These riddle exercises were developed for use by beginning students of Old English. As the readings progress, they assume more familiarity with Old English grammar. Thus at the beginning I have given extensive notes on each of the half-lines, explaining both the meanings of words and their cases along with notes about complexities of reading or meaning.
Later on in the sequence I assume a student's familiarity with the case endings and the grammar. The riddles are thus meant to be used during the first 6 weeks of learning Old English.
My goal in this is not only to offer an alternative way of introducing students to Old English while they are studying the grammar, but also to give them access to some literary texts which may indicate something of the complexity and beauty of the poems which they will eventually have the skills to read.
The Old English texts used on this site appear in Professor Craig Williamson's edition of The Old English Riddles of the Exeter Book, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1977, copyright by The University of North Carolina Press.
The translations used on this site appear in Williamson's book, A Feast of Creatures: Anglos-Saxon Riddle Songs, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982, copyright by The University of Pennsylvania Press.