Riddle 42 (or 40)

This riddle translation comes to us from Jennifer Neville, Reader in Anglo-Saxon Literature at Royal Holloway University of London. She has published on several of the riddles and is currently working on a book about them. You may remember her from her brilliant translation and commentary of Riddle 9.


Ic seah wyhte      wrætlice twa

undearnunga      ute plegan

hæmedlaces;     hwitloc anfeng

wlanc under wædum,      gif þæs weorces speow,

5     fæmne fyllo.      Ic on flette mæg

þurh runstafas      rincum secgan,

þam þe bec witan,      bega ætsomne

naman þara wihta.     Þær sceal Nyd wesan

twega oþer      ond se torhta æsc

10     an an linan,     Acas twegen,

Hægelas swa some.      Hwylc þæs hordgates

cægan cræfte      þa clamme onleac

þe þa rædellan      wið rynemenn

hygefæste heold      heortan bewrigene

15     orþoncbendum?      Nu is undyrne

werum æt wine      hu þa wihte mid us,

heanmode twa,     hatne sindon.

(scroll down for a version of the following translation that’s lineated more in line with the Old English)


I saw two amazing creatures —

they were playing openly


in the sport of sex.


The woman,

proud and bright-haired,

received her fill under her garments,

if the work was successful.


Through rune-letters

I can say the names

of both creatures together

to those men in the hall

who know books.


There must be two needs

and the bright ash

one on the line —

two oaks

and as many hails.


Who can unlock

the bar of the hoard-gate

with the power of the key?


The heart of the riddle

was hidden by cunning bonds,

proof against the ingenuity

of men who know secrets.


But now for men at wine

it is obvious

how those two low-minded creatures

are named among us.


Highlight the box with your cursor to reveal the solution: N N Æ A A H H = hana & hæn, or Cock and Hen


If you’re a student, you may find this translation’s lineation helpful:

I saw two amazing creatures —

they were playing openly outside

in the sport of sex. The woman,

proud and bright-haired, received her fill under her garments,

5     if the work was successful.  Through rune-letters

I can say the names of both creatures together

to those men in the hall

who know books. There must be two needs

and the bright ash

10     one on the line — two oaks

and as many hails. Who can unlock

the bar of the hoard-gate with the power of the key?

The heart of the riddle was hidden

by cunning bonds, proof against the ingenuity

15     of men who know secrets. But now

for men at wine it is obvious how those two

low-minded creatures are named among us.

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Commentary for Riddle 41

Riddle 41’s commentary, like its translation, comes to us from the fab Helen Price:


Poor Riddle 41, it’s unlikely to ever be named anyone’s favourite Exeter Book riddle. In fact, it has struggled to receive any real attention whatsoever *cue sad violin music*. Most riddle commentators have either glossed over it or attempted to brush it under the carpet in the hope that it’ll go away…it hasn’t. The longest discussion I have been able to find on Riddle 41 is actually arguing that it is a continuation of the previous riddle (see Konick). *Sigh*. However, this absence of discussion is not entirely unjustified, and is mainly due to the fact that the beginning of the riddle appears to be missing, leaving only the final eight and a half lines intact. Apparently, it has proved difficult and unappealing to discuss something when a chunk of it seems to be absent. Well fear not noble readers, because I am about to do just that! Well, not quite, but here’s hoping I can say something to give this plucky half of a riddle a moment in the spotlight.

Somewhat surprisingly for a text from the Exeter Book, the missing first lines of Riddle 41 are not due to damage of the actual folio page of the manuscript, as is the case with folios 117-130 of the Exeter Book – these folios are scarred by a large burn which increases in size the further through the manuscript you go. However, the fact that Riddle 40 seems to end as abruptly as Riddle 41 starts suggests that something has definitely gone awry.

Some scholars have suggested that the incomplete state of both riddles is due to a scribal error. The Exeter Book manuscript appears to have been copied by just one scribal hand. I suppose when you are hand-copying that much text, probably by candle light, a little missed page here and there is forgivable. However, it is impossible to know (unless the missing Exeter Book page somewhat miraculously turns up from behind a dusty shelf somewhere) whether this is a mistake on the part of the scribe or whether a folio just never made it into (or has been removed from) the bound manuscript. But this uncertainty can also give us food for thought. Thoughts such as: how do we read texts which are (excuse the expression) not all there? What can we glean from the bit of Riddle 41 which we do have? And how can literary context help us to make sense of these few disjointed lines?

