_Axantur_ and _Nolondil_
- 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,Edouard Kloczko mentioned to me off-list that he would translate
> 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'.
_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
-- Patrick H. Wynne
- 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.
[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]