Exeter Riddle 66


Date: Mon 04 Sep 2017
Matching Commentaries: Commentary for Exeter Riddle 66

This translation is by Erin Sebo, lecturer in English at Flinders University in Australia. Erin is especially interested in wisdom literature, heroism and the history of emotions (so, all the good stuff!).

Original text:

Ic eom mare      þonne þes middangeard
læsse þonne hondwyrm,      leohtre þonne mona,
swiftre þonne sunne.      Sæs me sind ealle
flodas on fæðmum      ond þes foldan bearm,
grene wongas.      Grundum ic hrine,
helle underhnige,      heofonas oferstige,
wuldres eþel,      wide ræce
ofer engla eard,      eorþan gefylle,
ealne middangeard      ond merestreamas
side mid me sylfum.      Saga hwæt ic hatte.


I am greater than this middle-earth,
less than a hand-worm, lighter than the moon,
swifter than the sun.  All the seas’ tides are
in my embraces and the earthen breast,
the green fields.  I touch the foundations,
I sink under hell, I soar over the heavens,
the home of glory; I reach wide
over the homeland of angels; I fill the earth abundantly,
the entire world and the streams of the oceans
with myself. Say what I am called.

Click to show riddle solution?
Creation, God


This riddle appears on folios 125r-125v of The Exeter Book.

The above Old English text is based on this edition: Elliott van Kirk Dobbie and George Philip Krapp, eds, The Exeter Book, Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records 3 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1936), pages 230-1.

Note that this edition numbers the text Riddle 64: Craig Williamson, ed., The Old English Riddles of the Exeter Book (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1977), pages 105-6.

Tags: anglo saxon  exeter book  riddles  old english  solutions  riddle 66 

Related Posts:
Commentary for Exeter Riddles 1-3
Exeter Riddle 40
Exeter Riddle 7