And so to the text itself… I can’t help but smile every time I start reading Riddle 41. Edniwu (“renewed!”) it chimes, completely out of the blue. I had to resist placing a little exclamation mark after this opening word in my translation (it turns out I couldn’t resist adding it in here). Scribal error or missing folio, it is a wonderful coincidence that the start of this surviving bit of the riddle happens to have landed at this point. “Renewed” from what? By what? As what? Riddles are fond of their internal mysteries and games (as you will no doubt be more than familiar with from the other riddles and fantastic commentaries posted so far on this blog), but here it is the manuscript itself which has landed us with these questions to ponder…and ponder I shall.

Aside from those who have argued that Riddle 41 is a continuation of Riddle 40 (see Konick), the solution “water” has almost unanimously been agreed by editors and commentators alike. I am firmly in favour of this solution for a number of reasons, most of which are drawn from evidence outside of the riddle itself.


“Water Droplet” photo (by fir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.au), licensed under GFDL 1.2 via Wikimedia Commons.

The surviving lines offer a reasonable indication of Riddle 41’s solution; a substance which is vital to human beings and which plays a key part in the production of life. But, let’s face it, on the surface of this text there is little to conclusively make water, as opposed to say “air” or “food” or some other important life-sustaining substance, the most viable solution. However, when we read and understand Riddle 41 in the context of both other water riddles and water in Anglo-Saxon poetic texts more generally, then things start to become a little clearer and more convincing.

One of the stock ways to conceptualise water which circulates in Anglo-Saxon poetic contexts is the idea of water as a mother figure. This idea appears in the form of two different motifs across the riddles. Firstly, there is the notion that water is a substance which begets itself in different forms i.e. water becomes ice and ice melts back into water (this was discussed far more competently by Britt Mize in his marvellous commentary post for Riddle 33). Obviously, we can’t see this directly at work in Riddle 41 but, bearing in mind the way that the riddles tend to draw on similar themes and stock descriptions, I would like to muse that perhaps this is the point where we enter the surviving part of Riddle 41. Remember that opening declaration “renewed” which forms the first half line? Well, it might not be too farfetched to suggest that the first part of the riddle has described water in one state (perhaps in the form of ice as in Riddle 33), and when ice melts it is “renewed” in a new form of itself, i.e. liquid water.

The second form of the “water as mother idea” at work in the Exeter Book riddles and Anglo-Saxon poetry more broadly is the idea of water as mother to all living things.


This seal agrees with the metaphor. Photo by Megan Cavell.

As you may well already be familiar with from previous posts, the Exeter Book riddles were copied and circulated in an intellectual context of book-learning. As such, the Exeter Book riddles often riff on a theme or way of describing something. Quite often these ideas are drawn from Anglo-Latin riddles from the likes of Aldhelm (7th century) and sometimes the even earlier (5th century) enigmata of Symphosius.

A key example of water as “life-giver to all things” motif can be seen at work in Aldhelm’s fountain enigma.

Per cava telluris clam serpo celerrimus antra
Flexos venarum girans anfractibus orbes;
Cum caream vita sensu quoque funditus expers,
Quis numerus capiat vel quis laterculus aequet,
Vita viventum generem quot milia partu?
His neque per cselum rutilantis sidera sperae
Fluctivagi ponti nec compensantur harenae.

(I creep stealthily and speedily through empty hollows of the earth, winding my twisted route along the curves of its arteries. Although I am devoid of life and utterly lacking in sensation, what number could embrace or what calculation encompass the many thousands of living creatures which I engender through birth? Neither the stars of the glowing firmament in the sky nor the sands of the billowing sea can equal them.) (Lapidge and Rosier, pages 85-6)

Though the title of the enigma is “fountain”, it is the properties of the water which are most prominent in the poem. As you can see, the poem focuses on the life-giving properties of water, specifically characterizing it as engendering all living creatures.

Water is also presented as engendering multitudes of living things elsewhere in the Exeter Book riddles and more widely in Old English poetry. [SPOILER ALERT: reference to a later Exeter Book riddle about to come up!] Riddle 85 which is also usually solved as “water”, shows this idea at work with the lines:

nænig oþrum mæg
wlite wisan     wordum gecyþan
hu mislic biþ     mægen þara cynna (lines 6-8)

(none to any other can, with wise words, expound its features, how copious is the multitude of its kin.)

