Book: The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor



John Ronald Ruel Tolkien

The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor

Introduction

This historical and etymological essay titled only "Nomenclature" by its author, belongs with other, similar writings that Christopher Tolkien has dated to c. 1967-69 (XII.293-94), including Of Dwarves and Men, The Shibboleth of Feanor, and The History of Galadriel and Celeborn, and that were published, in whole or in part, in Unfinished Tales and The Peoples of Middle-earth. Indeed, Christopher Tolkien gave numerous excerpts from this essay in Unfinished Tales. He prepared a fuller presentation of the text for The Peoples of Middle-earth, but it was omitted from that volume on consideration of length.

Christopher Tolkien has kindly provided me with both the full text of the essay and of his own edited version intended for The Peoples of Middle-earth. That edition, being intended for a more general audience and made under constraints of space, naturally omits a number of more technical and/or discursive philological passages and notes. In editing the text for the more specialized audience of Vinyar Tengwar, I have of course restored all such philological matter. I have also retained, with his gracious consent, as much of Christopher Tolkien's own commentary on the essay as practicable (clearly identified as such throughout), while providing some additional commentary and notes of my own, primarily on linguistic matters. In addition to Christopher Tolkien, I would like to extend my gratitude to john Garth, Christopher Gilson, Wayne Hammond, Christina Scull, Arden Smith, and Patrick Wynne, all of whom read this work in draft and provided encouragement along with many helpful comments and corrections.

The essay consists of thirteen typescript pages, numbered i to 13 by Tolkien. A torn, unnumbered half-sheet bearing a manuscript note headed "Far too complicated" (amidst and referring to a lengthy, discursive discussion of the Eldarin number system, in particular the explanation of the number 5) was placed between pages 8 and 9 of the typescript. Another unnumbered sheet follows the last page of the typescript, bearing a manuscript note on the name Belfalas (which is paraphrased at UT:247). All of these sheets are various forms of George Allen & Unwin stationery, with Tolkien’s writing confined to the blank sides, except in the case of the last sheet. Here, the printed side was used for manuscript drafting of Cirion's Oath in Quenya (already very near to the published version; cf. UT:3O5), which was continued on the top (relative to the printing) of the blank side. The note on Belfalas is written upside-down beginning at the bottom of the sheet (with respect to this drafting and the printing).

Concerning the origin and date of this essay, Christopher Tolkien writes: "On 30 June 1969 my father wrote a letter to Mr Paul Bibire, who had written to him a week before, telling him that he had passed the Bachelor of Philosophy examination in Old English at Oxford; he referred a little disparagingly to his success, achieved despite neglect of certain parts of the course which he found less appealing, and notably the works of the Old English poet Cynewulf (see Sauron Defeated, p. 285 note 36). At the end of his letter Mr Bibire said: ‘Incidentally, there's something that I've been wondering about since I saw the relevant addition to the second edition [of The Lord of the Rings]: whether the River Glanduin is the same as the Swanfleet' (for the reference see Sauron Defeated, p. 70 and note 15)." Christopher Tolkien has provided the relevant portions of his father's reply (which was not included in the collection of letters edited with Humphrey Carpenter):{1}

It was kind of you to write to me again. I was very interested in your news of yourself, and very sympathetic. I found and find dear Cynewulf a lamentable bore—lamentable, because it is a matter for tears that a man (or men) with talent in word-spinning, who must have heard (or read) so much now lost, should spend their time composing such uninspired stuff.{2} Also at more than one point in my life I have endangered my prospects by neglecting things that I did not at that time find amusing!...

I am grateful to you for pointing out the use of Glanduin in the Appendix A, III, p. 319.{3} I have no index of the Appendices and must get one made. The Glanduin is the same river as the Swanfleet, but the names are not related. I find on the map with corrections that are to be made for the new edition to appear at the end of this year that this river is marked by me as both Glanduin and various compounds with alph ‘swan'.{4} The name Glanduin was meant to be ‘border-river', a name given as far back as the Second Age when it was the southern border of Eregion, beyond which were the unfriendly people of Dunland. In the earlier centuries of the Two Kingdoms Enedwaith (Middle-folk) was a region between the realm of Gondor and the slowly receding realm of Arnor (it originally included Minhiriath (Mesopotamia)). Both kingdoms shared an interest in the region, but were mainly concerned with the upkeep of the great road that was their main way of communication except by sea, and the bridge at Tharbad. People of Númenórean origin did not live there, except at Tharbad, where a large garrison of soldiers and river-wardens was once maintained. In those days there were drainage works, and the banks of the Hoarwell and Greyflood were strengthened. But in the days of The Lord of the Rings the region had long become ruinous and lapsed into its primitive state: a slow wide river running through a network of swamps, pools and eyots: the haunt of hosts of swans and other water-birds.

If the name Glanduin was still remembered it would apply only to the upper course where the river ran down swiftly, but was soon lost in the plains and disappeared into the fens. I think I may keep Glanduin on the map for the upper part, and mark the lower part as fenlands with the name Nîn-in-Eilph (water-lands of the Swans), which will adequately explain Swanfleet river, III.263.{5}

alph ‘swan' occurs as far as I remember only on III, p. 392.{6} It could not be Quenya, as ph is not used in my transcription of Quenya, and Quenya does not tolerate final consonants other than the dentals, t. n, l, r after a vowel.{7} Quenya for ‘swan' was alqua (alkwā). The "Celtic" branch of Eldarin (Telerin and Sindarin) turned kw > p, but did not, as Celtic did, alter original p.{8} The much changed Sindarin of Middle-earth turned the stops to spirants after l, r, as did Welsh: so *alkwā > alpa (Telerin) > S. alf (spelt alph in my transcription).

At the end of the letter Tolkien added a postscript:

I am myself much recovered—though it has taken a year, which I could ill afford.{9} I can walk about fairly normally now, up to two miles or so (occasionally), and have some energy. But not enough to cope with both continued composition and the endless "escalation" of my business.

At the head of the present essay. Tolkien wrote "Nomenclature", followed by: "Swanfleet river (L.R. rev. edition, III 263) and Glanduin, III App. A. 319"; and then by: "Queried by P. Bibire (letter June 23,1969; ans. June 30). As more briefly stated in my reply: Glanduin means ‘border-river'." The essay is thus seen to have arisen as an expansion and elaboration of the remarks in his reply.

The names of the Rivers

The essay begins with the lengthy excerpt and author's note given in UT:264-65 (and so not reproduced here). A few variances between the published text and the typescript are noteworthy: where the published text has Enedwaith the typescript reads Enedhwaith (this was an editorial change made in all excerpts from this essay containing the name in Unfinished Tales; cf. XII:328-29 n. 66); and where the published text has Ethraid Engrin, the typescript has Ethraid Engren (but note (Ered) Engrin, V.348 s.v. ANGĀ-, V.379 s.v. ÓROT-, and many other places beside). In addition, a sentence referring to the ancient port called Lond Daer Enedh was omitted before the last sentence of the author's note on UT:264; it reads: "It was the main entry for the Númenóreans in the War against Sauron (Second Age 1693-1701)" (cf. LR:1058; and UT:239, 261-65). Also, against the discussion of the approach to Tharbad that closes the first paragraph on UT:264, Tolkien provided the cross-reference"I 287,390".{10}

Following the passage ending at the top of UT:264, the essay continues with this etymological discussion, in reference to the name Glanduin:

glan: base (G)LAN, ‘rim, edge, border, boundary, limit'. This is seen in Q. lanya verb ‘bound, enclose, separate from, mark the limit of; lanwa ‘within bounds, limited, finite, (well-)defined'; landa ‘a boundary'; lane (lani-) ‘hem'; lantalka ‘boundary post or mark'; cf. also lanka ‘sharp edge (not of tools), sudden end', as e.g. a cliff-edge, or the clean edge of things made by hand or built, also used in transferred senses, as in kuivie-lankasse, literally ‘on the brink of life', of a perilous situation in which one is likely to fall into death.

It is debated whether gl- was an initial group in Common Eldarin or was a Telerin-Sindarin innovation (much extended in Sindarin). In this case, at any rate, the initial gl- is shared by Telerin and Sindarin and is found in all the derivatives in those languages (except in T. lanca, S. lane, the equivalents of Q. lanka): T. glana 'edge, rim';{11} glania- ‘to bound, limit'; glanna ‘limited, bounded'; glanda ‘a boundary': S. glân, ‘hem, border' (of textiles and other hand-made things), gland > glann ‘boundary'; glandagol ‘boundary mark';{12} gleina- ‘bound, enclose, limit'.{13}

Tolkien then comments: "The names of the Rivers give some trouble; they were made up in a hurry without sufficient consideration," before embarking upon a consideration of each name in turn. Significant portions of this section of the essay have been given in Unfinished Tales. Extended passages are not repeated here, but their places in the essay are indicated.

