Why are we talking about Latin riddles in a post titled "Anglo-Saxon Riddles"? Because without Symposius we might have a more difficult time guessing at some of the Riddles of the Exeter Book. Consider Exeter Book Riddle #61:
#61This might have been more difficult if we did not have Symposius' example #94:
A creature came where many men
sat at council with wise hearts.
It had one eye and its ears were two;
it had two feet and twelve hundred heads,
a back and a belly and two hands,
arms and shoulders, one neck,
and two sides. Say what I’m called.
Cernere iam fas est, quod vix tibi credere fas est;
Unus inest oculus, capitum sed milia multa;
Quidquid habet vendit, quod non habet unde parabit?
Now may you see, though not believe, I fear,The answer is the same for both, and I will give it to you in footnotes, along with the answers to the rest. Enjoy.
One eye and many thousand heads are here,
Whate'er he has, he sells. Whence comes what don't appear?
My garment is darkish. Bright decorations,
red and radiant, I have on my raiment.
I mislead the stupid and stimulate the foolish
toward unwise ways. Others I restrain
from profitable paths. But I know not at all
that they, maddened, robbed of their senses,
astray in their actions —that they praise to all men
my wicked ways. Woe to them then
when the Most High holds out his dearest of gifts
if they do not desist first from their folly.
I war oft against wave and fight against wind,
do battle with both, when I reach to the ground,
covered by the waters. The land is strange to me.
I am strong in the strife if I stay at rest.
If I fail at that, they are stronger than I
and forthwith they wrench me and put me to rout.
They would carry away what I ought to defend.
I withstand them then if my tail endures
and the stones hold me fast. Ask what my name is.
I saw a thing in the dwellings of men
that feeds the cattle; has many teeth.
The beak is useful to it; it goes downwards,
ravages faithfully; pulls homewards;
hunts along walls; reaches for roots.
Always it finds them, those which are not fast;
lets them, the beautiful, when they are fast,
stand in quiet in their proper places,
brightly shining, growing, blooming.
*Symposius #94 and Exeter #61: a one-eyed garlic seller
Exeter #18: wine
Source for Symposius
Source for Exeter riddles