Anonymous, The Creation Riddles of the Exeter Book

Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error

The Creation Riddles is the name given to three riddles from

Exeter Book

(Krapp and Dobbie (





66, and 94

) first identified as a group by Frederick Tupper (238). Characterised by their striking, elemental, cosmological imagery, these riddles are unified by the fact that they (apparently) have the same solution, “creation”. They also share common imagery and even, as Tupper notes, common syntax and grammatical constructions. The longest of these three,

Riddle 40

, is a translation of “De Creatura”, the grand, final riddle in Aldhelm’s


, while Riddles 66 and 94 appear to be reworkings.

Repeated solutions are relatively common in the Exeter Book (for example, KD 25 and 65both of which describe an onion, or KD 26 and 67, “bible”, or KD 12, 38, 72, “ox”) and in

475 words

Citation: Sebo, Erin. "The Creation Riddles of the Exeter Book". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 January 2010 [, accessed 03 March 2024.]

28516 The Creation Riddles of the Exeter Book 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.