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TORn AMATEUR SYMPOSIUM - Day Three: Geography and Literature, Art & Language
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TORn Amateur Symposium
Bree


Jul 23 2013, 4:31am

Post #1 of 70 (2244 views)
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TORn AMATEUR SYMPOSIUM - Day Three: Geography and Literature, Art & Language Can't Post

We are pleased to present the following TAS entry in the category, Geography of Middle-earth:

"Sudden Climate Change or Anthropogenic Interference?", by DanielLB

Sudden Climate Change or Anthropogenic Interference





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We are pleased to present the following TAS entry in the category, Literature, Art and Language:

"Falling Into Untended Age: Ithilien as a Post-pastoral Land", by Squire

Falling Into Untended Age: Ithilien as a Post-pastoral Land





To view an essay, please click on the appropriate link above. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoy posting it. The TAS is open for discussion, and any comments, questions or thought you wish to share about this particular Category pieces can be posted in this response to this thread. Also use the sub-threads below to address a particular essay.


Details on TORn's very first Amateur Symposium can be found
here

And don't forget to join in with discussions on other essays:
"Models of Dragon Ontology", by Nordwarf:
Models of Dragon Ontology

"
On the Communication of Animals and the Free Peoples of Middle Earth", by Rembrethil:
On Communication Between Animals and the Free People of Middle Earth

"Sentient Animals in the world of J.R.R. Tolkien", by Elizabeth
Sentient Animals in the World of J.R.R. Tolkien



Thank you for joining us in this event, and we wish you Happy Reading, TORn Brethren and Guests!



(This post was edited by Eledhwen on Jul 23 2013, 6:53am)


TORn Amateur Symposium
Bree


Jul 23 2013, 4:35am

Post #2 of 70 (1725 views)
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Subthread for "Sudden Climate Change or Anthropogenic Interference?" by DanielLB [In reply to] Can't Post

 


TORn Amateur Symposium
Bree


Jul 23 2013, 4:36am

Post #3 of 70 (1747 views)
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Subthread for "Falling Into Untended Age: Ithilien as a Post-pastoral Land", by Squire [In reply to] Can't Post

 


squire
Half-elven


Jul 23 2013, 12:08pm

Post #4 of 70 (1688 views)
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Look out for the edge [In reply to] Can't Post

I am impressed by the depth of your knowledge in this relatively specialized subject, and by your ability to project it into the world of Tolkien's imagination. While I don't doubt that your reasoning is as sound as can be, I wonder how much stock we can place in global climatic models from our Earth, when projecting ideas about the world of Middle-earth that preceded the removal of Valinor at the end of the Second Age.

Tolkien, and even more so his his son and editor Christopher, are noticeably reticent about this in the published manuscripts that comprise The Silmarillion (1977), but my understanding from the "Ambarkanta" manuscript published in History of Middle-earth IV (p. 288-309) is that the cosmogeny of Middle-earth in the First Age led to a kind of modified or saucer-shaped "Flat Earth" construction, with definite limits to the surface at east and west edges, and at the poles. It's true that the central sections, or Great Lands and the Great Sea, most nearly approximate the aspects of a fully spherical earth (lending authenticity to your regional speculations about the impact of a submerged subcontinent on the western shorelands in this article). But to the degree that climate is a global or globally-dependent phenomenon, I wonder if we should be so certain about our assumptions regarding air temperatures, atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns, and the impact of sunlight and clouding on surface temperatures in such utterly unlike "global" conditions. It's not even certain that the underlying geology and gravitic patterns are analogous to our Earth's; and the upper atmospheric conditions as described are shockingly 'spiritual' in their nature.

I worry that in thinking about the complete loss of a forest ecosystem in western Eriador, which as you sensibly point out can by no means be ascribed entirely to Numenorean clear-cutting, we should follow the leads you allow for in your conclusion. At the risk of loss of understanding to how Tolkien's world "works", I always feel compelled to put far more stock in the natural (i.e. spiritual) force of the Enemy and/or the Valar rather than in possibly inapt analogues to our mundane, if detailed and fascinating, planetary sciences.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


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DanielLB
Immortal


Jul 23 2013, 1:04pm

Post #5 of 70 (1675 views)
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I agree ... [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree as to whether or not one can actually use our own climate system to speculate on Middle-earth’s climate system before (and after) Valinor was removed. Undoubtedly the change from a saucer-shaped world to a fully spherical world would have had the largest *theoretical* impact on the weather during the Second Age.