Riddle 85 also directly refers to its subject as moddor (mother) a few lines later. I don’t want to spoil the fun of Riddle 85 by giving too much away, so enough said about that for now. But you get the picture – the life-giving/sustaining properties of water are presented by characterising it as mother to all life.

So we can begin to see that when Riddle 41 refers to its subject as þæt is moddor monigra cynna (line 2) (which is the mother of many kins), that there is a literary context which supports the answer specifically as water rather than another life-sustaining object/substance such as food or air. But there are also other clues which support the solution “water” which we can pick up from looking elsewhere in the surviving body of Anglo-Saxon poetry.

As you will have surely picked up from this blog, the Exeter Book riddles love puns. Water is a substance whose qualities make it ripe for punning – a poet brims with verbs and participles to flood their lines with gushing descriptions, overflowing with watery associations! Raymond Tripp (pages 65-6) talks through one such particular passage in Beowulf (lines 2854-61) where Wiglaf attempts to save Beowulf after the fight with the dragon. Tripp explains that these lines of Beowulf demonstrate how the Christian poet’s worldview is reflected in the poems use of humour by using an “extended concatenation of ‘water’ images […] to show the utter uselessness of pagan ‘baptism’ to save dying men” (Tripp, page 65).

The latter part of Riddle 41 may be read as no exception to this tradition of punning. Lines six and seven of Riddle 41 state:

Ne magon we her in eorþan      owiht lifgan,
nymðe we brucen      þæs þa bearn doð.
(We cannot, by any means, live here on earth unless we profit as those children do.)

The word brucen can mean either “to profit” or “consume” food or drink – marking the subject as something which is taken into the body. Bearing in mind the use of water puns in poems such as Beowulf, it is also possible that the word brucen is itself nodding to the noun broc (brook). While these two words do not share the same root, the word (ge)brocen is a past participle form of (ge)brucan which has the attested spelling variation of (ge)brocen, suggesting that a lexical connection between brucen (to profit/consume) and the noun broc (a brook) may have made sense to an Anglo-Saxon reader/listener as a water-based pun.

So, it might be that Riddle 41 is a little bit broken but it definitely still has its charms. Its brokenness forces us to think about Riddle 41’s place in a wider literary context, and highlights the shared motifs which circulate not only in Anglo-Saxon riddle poems but more broadly across surviving Anglo-Saxon poetry. Now, in Riddle 41’s very own words, þæt is to geþencanne þeoda gehwylcum (that is something for people to think about).


Bibliography and Suggested Reading

Dictionary of Old English: A-G Online. Ed. by Antonette diPaolo Healey, Dorothy Haines, Joan Holland, David McDougall, and Ian McDougall, with Pauline Thompson and Nancy Speirs. Web interface by Peter Mielke and Xin Xiang. Toronto: Dictionary of Old English Project, 2007. [with the next roll-out, you’ll be able to access the DOE a set amount of times for free!]

Konick, Marcus. “Exeter Book Riddle 41 as a Continuation of Riddle 40.” Modern Language Notes, vol. 54 (1939), pages 259-62.

Lapidge, Michael and James Rosier. Aldhelm: The Poetic Works. Woodbridge: Brewer, 1985.

Muir, Bernard J., ed. The Exeter Anthology of Old English Poetry. Vol II Commentary. Exeter: Short Run, 2000.

Tripp, Raymond P. “Humour, Word Play, and Semantic Resonance in Beowulf.” In Humour in Anglo-Saxon Literature. Ed. by Jonathan Wilcox. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2000, pages 49-70.

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Revealing Riddles


Last week, The Riddle Ages did a little interview with READ (Research in English at Durham). Check out the results here:

Originally posted on READ | Research in English at Durham:

Unknown-artist-eadwine-the-scribe-at-work-eadwine-psalter-christ-church-canterbury-england-uk-circa-1160-70 Licenced under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.Eadwine the scribe at work (c. 1160-70) Licenced under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Old English riddles pose a puzzle in more ways than one. Not only do they invite readers to search for a solution, they also provide a teasing insight into the interests of their creators. Megan Cavell, who posts translations of Anglo-Saxon riddles over at her blog The Riddle Ages, explains the value and interest of this long-lasting form of literature.

Everyone loves a good riddle. Why do you think this is? What’s so satisfying about posing and solving a riddle?

Do you know, I’m actually really bad at solving riddles? I tend to get frustrated if I know there’s an answer that I don’t see right away. That’s why I like the Old English riddles…because no solutions are recorded, I can keep guessing forever and no one can tell me I’m wrong!

