An anonymous reader writes "A runic code called jötunvillur has finally been decrypted. It just might help solve the mystery of the Vikings’ secret codes. Why did Vikings sometimes use codes when they wrote in runes? Were the messages secret, or did they have other reasons for encrypting their runic texts? Researchers still don’t know for sure.
The rune codes were not just used for learning. Nordby thinks the use also indicates a whimsical use of runes in the Viking Era and the Middle Ages. “We have little reason to believe the runic codes were used to conceal sensitive information. People often wrote short, routine messages,” says Nordby.Coded declarations such as “Kiss me” demonstrate that the use of code was not limited to issues of political significance.
Many of the messages in runic codes included a challenge to the reader to crack the code. The inscription “Interpret these runes” was common."
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