Today, it’s a HOLIDAY! The German Unity Day (10/03/90) aka Tag der Deutschen Einheit when the nation became united and one single Germany came to be (once again). No more East Germany, no more West Germany, nur…DEUTSCHLAND!
So, as I love maps and as I love Germany, I couldn’t help it but present to you all the Elvish version of Germany map with place names composed according to its etymologies. Behold, the land of the people, i Lienórë:
I cannot imagine how hard that must have been for people who lived in Luxunor under the shadow of a terrifying wall that cut a deep trench in the German Unity. Families, friends, lovers, all of them divided simply because of politics, ideologies….yikes! I wasn’t there, I didn’t live that kind of reality, but I can sympathize and understand the pain it must have caused such a distressing situation. Thankfully, that is past! There is no Rómenya Lienórë nor Númenya Lienórë anymore!
One question we might ask ourselves when embarking on a critical study of Tolkien’s work is “are we just reading too much into a story?” Christopher Tolkien argued for the authenticity of such analysis: “Such inquiries are in no way illegitimate in principle; they arise from an acceptance of the imagined world as an object of contemplation or study valid as many other objects of contemplation or study in the all too unimaginary world.”
What we are doing is no less than the good professor did to himself. Tolkien wrote in a 1957 letter, “Naturally the stories come first. But it is, I suppose, some test of the consistency of a mythology as such if it is capable of some sort of rational or rationalized explanation.” Tolkien was ever mindful of the inner consistency of his universe, and that it was not utterly exempt from the rules of the mundane world in which we live. In fact, Tolkien stated emphatically that Middle-earth is envisioned as our world, in a time far before all recorded history: In a letter to Rhona Beare in 1958 he wrote, “I have, I suppose, constructed an imaginary time, but kept my feet on my own mother-earth for place.” In an earlier letter to his publishing company, he explained, “Middle-earth, by the way, is not a name of a never-never land without relation to the world we live in…. It is just a use of Middle-English middle-erde (or erthe), altered from Old English Middangeard: the name for the inhabited lands of Men ‘between the seas’. And though I have not attempted to relate the shape of the mountains and land-masses to what geologists may say or surmise about the nearer past, imaginatively this ‘history’ is supposed to take place in a period of the actual Old World of this planet.”
In shaping his vision of Middle-earth, Tolkien sometimes ran into “difficulties” of a scientific nature. One he frankly and openly admitted was in the area of biology: “Elves and Men are evidently in biological terms one race, or they could not breed and produce fertile offspring – even as a rare event: there are two cases only in my legends of such unions, and they are merged in the descendents of Eärendil.” Given his mindfulness of natural laws, one may ask did Tolkien incorporate astronomical lore and fact into his universe? The answer is, in far more ways than can possibly be explored in a talk of this length. Astronomy helped, and haunted, Tolkien as he set out to develop his universe – or Eä, as the Elves would say.
Inspired by the excerpt above, I wanted to dedicate an image of my own mind. Planets as we know and as elves knew when they walked on Middle-Earth. The universe fascinates me and they have a special place in my heart. I know very little but love it very much. Perhaps, just like the elves did.
If you share the same love for the twinkling beauty from above, you can continue to read the excellent article written by Dr. Kristine Larsen, Professor of Physics and Astronomy of Central Connecticut State University here and check the starmap in full details here.
This map is dedicated to my new neighbors from New Zealand, the Marshalls. It’s more than appropriate too as we all know New Zealand is the living Middle-Earth in our own planet. The names were quite easy to compose etymologically into Quenya, as most of them come from English. Some come from Maori, but that didn’t pose any hardship too as the language is kinda Quenya friendly in its orthography what makes it pretty easy to adapt.
New Zealand is the #1 place I’d like to visit in the near future! Let’s see what future holds to me! I must touch that lovely land with my own feet!
Noteworthy are the etymologies of same names there. Take a look at Northland for instance. That’s exactly what Forostar in Númenor meant! The adaptation couldn’t be more perfect! Also Arfanyarassë which is basically one of Taniquetil’s names. That’s what Taranaki means! Great discoveries that map brought to my attention! New Zealand IS Middle-Earth! There’s some cosmic coincidence pointing to it! No one can deny it!
If you like this map, you can check much more here. Click on some countries names there and you’ll see their maps composed into Quenya. If your country is not there, you can request me and I’ll be glad to help you with your map! Have in mind that it’ll take some time and depending on your mother tongue, I may need serious help to make it. Anyway…be my guest and enjoy for now….Vinya Eärnor!
