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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room: Minhiriath = Mesopotamia? : Edit Log


Nov 8 2021, 4:51pm

Views: 460
Minhiriath = Mesopotamia?

I'm still reading The Nature of Middle-earth and I've come across an interesting passage in "The Rivers and Beacon Hills of Gondor" (Part Three, Chapter XXII) that seemingly equates the region of Minhiriath with Mesopotamia: The short essay was from a letter dated 30 June 1969 that Tolkien wrote to Mr Paul Bibire who had written him a week before.

In the earlier centuries of the Two Kingdoms Enedwaith (Middle-folk) was a region between the realm of Gondor and the slowly receding realm of Arnor (it originally included Minhiriath (Mesopotamia)). Both kingdoms shared an interest in the region, but were mainly concerned with the upkeep of the great road that was their main way of communication except by sea, and the bridge at Tharbad.

There is another reference to Mesopotamia found earlier in the book that seems to contradict the essay above. This is a note to a text dated about 1960 published as "The Awakening of the Quendi" (Part One, Chapter VI). The notation reads:

35 Far south and, presumably, far east of Utumno. At one point Tolkien baldly stated that: "The Great Central Land, Europe and Asia, was first inhabited. Men awoke in Mesopotamia" (IX:410).

Here Tolkien seems to say that Mesopotamia is Hildórien, the land where Men first awoke.


(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Nov 8 2021, 4:52pm)

Edit Log:
Post edited by Otaku-sempai (Immortal) on Nov 8 2021, 4:52pm
Post edited by Otaku-sempai (Immortal) on Nov 8 2021, 4:52pm
Post edited by Otaku-sempai (Immortal) on Nov 8 2021, 4:52pm
Post edited by Otaku-sempai (Immortal) on Nov 8 2021, 4:52pm

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