But in all seriousness…

View original 1,036 more words

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Report: The International Medieval Congress, Leeds

Well hello there, riddlers!

The Riddle Ages took a little foray into some exciting, cutting-edge, riddle research last week at the International Medieval Congress. Let the following report soothe the sadness of any readers who weren’t able to make it all the way to the exotic climes of Leeds, UK.

The blog sponsored three sessions (Riddling in Anglo-Saxon England and Beyond I-III), which Jennifer Neville and I co-organised.


Session I: Engaging with the Physical World

In “Encounters of the Third Kind: Materiality and Some Exeter Book Riddles,” Pirkko Koppinen explored the insights into Anglo-Saxon material objects gained by translating the riddles into Finnish. She focused particularly on fire imagery, and proposed that Riddles 30a and b be solved as “ore” with the aid of personal experience. Pirkko’s paper was an expansion of the post she wrote for this very blog! We also learned that it’s possible to taste fire…if you strike a flint too close to your face…

In “Shields and Other Animals: Riddling Approaches to the Natural World in Early Scandinavia,” Hannah Burrows both mined the Old Norse riddles for perceptions of the natural world, and used these perspectives to examine riddling practices in early Scandinavia. She demonstrated that the Norse riddles play with local and traditional conceptions of the natural environment while participating in a complex dialogue with wider European riddling traditions.

In “Models of Mutation and Mutilation in Anglo-Saxon Riddles,” Cameron Laird compared the Exeter Book’s riddles about the transformation of natural materials with Anglo-Latin sources and analogues. He took us through a wide range of texts, and argued for a connection between the enigmatic tradition and the descriptive passages of the Hisperica Famina.


Session II: Eco-criticism and Animal Studies

In “Be sonde, sæwealle neah: Place as Descriptor in the Exeter Book Riddles,” Corinne Dale looked at the ways in which some riddles resist the human-centred focus that characterises a great deal of Old English poetry. She argued for eco-centric depictions of places beyond the human world and a sense of nostalgia for an Edenic past.

In “A Poetics of Empathy?: Non-human Experience in Anglo-Saxon Riddles,” Megan Cavell (aka moi!) discussed the usefulness of elegiac riddles for gaining insights into the perceived experiences of non-humans animals in the early medieval world. The paper focused especially on the bovine riddles and the empathy of Riddle 72.

In “Monstrous Healing: Aldhelm’s Leech Riddle and the Nature of Appearance,” Peter Buchanan spoke about the abject leech of Aldhelm’s Latin enigmatic collection as a surprisingly active critter. He read the poem as depicting the leech in terms of its kiss of salvation, which redeems both the leech itself and those it feeds from.


Session III: Marvelous Metaphors

In “Wundor and Wrætlice: Seeing Anew Through Old English Riddles,” Sharon Rhodes explored some risqué riddles (45, 54, 44 and 37) and their defamiliarising techniques. She argued that the obscene solution to some riddles lead their audiences to appreciate the wondrous qualities of the common/not-obscene solutions.

In “Warriors and their Battle Gear: Conceptual Blending in Riddles 5 and 20 of the Exeter Book,” Karin Olsen examined two riddles with multiple solutions, one of which is related to warfare. She approached their metaphorical connections via the theory of cognition known as “conceptual blending” – according to which thought involves constantly combining words and ideas to form a complex network of meaning.

In “Enigmatic Tropes in Exeter Book Riddle 49 (and Another New Solution),” Jennifer Neville discussed the way Old English riddlers exploited their audience’s knowledge of the genre in order to trip them up. She looked at Riddle 49’s imagery of implements/users and benefit/use, which she argued were foils for the (new!) solution “beehive.”


In addition to the sessions hosted by The Riddle Ages, we also heard the following papers about riddles:

  • Harriet Soper, “Parental Feeling in the Exeter Book Riddles and Elsewhere in Old English Literature” (arguing that children are depicted as tenuously connected to the world around them in their early years, resulting in a difficult parent/child relationship that involves both closeness and separation)
  • Francesca Brooks, “The Crafting of Sound and the Shaping of Voice in the Riddles of the Exeter Book” (arguing that a range of riddles linking imagery of sound and craft – “acoustic craft riddles” – indicate a riddlic self-reflexivity and residual orality)

All in all, it was a great conference! Albeit lacking in epic riddle-battles between eminent academics. We’ll save that one for next year, shall we?

