Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Riddle
(1,120 words)

1. Concept and terminological history

The riddle, which exists in almost all cultural spheres, is an early form of saying and knowledge, probably originating in the Near East. It is characterized by pictoriality and paradoxical ambiguities. Modern cultural theories locate the origins of the riddle in the simultaneous needs for sacred seriousness [7. 126–149] and entertaining play [6. 119–132], the two elements being generally interwoven [10. 20–26]. Ancient Greek had two terms for “…

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Wohlleben, Doren, “Riddle”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 24 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_026151>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210601



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