Ultimately, the physics of our universe that control our weather would simply not work on a flat disc, without some sort of external forcing/control (i.e. the Valar). Though my entire essay is based on the premise of using real-world knowledge to speculate on the state of the atmosphere in Middle-earth, the only way for the system to “work”, is if there were “alternate physics” at play. Trying to elude as to what the climate and weather system was like on a planar world is worthy of another essay altogether! Assuming that these “alternative physics” even allowed for an atmosphere on a flat world, and that the flat Middle-earth didn’t rotate, then the most obvious difference to a spherical world would be the lack of a Coriolis force. That would cause winds to flow directly from the centre of the world, out to the edges; thus causing all sorts of problems (the re-distribution of heat would solely rely upon the thermal wind, rather than pressure systems, for instance). Similarly, atmospheric pressure is also likely to decrease away from the centre of the sphere. Living on the edges of the sphere would be rather difficult for us humans. There would also be a whole lot of other weird and wonderful effects of living on a flat surface. Therefore, either the Valar would need to be controlling the “alternate physics”, or the “alternate physics” were as natural as our physics are today. If Arda did suddenly become spherical (or equivalent to our Earth), then it would have taken many thousands of years for the climate to stabilise. If such a shift in the climate were to occur here, it would render the earth inhospitable until it did stabilise.

My intention was never to provide absolute certainty as to what the conditions were like on Middle-earth, but simply use real-world knowledge, a lot of speculation, and a lot of assumptions! It was rather fun writing it really. And as you caught at the end of my essay, there is no definitive answer.



Smile

The first TORn Amateur Symposium starts this week in the Reading Room! Come and join in!



DanielLB
Immortal


Jul 23 2013, 1:37pm

Post #6 of 70 (1677 views)
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From a geographical perceptive... [In reply to] Can't Post

I can see why Ithilien was favoured among Men to be farmed and cultivated region. It is in a tectonically active region, so the soil may (or may not) have been volcanic in origin. Likewise, it is on a floodplain and so would have undergone periodic (seasonal and extreme) flooding, leading to a regular influx of nutrients and minerals. And being bounded by the mountains, the climate would have provided sufficient warmth and precipitation for growth. That could certainly explain why the vegetation continued to grow after Minas Ithil was conquered.

And on a general note of the quote, isn’t it great? When reading it, you can actually visualise this place in your head. You can imagine the smells and sounds surrounding you. One of many examples of why Tolkien was so great (regardless of the dryad slip).
Wink

The first TORn Amateur Symposium starts this week in the Reading Room! Come and join in!



Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 23 2013, 2:31pm

Post #7 of 70 (1686 views)
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Flat earth evolution - and those poor trees! [In reply to] Can't Post

Daniel this is wonderful! Cool

I really had *no idea* that a wooden ship such as HMS Victory needed the use of 6000 trees! That is astounding. And with the average life of a wooden ship being (I think) about 20 years with good care that is a staggering amount of forest used in a busy, expanding navy. And if a ship does last that long, it potentially needs refits, so that it will ultimately use MORE than 6000 trees in its cardinal number.

Can you imagine a storm, in which a mere 10 ships are lost - and 60,000 tress must be cut to replace them? Staggering.

I would guess the large Oaks would have been targeted first, leaving gaps in the forest and thinner spots with more sunlight - I wonder if during that time smaller underbrush would then dominate, and out-compete potential seedlings, leading to less hardwood proliferation as well?

As far as the Flat Earth model goes, I think the mere fact that life existed as it did, and that the trees covered such a huge swath of land (in an expected fashion considering conditions and geography) is a hint that life existed very much like present day conditions despite a different shape of the planet at the time. Once we bring the mythos in - I think what we have is a progression of spiritually maintained conditions for life, as proscribed by the Song, which foresees the eventual planet and climate change and exists to cradle life; since it is a matter of spirit really, in the evolution of the retreat of the Valar from Arda. I think that the conditions for life would have been carefully tended by the Valar in the beginning - flat earth days - in the same fashion as life would eventually need to flourish in the evolved globe. The JRRT cosmology contains the destruction of Beleriand (our 'flood' event?) but does not allow for a mass extinction, which would occur with the actual, physical changes if the flat-earth became a globe in a single massive event. Instead as the Valar retreat, spiritually and physically from Arda, the globe would then be able to maintain its own conditions and climate: but one almost identical to the state the things that were kept by the Valar. So its a lovely mix of the Myth and the Science I think.

The first TORn Amateur Symposium starts this week in the Reading Room! Come and join in!









(This post was edited by Brethil on Jul 23 2013, 2:32pm)


DanielLB
Immortal


Jul 23 2013, 3:09pm

Post #8 of 70 (1659 views)
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Good point about ships only lasting 20 years [In reply to] Can't Post

I hadn't taken into account for ship repairs and their lifespan - taking that into account within the 900 years makes quite a difference. A lot of it is likely to be accountable by increasing the forest density when Tar-Aldarion arrived. 350 trees in a mature acre of forest is a very low estimate.


Quote
As far as the Flat Earth model goes, I think the mere fact that life existed as it did, and that the trees covered such a huge swath of land (in an expected fashion considering conditions and geography) is a hint that life existed very much like present day conditions despite a different shape of the planet at the time.


And this is also a good point, and not something I thought of. The physical conditions of the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere must all have been very similar to our current day conditions, for advanced life to be sustained for such a long period (in conjunction with Valar intervention, of course). Gravity must have also been similar to today, since flora and fauna can be compared to current day species.

Smile

The first TORn Amateur Symposium starts this week in the Reading Room! Come and join in!



Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 23 2013, 3:21pm

Post #9 of 70 (1662 views)
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Ah - the Dryad! [In reply to] Can't Post

Lovely piece Squire, and I really enjoy your referencing!