Today I had the biggest relief EVER. I was about to check Lindefirion wiki (which is super cool full of features and extra stuff made by fans) and it is simply GONE! Unrecoverable is what they say and damn…..they had it all. The only thing I could save from them (and I did a long time ago) was a starmap as you can see above, which they made pretty accurately and as you may know, elves and stars are connected! The mere name of the race is based on the word “star” and literally “elves” mean “star-people”. Why?
When they were born (and you can read that in The Silmarillion) the very first thing they beheld and were astonished by their beauty, was the stars of Varda Elentári, the creator of all stars.
You know by now that I love maps and oddly enough I’ve been too concerned with earthly maps and elves are not about Earth. They are children of the Stars! For the first time, a most appropriate map presented by this half-elf to all humans, elves, dwarves, hobbits and perhaps even orcs. An elvish STARMAP:
The names shown in this map follow closely the ones created by Lindefirion site. I kept them all even though some are not that good in my personal opinion. The overall works is excellent and I’d certainly give 4.5 out of 5 stars to it!
This is a very good teaser, WB & New Line Cinema developed for the anticipation of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug who will première in the beginning of next month. I’m almost with my ticket in hand for the première and we all can begin our journey through Middle-Earth right now with the link below:
White Tree Awards III is almost here, and you’re the one who’s gonna choose the best post among the last 100 from Quenya101. We want to hear you! We wanna know what you enjoyed the most here so we can continue to make it better and better FOR YOU! If you’re a new fan around here, take some time and check the options below. If you’re with us for some time now, vote for that singular post which delivered to you everything you like the most: 101% Tolkien material right on!
And the Nominees for the ‘White Tree Awards III’ People’s Choice is:
And the Elvish Cartographer (a.k.a. Quenya101) attacks again! After we completed the maps for North America why shifting the compass and head a little bit south? Birds migrate every year heading south and this year it seems to me, I’ll take this route too! South it is!
Australia map below was extremely easy to compose into Quenya. States got simple names, all in English so quick and painless, I present to you: Hyarmenórë!
The only name which took me a little research was Tasmania. It’s based on the name of the first one who discovered it and due to the sm cluster, Tasmania was adpated to Tammanya following the phonetic evolutionary rules of Quenya, i.e. SM > MM in medial clusters.
Hyarmenya Hyarmenórë seems TOO MUCH souths involved but, well that’s really what it means “South Australia”. It’s English/Latin redundant, so let it be in Quenya too!
I hope enjoy the land of Oz and don’t forget to check other countries as well here. If yours is not there, just ask it here and it’ll be a pleasure to compose it for you!
The very first African country Quenya map debuts today in Quenya101! Daviyd requested this country and I thought it would be pretty hard as South Africa has many official languages (11) and perhaps many and many provinces, states or regions…well, I wasn’t aware of South Africa’s province divisions, but to my surprise; it was easy easy! Few states, most of them, simple names in English. Phewww, I dodged the bullet!
Without further delay, I present to you South Africa!
Sweet! We got three capes, one state, one with just compass directions and four that deserved some research! South Africa was gentle and nice to me!
Just for the record: Afarica was based in the supposed derivation of the Latin word AFRICA from the Arabic word afar “dust, earth” even though this line of thought is easily arguable.
Here we got Afarico due to the genitiva case suffix -o. So, Hyarmenya Afarica = South Africa, but Republic of South Africa = Aranië Hyarmenya Afarico.
Aranië Hyarmenya Afarico
If you wish to check other countries and their maps already converted to “elvish geography” check the Eldar Ambaressë page and click in some countries’ names there.
If you wish to request a specific country, be my guest! As long as you have tons and tons of patience and willingness to help me in case the regional words are beyond my linguistic skill, you’re welcome to ask anything! I’m here to serve you!
For the first time, we have a continent! North America (or should I say Formenya América) is complete! Canada, the big icy brother, was the missing map, but now it’s no more.
Canada map was very easy, unlike other maps already made here. Few provinces, most of their names were English based, a little bit of native languages, and the results were quick and easy to get.
One or two names may be debatable (Québec was a hard one for instance). I was very tempted to let the name of the country as Canata or something like that, but etymology spoke louder and I chose to follow what the word kanata has to offer.
Don’t forget to check the whole maps collection at Eldar Ambaressë page. Click the links below the countries flags and follow the elven path. Maybe you’ll be granted the sea road to Valinor!