Adorn

This is not on the map, but is given as the name of the short river flowing into the Isen from the west of Ered Nimrais in App. A, III 346.{14} It is, as would be expected in any name in the region not of Rohanese origin, of a form suitable to Sindarin; but it is not interpretable in Sindarin. It must be supposed to be of pre-Númenórean origin adapted to Sindarin.{15}

Of this entry, Christopher Tolkien notes: "On the absence of the name on the map—referring of course to my original map to The Lord of the Rings, which was replaced long after by the redrawing made to accompany Unfinished Tales—see UT:261-62, footnote."

Gwathló

Of the next entry, headed "Gwathlo (-ló)", Christopher Tolkien writes: "The long discussion arising from this name is found in UT:261-63, with the passage concerning the Púkel-men removed and cited in the section on the Drúedain, UT.383-84. In the latter passage the sentence ‘Maybe even in the days of the War of the Ring some of the Drú-folk lingered in the mountains of Andrast, the western outlier of the White Mountains' contains an editorial change: the original text has ‘the mountains of Angast (Long Cape)’,{16} and the form Angast occurs again more than once in the essay. This change was based on the form

Andrast communicated by my father to Pauline Baynes for inclusion, with other new names, on her decorated map of Middle-earth; see UT:261, footnote." A further editorial change may be noted: where the published text has Lefnui (UT:263, repeated in the extracted note on Púkel-men, UT.383) the typescript reads Levnui; cf. the entry for Levnui below.

An unused note against "the great promontory ... that formed the north arm of the Bay of Belfalas" (ibid.) reads: "Afterwards called still Drúwaith (Iaur) ‘(Old) Pukel-land', and its dark woods were little visited, nor considered as part of the realm of Gondor" Also, a sentence struck through by Tolkien, following "huge trees ... under which the boats of the adventurers crept silently up into the unknown land", reads: "It is said that some even on this first expedition came as far as the great fenlands before they returned, fearing to become bewildered in their mazes."

The discussion originally continued with the following etymological note, struck through at the same time as the deleted sentence:

So it was that the river was called in Sindarin Gwathlo (in Adunaic Agathurush) ‘the flood under shadow'. Gwath was a Sindarin word from a Common Eldarin base Wath or extended Wathar. It was much used; though the Quenya relative waþar, later vasar, was not in daily use.{17} The element -lo was also of Common Eldarin origin, derived from a base (s)log: in Common Eldarin sloga had been a word used for streams of a kind that were variable and liable to overflow their banks at seasons and cause floods when swollen by rains or melting snow; especially such as the Glanduin (described above) that had their sources in mountains and fell at first swiftly, but were halted in the lower lands and flats, *sloga became in Sindarin lhô; but was not in later times much used except in river or marsh names. The Quenya form would have been hloä.

This passage contains a note, also struck through, on the name Ringló, occurring after "Sindarin lhô", given in the discussion of that entry below.

The deleted passage was replaced with that given at UT:263 starting at "So the first name they gave to it was ‘River of Shadow', Gwath-hîr, Gwathir". It may be noted that the word lo in this passage was corrected on the typescript from lhô. A note on the name Ringló, omitted from the passage in Unfinished Tales, occurs after the words "Gwathlo, the shadowy river from the fens" For this note, and its development, see the entry for Ringló below. After this note, an etymological statement intervenes before the last full paragraph of the excerpt published in Unfinished Tales:

Gwath was a common Sindarin word for ‘shadow' or dim light—not for the shadows of actual objects or persons cast by sun or moon or other lights: these were called morchaint 'dark-shapes'.{18} It was derived from a Common Eldarin base WATH, and appeared also in S. gwathra- ‘overshadow, dim, veil, obscure'; gwathren (pl. gwethrin) ‘shadowy, dim'. Also related was auth ‘a dim shape, spectral or vague apparition, from *aw'tha. This was also found in Quenya auþa, ausa of similar sense; but the stem was otherwise only represented in Quenya by the extension waþar, vasar ‘a veil’, vasarya- ‘to veil'.

was derived from Common Eldarin base LOG ‘wet (and soft), soaked, swampy, etc.' The form *loga produced S. and T. loga; and also, from *logna, S. loen, T. logna ‘soaking wet, swamped'. But the stem in Quenya, owing to sound-changes which caused its derivatives to clash with other words, was little represented except in the intensive formation oloiya- ‘to inundate, flood'; oloire a great flood'.

Against the words "owing to sound-changes which caused its derivatives to clash with other words" Tolkien added this note:

Thus the Quenya form of S. would have been *loa, identical with Q. loa < *lawa ‘year'; the form of S. loen, T. logna would have been *lóna identical with lóna ‘pool, mere' (from base LON seen also in londe ‘haven, S. land, lonn).

Erui

Though this was the first of the Rivers of Gondor it cannot be used for ‘first'. In Eldarin er was not used in counting in series: it meant ‘one, single, alone. erui is not the usual Sindarin for ‘single, alone: that was ereb (< erikwa; cf. Q. erinqua); but it has the very common adjectival ending -ui of Sindarin. The name must have been given because of the Rivers of Gondor it was the shortest and swiftest and was the only one without a tributary.

Against the words "the very common adjectival ending -ui of Sindarin" Tolkien added this note:

This was used as a general adjectival ending without specialized significance (as e.g. in lithui ‘of ash', or ‘ashen, ash-coloured, ashy, dusty'). It is of uncertain origin, but was probably derived from the Common Eldarin adjectival -ya, which when added to noun-stems ending in C.E. -o, -u would produce in Sindarin -ui. This being more distinctive was then transferred to other stems. The products of āya > oe, and of ăya, ĕya, ĭya > ei; ŏya, ŭya > æ, e were not preserved in Sindarin.{19} But -i, which could come from ēya, and from īya, remained also in (more limited) use; cf. Semi below. The transference is exemplified in the ordinals, which in Sindarin were formed with -ui from ‘fourth' onwards, though -ui was only historically correct in othui ‘seventh' and tolhui 'eighth'. ‘First' was in older and more literary Sindarin mein (Q. minya); later minui was substituted [deleted: in the colloquial language; ‘second' tadeg; ‘third' neleg]; but ‘fourth' cantui (canhui), ‘sixth' encui, enchui,{20} ‘ninth' nerthui [deleted: ‘tenth' caenui],{21} etc. On ‘fifth' see below under the name Lefnui.

Serni

Christopher Tolkien writes: "The statement about this name is given in the Index to Unfinished Tales, but with a misprint that has never been corrected: the Sindarin word meaning ‘pebble' is sarn, not sern." The opening sentence reads: "An adjectival formation from S. sarn ‘small stone, pebble (as described above), or a collective, the equivalent of Q. sarnie (sarniye) ‘shingle, pebble-bank." An unused sentence, occurring before "Its mouth was blocked with shingles" reads: "It was the only one of the five to fall into the delta of the Anduin."

Sirith

This means simply ‘a flowing': cf. tirith ‘watching, guarding’ from the stem tir- ‘to watch'.

Celos

Christopher Tolkien writes: "The statement about this name is given in the Index to Unfinished Tales. On the erroneous marking of Celos on my redrawn map of The Lord of the Rings, see VII:322 n. 9."

Gilrain

A significant portion of the remarks on this river name was given in UT:242-45; but the discussion begins with a passage omitted from Unfinished Tales:

This resembles the name of Aragorn's mother. Gilraen; but unless it is misspelt must have had a different meaning. (Originally the difference between correct Sindarin ae and ai was neglected, ai more usual in English being used for both in the general narrative. So Dairon, now corrected, for Daeron a derivative of S. daer 'large, great': C.E. *daira < base DAY; not found in Quenya. So Hithaiglir on map for Hithaeglir and Aiglos [for Aeglos].){22} The element gil- in both is no doubt S. gil ‘spark, twinkle of light, star’, often used of the stars of heaven in place of the older and more elevated el-, elen- stem. (Similarly tinwe ‘spark’ was also used in Quenya). The meaning of Gilraen as a woman's name is not in doubt. It meant ‘one adorned with a tressure set with small gems in its network', such as the tressure of Arwen described in L.R. I 239.{23} It may have been a second name given to her after she had come to womanhood, which as often happened in legends had replaced her true name, no longer recorded. More likely, it was her true name, since it had become a name given to women of her people, the remnants of the Númenóreans of the North Kingdom of unmingled blood. The women of the Eldar were accustomed to wear such treasures; but among other peoples they were used only by women of high rank among the "Rangers", descendants of Elros, as they claimed. Names such as Gilraen, and others of similar meaning, would thus be likely to become first names given to maid-children of the kindred of the "Lords of the Dúnedain". The element raen was the Sindarin form of Q. raina ‘netted, enlaced'.

