Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- enigmata (common standard spelling)
- plural form of
- 1807, The History of the Anglo-Saxons, book XII, page 346; also later reprinted verbatim & literatim in:
- 1839, Sharon Turner, The History of England: From the Earliest Period to the Death of Elizabeth, book IX, page 374:
- These ænigmata consist of twenty tetrastica, or stanzas of four lines, on various subjects ; as the earth, the wind, clouds, nature, the rainbow, the moon, fortune, salt, the nettle and such like — of fourteen pentasticha of five lines, of thirteen hexasticha of six lines each, nineteen stanzas of seven lines, ten of eight lines, eleven of nine lines, and thirteen of ten lines each.
- 1826, John Josias Conybeare, Illustrations of Anglo-Saxon Poetry, page 213:
- Intermixed with these ænigmata, we find towards the latter part of the volume other poems, religious and miscellaneous.
- 1830, Robert Southey, Esq., LL.D., The Pilgrim’s Progress, with a Life of John Bunyan; quoted in:
- 1830, The Quarterly Review, article V, page 486:
- In some cases, the parable possesses the interest of the riddle itself ; the examination and solution of which are so interesting to the human intellect, that the history and religious doctrines of ancient nations were often at once preserved and disguised in the form of such ænigmata.
- 1841, Chess Player’s Chronicle, page 272:
- It is sufficiently obvious, that the first of these ænigmata relates to the Chess-Knight, the second to the Chess-Queen, and the last to the Chess-Pawn ; but the third receives unusual illustration by a view of the Pawns which form part of the set discovered in the Isle of Lewis, which present to us the octagonal shape alluded to by Gest ; and this adds a collateral proof in support of their Northern manufacture.
- 2002, Peter Ackroyd, Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination, page 22 (Chatto & Windus):
- …the cleric’s name, Cynewulf, becomes in sequence torch, bow, necessity, horse, happiness, man, sea, wealth. His signature was a cryptogram, one of those ænigmata so congenial to the Anglo-Saxon imagination. The works where the runes are inserted are all of a homiletic nature…