The Anglo-Saxon Riddle Tradition: Is it Really a Laughing Matter?
with Professor Andy Orchard
(Rawlinson & Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon, Pembroke College, Oxford)
at Sutton Hoo on Saturday, 10th June, 2017.
Anglo-Saxon riddles link the learned and the lewd, the inherited and the imported, and the oral and the literary: they suggest startling ways of perceiving the past, while appreciating how wondrous the world can seem, and how marvellous the mundane.
09.50 – 10.15: Coffee on arrival
10.15 – 11.15: Introduction: Riddling the Monstrous
in Anglo-Saxon England
11.15 – 11.40: Coffee break
11.40 – 12.40: The Riddle of Writing and the Writing
of Riddles in Anglo-Saxon England
12.40 – 14.00: Lunch break
14.00 – 14.50: Riddling the Natural World in
14.50 – 15.10: Tea break
15.10 – 16.00: Riddling the Human World in
c.16.00: Thanks and Close
About Professor Andy Orchard
Andy Orchard is the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon in the University of Oxford, and has published widely on many aspects of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic culture. He is a Former Provost and Vice-Chancellor of Trinity College in the University of Toronto, and both a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Fellow of the British Academy. For other information, including links (via ‘Other Information’) to the podcast of his inaugural lecture as Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon go to www.english.ox.ac.uk/people/professor-andy-orchard.
When asked ‘What was best about the day?‘ at a previous Study Day by Andy people said:
- Brilliant speaker and one of the very best days here. Hugely enjoyable day. Please re-book Andy again or I may go on hunger strike!
- The liveliness and humour of the lecturer.
- Andy’s wonderful knowledge and energy and excellent handouts. Just the whole thing! Fab
- Scintillating, crammed with ideas and allusions
- The handouts. Terrific
Some Suggestions for Optional Background Reading
- Abbott, H. H., The Riddles of the Exeter Book. Cambridge, 1968.
- Alexander, Michael, The Earliest English Poems. Harmondsworth, 1966.
- Baum, Paull F., The Anglo-Saxon Riddles of the Exeter Book. Durham, NC, 1963.
- Bayless, Martha, ‘The Collectanea and Medieval Dialogues and Riddles.’ In Collectanea Pseudo-Bedae, ed. Bayless and Lapidge, pp. 12–24.
- Bitterli, Dieter, Say What I Am Called: the Old English Riddles of the Exeter Book and the Anglo-Latin Riddle Tradition. Toronto, 2009.
- Cook, Eleanor, Enigmas and Riddles in Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
- Crossley-Holland, Kevin, trans. The Exeter Book Riddles. Harmondsworth, 1993.
- Lapidge, Michael, & James L. Rosier, Aldhelm: the Poetic Works. Cambridge, 1985.
- Leary, T. J., Symphosius, The “Aenigmata:” An Introduction, Text, and Commentary. London: Bloomsbury, 2014.
- Murphy, Patrick J., Unriddling the Exeter Riddles. University Park, PA, 2011.
- Niles, John D., Old English Enigmatic Poems and the Play of the Texts. Studies in the Early Middle Ages 13. Turnhout, 2006.
- O’Brien O’Keeffe, Katherine, “The Text of Aldhelm’s Enigma no. c in Oxford, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson C.697 and Exeter Riddle 40.” Anglo-Saxon England 14 (1985): 61–73.
- Ohl, Raymond Theodore, The Enigmas of Symphosius. Philadelphia, 1928.
- Orchard, Andy, “Enigma Variations: The Anglo-Saxon Riddle-Tradition.” Latin Learning and English Lore: Studies in Anglo-Saxon Literature for Michael Lapidge. Ed. Katherine O’Brien O’Keeffe and Andy Orchard. Toronto Old English Series. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005. I, 284–304.
- Pitman, James H., trans., The Riddles of Aldhelm. Yale Studies in English 67. New Haven, 1925.
- Porter, John, trans. Anglo-Saxon Riddles. Hockwold-cum-Wilton, 1995.
- Tupper, Frederick M., Jr., ed., The Riddles of the Exeter Book. Boston, 1910. Repr. 1968.
- Williamson, Craig, Ed. The Old English Riddles of the ‘Exeter Book’. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1977.
- –––—————––. A Feast of Creatures: Anglo-Saxon Riddle-Songs Translated with Introduction, Notes and Commentary. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982.
- Wyatt, Alfred J., Old English Riddles. Boston, 1912.