Against this last sentence Tolkien provided an etymological note:

C.E. base RAY ‘net, knit, contrive network or lace'; also [deleted: ‘catch',] ‘involve in a network, enlace'. Cf. Q. raima ‘a net';{24} rea and raita 1) ‘make network or lace'; raita 2) catch in a net';{25} [deleted: also raiwe ‘lace';] carrea (< cas-raya) a tressure'.{26} S. raef or raew (blend of Q. raima and raiwe) ‘net'; raeda- 'catch in net'; cathrae ‘tressure'. The word was only applied to work with a single thread; weaving with cross-threads or withes was represented by the distinct base WIG,{27} often in strengthened form waig-. The stems REB/REM were not "craft words" but verbal bases meaning ‘entangle, snare, trap (as hunters or fishers) with lines or nets". Cf. Q. rembe ‘net' (for catching), S. rem(m); Q. rembina 'entangled', S. remmen; Q. remi- ‘snare', remba- ‘net, entrap', remma ‘a snare', etc. Cf. S. Rem-mir-ath (‘group of gems in a net'), Pleiades.{28}

Of this note Christopher Tolkien writes: "Compare The Lord of the Rings, Appendix E (i), p. 393.{29}Tressure, a net for confining the hair, is a word of medieval English which my father had used in his translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (stanza 69): ‘the clear jewels / that were twined in her tressure by twenties in clusters', where the original has the form tressour."

The entry then concludes:

In Gilrain the element -rain though similar was distinct in origin. Probably it was derived from base RAN "wander, stray, go on uncertain course", the equivalent of Q. ranya. This would not seem suitable to any of the rivers of Gondor ...

The portion given in Unfinished Tales begins here (p. 242). The final sentence of the first extract from the discussion of Gilrain in UT:243 omits the ending; the whole sentence reads: "This legend [of Nimrodel] was well-known in the Dor-en-Ernil (Land of the Prince) and no doubt the name [Gilrain] was given in memory of it, or rendered in Elvish form from an older name of the same meaning" Also omitted was the paragraph following this sentence, which reads: "The flight of Nimrodel was dated by the chronologists at Third Age 1981. An error in Appendix B appears at this point. The correct entry read (still in 1963): "The Dwarves flee from Moria. Many of the Silvan Elves of Lorien flee south. Amroth and Nimrodel are lost.’ In subsequent editions or reprints ‘flee from Moria .. ' to ‘Silvan Elves has been for reasons unknown omitted." The correct reading of this entry has been restored in the latest edition (LR:1061). In addition, the first sentence of the following paragraph, introducing the passage with which the extract given in Unfinished Tales resumes (p. 243), reads: "At that time Amroth was, in the legend, named as King of Lorien. How this fits with the rule of Galadriel and Celeborn will be made clear in a precis of the history of Galadriel and Celeborn." Finally, the last sentence of the last paragraph given on UT:244 was omitted; it reads: "Communication was maintained constantly with Lorien."

A typescript note appended after the first sentence on UT:245, against the phrase "the sorrows of Lorien, which was left now without a ruler", and subsequently struck through by Tolkien, reads: "Amroth had never taken a wife. For long years he had loved Nimrodel, but had sought her love in vain. She was of Silvan race and did not love the Incomers, who (she said) brought wars and destroyed the peace of old. She would speak only the Silvan Tongue, even after it had fallen into disuse among most of the people. But when the terror came out of Moria she fled away distraught, and Amroth followed her. He found her near the eaves of Fangorn (which in those days drew much nearer to Lorien). She dared not enter that wood, for the trees (she said) menaced her, and some moved to bar her way. There they had long converse; and in the end they plighted their troth, for Amroth vowed that for her sake he would leave his people even in their time of need and with her seek for a refuge of peace. ‘But there is no such". The deleted note ends here, in mid-sentence. As Christopher Tolkien notes (UT:242), this passage is the germ of the version of the legend of Amroth and Nimrodel given in UT:240-42.

The discussion of Gilrain concludes (following the first paragraph given on UT:245) with this note:

The river Gilrain if related to the legend of Nimrodel must contain an element derived from C.E. RAN ‘wander, stray, meander'. Cf. Q. ranya 'erratic wandering', S. rein, rain. Cf. S. randír ‘wanderer' in Mithrandir, Q Rána name of the spirit (Máya) that was said to abide in the Moon as its guardian.

Ciril, Kiril

Uncertain, but probably from KIR ‘cut'. It rose in Lamedon and flowed westward for some way in a deep rocky channel.

Ringló

For the element -ló see discussion of Gwathló above. But there is no record of any swamps or marsh in its course. It was a swift (and cold) river, as the element ring- implies.{30} It drew its first waters from a high snowfield that fed an icy tarn in the mountains. If this at seasons of snowmelting spread into a shallow lake, it would account for the name, another of the many that refer to a river's source.

Cf. the entry Ringló in the index to Unfinished Tales. This explanation of the name Ringló only arose in the course of the writing of this essay; for in the discussion of Gwathló that Tolkien struck out he had originally added this note:

It [the element ] appears also in the name Ringló, the fourth of the Rivers of Condor. It may be translated Chillflood. Coming down cold from the snows of the White Mountains in swift course, after its meeting with the Ciril and later with the Morthond it formed considerable marshes before it reached the sea, though these were very small compared with the fens of the Swanfleet (Nîn-in-Eilph) about Tharbad.

In the revised discussion of Gwathlo (UT:263) this note was replaced by the following:

A similar name is found in Ringló, the fourth of the rivers of Gondor. Named as several other rivers, such as Mitheithel and Morthond (black-root)) after its source Ringnen 'chill-water’, it was later called Ringló, since it formed a fenland about its confluence with the Morthond, though this was very small compared with the Great Fen (Lô Dhaer) of the Gwathló.

Tolkien then struck out the latter part of this note (from "since it formed a fenland" through the end), replacing it with a direction to see the final explanation of Ringló given above, in which the element lo is not derived from fenlands near the coast ("there is no record of any swamps or marsh in its course") but from the lake that formed at the river's source "at seasons of snowmelting" in the mountains.

Morthond

Similarly the Morthond ‘Black-root', which rose in a dark valley in the mountains due south of Edoras, called Mornan,{31} not only because of the shadow of the two high mountains between which it lay, but because through it passed the road from the Gate of the Dead Men, and living men did not go there.

Levnui

There were no other rivers in this region, "further Gondor", until one came to the Levnui, the longest and widest of the Five. This was held to be the boundary of Gondor in this direction; for beyond it lay the promontory of Angast and the wilderness of ‘Old Púkel-land' (Drúwaith Iaur) which the Númenóreans had never attempted to occupy with permanent settlements, though they maintained a Coast-guard force and beacons at the end of Cape Angast.

Levnui is said to mean ‘fifth' (after Erui, Sirith, Semi, Morthond), but its form offers difficulties. (It is spelt Lefnui on the Map; and that is preferable. For though in the Appendices f is said to have the sound of English f except when standing at the end of a word,{32} voiceless f does not in fact occur medially before consonants (in uncompounded words or names) in Sindarin; while v is avoided before consonants in English).{33} The difficulty is only apparent.


Tolkien then immediately embarks on a lengthy and elaborate discussion of the Eldarin numerals, which has been removed to an appendix below.

Following this discussion, Tolkien (continuing westward on the map from Levnui) reintroduced the name Adorn, and repeated the substance of his earlier remarks: "This river, flowing from the West of Ered Nimrais into the River Isen, is fitted in style to Sindarin, but has no meaning in that language, and probably is derived from one of the languages spoken in this region before the occupation of Gondor by Númenóreans, which began long before the Downfall." He then continued:

Several other names in Gondor are apparently of similar origin. The element Bel- in Belfalas has no suitable meaning in Sindarin. Falas (Q. falasse) meant ‘shore'—especially one exposed to great waves and breakers (cf. Q. falma ‘a wave-crest, wave). It is possible that Eel had a similar sense in an alien tongue, and Bel-falas is an example of the type of place-name, not uncommon when a region is occupied by a new people, in which two elements of much the same topographical meaning are joined: the first being in the older and the second in the incoming language.{34} Probably because the first was taken by the Incomers as a particular name. However, in Gondor the shore-land from the mouth of Anduin to Dol Amroth was called Belfalas, but actually usually referred to as i·Falas ‘the surf-beach' (or sometimes as Then-falas ‘short beach',{35} in contrast to An-falas ‘long beach', between the mouths of Morthond and Levnui). But the great bay between Umbar and Angast (the Long Cape, beyond Levnui) was called the Bay of Belfalas (Côf Belfalas) or simply of Bel (Côf gwaeren Bêl ‘the windy Bay of Bêl').{36} So that it is more probable that Bêl was the name or part of the name of the region afterward usually called Dor-en-Ernil ‘land of the Prince': it was perhaps the most important part of Gondor before the Númenórean settlement.



