Exeter Riddle 90


Date: Fri 30 Oct 2020
Matching Commentaries: Commentary for Exeter Riddle 90
This is the famous Latin Riddle – the only non-Old English poem in the Exeter Book!

Original text:
Mirum videtur mihi –           lupus ab agno tenetur;
obcu[..]it agnus * * *(1)           et capit viscera lupi.
Dum starem et mirarem,           vidi gloriam magnam:
duo lupi stantes           et tertium tribulantes –
quattuor pedes habebant;           cum septem oculis videbant.
It seems wondrous to me – a wolf is held by a lamb;
the lamb lay down and grasps the wolf’s innards.
While I stood and marveled, I saw a great wonder:
two wolves standing and afflicting a third –
they had four feet; they saw with seven eyes.
Click to show riddle solution?
Lamb of God, Web and Loom, Candelabra


This riddle appears on folio 129v of The Exeter Book.

The above Latin text is based on this edition, where it is numbered Riddle 86: Craig Williamson, ed., The Old English Riddles of the Exeter Book (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1977), pages 117-18.

The Exeter Book, Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records 3 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1936), page 240.

Textual Note:

(1) Something seems to be missing here in terms of sense, but there is no damage to the manuscript at this point (only obcu[..]it is damaged by a burnt spot right above the word). Editors frequently sub in a suggested missing word – most commonly rupi (on a stone) because of the rhyme with lupi.

Tags: anglo saxon  exeter book  riddles  solutions  latin  riddle 90