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Minas Tirith Forums » Languages of Arda » Laocoon, an Elvish word?
Author Topic: Laocoon, an Elvish word?
Wetwang
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Laocoon was what the Good Professor named his favourite tree in Oxford Botanical Gardens, a black pine (Pinus Nigra).
Is this name an Elvish word and if so what does it mean? []

From: West Sussex UK, well on the seafront in Bognor Regis actually! | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Galin
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The theory seems to be: the convoluted shape of the tree reminded Tolkien of a sculpture...

http://www.idcrome.org/laocoon.htm

But I can't find more on the matter at the moment. I don't think we have an Elvish word here anyway.

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Roll of Honor pi
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and here I was going to tell a joke about a Laotian raccoon. []
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Roll of Honor Silmahtar
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It's the name of a character from Greek mythology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laocoon

And looking at the sculpture "Laocoon and His Sons" and pictures of the black pine, I can see how the twisted shape of the pine's trunk may have made Tolkien think of the sculpture.

From: Vinya-Tárilos | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Cernunnos
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In Greek legend, Laoköon was a Trojan priest who warned his fellow citizens not to trust the 'present' of the Trojan Horse. Hence the phrase: 'I fear the Greeks, even bearing gifts', or Timeo Danaos et donna ferentes in Latin, as it is often encountered. One of the gods who hated Troy (Poseidon, I think) sent serpents to kill Laoköon and his sons. The Trojans misinterpreted this event and took the Horse into the city, and so were destroyed when the warriors concealed inside issued forth in the night.

There is a Hellenistic statue of L and his two young sons in the coils of the serpents, which was famous in antiquity because of the virtuosity of its marble carving. It caused a sensation when it was rediscoverd during the Italian Renaissance. The writhing forms will have reminded JRRT of his well-loved tree.

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
Whereas the light perceives the very heart of the darkness, its own secret has not been discovered.

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Arien the Maia
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quote:
Timeo Danaos et donna ferentes
Hmmm... actualy this phrase is half greek and half latin -my latin ain't that good- the original phrase is "Fovu tous Danaous ke dora ferondes" .
And Laocoon as well as Kassandra -both of them trojans- are the two examples of how knowing or suspecting the truth, a truth against what the "goverment" wants to see, end up murdered or worst.

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Tigranes
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Actually, dona is written with only one "n".

/nitpick

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