Can you answer these medieval animal riddles?

In the Early Middle Ages a writer named Symphosius created 100 riddles. He covered a wide variety of topics – from mythological beasts to objects of daily life. Several of his riddles involved animals. Here are seven of them for you to try to solve.

These riddles of Symphosius have just been translated by Erin Sebo as part of her new book In enigmate: The history of a riddle, 400–1500. She writes that this book “is the history of a single riddle, the riddle of everything, sometimes called the ‘creation riddle’. The riddle turns on the idea that, because creation includes everything, every statement about it is true and, more importantly, every contradiction is true of it.”


You can learn more about the book from Four Courts Press

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Top Image: Beinecke MS.229 fol. 315 r