Taylor, however, derived the runes from the alphabet of a Greek colony on the Black Sea.
They were not entirely unlettered; for the use of runes dates back considerably earlier than the Viking Age.
It has been argued that the runes of the Teutonic peoples have been derived from a form of the Etruscan alphabet, inscriptions in which are spread over a great part of northern Italy, but of which the most characteristic are found in the neighbourhood of Lugano, and in Tirol near Innsbruck, Botzen and Trent.
It is very unlikely that a people borrowing an alphabet which was uniformly written from left to right should have used it in order to write from right to left, or (30uvrp04riOOP. Hence Hempl contends 3 that Wimmer's view must be discarded, and that the runes were derived about 600 B.C. from a western Greek alphabet which closely resembled the Formello alphabet (one of the ancient Chalcidian abecedaria) and the Sabellic and North Etruscan alphabets.
It is strange, therefore, if the Roman alphabet, which formed the model for the runes, was that of two whole centuries later, and even then the formal alphabet of inscriptions.