Anglo-Saxon Riddles of the Exeter Book/Annotated/XI. Runes
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Runic writing was brought to England from the Continent in the fifth century and ceased to be used after the Danish invasion of 866. The word rūn early took on a sense of mystery—as in The Wanderer iii, gesæt him sundor æt rune (‘sat apart in secret communing’). Cynewulf used runes as a kind of code signature. In the Riddles they serve as a test of knowledge, as much as to say: I give you the clues in this form instead of by ambiguous description.