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Roll of Honor Celebrían
Guard of the Citadel
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Has there been discussion in the City about the connection in Tolkien's Letters in describing the Edain (of the race of Men) of the West, using the term "Númenor"?

In Christopher T's notes on Letter 131, "Númenoré means in 'Elvish' simply Westernesse or Land in the West."

But in Letter 239, JRRT directs the Spanish version of The Hobbit to drop the line about "the elves that are now called Gnomes."
quote:
Pedantically, associating it with the Greek gnome 'thought, intelligence'.
So am I right in thinking there is a connection between gnome and Númenor, to describe this people as intelligent and thoughtful (as in 'knowledge'), as a benefit from their alliance with the race of elves? Or even just that there is a linguistic relation between the words?

Edit: If there is already discussion on this, please feel free to direct the reader.

[ 08-19-2007, 11:00 PM: Message edited by: Celebrían ]

From: First Homely House, Rivendell, Eriador | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Galin
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In a letter Tolkien noted, regarding Númenor...

'It is a construction from the Eldarin base NDU 'below, down; descend'; Q. núme 'going down, occident'; númen 'the direction or region of the sunset'...'

With respect to gnome however, I would note Bëor's people called the Elven-king Felagund Nóm 'Wisdom' and his people they called Nómin 'the Wise'.

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Roll of Honor Silmahtar
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Indeed the Gnomes in Tolkien's earlier writings are called "The Wise" = Noldor.

Two divergent linguistic lines here. Seems to me that he was taking the Greek root (gno) and extending it to a word in English usage (Gnome) and retroactively applying the early Edainic word "Nóm" to it. He even created an Elvish equivalent to it (ingol-, NGOL) from which we get Noldo.

However, in The Hobbit the Noldor are obliquely referred to as "Deep-elves", which I guess one could use the English word "Gnome" to describe.

My guess is that later he leaned more toward Noldor = wise and to drop references to "deep", "delving" and (eng.) "gnomes" to avoid confusion.

From: Vinya-Tárilos | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Celebrían
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delving, elving-
Is there a relation between digging (into the earth) and elves in Scandanavian culture?

From: First Homely House, Rivendell, Eriador | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Galin
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Interestingly in the very early Qenya Lexicon (I have edited the following for brevity)...

quote:
'The use of goblin and gnome as synonymous terms, and the inclusion of noldare 'mole' in the group, suggests that when these entries were first written the general sense of the group was 'earthdweller', the Paracelsian meaning of gnome (...) later the root NOL- 'to know' was added above, a change that now associated the gloss 'gnome' with 'knowledge' (...) The last entry noldare 'mole' didn't fit the changed root sense either, so Tolkien seperated if from the group with a horizontal line and added the root NDOLO- 'delve' below it...'

The Qenya Lexicon, Parma Eldalamberon

One QL entry has nóleme 'deep lore, wisdom'; compare to Gnomish Lexicon golma- 'lore, wisdom; ancient lore'

That said, 'Deep Elves' enters the text, as already noted by Silmahtar, noting especially HME V: 'The Noldor are named also Nurqendi 'Deep Elves'. And from Etymologies...

'NU- cf NDU. Q. nún adv. down below, underneath (...) Q. núra deep; N. nûr. CF. Nurqendi = Gnomes;...' Etymologies, HME V

Much later, Tolkien still used the term 'Deep elves' in the Later Quenta Silmarillion (HME X), and kept the term in the revised The Hobbit, though taking out the reference to 'Gnomes' where Deep elves occurs.

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