Christopher Tolkien writes: "With ‘the windy Bay of Bêl' cf. the poem The Man in the Moon came down too soon in The Adventures of Tom Bombadil (1962), where the Man in the Moon fell ‘to a foaming bath in the windy Bay of Bel', identified as Belfalas in the preface to the book.—This passage was struck through, presumably at once, since the next paragraph begins again ‘Several other names in Gondor are apparently of similar origin. A page of rapid manuscript found with the typescript essay shows my father sketching an entirely different origin for the element Bel-. I have referred to this text and cited it in part in Unfinished Tales (p. 247), observing that it represents an altogether different conception of the establishment of the Elvish haven (Edhellond) north of Dol Amroth from that given in Of Dwarves and Men (XII:313 and 329 n. 67), where it is said that it owed its existence to ‘seafaring Sindar from the west havens of Beleriand who fled in three small ships when the power of Morgoth overwhelmed the Eldar and the Atani'. The manuscript page obviously belongs to the same very late period as the essay, as is seen both from the paper on which it is written and from the fact that the same page carries drafting for the Oath of Cirion in Quenya (UT:305)." This manuscript page is given below in full; two notes that Tolkien made to the text are collected together at its end:

Belfalas. This is a special case. Bel- is certainly an element derived from a pre-Númenórean name; but its source is known, and was in fact Sindarin. The regions of Gondor had a complex history in the remote past, so far as their population was concerned, and the Númenóreans evidently found many layers of mixed peoples, and numerous islands of isolated folk either clinging to old dwellings, or in mountain-refuges from invaders (Note 1). But there was one small (but important) element in Gondor of quite exceptional kind: an Eldarin settlement.{37} Little is known of its history until shortly before it disappeared; for the Eldarin Elves, whether Exiled Noldor or long-rooted Sindar, remained in Beleriand until its desolation in the Great War against Morgoth; and then if they did not take sail over Sea wandered westward [sic; read "eastward"] in Eriador. There, especially near the Hithaeglir (on either side), they found scattered settlements of the Nandor, Telerin Elves who had in the First Age never completed the journey to the shores of the Sea; but both sides recognized their kinship as Eldar. There appears, however, in the beginning of the Second Age, to have been a group of Sindar who went south. They were a remnant, it seems, of the people of Doriath, who harboured still their grudge against the Noldor and left the Grey Havens because these and all the ships there were commanded by Cirdan (a Noldo). Having learned the craft of shipbuilding (Note 2) they went in the course of years seeking a place for havens of their own. At last they settled at the mouth of the Morthond. There was already a primitive harbour there of fisher-folk; but these in fear of the Eldar fled into the mountains. The land between Morthond and Serni (the shoreward parts of Dor-en-Ernil)

Note 1. Though none of the regions of the Two Kingdoms were before (or after!) the Númenórean settlements densely populated as we should reckon it.

Note 2: All Elves were naturally skilled in making boats, but the craft that were to make a long voyage over Sea, perilous even to Elven-craft until Middle-earth was far behind, required more skill and knowledge.

The manuscript page ends here, mid-sentence, and without reaching an explanation of the element Bel-. Christopher Tolkien writes: "It was perhaps a purely experimental extension of the history, at once abandoned; but the assertion that Cirdan was a Noldo is very strange. This runs clean counter to the entire tradition concerning him—yet it is essential to the idea sketched in this passage. Possibly it was his realization of this that led my father to abandon it in mid-sentence."

The typescript resumes with a replacement of the rejected passage on Belfalas (and now avoiding discussion of that problematic name):

Several other names in Gondor are apparently of similar origin. Lamedon has no meaning in Sindarin (if it was Sindarin it would be referred to *lambeton-, *lambetân-, but C.E. lambe- ‘language’ can hardly be concerned). Arnach is not Sindarin. It may be connected with Arnen on the east side of Anduin. Arnach was applied to the valleys in the south of the mountains and their foothills between Celos and Erui. There were many rocky outcrops there, but hardly more than in the higher valleys of Gondor generally. Arnen was a rock outlier of the Ephel Dúath, round which the Anduin, south of Minas Tirith, made a wide bend.

Suggestions of the historians of Gondor that arn- is an element in some pre-Númenórean language meaning ‘rock’ is merely a guess.{38} More probable is the view of the author (unknown) of the fragmentarily preserved Ondonóre Nómesseron Minaþurie (‘Enquiry into the Place-names of Gondor’).{39} On internal evidence he lived as far back as the reign of Meneldil, son of Anárion—no events later than that reign are mentioned—when memories and records of the early days of the settlements now lost were still available, and the process of naming was still going on. He points out that Sindarin was not well-known to many of the settlers who gave the names, mariners, soldiers, and emigrants, though all aspired to have some knowledge of it. Gondor was certainly occupied from its beginning by the Faithful, men of the Elf-friend party and their followers; and these in revolt against the ‘Adunaic' Kings who forbade the use of the Elvish tongues gave all new names in the new realm in Sindarin, or adapted older names to the manner of Sindarin. They also renewed and encouraged the study of Quenya, in which important documents, titles, and formulas were composed. But mistakes were likely to be made.{40} Once a name had become current it was accepted by the rulers and organizers. He thinks therefore that Arnen originally was intended to mean ‘beside the water, sc. Anduin'; but ar- in this sense is Quenya, not Sindarin. Though since in the full name Emyn Arnen the Emyn is Sindarin plural of Amon ‘hill', Arnen cannot be a Sindarin adjective, since an adjective of such shape would have a Sindarin plural ernain, or ernin. The name must therefore have meant ‘the hills of Arnen. It is now forgotten, but it can be seen from old records that Arnen was the older name of the greater part of the region later called Ithilien. This was given to the narrow land between the Anduin and the Ephel Dúath, primarily to the part between Cair Andros and the southern end of the bend of Anduin, but vaguely extended north to the Nindalf and south towards the Poros. For when Elendil took as his dwelling the North Kingdom, owing to his friendship with the Eldar, and committed the South Kingdom to his sons, they divided it so, as is said in ancient annals: "Isildur took as his own land all the region of Arnen; but Anárion took the land from Erui to Mount Mindolluin and thence westward to the North Wood", (later in Rohan called the Firien Wood), "but Gondor south of Ered Nimrais they held in common."

Arnach, if the above explanation is accepted, is not then related to Arnen. Its origin and source are in that case now lost. It was generally called in Gondor Lossarnach. Loss is Sindarin for ‘snow’, especially fallen and long-lying snow. For what reason this was prefixed to Arnach is unclear. Its upper valleys were renowned for their flowers, and below them there were great orchards, from which at the time of the War of the Ring much of the fruit needed in Minas Tirith still came. Though no mention of this is found in any chronicles—as is often the case with matters of common knowledge—it seems probable that the reference was in fact to the fruit blossom. Expeditions to Lossarnach to see the flowers and trees were frequently made by the people of Minas Tirith. (See index Lossarnach adding III 36,140;{41} Imloth Melui "sweet flower-valley", a place in Arnach). This use of ‘snow' would be specially likely in Sindarin, in which the words for fallen snow and flower were much alike, though different in origin: loss and loth, [the latter] meaning ‘inflorescence, a head of small flowers'. Loth is actually most often used collectively in Sindarin, equivalent to goloth; and a single flower denoted by elloth (er-loth) or lotheg.{42}

With Imloth Melui ‘sweet flower-valley cf Ioreth's mention of "the roses of Imloth Melui", LR:848. Against the Sindarin words loss and loth Tolkien made the following note:

S. loss is a derivative of (G)LOS ‘white'; but loth is from LOT. Sindarin used loss as a noun, but the strengthened form gloss as an adjective ‘(dazzling) white', loth was the only derivative of LOT that it retained, probably because other forms of the stem assumed a phonetic shape that seemed inappropriate, or were confusible with other stems (such as LUT ‘float'): e.g. *lod, *lûd. loth is from a diminutive lotse and probably also from derivative lotta-. Cf. Q. losse ‘snow', lossea ‘snow-white'; and late ‘a flower' (mostly applied to larger single flowers); olóte ‘bloom, the flowers collectively of a single plant'; lilótea ‘having many flowers'; lotse ‘a small single flower'; losta ‘to bloom', (t-t in inflexion > st.) Both Quenya and Sindarin retain for ‘snow' only the strengthened loss- since medial s between vowels suffered changes that made them unsuitable or clashed with other stems.{43}

The names of the Beacon hills

The full beacon system, that was still operating in the War of the Ring, can have been no older than the settlement of the Rohirrim in Calenardhon about 500 years before; for its principal function was to warn the Rohirrim that Gondor was in danger or (more rarely) the reverse. How old the names then used were cannot be said. The beacons were set on hills or on the high ends of ridges running out from the mountains, but some were not very notable objects.

The first part of this statement was cited in the section Cirion and Eorl in UT:315 n.35.

Amon Dîn

This entry is given in full in UT:319 n. 51 (last paragraph).

Eilenach and Eilenaer

This entry is given in the same note in Unfinished Tales, but in this case slightly reduced. In the original the passage begins:

Eilenach (better spelt Eilienach). Probably an alien name; not Sindarin, Númenórean, or Common Speech. In true Sindarin eilen could only be derived from *elyen, *alyen, and would normally be written eilien. This and Eilenaer (older name of Halifirien: see that below) are the only names of this group that are certainly pre-Númenórean. They are evidently related. Both were notable features.

The name and parenthetical note on Eilenaer entered here, as alterations to the typescript. Christopher Tolkien writes: "The name Eilenaer does not in fact occur in the account of Halifirien in this essay: my father intended to introduce it, but before he did so he rejected that account in its entirety, as will be seen." At the end of the description of Eilenach and Nardol as given in Unfinished Tales, where it is said that the fire on Nardol could be seen from Halifirien, Tolkien added a note:

The line of beacons from Nardol to Halifirien lay in a shallow curve bending a little southward, so that the three intervening beacons did not cut off the view.

