Welcome to The Riddle Ages! The aim of this blog is to provide fairly faithful Modern English translations of all the Old English riddles found in the Exeter Book (see our first post for more about this manuscript). At the same time, we’d like to note some interesting points about each riddle, so expect alternating posts with texts/translations and commentary. Riddles are a growing area of interest among academics, and we feel that they’re far too good to keep to ourselves! So, although this blog may appeal most to students of medieval literature and culture, we hope also to attract non-academic readers. We are very passionate about Old English poetry, and, after reading through a few riddles, we’re sure you will be too.
Editor in Chief:
Megan Cavell (MCCAVELL): I completed my PhD in Old English literature at the University of Cambridge in 2012, a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto in June 2014, and a Junior Research Fellowship at Durham University in August 2016. I’m now a Lecturer in Old and Early Middle English. I hope this doesn’t make me sound stuffy or intimidating, because anyone who has read through a few of my posts will know that I’m actually quite a ridiculous person. This is one of the many reasons I love the Anglo-Saxon riddles: they’re beautiful pieces of poetry and fiercely clever, but also frequently cheeky and sometimes even downright silly. You can follow my academic work on academia.edu or my website. You can also follow this blog on Twitter @TheRiddleAges or like our Facebook page.
Victoria Symons: I completed my PhD in Old English literature at University College London in 2013. Since then I’ve taught Old and Middle English language and literature in the English department at UCL. My research focuses on ideas of writing and communication in the Anglo-Saxon period – a topic amorphous enough to encompass runes and riddles on the one hand, and video games of Beowulf on the other. My academic work can be found here, and my occasional forays into the baffling world of social media can be gently mocked here.
Matthias Ammon (MAMMON81): I graduated with a PhD in Old English from the University of Cambridge in 2011. Since 2006, I have taught Old English, Germanic Philology, History of English and Historical Linguistics at the University of Cambridge and (for one term) at the University of Westminster. After training to become a professional librarian (while maintaining my scholarly interest in a wide range of Old English literature), I took up a position as Project Coordinator in the University Library, Cambridge. The Riddles hold a special place in my heart because of their wordplay, poetic variety and subversion of expected poetic conventions. You can see my work on academia.edu.
We welcome guest contributors, so if you’re an Anglo-Saxonist with a bit of a thing for riddles, do get in touch! Our email address is email@example.com.
Translations and Commentary are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.