This is topic So, how did the Numenoreans do it? in forum Silmarillion at Minas Tirith Forums.


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Posted by Hamfast Gamgee (Citizen # 5528) on :
 
Travel all over the Eatth. To he sundering seas, below the dark continnent, etc. these where mighty sailors. Considering that later on, even in the 2nd age they stayed to Middle-Earth and in the third age, the only thing that navies could do was to travel up and down the Middle-Earth coastline. And by the end of the third age, Gondor has no fleet at all, and all we have are a few mangy Corsairs. Quite a contrast to the glories of the earlier Numenor navy. So, I do,wonder what they looked like, those ancient Numenor ships.
 
Posted by Michael Martinez (Citizen # 3602) on :
 
The only descriptions of their ships were published in "Akallabeth" and "The Mariner's Wife". They used sails and oars alike. Think of larger-than-usual Viking ships and you'll probably be close to what Tolkien had in mind.
 
Posted by Hamfast Gamgee (Citizen # 5528) on :
 
Nice to see that you are still visiting this old place! However, I did wonder if in their longer trips, the Numeonreans used steam technology of some kind. After all you did have Dwarves, Noldor and Aule around who did much smealting of an advanced level. Is it too much of a stretch to imagine that steam came out of some of that? Maybe there was a Numenorean version of a Clipper or the Cutty Sark. Bit of a shame that it didn't last, however!
 
Posted by Michael Martinez (Citizen # 3602) on :
 
It's not too much of a stretch to imagine anything for Middle-earth but at some point we have to accept that Tolkien's vision is lost beyond the horizon of what was not published. He experimented with stories in different contexts prior to writing The Lord of the Rings and it's a mistake to assume that he would have brought forward all those ideas.

And I check in from time to time. I sort of keep hoping the mystery of the Ent-wives will be explained. Eventually. []
 
Posted by The Flammifer (Citizen # 11407) on :
 
I thought it had been settled that the Ent-wives became groupies of Alatar and Pallando who started the steel-beam and keys band “Two Boys Blue”, and can now be found in the Very Far East dancing the limb-o rock. []
 
Posted by Hamfast Gamgee (Citizen # 5528) on :
 
I suppose that is why fanfiction exists!
 
Posted by Silmahtar (Citizen # 4806) on :
 
The Numenoreans also practiced sea-faring rituals they inherited from the Eldar, such as the placing of the Oiolairë bough on the prow of a ship to ensure safe return.

The first instance the bough was used was when Vëantur sailed from Numenor to the Grey Havens.

Whether this "Bough of Return" had any 'magical' properties or simply was just a token of mariner superstition is up for debate. []
 
Posted by Hamfast Gamgee (Citizen # 5528) on :
 
Would they have stilled used this when they broke from the Valar in their later days?
 
Posted by faithfull (Citizen # 11417) on :
 
quote:
I sort of keep hoping the mystery of the Ent-wives will be explained. Eventually. []

 -
I read someplace that perhaps the Entwives, in their love for the smaller growing things, became more like that which they loved. When I see magnificent flowering shrubs like this rhody, I sort of like the idea. At the same time, it makes me sad, because no one likes to think of an entire species dying out, or families or relationships ending.
 
Posted by Marhwini (Citizen # 11433) on :
 
In terms of "How did they do it?"

That is the central Thesis I explore in everything about Middle-earth.

In the case of Númenóre, and their ships...

Tolkien, in The Lord of the Rings refers to one of the Ships taken at Pelargir as being a "great Dromon."

Drowns were a type of Byzantine and Medieval Ship powered by both Oars and Sails.

They had a sail that could be either Lanteen-Rigged (Latin-styled, with triangular sails), or Square-rigged.

We have no surviving examples of Dromons, save for a few models, for which the authenticity is suspect. But they represent an evolution of the Roman Quinquereme and Decereme (Roman Warships), and the later Carrack and Caravel (Columbus' ships).

In looking at the Myth, Cultural Identities suggested, and overall emphasis upon Middle-earth as an English Mythology, this suggests that the Númenórean Ships were something else entirely than something we would find in our world.

It is likely that they were a form of Mythologized, Idealized Nordic Ship, with multiple decks, rather than the Open-decked, or single-decked Longship.

There is a limitation to the size of lap-strakes (clinker-built) in the size of construction of a Ship, an the Vikings largely reached that size with their greatest Longships holding around 300 men.

And I rather got the impression that Númenórean ships held a typical complement similar to a Caravel or Early Ship-of-the-Line (500 - 1000 men, or more). This would mean the need to use a butt-strake (Carvel-built) for the construction of ships, allowing for very great size.

I currently do not have my copy of Unfinished Tales, where we have a few indications of Ship size given (I want to say that they list a few boats as being 300' in Length, which would be MUCH larger than a Medieval or Renaissance Caravel or Carrack, which tended to be only about 100' in length. 300' is the size of a Napoleonic First-Rate Ship-of-the-Line.

And the design of Ships built with Carvel-straking was not limited to what we see in the Caravel, Carrack, and Napoleon Rates. We could build an immense Longship, with many decks, and a greater draft, to provide better stability. But I suspect Stylistically the ships were between a Longship, Dromon, and Napoleonic Ship-of-the-Line (Rating).

This would allow for the operation in long open-ocean voyages, as well as in Littoral seas, and venturing up larger rivers (such as up to Tharbad, or to the point of Osgiliath or Cair Andros).

And... When Númenór fell, this left only a handful of their ships remaining in Middle-earth (Nine brought by Elendil and Sons, and then a few at the Númenórean Havens in Middle-earth; of which we only have the names of a few, including Pelargir, and Umbar). It is likely only a few dozen ships from Númenór remained in Middle-earth, and these would have been a template for future ships. But building to the standards of Númenór would have likely been impossible after a few centuries.

So the ships decreased in size and number, becoming the Dromons we see in The Lord of the Rings.

And it is likely that Gondor had a great many such ships at the height of her power, and several dozen at the War of the Rings (Umbar still retaining more, for whatever reasons could be explored there, first of which is a large Black Númenórean population).

MB
 
Posted by Hamfast Gamgee (Citizen # 5528) on :
 
I suppose isn't supported in the text,but I do like to think that the Numeroans had a Clipper style ship to cross the oceans with. At least in their early days.
 
Posted by Snöwdog (Citizen # 15) on :
 
quote:
And it is likely that Gondor had a great many such ships at the height of her power, and several dozen at the War of the Rings (Umbar still retaining more, for whatever reasons could be explored there, first of which is a large Black Númenórean population).

During the Kin Strife of Gondor in 1432-1448, Castamir the Usurper had most of his support with the seafaring areas, and it was likely the Gondorian navy since that time struggled to keep a big enough navy to protect their coastline. Umbar invaded a few times over the years.

Thanks Marhwini for your in-depth hypothesis!
 


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