warrior, were not only marked but also named. Sword names were sometimes inscribed upon the hilt or the blade itself. (Some warriors would keep his sword name secret, for magical reasons.) One Anglo-Saxon sword is marked in runes and named:
Aeco Soeri (or alternately, Eaca Sorg)
Increase to Pain (or Augmenter of Pain)
We have many sword names from the Vikings, all equally evocative:
Angrvadill – Rushing Harm
Brynjubitr – Mail (armour) Biter
Gullinhjalti – Golden Hilt
Give yourself voice. Write me .