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Riddle 41 (or 39)

Riddle 41 is brought to you by the very clever and talented Helen Price. Helen recently finished her PhD at the University of Leeds, and she’s currently working on ecocritical approaches to water in medieval and modern Icelandic literature. Didn’t I say she was clever? I’m positively green with envy.

Take it away, Helen!


…. edniwu;

þæt is moddor      monigra cynna,

þæs selestan,      þæs sweartestan,

þæs deorestan      þæs þe dryhta bearn

5     ofer foldan sceat      to gefean agen.

Ne magon we her in eorþan      owiht lifgan,

nymðe we brucen      þæs þa bearn doð.

Þæt is to geþencanne      þeoda gehwylcum,

wisfæstum werum,      hwæt seo wiht sy.


…. renewed;

that is mother of many kins,

of the best, of the darkest,

the dearest that the children of the multitudes

5     over the surface of the earth rejoice to own.

We cannot, by any means, live here on earth

unless we enjoy what those children do.

That is something to think about for every nation,

for men who are wise of mind, what that creature may be.


Highlight the box with your cursor to reveal the possible solutions: Water, Wisdom, Creation

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Riddles at the International Medieval Congress, Leeds

Well, folks, it’s that time of year again: CONFERENCE SEASON is upon us!

I’m packing my bags for the International Medieval Congress in Leeds, which starts tomorrow and runs all week. The Riddle Ages is sponsoring three sessions on Thursday, making a staggering NINE papers about medieval riddles for interested conference delegates. That’s not counting the papers that have ended up in other sessions (a quick scan of the programme tells me there are at least two more riddley presentations on Tuesday and Wednesday).

If you’re interested in following the conference’s events online, the Twitter hashtag #IMC2015 should steer you in the right direction. I’ll try to whip up a report when I get back!

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Commentary for Riddle 40

I hope that you’ve all enjoyed reading the marathon of a poem that is Riddle 40. It reaches a grand total of 109 lines before a missing manuscript page deprives us of its no doubt beauteous ending. And, indeed, Riddle 40 is a work of beauty. Where else do you hear seamlessly poetic phrasing like: “I am fouler than this dark fen that stinks nastily here with its filth” (lines 31-2), or “I am more vile than this foul wood or this sea-weed that lies cast up here” (lines 48-9), or “the son of dung is speedier of step, that which we call in words ‘weevil’” (lines 72-3)? This is truly a poem after my own heart.

Admittedly, there are pretty images in here too. In fact, that’s kind of the point: the riddle puts forward a list of paradoxes as if to ask what can be both all the goods things and all the bad things. That’s why the poem reminds me of a combination of “All Things Bright and Beautiful” and the Monty Python spoof song “All Things Dull and Ugly.” Because, of course, this is a creation-riddle. What makes me so sure? Riddle 40 is one of those occasional Old English riddles with a known Latin original. In this case, the final text in Aldhelm’s riddle collection: Enigma 100, De creatura (on creation). And so we have, creatura, gesceaft (in Old English), creation, the world, nature – whatever you want to call it – depicted as the biggest riddle of all.

Now when it comes to the relationship between the Old English and its Latin source, you’re going to have to bear with me. As you might have guessed, like Riddle 40, the Latin original is also pretty frickin’ long. So, I’m not going to quote it in full. But I will say that the first 81 lines of the Old English poem stick fairly closely to the Latin source. After that, the poet (or perhaps another poet?) goes off book a bit (this starts, as you may have noticed, with the wholesale repetition of lines 50-1 at 82-3).

But even when the poem is fairly faithful to its source, there’s a fair bit of room for improvising. My favourites relate to strange creatures. Because, let’s face it, who doesn’t like a made-up bird, an old giant or a gender-bending piggy?

Let’s start with the bird. Lines 66-9 of the Old English riddle read: Ic mæg fromlicor fleogan þonne pernex / oþþe earn oþþe hafoc æfre meahte; nis zefferus, se swifta wind, / þæt swa fromlice mæg feran æghwær (I can fly faster than a pernex or an eagle or a hawk ever might; there is no zephyr, that swift wind, that can journey anywhere faster). Not familiar with the pernex? That’s because it doesn’t exist. The translator appears to have gotten a tad confused when translating the Latin lines 35-6: Plus pernix aquilis, Zephiri velocior alis, / Necnon accipiter properantior (Glorie, vol. 133, page 533) (faster than eagles, quicker than the wings of the Zephyr, nor [is] the hawk speedier). As Janie Steen notes (page 103), it’s possible that the poet confused pernix (swift) with perdix (partridge)…although the partridge is not the speediest of birds…


