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Re: [mythsoc] Re: Amarant(h) and _alfirin_

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  • "Beregond, Anders Stenström"
    ... My impression is similar to what is stated by the _Online ... That is, the application to real-world plants is secondary. I do not know where, but I think
    Message 1 of 8 , Dec 19, 2007
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      Carl F. Hostetter wrote:

      > Oh, I agree. I wasn't really trying to suggest that _alfirin_ = amaranth,
      > since as I noted the colors aren't right (though Tolkien himself is
      > apparently inconsistent about the color of this flower, which is gold --
      > and bell-shaped -- in one place, white in another). I was more
      > intrigued by 1) the meaning of the name _amraranth_ 'un-withering'
      > and 2) its poetic associations with mortality and immortality in Milton
      > and Aesop.

      My impression is similar to what is stated by the _Online
      Etymology Dictionary_:

      > . . . from Gk. amarantos, lit. "everlasting," from a- "not" + stem of
      > marainein "die away." In classical use, a poet's word for an imaginary
      > flower that never fades. It was applied to a genus of ornamental plants
      > 1551.

      That is, the application to real-world plants is secondary.

      I do not know where, but I think that some thirty years ago I
      saw a reference to amaranth growing in the elysian fields along
      with the more often mentioned asphodel, which always was also a
      real-world plant. Asphodels are white or yellow; so _mallos_ might
      possibly be an idealized asphodel that combines these colours, and
      a fit companion to the amaranthine _alfirin_.

      Chivalrously,

      Beregond
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