Monthly Archives: April 2016

Solomon & Saturn I – a translation

Saturnus: Lo, I have tasted the books of all the islands, with cunning scripts unlocked the learning of the Libyans and the Greeks and the history of the Indian realm. Commentators pointed me to tales in the great library, from Moses’ hands[1], such as I could never find, truly collected, in all the ancient writings. […]

The Lost Fire Riddle in Solomon and Saturn II

The fire and light passage in Solomon and Saturn II has not received the literary appreciation it deserves owing to a combination of defective manuscript transmission and insensitive scholarship. But with careful and imaginative reading we can recover it from oblivion, bring its beauty back into the light and savour its meaning. The Conundrum of […]

Saturn’s Old Age – Reading the Riddle Right

This riddle and its answer, from the Anglo-Saxon wisdom poem Solomon and Saturn II, appear at ll. 296-317 in Krapp and Dobbie’s numbering. Like the Raging Wulf riddle earlier in the same piece (read it with translation here), it is excellent poetry. Note the possibly deliberate irony of a man called Saturn (i.e. Cronos) asking […]

Raging Wolf – Can We ID the Body?

The ‘weallende wulf’ passage is arguably the best part of Solomon and Saturn II (see my earlier post). But a scribal error right at the start has created confusion as to exactly who the warrior protagonist is. The passage starts with the following lines: Saturnus cuæð:         “Se mæra was haten         sæliðende weallende wulf,         werðeodum […]

The Politics of Solomon and Saturn II

The Poems and Their Performance The poem known as Solomon and Saturn II is long and rather messy with substantial sections missing from the ms. In tone and metrical irregularity it resembles Maxims I from the Exeter Book, which is also a wisdom piece. As I have suggested in another post, Maxims I may be, […]