Welcome to The Riddle Ages!
Welcome to The Riddle Ages! The aim of this website is to introduce you to several hundred poetic riddles — composed and written down from the 7th- through 10th-centuries — which record the minutiae of daily life and worldly wisdom in early medieval England. They tell us that onions could be the butt of a rude joke, cats were then (as now) fiercely independent, and violence did not go unquestioned when swords were given the chance to speak. Because they exist in two languages, Old English and Latin, these riddles are rarely brought into conversation with each other and some are only known by specialists. This website brings the variety of the early medieval riddle tradition to light, through original texts and translations, alongside commentaries that unpack literary and cultural information. Enjoy!

How to use this site

We are steadily adding new riddles as we work through translating them. The Exeter Book riddles are in Old English, while the riddles of Aldhelm, Tatwine, Eusebius and Boniface, and the anonymous collections known as the Bern and Lorsch riddles are in Latin. As we add new material, you will be able to find the original texts and their translations, as well as commentaries on the texts by clicking through the “Riddle Collections” tab at the top of the page.

Recent Announcements

New Website

30Oct

Welcome to the new and improved Riddle Ages website! The content you'll find on this website was initially published on our Wordpress blog. We are currently working through some edits of the back-catalogue of riddles, so bear with us as we tinker. Site-wide edits (such as editing terminology) will be announced in this Announcement section, and significant post-specific edits will be noted at the bottom of individual posts. Please do get in touch if you notice any bugs. And stay tuned for new material very soon!