There follow statements concerning Erelas and Calenhad, elements of which were used in the index to Unfinished Tales.

Erelas

Erelas was a small beacon, as also was Calenhad. These were not always lit; their lighting as in The Lord of the Rings was a signal of great urgency. Erelas is Sindarin in style, but has no suitable meaning in that language. It was a green hill without trees, so that neither er- ‘single' nor las(s) ‘leaf seem applicable.

Calenhad

Calenhad was similar but rather larger and higher. Galen was the usual word in Sindarin for ‘green' (its older sense was ‘bright', Q. kalina). -had appears to be for sad (with usual mutation in combinations); if not misspelt this is from SAT ‘space, place, sc. a limited area naturally or artificially defined' (also applied to recognized periods or divisions of time), ‘divide, mark off', seen in S. sad ‘a limited area naturally or artificially defined, a place, spot', etc. (also sant ‘a garden, field, yard, or other place in private ownership, whether enclosed or not'; said ‘private, separate, not common, excluded'; seidia- ‘set aside, appropriate to a special purpose or owner'); Q. satì- verb, with sense of S. seidia- (< satya-); [Q. adj.] satya [with same sense] as S. said; also [Q.] asta a division of the year, ‘month' (sati- was in Quenya applied to time as well as space).{44} Calenhad would thus mean simply ‘green space', applied to the flat turf-covered crown of the hill. But had may stand for S. -hadh (the maps do not use dh, but this is the only case where dh might be involved, except Caradhras which is omitted, and Enedhwaith which is misspelt [?ened].{45} -hadh would then be for sadh (in isolated use sâdh) ‘sward, turf' – base SAD ‘strip, flay, peel off', etc.{46}

Halifirien

The essay ends (unfinished) with a long and notable discussion of the Halifirien; Tolkien's interspersed notes are collected together at the end of this discussion. With this account cf. UT:300-1, 303-5.

Halifirien is a name in the language of Rohan. It was a mountain with easy approach to its summit. Down its northern slopes grew the great wood called in Rohan the Firien Wood. This became dense in lower ground, westward along the Mering Stream and northwards out into the moist plain through which the Stream flowed into the Entwash. The great West Road passed through a long ride or clearing through the wood, to avoid the wet land beyond its eaves. The name Halifirien (modernized in spelling for Háligfirgen) meant Holy Mountain. The older name in Sindarin had been Fornarthan ‘North Beacon';{47} the wood had been called Eryn Fuir ‘North Wood'. The reason for the Rohan name is not now known for certain. The mountain was regarded with reverence by the Rohirrim; but according to their traditions at the time of the War of the Ring that was because it was on its summit that Eorl the Young met Cirion, Steward of Gondor; and there when they had looked forth over the land they fixed the bounds of the realm of Eorl, and Eorl swore to Cirion the Oath of Eorl—"the unbroken oath"—of perpetual friendship and alliance with Gondor. Since in oaths of the greatest solemnity the names of the Valar were invoked (Note 1) — and though the oath was called "the Oath of Eorl" in Rohan it was also called "the Oath of Cirion" (for Gondor was equally pledged to aid Rohan) and he would use solemn terms in his own tongue—this might be sufficient to hallow the spot.

But the account in annals contains two remarkable details: that there was at the place where Cirion and Eorl stood what appeared to be an ancient monument of rough stones nearly man-high with a flat top; and that on this occasion Cirion to the wonder of many invoked the One (that is God). His exact words are not recorded, but they probably took the form of allusive terms such as Faramir used in explaining to Frodo the content of the unspoken "grace" (before communal meals) that was a Númenórean ritual, e.g. "These words shall stand by the faith of the heirs of the Downfallen in the keeping of the Thrones of the West and of that which is above all Thrones for ever."

This would in effect hallow the spot for as long as the Númenórean realms endured, and was no doubt intended to do so, being not in any way an attempt to restore the worship of the One on the Meneltarma (‘pillar of heaven), the central mountain of Númenor (Note 2), but a reminder of it, and of the claim made by "the heirs of Elendil" that since they had never wavered in their allegiance they (Note 3) were still permitted to address the One in thought and prayer direct.

The "ancient monument"—by which was evidently meant a structure made before the coming of the Númenóreans—is a curious feature, but is no support to the view that the mountain was already in some sense "hallowed" before its use in the oath-taking. Had it been regarded as of "religious" significance it would in fact have made this use impossible, unless it had at least been completely destroyed first (Note 4). For a religious structure that was "ancient" could only have been erected by the Men of Darkness, corrupted by Morgoth or his servant Sauron. The Middle Men, descendants of the ancestors of the Númenóreans, were not regarded as evil nor inevitable enemies of Gondor. Nothing is recorded of their religion or religious practices before they came in contact with the Númenóreans (Note 5), and those who became associated or fused with the Númenóreans adopted their customs and beliefs (included in the "lore" which Faramir speaks of as being learned by the Rohirrim). The "ancient monument" can thus not have been made by the Rohirrim, or honoured by them as sacred, since they had not yet established themselves in Rohan at the time of the Oath (soon after the Battle of the Field of Celebrant), and such structures in high places as places of religious worship was no part of the customs of Men, good or evil (Note 6). It may however have been a tomb.

Author's notes to the account of the Halifirien

Note 1: Cf. the Coronation of Aragorn.{48}

Note 2: That would have been regarded as sacrilegious.

Note 3: And, as was generally believed by their rulers, all who accepted their leadership and received their instruction. See next note.

Note 4: For the Númenórean view of the previous inhabitants see Faramir's conversation with Frodo, especially II 287.{49} The Rohirrim were according to his classification Middle Men, and their importance to Gondor in his time is chiefly in mind and modifies his account; the description of the various men of the southern "fiefs" of Gondor, who were mainly of non-Númenórean descent, shows that other kinds of Middle Men, descended from others of the Three Houses of the Edain, lingered in the West, in Eriador (as the Men of Bree), or further south—notably the people of Dor-en-Ernil (Dol Amroth).

Note 5: Because such matters had little interest for the Gondorian chroniclers; and also because it was assumed that they had in general remained faithful to the monotheism of the Dúnedain, allies and pupils of the Eldar. Before the removal of most of the survivors of these "Three Houses of Men" to Númenor, there is no mention of the reservation of a high place for worship of the One and the ban on all temples built by hand, which was characteristic of the Númenóreans until their rebellion, and which among the Faithful (of whom Elendil was the leader) after the Downfall and the loss of the Meneltarma became a ban on all places of worship.

Note 6: The Men of Darkness built temples, some of great size, usually surrounded by dark trees, often in caverns (natural or delved) in secret valleys of mountain-regions; such as the dreadful halls and passages under the Haunted Mountain beyond the Dark Door (Gate of the Dead) in Dunharrow. The special horror of the closed door before which the skeleton of Baldor was found was probably due to the fact that the door was the entrance to an evil temple hall to which Baldor had come, probably without opposition up to that point.{50} But the door was shut in his face, and enemies that had followed him silently came up and broke his legs and left him to die in the darkness, unable to find any way out.

At the words "It may however have been a tomb". Tolkien abandoned this text, and (no doubt immediately) marked the entire account of the Halifirien for deletion.

Christopher Tolkien writes: "These last words may well signify the precise moment at which the tomb of Elendil on Halifirien [cf. UT:304] entered the history; and it is interesting to observe the mode of its emergence. The original ‘Firien was the ‘black hill' in which were the caverns of Dunharrow (VIII:251); it was also called ‘the Halifirien' (VIII:257, 262), and Dunharrow was ‘said to be a haliern' (Old English hálig-ern ‘holy place, sanctuary') ‘and to contain some ancient relic of old days before the Dark'; while Dunharrow, in my father's later words, is ‘a modernisation of Rohan Dūnhaerg "the heathen fane on the hillside", so-called because this refuge of the Rohirrim ... was on the site of a sacred place of the old inhabitants' (VIII:267 n. 35). The name Halifirien was soon transferred to become the last of the beacon-hills of Gondor, at the western end of the chain (VIII:257), which had been first named Mindor Uilos (VIII:233); but there is no indication at all of what my father had in mind, with respect to the very express meaning of the name Halifirien, when he made this transference. The account given above, written so late in his life, seems to be the first statement on the subject; and here he assumed without question that (while the hill had earlier borne the Sindarin name Fornarthan ‘North Beacon) it was the Rohirrim who called it ‘the Holy Mountain: and they called it so, ‘according to their traditions at the time of the War of the Ring', because of the profound gravity and solemnity of the oath of Cirion and Eorl taken on its summit, in which the name of Eru was invoked. He refers to a record in the annals' that ‘an ancient monument of rough stones nearly man-high with a flat top' stood on the summit of the Halifirien—but he at once proceeds to argue strongly that its presence can be ‘no support to the view that the mountain was in some sense "hallowed" before its use in the oath-taking', since any such ancient object of ‘religious' significance ‘could only have been erected by the Men of Darkness, corrupted by Morgoth or his servant Sauron.' But: ‘It may however have been a tomb.'

