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_Axantur_ and _Nolondil_

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  • Patrick H. Wynne
    In my post (message #820) on the name _Axantur_ I wrote that this name apparently consists of Q. _axan_ law, rule, commandment ... Edouard Kloczko mentioned
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 6, 2005
      In my post (message #820) on the name _Axantur_ I wrote that this
      name apparently consists of Q. _axan_ 'law, rule, commandment'
      (XI:399) + _tur_ 'lord, master', and concluded:

      > Since _axani_ were not simply human laws or rules but rather "laws,
      > rules, as primarily proceeding from Eru" (VT39:30) -- the Ten
      > Commandments might thus properly be termed _axani_ -- _Axantur_,
      > lit. *'Law-lord', was probably intended as *'Lord who acts in
      > accordance with the laws/commandments of Eru'.

      Edouard Kloczko mentioned to me off-list that he would translate
      _Axantur_ instead as 'Theologian', and I think this is much closer
      to the mark than my suggestion above. The literal sense of the
      name would be *'Law-master', i.e. 'one who has mastered (acquired
      thorough knowledge of) the laws of Eru'.

      Edouard's interpretation is even more compelling in light of the
      name of Axantur's father, _Nolondil_ *'Lover of Wisdom' (UT:210).
      According to "The Shibboleth of Fëanor", the prefix _ñolo-_ in
      _Ñolofinwë_ (Quenya name of Fingolfin) "was the stem of words
      referring to wisdom" (XII:344). A footnote to this remark adds:
      "'Wisdom' -- but not in the sense 'sagacity, sound judgment (founded
      on experience and sufficient knowledge)'; 'Knowledge' would be
      nearer, or 'Philosophy' in its older applications which included
      Science" (XII:359-60). It seems, then, that _Nolondil_ could best
      be translated as *'Philosopher'; Greek _philosophos_ 'lover of
      wisdom', from _philein_ 'to love' and _sophos_ 'wise', closely
      matches the literal etymology of the Quenya form.

      Thus Axantur son of Nolondil appears to be 'Theologian' son of
      'Philosopher'. Interestingly, both Nolondil and Axantur were youngest
      sons, each with elder brothers preceding them in the line of
      succession to the throne. The unlikelihood of their ever being
      required to take up the kingship of Númenor, Tolkien seems to
      imply, left them with more opportunities to indulge in purely
      intellectual pursuits.

      -- Patrick H. Wynne
    • laurifindil
      A question remains : were _Axantur_ * Theologian , and _Nolondil_ * Philosopher Númenorian Proper Names only or also lexemes of Quenya? I don t remember
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 6, 2005
        A question remains : were _Axantur_ *'Theologian', and _Nolondil_
        *'Philosopher' Númenorian Proper Names only or also lexemes of

        I don't remember that an Elf ever bore a name in _-ndur_, or _-ndil_
        in the Corpus, only Númenoreans did.

        Then, _Nolondil_ (< _ñolo-ndil_) was a Proper Name used by
        Númenoreans, not a lexeme of Quenya, used for a 'philosopher',
        as far as I can tell.

        We have other names in _-tur_ 'master, lord', _Ciryatur, Sorontur,
        Minyatur_, etc. But then _-tur_ is not used as a suffix in Quenya
        word-formation only as a base (_turkildi_, V:47; _Turko_, XII:352).
        Then again, _Axantur_ was a Proper Name used by Númenoreans
        (? and maybe Elves), not a lexeme of Quenya.

        Edouard Kloczko

        [I don't see any compelling reason to suppose that _axantur_
        and _nolondil_ were not simply the usual common nouns used
        in Quenya to mean 'theologian' and 'philosoper'. I cannot find
        any examples of a common noun ending in _-(n)tur_, though
        this is not necessarily an indication that this suffix was only used
        in personal names. Quenya unquestionally _did_ form common
        nouns with _-ndil_ and _-ndur_, e.g., _arandil_ 'king's friend,
        royalist' and _arandur_ 'king's servant, minister' (L:386).

        A note to "The Shibboleth of Fëanor" states that "Nerdanel's
        father was an 'Aulendil' [> 'Aulendur']" (XII:365), and the use
        of the indefinite article _an_ before _Aulendil/Aulendur_ seems
        to indicate that this was perceived as a common noun, though
        capitalized since it begins with a proper name. (_Aulendur_ is
        glossed "'Servant of Aulë', sc. one who was devoted to that
        Vala".) Compare English _Luddite_ 'a person opposed to new
        technology', a common noun capitalized because it derives
        from the name of Ned _Lud_, an early opponent of technology
        notorious for destroying machinery.

        The same note cited above shows that some Elves did bear
        personal names in _-ndil_, for it is said that Nerdanel's father
        Sarmo was more widely known as _Urundil_ 'copper-lover'
        (XII:366). But there seems no doubt that the endings _-ndil_,
        _-ndur_ were far more frequently used in the formation of the
        names of Men than they were in the names of Elves. -- PHW]
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