I have heard some talk of the Middle Men and how it would be they who would eventually claim dominion over the world, not the descendants of the Edain. I also have heard that some examples of Middle Men were the Rohirrim, Men of Bree, and Dalemen.
But I still don't understand who Middle Men were. Where did they come from? Is there even such a thing, or did I just hear incorrectly?
From: Serenity | Registered: Nov 2002
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From ‘The Window on the West’, spoken by Faramir:
quote: ‘Of our lore and manners they [the Rohirrim] have learned what they would, and their lords speak our speech at need; yet for the most part they hold by the ways of their own fathers and to their own memories, and they speak among themselves their own North tongue. And we love them: tall men and fair women, valiant both alike, golden-haired, bright-eyed, and strong; they remind us of the youth of Men, as they were in the Elder Days. Indeed it is said by our lore-masters that they have from of old this affinity with us that they are come from those same Three Houses of Men as were the Númenoreans in their beginning not from Hador the Goldenhaired, the Elf-friend, maybe, yet from such of his sons and people as went not over Sea into the West, refusing the call. ‘For so we reckon Men in our lore, calling them the High, or Men of the West, which were Númenoreans; and the Middle Peoples, Men of the Twilight, such as are the Rohirrim and their kin that dwell still far in the North; and the Wild, the Men of Darkness. ‘Yet now, if the Rohirrim are grown in some ways more like to us, enhanced in arts and gentleness, we too have become more like to them, and can scarce claim any longer the title High. We are become Middle Men, of the Twilight, but with memory of other things. For as the Rohirrim do, we now love war and valour as things good in themselves, both a sport and an end; and though we still hold that a warrior should have more skills and knowledge than only the craft of weapons and slaying, we esteem a warrior, nonetheless, above men of other crafts. Such is the need of our days. So even was my brother, Boromir: a man of prowess, and for that he was accounted the best man in Gondor. And very valiant indeed he was: no heir of Minas Tirith has for long years been so hardy in toil, so onward into battle, or blown a mightier note on the Great Horn.’
From Of Dwarves and Men published in HoMe XII: The Peoples of Middle-earth:
quote: On the relations of the different kinds of Men in Eriador and Rhovanion to the Atani and other Men met in the legends of the First Age and the War of the Jewels see The Lord of the Rings II.286-7 [in the chapter The Window on the West]. There Faramir gives a brief account of the contemporary classification in Gondor of Men into three kinds: High Men, or Númenóreans (of more or less pure descent); Middle Men; and Men of Darkness. The Men of Darkness was a general term applied to all those who were hostile to the Kingdoms, and who were (or appeared in Gondor to be) moved by something more than human greed for conquest and plunder, a fanatical hatred of the High Men and their allies as enemies of their gods. The term took no account of differences of race or culture or language. With regard to Middle Men Faramir spoke mainly of the Rohirrim, the only people of this sort well-known in Gondor in his time, and attributed to them actual direct descent from the Folk of Hador in the First Age. This was a general belief in Gondor at that time, and was held to explain (to the comfort of Númenórean pride) the surrender of so large a part of the Kingdom to the people of Eorl. The term Middle Men, however, was of ancient origin. It was devised in the Second Age by the Númenóreans when they began to establish havens and settlements on the western shores of Middle-earth. It arose among the settlers in the North (between Pelargir and the Gulf of Lune), in the time of Ar-Adûnakhôr; for the settlers in this region had refused to join in the rebellion against the Valar, and were strengthened by many exiles of the Faithful who fled from persecution by him and the later Kings of Númenor. It was therefore modelled on the classification by the Atani of the Elves: the High Elves (or Elves of Light) were the Ñoldor who returned in exile out of the Far West; the Middle Elves were the Sindar, who though near kin of the High Elves had remained in Middle-earth and never seen the light of Aman; and the Dark Elves were those who had never journeyed to the Western Shores and did not desire to see Aman. This was not the same as the classifications made by the Elves, which are not here concerned, except to note that ‘Dark Elves’ or ‘Elves of Darkness’ was used by them, but in no way implied any evil, or subordination to Morgoth; it referred only to ignorance of the ‘light of Aman’ and included the Sindar. Those who had never made the journey to the West Shores were called ‘the Refusers’ (Avari). It is doubtful if any of the Avari ever reached Beleriand or were actually known to the Númenóreans.
From ‘The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor’ published in Vinyar Tengwar #42:
quote: 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. … 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. 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. 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.
Too much is better than too little.
Registered: May 2002
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Excellent! Thank you, Maerbenn. It has been far too long since I read The Window on the West, and I have not yet gotten to HoME XII. Thanks for the help.
From: Serenity | Registered: Nov 2002
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Thanks Maerbenn, now Halion! Was in a debate on this on another message board. Looks like it was a lot of typing, unless you had it to copy/paste. Anyway, thanks again.
From: In the Shadows of Annuminas | Registered: Aug 2000
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