Photo (by Marek Szczepanek) from the Wikimedia Commons. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

You want more strange creatures? How’s about that old, hungry þyrs (giant) in lines 62-3? This famished fella is a translation of the Cyclopes (plural of Cyclops!) that appear at line 33 of the Latin version. It’s a bit strange that the poet chose to paraphrase here, when other classical references are left in (Vulcan and Zephyrus, for example). Maybe there was no good substitute for them, while hungry, hungry giants have a nice, long tradition in the world of Germanic myth.


Arthur Rackham’s illustration of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen from the Wikimedia Commons.

Hmm…what else is odd about Riddle 40? I suppose my favourite change is made to the pig that comes right at the end of the Old English poem. In Riddle 40, we have a single amæsted swin, / bearg bellende, þe on bocwuda, / won wrotende wynnum lifde (lines 105b-8) (fattened swine, a swarthy boar, who lived joyfully bellowing in a beech-wood, rooting away). In other words, a male pig enjoying his freedom and wild lifestyle. The Latin version, on the other hand, shows us a very different critter:

Pinguior, en, multo scrofarum axungia glisco,

Glandiferis iterum referunt dum corpora fagis

Atque saginata laetantur carne subulci (Glorie, vol. 133, page 535, lines 48-50).

(See, I grow far fatter than the grease of sows, as they carry 
their bodies back again from the acorn-bearing beech trees, and the swineherds rejoice at the fattened flesh).

The Latin pig is female and fat because she’s a food animal. So, joyous, romping dude-pig on the one hand, and domesticated female who’s destined to be eaten on the other. Erin Sebo notes that the Old English translator adapts this image and removes the only other reference to food in the Latin poem, arguing that the Old English poet is more interested in awe-inspiring creation than tense hierarchies of creator/created (and in this case, human/nonhuman).

This isn’t the only time that the Old English poet intentionally changes the tone/meaning of the Latin source. We also end up with a fenyce (fen-frog) at line 71a, when the Latin has a testudo tarda palustris (line 37) (slow swamp-turtle). But more significant, perhaps, is the reference to bee-bread in lines 58-9: Ic eom on goman gena swetra / þonne þu beobread blende mid hunige (I am yet sweeter in the mouth than when you blend bee-bread with honey). In the Latin version, we have: Dulcior in palato quam lenti nectaris haustus (Glorie, vol. 133, page 533, line 31) (Sweeter on the palate than a draught of smooth nectar). As Patrick Murphy notes (pages 155-6), the wording of Riddle 40 implies that the translator was familiar with Psalm 18.11: Desiderabilia super aurum et lapidem pretiosum multum; et dulciora super mel et favum (More to be desired than gold and many precious stones: and sweeter than honey and the honeycomb) (from Douay-Rheims). “Bee-bread” is honeycomb, as Latin/Old English glosses tell us. But it’s also a pretty awesome compound in and of itself. Remember that next time you order yourself up a double-scoop of honeycomb ice cream.

Wait…did someone just say ice cream? Sorry to leave you there without a proper conclusion, but…uh…ice cream.

I’m off.


References and Suggested Reading:

Glorie, F., ed. Variae Collectiones Aenigmatum Merovingicae Aetatis. Corpus Christianorum Series Latina, vol. 133-133A. Turnhout: Brepols, 1968.

Murphy, Patrick J. Unriddling the Exeter Riddles. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania Sate University Press, 2011.

O’Brien O’Keeffe, Katherine. “Exeter Riddle 40: The Art of an Old English Translator.” Proceedings of the Patristic, Medieval and Renaissance Conference, vol. 5 (1983 for 1980), pages 107-17.

O’Brien O’Keeffe, Katherine. “The Text of Aldhelm’s Enigma no. c in Oxford, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson C.697 and Exeter Riddle 40.” Anglo-Saxon England, vol. 14 (1985), pages 61-73.

Sebo, Erin. “The Creation Riddle and Anglo-Saxon Cosmology. In The Anglo-Saxons: The World Through Their Eyes. Edited by Gale R. Owen-Crocker and Brian W. Schneider. Oxford: Archeaopress, 2014, pages 149-56.

Steen, Janie. Verse and Virtuosity: The Adaptation of Latin Rhetoric in Old English Poetry. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008.

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