Latin Riddles [enigmata]

(4801 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

The numerous extant collections of early medieval riddles bear witness to the relevance that this genre gained around the late 7th and 8th centuries. In this period, the composition of enigmata – a term that is rendered as “riddles” or “mysteries” – achieved great popularity in Europe. But this literary phenomenon became particularly prominent in England, where a significant group of writers developed the genre: Aldhelm, Tatwine, Eusebius, Boniface, and, possibly, one “Pseudo-Bede”. Furthermore, the anonymous Lorsch and Bern Riddles present evidence of having an Insular provenance or at least some kind of Anglo-Saxon affiliation. Medieval riddle collections in general are in turn indebted to the enigmata

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Salvador-Bello, Mercedes. "Latin Riddles [enigmata]". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 October 2005
[, accessed 01 October 2016.]