I finally got back to revising and checking over the Exeter Book Riddles pages, starting at #19 and reaching #31, especially interested in reconciling the ASPR-based text on the Sacred Texts website used to generate the first draft of the translation (convenient for travel and generally as accurate as could be hoped) with the Bernard Muir text in Exeter Anthology, which at least provides manuscript reading and probable rationale for the various emendations made since earliest days. I have Williamson’s 1977 edition of the Riddles as well in my office, but have not consulted it much here at home, since Muir’s Commentary volume lists any big changes suggested in that edition.

Lots of changes were made on my readthrough, mostly to extend alliteration, or to trouble the translation’s smoothness. Interpretations are made throughout — for instance, “micel to hycganne” (great to think) in Riddle #28 is expanded to “It is a burden to ponder,” a departure from the literal that does not to me seem to violate the sense of the original too much. Some emendations were decided upon, but nothing too major changed. I noted that some editors interpret the third set of backwards runes in #19 could be rendered as “wiga” or warrior, though I did not see any reason to change what I had originally interpreted it as (“wega”). The adjectives preceding those runes are not really any guide, and could go either way. So I made either interpretation available.

More work coming soon. Also, work has started on a Homily edition of the translation page. I started with the Blickling Homilies, even though a full translation was published in 2003. This edition was not that well-received and not very influential, if the difficulty of obtaining a copy from my library consortium was any indication. When that first homily is complete, I’ll start the page and start to figure how to organize these translations for maximum efficiency.


  • Looking forward to the Blickling Homilies. Presumably you’ll be using the Morris edition as your guide. What do you think of that translation?

    • Hello,

      Yes, I’m using both the old Morris EETS edition and a newer one by Richard Kelly that came out in 2003, which supposedly corrects several mistakes made in the older edition. Not seeing that much difference yet though.

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