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Re: Welsh _Annwn_, Sindarin _Annûn_

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    ... True enough. But 1) later associations often are quite altered from the primitive/formative semantics indicated by etymology; and 2) Tolkien did not reject
    Message 1 of 4 , May 30 6:28 AM
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      In message 5, "Pavel Iosad" <pavel_iosad@...> wrote:

      > may it be noted that the realm of _Annwfn_ as portrayed in _Pwyll
      > Pendefig Dyfed_ is of no association to 'hell' at all.

      True enough. But 1) later associations often are quite altered from the
      primitive/formative semantics indicated by etymology; and 2) Tolkien did not
      reject Jones's derivation. What the Welsh made of the word/name they
      inherited as _Annw(f)n_ has no necessary bearing on what the word's
      antecedents originally meant.

      > Therefore I think that the association of
      > _Annwfn_ and hell as you outlined is more of a philological device (i.e.
      > word-play) rather than an actual mythological association.

      I'm not so sure. Remember the conceit (expressed perhaps most fully in _The
      Drowning of Anadûne_ in _Sauron Defeated_) that while Men in northwestern
      Europe had the truest form of the mythology, it was still much changed, even
      corrupted. Welsh _Annw(f)n_, by this conceit, may be a dim, much-blurred
      memory of the Eldarin "underworld".

      > _Rhiannon_ vs. _Rían_ (and earlier _Rhían), V:383 s.v. RIG-). _Rhían_ is said
      > to stem for RIG-, carrying the idea of "crown". The few sources that I have
      > uniformly identify _Rhiannon_ as stemming from the word for 'mistress' (e.g.
      > Guyonvarc'h Ch.-J., Leroux F., La Civilisation Celtique). I hope there's
      > something on it in Morris-Jones!

      I'll check when I get a chance.

      > - I need Morris-Jones, I need Morris-Jones <stomp stomp>),

      A search at Bibliofind.com turns up numerous copies from various
      booksellers, including one for just $20 from:

      http://dogbert.abebooks.com/abe/BookDetails?bi=131974122

      > Thanks Carl for the enlightening essay!

      And thanks for your reply!


      |======================================================================|
      | Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org |
      | |
      | ho bios brachys, he de techne makre. |
      | Ars longa, vita brevis. |
      | The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne. |
      | "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take |
      | such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about." |
      |======================================================================|
    • Hans Georg Lundahl <hglundahl@yahoo.se>
      ... Técanye: Depends on what Hell means, linguistically speaking: are we talking about a place of Punishment and eternal damnation? Like Hebrew Gehenna or the
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 31, 2003
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        In message 5, "Pavel Iosad" <pavel_iosad@m...> wrote:

        > may it be noted that the realm of _Annwfn_ as portrayed in _Pwyll
        > Pendefig Dyfed_ is of no association to 'hell' at all.

        Tence sinanna Aelfwine:

        > True enough. But 1) later associations often are quite altered from
        > the primitive/formative semantics indicated by etymology; and 2) Tolkien
        > did not reject Jones's derivation. What the Welsh made of the word/name they
        > inherited as _Annw(f)n_ has no necessary bearing on what the word's
        > antecedents originally meant.

        ----

        Técanye:

        Depends on what Hell means, linguistically speaking: are we talking
        about a place of Punishment and eternal damnation? Like Hebrew
        Gehenna or the Pagan Greek/Latin concept of Tartarus? Then, clearly,
        Annwfn of Mabinogion is not portrayed as Hell in that sense.

        Or are we talking about the place of departed souls in the
        Netherworld, to whom Heaven is not open, as yet, or wasn't until a
        moment ago, as when we say of Christ:

        descendit ad inferos...
        He descended to Hell...

        where the Greek would certainly not be Tartarus, but Hades, and the
        Hebrew would be Sheol? In that sense Annwfn meant Hell even to Pagan
        Celts, though their guess of its characteristics might not be the best
        one. At least if the scholars on Celtic mythology are correct in
        identifying Elflands of all sorts with Netherworlds, Lands of the
        Dead, whether the text states so or not. If they were wrong, it was
        on their wrong guess that Jones and Tolkien based theirs.

        Hans Georg Lundahl
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