Anglo-Saxon Riddles of the Exeter Book/XI. Runes
|Anglo-Saxon Riddles of the Exeter Book (1963) , translated by Paull Franklin Baum||XII. The ‘Obscene’ Riddles→
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.