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Re: [Lambengolmor] _Asëa_ and _athelas_

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  • F. Ström
    ...
    Message 1 of 11 , Nov 14, 2005
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      --- "F. Ström" <frestro@...> skrev:
      > The translation 'leaf of kings' does not seem to be
      > attested. The only translation of _asea_ that I know
      > of is the one quoted by William C. Hicklin on the
      > art.fan.tolkien newsgroup:
      >
      <http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.books.tolkien/browse_thread/thread/34fc7f494c7ff868/3fad9c3c879f5a2c?lnk=st&q=athelas+hicklin&rnum=1&hl=en#3fad9c3c879f5a2c>

      The URL in my post was editorially changed, but the
      reference to the "art.fan.tolkien" newsgroup was not
      updated to "rec.arts.books.tolkien" along with it.

      [Quite right; sorry! The link you sent originally didn't work for me, so I googled it myself, and didn't notice the discrepancy. CFH]

      Forconvenience I quote the first post by William C.
      Hicklin as well:

      <http://groups.google.se/group/alt.fan.tolkien/browse_thread/thread/7b7287d31cfa1e77/bdb4b12467dc0ad1?lnk=st>

      "The herb was known to the Noldor, who termed it
      "athea" from *ATHAYA 'helpful, kindly, beneficial.' A
      later sound shift rendered it "asea" (cf. Aragorn's
      "asea aranion" in "The Houses of Healing.") In
      Middle-earth the word was converted into regularized
      Sindarin form as athe- plus -las 'leaf.'"

      /Fredrik
    • F. Strÿfffff6m
      On his Addenda and Corrigenda page to RC (http://bcn.net/~whammond/addenda/readers.html), Wayne Hammond writes: On the Lambengolmor forum,
      Message 2 of 11 , Dec 2, 2005
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        On his 'Addenda and Corrigenda' page to RC (http://bcn.net/~whammond/addenda/readers.html), Wayne Hammond writes:

        'On the Lambengolmor forum, message 850 [...], Fredrik Ström correctly comments that our gloss asëa aranion 'leaf of kings' is not attested in Tolkien's writings. In message 851, however, Arden R. Smith defends this translation as an extrapolation from the gloss of athelas 'kingsfoil' in an unpublished etymology by Tolkien together with 'the transparent meaning of aranion "of kings"'.'

        What Arden wrote was:
        >The unpublished etymology that I cited derives _athelas_ and _asea_ from a
        >similar form [..] but unfortunately leaves it unglossed

        I think no-one queries the translation *'of kings'. However, in the light of Tolkien's gloss on _athea_ (regularly > _asea_ after the change of Q. _th_ > _s_ described in 'The Shibboleth of Feanor' [XII:331]), I'm not sure that the translation *'leaf' should be defended (and I don't think Arden said so, either). I think that the note on RC:183 is correct except for the parenthesis, '(but if so, _athelas_ = ''leaf-leaf'')', since the attested etymological connection between _athe-_ and _asea_ does not imply that _athe-_ means 'leaf'. In the note on RC:580 ll. 2-3 from bottom, perhaps one should substitute Tolkien's actual gloss ('beneficial') for 'leaf' (or simply omit the words 'leaf of kings')?

        /Fredrik



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • William Cloud Hicklin
        You know, I ve felt guilty for the better part of a decade for my unthinking and unauthorized posting of that snippet on Usenet- especially since soon
        Message 3 of 11 , Oct 26, 2006
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          You know, I've felt guilty for the better part of a decade for
          my unthinking and unauthorized posting of that snippet on
          Usenet- especially since soon therafter the copyright-law war
          erupted with the Salo/Star/Fauskanger axis. Fortunately it seems
          that it hasn't spread that far, since even Arden appears to have
          been unaware of it (although it has turned up in a couple of
          online "encyclopedias").

          In any event, it's out, and surely there would be no harm if Wayne
          Hammond and Christina Scull were to use it, since they carry the
          Imprimatur.

          I suspect that _asea aranion/athelas_ is one of those Q-S pairs
          that aren't literal translations. Now, I'm no linguist; but we
          can at least be certain that _asea_ and _athe-_ are equivalent
          elements, and, as Frederik points out, that the Quenya assumed
          or omitted the leaf-element. Or, viewed the other way around,
          that the leaf-element was added by the Exiles when they formed
          their Sindarin equivalent (acc. to the late note, the plant was
          known to the medical loremasters of the Noldor- with no
          indication whether the Sindar were aware of its properties, or
          even if it was native to Middle-earth). The snippet's wording
          has _asea_ regularly > _athe-_, "compounded with _-las_," which
          to me suggests that the _-las_ element only entered with the
          Sindarin conversion. Why would this be? Another note cited by
          Wayne and Christina indicates that only the leaves were used,
          which may be relevant. Or perhaps the linguistic loremasters
          found "athe" alone to be ugly?

          [Tolkien wrote in his note on "Stress" in Section I of Appendix E
          that words in which the stress falls on the third syllable from the
          end -- e.g. _Denethor, Fëanor_ -- "are favoured in the Eldarin
          languages, especially Quenya." It seems natural then that the
          medical loremasters of the Noldor, whose native tongue was
          Quenya, would expand _athe-_ to the more euphonious (not to
          mention distinctive) _athelas_. PHW]

          One might speculate whether "aranion" was a pre- or post-
          Downfall Numenorean addition ("balm" > "kingsbalm"), since the
          specific association of healing with the King appears to have
          been theirs, not the Elves'. This leads to yet another
          question- whether Ad/CS _kingsfoil_ followed or in fact underlay
          the hypothesised Num. addition of _aranion_ .

          -- William Cloud Hicklin

          > I think no-one queries the translation *'of kings'. However,
          in the light of Tolkien's gloss on _athea_ (regularly > _asea_
          after the change of Q. _th_ > _s_ described in 'The Shibboleth
          of Feanor' [XII:331]), I'm not sure that the translation
          *'leaf' should be defended (and I don't think Arden said so,
          either). I think that the note on RC:183 is correct except for
          the parenthesis, '(but if so, _athelas_ = ''leaf-leaf'')',
          since the attested etymological connection between _athe-_ and
          _asea_ does not imply that _athe-_ means 'leaf'. In the note on
          RC:580 ll. 2-3 from bottom, perhaps one should substitute
          Tolkien's actual gloss ('beneficial') for 'leaf' (or simply omit
          the words 'leaf of kings')?
          >
          > /Fredrik
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