Stephen Edred Flowers
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For most runologists at the beginning of the scientific study of runic writing and its attendant cultural features, there was little doubt as to the essentially 'magical' nature of the runes.' However, in the past forty years serious objections to this general assumption have often been raised,' and never has the questioning of the magical nature of the runes and of runic inscriptions been as strong as in the last few years. For this reason, the times demand a new, more critical examination of the whole question of the connection between the elder runic tradition and the practice of magic by the Germanic peoples during the first millenium C.E.