"And thus the 'hallowing' of the hill (anciently named Eilenaer) was carried back two and a half thousand years before the Rohirrim settled in Calenardhon: already at the beginning of the Third Age it was the Hill of Awe, Amon Anwar of the Númenóreans, on account of that tomb on its summit. I have no doubt that the account of the Oath of Cirion and Eorl given, with the closely related texts, in Unfinished Tales, followed very shortly and perhaps with no interval at all the abandonment of this essay on the names of the rivers and beacon-hills of Gondor.

"It is thus seen that not only the present work but all the history of the Halifirien and Elendil's tomb arose from Mr. Bibire's brief query.

"This is a convenient place to notice a stage in the development of the story of Elendil's tomb that was not mentioned in Unfinished Tales. There is a rejected draft page for the passage recounting the definition of the bounds of Gondor and Rohan by Cirion and Eorl, which scarcely differs from the text printed in Unfinished Tales until the paragraph beginning: ‘By this pact only a small part of the Wood of Anwar....' (UT:306). Here the rejected text reads:

By this agreement originally only a small part of the Wood west of the Mering Stream was included in Rohan; but the Hill of Anwar was declared by Cirion to be now a hallowed place of both peoples, and any of them might now ascend to its summit with the leave of the King of the Éothéod or the Steward of Gondor.

For the following day after the taking of the oaths Cirion and Eorl with twelve men ascended the Hill again; and Cirion let open the tomb. "It is fitting now at last," he said, "that the remains of the father of kings should be brought to safe-keeping in the hallows of Minas Tirith. Doubtless had he come back from the war his tomb would have been far away in the North, but Arnor has withered, and Fornost is desolate, and the heirs of Isildur have gone into the shadows, and no word of them has come to us for many lives of men."

"Here my father stopped, and taking a new page wrote the text as it stands in Unfinished Tales, postponing the opening of the tomb and the removal of the remains of Elendil to Minas Tirith to a later point in the story (UT:310)."

Appendix: The Eldarin numerals

The following text has been removed from the entry for the river-name Levnui (S. ‘fifth') above to this appendix.

The stems of the Common Eldarin numerals (which up to 12 agree closely in the derived languages) were: 1 ‘single' (non-serial) ER; ‘one, first of a series' MIN. 2 TATA, ATTA. 3 NEL, NEL-ED. From 3-9{51} the stems were dissyllabic (Note 1) (triconsonantal, though two of them had no initial consonant, as was not infrequent in Common Eldarin in this pattern): 4 kan-at. 6 en-ek(w) (the (w) only appears in Quenya). 7 ot-os. 8 tol-ot.{52} 9 net-er. 10 kwaya, kway-am. 11 minik(w). 12 yunuk(w).{53} 5 is omitted because it is exceptional. It had the stem lepen, and a supposed variant lemen (but see further below) neither of which ever appeared without the third consonant.

The numerals, as is usual, are mostly not referable with certainty to other stems or bases. The form min is probably the same in origin as MIN that appears in words applying to isolated prominent things, such as steeples, tall turrets, sharp mountain peaks, minya ‘first' thus meant eminent, prominent', cf. Q. eteminya ‘prominent'; also minde ‘turret', augmented in mindon ‘lofty tower', minasse, S. minas: ‘fort, city, with a citadel and central watch-tower'. ‘Five' was no doubt a special number primitively in peoples of elvish/human shape, being the number of the fingers on one hand. Thus lepen is without doubt related to the stem LEP ‘finger' (Note 2). It is also certain that 10 kwaya, and kwayam (-m being also of plural origin), is related to base KWA (kwa-kwa, kwa-t) ‘full, complete, all, every", and meant ‘all, the whole lot, all the ten fingers'.{54} But already in Common Eldarin the multiples of three, especially six and twelve, were considered specially important, for general arithmetical reasons; and eventually beside the decimal numeration a complete duodecimal system was devised for calculations, some of which, such as the special words for 12 (dozen), 18, and 144 (gross), were in general use.{55} But since this appears to have been a relatively late development (only begun after the Common Eldarin [?Period] except for the word for 12),{56} the vague similarity of nel(ed), e-nek-we, net-er are probably not significant.

In Common Eldarin the full forms with ómataima (long or short){57} were employed as cardinals: as Telerin canat, Sindarin canad 4 < kanata. In Quenya the second vowel was syncopated as usual with short unstressed vowels following a stressed vowel of the same quality: hence Q. kanta 4 < kanatā. For 5 Telerin had lepen, S. leben. In Telerin final n (< m, n) was not lost, but it was lost in Sindarin; it is therefore probable that in Common Eldarin *lepen had assumed the form lepene with a final vowel modelled on the other numerals. The Quenya form is lempe. This does not support the view that 5 had in Common Eldarin an alternative stem lemen. In pre-record Quenya the sequences pm, pn, tn, kn were frequently reversed{58}—a process assisted by the frequency with which nasal (homorganic) infixion competed with the suffixion of n, m in word formation, and also by the severe phonetic changes which overtook the voiceless stops before nasals (Note 3). So lepene > lepne would yield lempe without need to substitute m. See further under Ordinals.

The ordinals in Common Eldarin appear to have been formed by addition of adjectival -to a stem in which the second vowel was absent. Not by syncope, but according to the primitive modes of derivation from bases. In Quenya the ending -ea was generalized for 3rd, 4th, 6th-9th inclusive. It was the natural form for Quenya in 3rd, 4th, 6th, 9th, and ousted the oya proper to 7th, 8th.{59} The Quenya forms were: 1st minya; 2nd tatya (Note 4) early replaced by attea; 3rd nelya, also neldea; 4th kantea; 5th lemenya (the usual form; lempea only appears in late Quenya); 6th enquea; 7th otsea; 8th toldea;{60} 9th nertea; 10th quainea. The Sindarin forms were cardinal 1 mîn, er; 2 tâd; 3 nêl; 4 canad; 5 leben; 6 eneg; 7 odog{61} (the historical form odo < otoso occurred in Doriathrin according to the grammarians); 8 toloð;{62} 9 neder; 10 pae. The Sindarin ordinals were mainly formed with suffixed -ui, derived from ō-ya, ū-ya (which were present in 7th and 8th), and generalized as a suffix in these and other adjectives. 1st mein, main (from minya, only used in senses ‘prime, chief, pre-eminent', etc.), minui; 2nd taid (only used in senses ‘supporting, second in command', etc.), tadui; 3rd neil, nail (late S. nelui); 4th canthui; 5th levnui; 6th enchui; 7th othui; 8th tollui;{63} 9th nedrui; 10th paenui (Note 5). Other occasional forms are 6th enecthui, with -thui deduced from 4th, 7th, 8th; 7th odothui. othui is the normal and older form, and is directly derived from C.E. otsōya.

In this setting the aberrant Q. lemenya and S. levnui may be better understood. The form lemenya in Quenya plainly supports the view that the Common Eldarin numeral for 5 differed from the others from 3 to 9: it was not originally a triconsonantal stem, the final nasal was an inflexion, and there was no ómataima beyond it at the primitive time when these adjectives were devised; the adjectival -ya was therefore added direct to the nasal. The m however is a Quenya alteration based on lempe. In Telerin, in contrast to Quenya and Sindarin, the ordinals, under the influence of minya, tatya, nelya, and lepenya, generalized the pattern in which -ya was added direct to the final consonant of the stem: so T. 4th canatya, 6th enetya, 7th ototya,{64} 8th tolodya,{65} 9th neterya, 10th paianya. It may be observed that 5th was lepenya; since the cardinal was lepen and there was no such form as Q. lempe to induce a change to lemen-. That Telerin, though in many ways the most archaic of the Eldarin tongues, was not immune from analogical changes is seen in the form ototya (with tya instead of sya) after -tya in 2nd, 4th, 6th; but it would be unreasonable to suppose that T. lepenya has p after lepen instead of m as in the Q. lemenya; since the m is isolated in Quenya and satisfactorily explicable from lempe, whereas a variant stem *lemen would be obscure in its relations to lepen, which has credible etymological connexions.



The S. levnui does not support *lemen. It is true that *lemnui made on a pattern similar to the other numerals would yield levnui; but so would a stem-form lepn- in Sindarin. In Sindarin voiceless stops [i.e., p, t, k] before nasals became voiced > b, d, g, and then together with the original voiced stops in this position became nasals before homorganic nasals (tn, dn > nn; pm, bm > mm), but before other nasals became spirants as generally medially (pn, bn > vn; tm, dm > ðm, later > ðv, ðw; kn, gn > gn > in; km, gm > gm > im > iv, iw). Since, however, Quenya and Telerin show clearly that the stem lepen was originally a distinct stem not primitively capable of extrusion of the second vowel, the actual history of the Sindarin aberration is probably this: the sequel of C.E. lepenya would have produced *lepein(a) [deleted: more probably lebein(a)], but its aberration from its neighbours would have only the support of the distant *neil(a) 3rd, which was not a triconsonantal stem; it was therefore remodelled to lepni(a) after enki(a) 6th and nerti(a) 9th and the similar pattern of the stems in *kantaia 4th, otsoia 7th, toltoia 8th. This lepni then followed the normal Sindarin development to levni, subsequently adopting as all the others of its neighbours the ending ui.

