The Riddle Ages

An Anglo-Saxon Riddle Blog


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 (MCAVELL): I completed my PhD in Old English literature at the University of Cambridge in 2012, and undertook postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Toronto and Durham University from 2012-2016. After lecturing at the University of Oxford, I started a permanent position at the University of Birmingham in 2017. 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 or my faculty profile. 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.


Co-Editor (retired):

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

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

Creative Commons License
Translations and Commentary are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


8 thoughts on “About

  1. I am a huge fan of your blog! The commentaries are enlightening and I love how most riddles have solutions that are open to interpretation. I never realized the wit and depth of Old English riddles, let alone their existence. Please continue!

    ps. Do you think you could find a way to cover up the answers? I keep accidentally spoiling them for myself!

  2. These are great modern translations! I referenced your translations in my History of English project on OE riddles from the Exeter Book. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: