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What does ALU mean?
- The sequence alu is found in numerous Elder Futhark runic inscriptions of Germanic Iron Age Scandinavia between the 3rd and the 8th century. The word usually appears either alone or as part of an apparent formula. The symbols represent the runes Ansuz, Laguz, and Uruz. The origin and meaning of the word are matters of dispute, though a general agreement exists among scholars that the word represents an instance of historical runic magic or is a metaphor for it. It is the most common of the early runic charm words. The word disappears from runic inscriptions shortly after Migration Period, even before the Christianization of Scandinavia. It may have lived on beyond this period with an increasing association with ale, appearing in stanzas 7 and 19 of the Old Norse poem Sigrdrífumál, compiled in the 13th century Poetic Edda, where knowledge of invocative "ale runes" is imparted by the Valkyrie Sigrdrífa. Theories have been suggested that the unique term ealuscerwen, used to describe grief or terror in the epic poem Beowulf, recorded around the 9th to 11th century, may be directly related.
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