A torn half-sheet placed among this discussion of Eldarin numerals reads:

Far too complicated.lemenya must be abandoned, the Old Quenya reflex in Vanyarin was lepenya (as in Telerin). In Noldorin Quenya its aberration was corrected by lempea (with -ea of other ordinals) derived from lempe, and before the Exile this was already the usual spoken form of 5th in Noldorin Quenya, though the Noldor all knew lepenya since that was used in Vanyarin and also in Telerin.

Author's notes to the account of the Eldarin numerals

Note 1: The simpler, and probably older, bi-consonantal forms occur, however, in adverbial or prefixed forms: as AT(A) ‘double, bi-, di-’, in numerals signifying ‘doubled'; similarly NEL-, KAN-, etc.{66}

Note 2: Cf. the probable ultimate relationship between five, finger, and fist.{67} It was considered probable that originally it was a plural *lepem—m being certainly an ancient plural indicator in Common Eldarin—‘fingers', sc. of one hand. But if so lepem must have been altered by dissimilation > lepen and the final -n associated with the third consonant of the other numerals.

Note 3: But the chief reason, no doubt, was the strong predilection which Quenya showed for the sequences of sonants: m, n, n; l, r before stops, as against those in which the sonants followed. Transposition also occurs in Quenya in ancient forms of tr, tl, etc. > rt, lt. Of this an example occurs in C.E. *netere which in Quenya appears as nerte.

Note 4: The reason for the Quenya divergence in the ordinal: Q. atta 2, but T. tata, S. tad is not certain. The appearance of at(a) in adverbial or prefixal use in Quenya, Telerin, and Sindarin; [and] of Q. atatya ‘double' and S. edaid ‘double', suggest that the most primitive form was AT, reduplicated to Atat to enforce the duality. Of a primitive atata the normal Quenya development was atta, while atatya remained because the second a was not syncopated, being in a long syllable.{68} But whatever its origin ATATA was treated as a triconsonantal stem: those in which there was no actual initial consonant were in ancient modes of derivation often deprived of the initial vowel when the accent was placed on the second syllable. T. tata, S. tad may thus be referred to (a)táta. The placing of the accent would not affect Quenya since in PQ the accent became placed on the first syllable in all cases, except for words formed with still recognized prefixes.{69}

Note 5: The forms canthui, enchui, tolthui are those of the southern Sindarin dialect adopted by the Noldor. In the Northern dialect (which perished in the course of the war against Morgoth) nt, nc, mp had remained unchanged. In the Southern dialects nt, ñk, mp remained when standing finally—or more probably the spirant was re-stopped in this position; for similarly final lth > lt, though rth remained finally. Medially however nth (), nch (ñx), mf (mp with bilabial f), and lth () became long voiceless n, ñ, m, l, though the old spelling was mostly retained (beside nh, ñh, mh, lh), and among those to whom Sindarin became a language of lore, as the men of Gondor who were or claimed to be of Númenórean race, the spirant was reintroduced from the spelling. In true Sindarin of the Elves or Elf-friends of the early ages the final form was often introduced medially. In the transcription of Elvish Sindarin in The Lord of the Rings ll is used in the manner of modern Welsh for the medial voiceless l; as in mallorn < malhorn < malþorn < malt ‘gold' and orn ‘tree’.{70}

1

My thanks to Mr. Bibire for providing me with a photocopy of this letter.

2

That it was two lines from a ‘poem attributed to Cynewulf, the Crist, that inspired Tolkien to create his mythology (cf. L:385, and Carpenter's Biography, pp. 72, 79), is an irony that no doubt keenly sharpened Tolkien's lament.

3

I.e., LR:1015.

4

No such corrected edition appeared in 1969, or during the remainder of Tolkien's life. For the corrected map that Tolkien refers to, and its fate, cf. UT:261-62 footnote, and 265.

5

I.e.,LR:962.

6

I.e.,LR:1088,entry for PH.

7

Cf. L:425: "Q. permitted, indeed favoured, the ‘dentals' n, l, r, s, t as final consonants: no other final consonants appear in the Q. lists" Tolkien's list here omits s, no doubt unintentionally.

8

Original p in most environments disappeared in Celtic.

9

Tolkien fell down stairs and injured his leg on June 17,1968, while he and Edith were preparing to move house from Oxford to Bournemouth. Cf. L:391ff., and Humphrey Carpenter's Biography, p. 251.

10

I.e., LR:267,365.

11

Altered on the typescript from glâna.

12

Comparing Q. lantalka ‘boundary post or mark’ (?= lan-talka) with S. glandagol ‘boundary mark" (?= glan-dagol) suggests the possibility of a common primitive element *takala ‘post, mark", realized as Q. *talka (with regular syncope of the second a and metathesis of the contact -kl- to -lk-), S. *tagol. Cf. TAK- ‘fix, make fast' (V:389).

13

The Telerin cognate glania- and the vowel mutation of a > et suggest that this form is perhaps to be corrected to gleinia-. However, Tolkien was exceedingly careful to correct errors in his citation of elements from his languages, so if gleina- here is an uncorrected error, it would be most unusual. Moreover, the phonological development of some of the Telerin and Sindarin ordinals originally ending in -ya discussed at the end of the appendix of this essay suggests that T. glania- and S. gleina- maybe plausible cognates: cf. T. nelya ‘third’, (archaic S.?) *neil(a), S. neil, nail.

14

I.e., LR:1040. Isen here is an editorial replacement for Gwathlo on the typescript since, as Christopher Tolkien notes, that river must be intended.

15

Cf. UT:416 s.v. Adorn.

16

Angast ‘Long Cape' appears to consist of an(n)- ‘long' and *cast ‘cape, headland', the latter evidently a derivative of KAS- ‘head' (V:362). Cf. English cape ‘promontory, headland', ultimately derived from Latin caput 'head'.

17

Older Q. waþar ‘veil' may also occur in the place-name Avathar, said in the later Quenta Silmarillion (of the late 19505) to mean ‘The Shadows" in "Ancient Quenya," referring to the land beneath the eastern feet of the Pelóri where "the shadows were deepest and thickest in the world" (X:284). Note, however, that in Quendi and Eldar (of 1959-60) Pengolodh says that Avathar was a name derived anciently from the language of the Valar, stating flatly: "This is not Elvish" (XI:404).

18

Cf. 8:359 s.v. gwath, wath. The form morchaint is analyzable as mar- ‘dark' + chaint ‘shapes', where the latter element presumably represents a spirantized form of underlying *caint ‘shapes', itself the plural of *cant ‘shape'. Cf. KAT- ‘shape' (V:362) and S. echant past tense verb ‘made' (literally, ‘shaped'), LR:297-98.

19

The figure in this sentence was altered on the typescript from "ăya > oe, ĭya > ei; ŭya > œ, e".

20

"enchui" is a replacement on the typescript for deleted "enegui".

21

A difficult note appears in the margin here, seemingly against and made at the same time as these deletions; it appears to read: "purely ui" and "revise". In connection with this, it is to be noted that the brief account of the phonological development of the Eldarin numerals given here differs in some respects from the much longer account arising later in this same essay, in the entry for Levnui: a further sign of the fluid nature of this composition.

22

The map of Middle-earth actually read Hithaiglin, prior to Christopher Tolkien's correction of the name to Hithaeglir when he redrew the map for Unfinished Tales. On the variation Aiglos vs. Aeglos (of the name of the spear of Gil-galad, LR:237), Christopher Tolkien notes that he substituted the latter for the former in Of the Rings of Power (S:294).

23

I.e., LR:221.

24

This was changed to "raime ‘network, lace'," then marked stet.

25

That is, in Quenya there are two homophonous and etymologically related

verbs raita: raita1 ‘to make a network or lace', synonymous with rea; and raita2 ‘to catch in a net'.

26

Cf. KAS-'head',V:362.

27

Altered from WAY. Cf. the base WEY- ‘wind, weave (V:398).

28

An initial, handwritten version of these last three typescript sentences reads: "Similar was √REB applied to actual nets (as for fishing or snaring). Q. rembe 'a hunter's or fisher's net', S. rem. Cp. remmirath ‘group of jewels caught in a net' = Pleiades."

29

I.e., LR:1089 n. 1.

30

Cf. RINGI- ‘cold', V:383.

31

I.e., mor- ‘dark' + nan 'valley'.

32

Cf. LR:1087, entry for F.

33

In other words, the name is pronounced Levnui, with the sound of English v, but is best spelt Lefnui in an English context.

