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Origin of "Sauron" (re: Carl H.)

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  • Darrell A. Martin
    ... [snip] ... Carl: I think a key question is whether there is any evidence that Tolkien worked out the development from Thû to Sauron as part of the
    Message 1 of 53 , Apr 9, 2011
      On 4/9/2011 8:23 PM, Carl F. Hostetter wrote:
      > Quite true. (But many
      >
      >> even if Sauron has nothing to do with saura (as in dinosaur for
      >> those etymologically unaware), it is difficult not to see Sauron as
      >> a "snake-like" character since he often is a snake in the grass, is
      >> crafty (perhaps more than any other creature?), and certainly a
      >> tempter. (Others are easy to see, such as Moria, which can have no
      >> connection to the Biblical mount).
      >
      > I don't see any serpentine connection, but certainly Tolkien would
      > have found the sound-correspondence between _Sauron_ and _saura_
      > "pleasing" (i.e., as suitable nasty-sounding); but the fact remains
      > that Gk. _saura_ cannot have been the actual or intended "source" of
      > _Sauron_ (as Pearce wrongly asserts), because the root element of
      > _Sauron_, THAW-, was a development (because Tolkien kept changing his
      > languages) of an element going back to the very beginning of the
      > mythology, where it appears as the name, _Thû_, of the character that
      > eventually became Sauron; but _Thû_ bears no resemblance at all to
      > _saura_.
      [snip]

      > Carl

      Carl:

      I think a key question is whether there is any evidence that Tolkien
      worked out the development from "Thû" to "Sauron" as part of the process
      of inventing the latter as a name. If so, then your central argument
      seems solid to me. I do not know enough linguistic details to have an
      informed opinion. (That doesn't stop me from having an opinion, though
      [grin].)

      If, however, the development from "Thû" to "Sauron" is a case of
      etymology ex post facto, then some of us are back where we started:
      suspecting, but being unable to prove, that there is some connection
      between the Greek word for lizard ("saura" or "sauros"); and the name in
      the Third Age of the greatest evil then in Middle-earth.

      Can you, or anyone, provide evidence either way?

      Darrell
    • Darrell A. Martin
      Jason: I think your objection to Pearce, in that he did not mention Tolkien s disavowal of something he (Pearce) stated as a fact, is on target. My own focus
      Message 53 of 53 , Apr 12, 2011
        Jason:

        I think your objection to Pearce, in that he did not mention Tolkien's
        disavowal of something he (Pearce) stated as a fact, is on target. My
        own focus -- which is why I early on changed the Subject line to remove
        Pearce -- was on whether or not Tolkien's disavowal was definitive.

        Darrell
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