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90The Book of Mazarbul (Re: [elfscript] The runes of The Hobbit.)

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  • Vicentini Emanuele
    Nov 6 12:33 AM
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      On Fri, 3 Nov 2000 Arden R. Smith wrote:

      > Tolkien later used a subscript line for the same purpose in the cirth of
      > the Book of Mazarbul (_Pictures_ #23, page III). I'm not aware of such a
      > use of diacritical marks to indicate gemination in any historical runic
      > inscriptions. [...]

      That's the reason which triggered my post: Dwarves used a variant
      of Anglo-Saxon runes, but that under-dot seemed "alien". That's all. From
      this point I tried to "extend" the use of that dot to get a more regular
      behaviour (ok, I know, ancient inscriptions aren't very regular :-)).

      Now that you've mentioned the Book of Mazarbul: those two pages
      written with the cirth, in the so called "Erebor mode" (as far as I know),
      reproduced English text and, with a bit of patience, I've re-translated
      them and mapped almost each certh to its roman value.

      Here comes a little problem: according to Appendix E of LoR the
      Erebor mode has some unique features and some changes, but not everything
      is shown in the cirth table. When I first read LoR many years ago I
      thought having understood those sentences about Erebor mode quite well,
      but those pages of the Book throw in some confusion: some cirth have
      "unexpected" values (please, note that I'm not referring here to the
      "extra" cirth or the under-bar).

      Being that it's used to write English I think some cirth could
      have "special" values better suited for the English language; do you think
      that in the Middle-earth context this mode used in the Book of Mazarbul's
      pages could be the real "Erebor mode"?

      > [...] In later impressions (and in the first impression of _The Return
      > of the King_), this has been corrected by changing the final #55
      > (schwa) into #9 (d) and squeezing a stemless #56 between the _t_ and
      > the _d_. See Wayne Hammond's _J. R. R. Tolkien: A Descriptive
      > Bibliography_, p. 94, for facsimiles of the original and corrected
      > inscriptions.

      Thanks for the reference, I'll look for the book.


      "He loved maps, as I have told you before; and he also
      liked runes and letters and cunning handwriting..."
      -- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
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