Old Hungarian script

The Old Hungarian script or Hungarian runes (Hungarian: Székely-magyar rovás, 'székely-magyar runiform', or rovásírás) is an alphabetic writing system used for writing the Hungarian language. Modern Hungarian is written using the Latin-based Hungarian alphabet. The term "old" refers to the historical priority of the script compared with the Latin-based one.[1] The Old Hungarian script is a child system of the Old Turkic alphabet. [citation needed]

Old Hungarian
𐲥𐳋𐳓𐳉𐳗-𐲘𐳀𐳎𐳀𐳢 𐲢𐳛𐳮𐳁𐳤
Székely-magyar rovás
Script type
Time period
Attested from 10th century. Marginal use into the 17th century, revived in the 20th.
Directionright-to-left script 
Related scripts
Parent systems
Old Turkic
  • Old Hungarian
ISO 15924
ISO 15924Hung (176), Old Hungarian (Hungarian Runic)
Unicode alias
Old Hungarian
 This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and  , see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.

The Hungarians settled the Carpathian Basin in 895. After the establishment of the Christian Hungarian kingdom, the old writing system was partly forced out of use and the Latin alphabet was adopted. However, among some professions (e.g. shepherds who used a "rovás-stick" to officially track the number of animals) and in Transylvania, the script has remained in use by the Székely Magyars, giving its Hungarian name (székely) rovásírás. The writing could also be found in churches, such as that in the commune of Atid.

Its English name in the ISO 15924 standard is Old Hungarian (Hungarian Runic).[2][3]

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