34

This not uncommon phenomenon of place names is exemplified further in The Lord of the Rings by such forms as Bree-hill, bree being an anglicization of British *brigā (> Welsh bre ‘hill'); and Chetwood, containing an anglicization of British *kaito- (> Welsh coed ‘wood, forest'). Cf. XII:39 n., 81.

35

With then ‘short' cf. the verse-mode names Minlamad thent / estent *'short alliterating' (XI:311) and ann-thennath *'long-shorts'(LR:189); Lammasethen, the "shorter account of Pengolod" (V:192); and the base STINTĀ- ‘short' (V.388). Patrick Wynne and I discuss the interpretation of the two verse-names just given in our contribution, "Three Elvish Verse Modes", to the anthology Tolkien's Legendarium: Essays on the History of Middle-earth (Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2000).

36

The Etymologies has KHOP- *'haven, harbour' (V:364), and the deleted base KOP- (V:365) of the same meaning, but these would be expected to yield Sindarin forms in hôb, hob- and côb, cob-, respectively, not côf.

37

This was originally written as "Elvish settlement".

38

Tolkien provides a similar explanation for the initial element of the name Gondor itself: gond ‘stone'; cf. L:409-10. Tolkien (appropriately) adopted this element into his Elvish languages from ond, onn ‘stone', one of a very few words thought to have survived from the pre-Celtic languages of Britain; cf. L:410,VT30:10-14.

39

Minaþurie is an alteration from Mitaþurie. Ondonóre Nómesseron is clearly "the Place-names of Gondor", with nómesseron readily analyzable as name ‘place' (cf. sinome ‘in this place", LR:946) + esse ‘name' + r plural marker + -on genitive pl. suffix, 'of the". This leaves minaþurie to translate enquiry'. Noting that enquire is ultimately derived from Latin in ‘in, into' + quaerere ‘to seek', we can speculatively analyze minaþurie as *mina ‘in, into' + *þurie verbal noun ‘(the/an act of) seeking'. If so, mina is doubtless to be referred to the base MI- ‘inside', whence Q. mi ‘in, within, mir and minna ‘to the inside, into', and mitya adj. ‘interior'. See also the element mit- ‘in-' in Mittalmar ‘Inlands' (UT:165). þurie is a curious form, the substitution of s for þ everywhere being a distinctive feature of (specifically Noldorin) Quenya as spoken in Middle-earth (cf. XII:331-36, and VT41:7-8). The use of þ here is perhaps meant to convey the conventional use of the tengwa thúle (súle) in those words having s from original þ (cf. LR:1088, entry for TH; XII:332,338-39); and further to convey the antiquity of the work so titled. It is thus likely to be pronounced suríe. Noting the gerundial/infinitival ending -ie (UT:317 n. 43), we may further analyze þurie as

þur-ie ‘seek-ing’, with þur- (pronounced sur-) by this analysis being an otherwise unattested verbal root meaning *'seek’. But cf. THUR- ‘surround, fence, ward, hedge in, secrete’ (V:393). Cf. also kenta ‘enquiry’ (VT39:32-33).

40

Tolkien here deleted a parenthetical note that read: "(Many of those who actually gave the names were mariners and settlers [deleted: who did not speak Sindarin fluently >] who had only small knowledge of Quenya and whose Sindarin was imperfect.)"

41

I.e., LR:747,846.

42

S. lotheg '(single) flower' is formed from the collective loth- by the addition of a diminutive/singular ending -eg/-ig. Further examples of this ending include N. lhewig 'ear', singular, derived from lhaw ears (of one person)' (V:368 s.v. LAS2-); S. gwanunig ‘one of a pair of twins', from gwanūn ‘a pair of twins’ (XI:367); and S. Nogotheg ‘Dwarflet', from Nogoth ‘dwarf (XI:388, 413 n. 23). Note too N. fileg, pl. filig ‘small bird' (V:381 s.v. PHILIK-). Welsh also has a number of singular nouns derived from a plural form by the addition of a singular ending.

43

In Quenya, primitive medial s between vowels became z and then r, while in Sindarin it became h.

44

The base SAT would appear to explain the Quenya suffix -sta seen in the names of the Númenórean regions Forostar ‘Northlands', Andustar ‘Westlands’, etc. (UT:165). If so, this suffix, like Q. asta ‘month’, is derived from the base with suppression of the sundóma.

45

The words from "and Enedhwaith" to the end of this sentence entered as a handwritten note in the top margin. Cf. XII:328-29 n. 66.

46

Sward originally meant, and can still be used to mean, the skin of the body (esp. hair-covered skin, such as the scalp), or the rind of pork or bacon.

47

Fornarthan ‘North Beacon is probably to be analyzed as for(n)- ‘north’ + *narthan ‘beacon (cf. Forlindon *'North Lindon, LR:map; Fornost ‘Northern Fortress, Norbury', LR:971, UT:439). If so, the putative *narthan may be referred to NAR1- ‘flame, fire (V:374) and to √thăn / thān ‘kindle, set light to' (X:388). Cf. Nardol ‘Fire-hilltop’, also appearing in this essay (UT:319 n. 51).

48

The reference is to Gandalf ‘s words while placing the White Crown upon Aragorn, LR:946: "Now come the days of the King, and may they be blessed while the thrones of the Valar endure!"

49

I.e., LR,663. See also XII:312-14.

50

In this sentence, the name Baldor is (twice) an editorial replacement for Brego in the original. Tolkien has confused Brego, who completed the building of Meduseld, with his son Baldor, who passed beyond the Door of Dunharrow. See VIII:407, LR:770, 780; 1042, entry for 2512-70; and 1062, entry for 2570.

51

As first typed, this read "From 3 onwards".

52

Marginal notes against tol-ot show Tolkien experimenting with making the form tol-oth.

53

For the most part, this list of Common Eldarin numerical stems accords with the numeric system stipulated or implied by evidence in The Etymologies and The Lord of the Rings: cf. Etymologies entries ERE- ‘be alone, deprived', MINI- ‘stand alone, stick out’, AT(AT)- ‘again, back’, TATA-, TAT- *'two, double, NEL-, NÉL-ED- ‘three', KÁNAT- ‘four', LEP- (LEPEN, LEPEK) ‘five', ÉNEK- ‘six', OT- (OTOS, OTOK) ‘seven, TOL-OTH/OT 'eight', NÉTER- ‘nine', KAYAN-,

KAYAR- ‘ten', MINIK-W- *'eleven', RÁSAT- ‘twelve'. The two noteworthy exceptions are the stems for 10 (kwaya(m)) and 12 (yunuk(w)), but cf. KWAT-*'full' (V:366), and with yunuk(w) (yielding, presumably, Q. *yunque), cf. YŪ-‘two, both' (V:400).

54

As first typed, this sentence began "Less certain is it that".

55

As first typed, the special words included those for "twelve, eighteen, and the multiples of twelve, 24, 36-144" (i.e., it seems, the multiples of twelve occurring in the range from 36 through 144). A note written in the top margin of this sheet reads: "though for general purposes the numeral names were decimal in origin, special names were devised for multiples of 6".

56

As first typed, this parenthetical remark read: "(only completely carried out in Quenya)".

57

The ómataima is a vowel (óma) of the same quality as the sundóma or base-vowel that is added to a root or stern as an extension (taima). Cf. ómataina (of the same meaning), XI:371, 417; and the bases OM- *'voice' (V:379) and TAY-'extend, make long(er)' (V:391).

58

As first typed, the list of frequently reversed sequences was "pm, pn, pr, pl / tn, tr, tl / kn, kr, kl".

59

That is, the proper forms for 7th and 8th, which had base and stem vowels in o, historically ought to have ended in -oya.

60

The form toldea is an alteration on the typescript from toltea.

61

A prior, deleted version of the entry for 7 reads: "odo (later odog with g from eneg)".

62

Altered on the typescript from toloth.

63

Altered on the typescript from tolthui.

64

This is a typed alteration of otosya.

65

Altered on the typescript from tolotya.

66

As first typed, the latter part of this note read: "AT- ‘a second time, once more, again'; and in numerals signifying ‘squared, multiplied by itself'. Similarly NEL-, KAN-, etc."

67

The Oxford English Dictionary (1st ed.) relates all three of these words (with varying degrees of certainty) to Indo-European *penqe ‘five'.

68

A long syllable is one that contains either a long vowel (or diphthong), or, as in this case, a short vowel followed by two (or more) consonants.

69

The abbreviation "PQ" is nearly always used by Tolkien to indicate Primitive Quendian, but it cannot have that meaning here, since it would imply that the fronting of the accent took place in the primitive language, before the differentiations that led to the divisions resulting in the separate languages. Quenya, Telerin, and Sindarin; the fronting would in this case be expected to have the same consequence in all three languages, not just in Quenya. "PQ" is thus here perhaps to be expanded as "Prehistoric Quenya".

70

This surprising statement regarding the pronunciation of S. ll stands in stark contrast to Tolkien's earlier comment in Appendix E to The Lord of the Rings (LR:1089) that "consonants written twice, as tt, ll, ss, nn represent long, ‘double' consonants."


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