I agree that JRRT discovered a different land from his initial conception. That the underlying hope of men is buried, and may rebloom in unexpected places, is a theme we have heard in other ways but the landscape itself is the metaphor here, as Gimli and Legolas speak of:

"Yet seldom do they fail of their seed," said Legolas. "And that will lie in the dust and rot to spring up again in times and places unlooked-for. The deeds of Men will outlast us, Gimli."

As for the dryad - I like the reference, and the alliteration. A harkening to the world of Faery. For my part it does not take me out of Middle-earth at all, but imports an age to the description, and the intended classicism to me fits very with JRRT's overall flow of the descriptions of Ithilien: gentle, flowing, with this little glimmer of the memory of 'green life' in the picture of the shade of the dryad - now a bit messy maybe, but there nonetheless. Thanks so much for presenting the different views here Squire, its nice to read the thoughts but overall I feel like it fits.

In general I enjoy JRRT's little flourishes of alliteration - one of my favorite lines speaks of everyone showing up after Bilbo's birthday party - "uninvited but not unexpected." Especially after the sort of rhythmic cataloguing in the previous sentences, that little circular flourish to the reader's ear is like a posy in the magicians hat: a pretty way to finish the show.

The first TORn Amateur Symposium starts this week in the Reading Room! Come and join in!









noWizardme
Half-elven


Jul 23 2013, 3:25pm

Post #10 of 70 (1653 views)
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Maybe Tolkien had a historical example just down the road [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for this DanielLB, really enjoyed reading it.

Although I have no reason to believe Tolkien knew about it, the situation in Bronze Age Oxfordshire was a bit like the one your paper describes (but on a smaller scale, of course, and without the sudden sinking of land to the West!)

West of Oxford (along the line of the A40 road, between Oxford and Witney) there is gravel extraction work. Rescue archaeology sometimes goes in ahead of new extraction, and I remember having the opportunity to tour one of the digs. The archaeologists explained we were looking at a village built on meanders of the Thames river. The village had been abandoned in one year, after severe flooding. One reason for more floods was that bronze age people were deforesting the area (what is left is the modern Wychwood - a very Tolkien-esque name, I think). Lack of tree cover meant wetter soil, and faster drainage of rains into river beds, flooding out this settlement.

The local Iron Age settlement is a bit to the East, on a hill...

I was wondering whether flooding due to deforestation could start up yet another a feedback cycle, washing away soil and possibly trees, and so further exacerbating the situation?

BTW - for those interested in the dig I visited, I'm pretty sure this is the write-up

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


noWizardme
Half-elven


Jul 23 2013, 3:28pm

Post #11 of 70 (1648 views)
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Naval tree production [In reply to] Can't Post

It was also weather-seasoned timber which went into ships - so the trees had to be grown, and cut, and weathered for some years before the ship could be built. Quite an undertaking!

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


noWizardme
Half-elven


Jul 23 2013, 3:49pm

Post #12 of 70 (1643 views)
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somewhere worth fighting to protect and regain [In reply to] Can't Post

I've read the Ithilien section of LOTR several times and always missed some of the points you make - about the moon as a symbol of the land, and about the ruined classicism. I shall enjoy the text all the more next time: thank you.

I'm glad that Tolkien settled on Ithilien as a fertile land - it provides respite from all the ruin and desolaiton and inhospitable-ness of the rest of the ringbearers' journey. It seems a hopeful place - naturally lovely already and somewhere worth fighting to protect and regain. The symbolism of the despoiled statue on which the flowers are blooming brings that theme to a climax perhaps.

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


DanielLB
Immortal


Jul 23 2013, 4:02pm

Post #13 of 70 (1633 views)
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Absolutely. [In reply to] Can't Post

If a stable ecosystem is disrupted, runaway feedback loops may result, and the pathway you describe is very plausible. One of the largest impacts of deforestation is through increasing surface run-off. That washes away the top soil, leaches the nutrients and minerals, and destroys the soil structure. That will lead to large scale ecosystem changes, even in areas where the deforestation didn't occur (flooding, disease, competition etc). Such a cycle could even enhance desertification, since water will end up back in rivers and oceans quicker. An area may never recover, depending on how serious the change is. Of course, it may be re-stabilised both naturally (succession of different plant species) or man-made (levée dike).

I know the area of Yarnton well. All along that part of the river Thames in Oxfordshire is prone to flooding in heavy rainfall. I can see why the settlers got up and left!

Changes to ecosystems are always very complex. Here's a nice schematic flow diagram for deforestation and its potential impacts.

The first TORn Amateur Symposium starts this week in the Reading Room! Come and join in!



(This post was edited by DanielLB on Jul 23 2013, 4:09pm)


Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 23 2013, 4:14pm

Post #14 of 70 (1632 views)
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Thanks for linking that dig info [In reply to] Can't Post

Very neat site, thanks Furincurunir!.

I think you might be right, in areas where there is sloping land I think the loss of tree cover in many ways has an impact: canopy is lost, root structures which hold soil and smaller plants in place is gone, and the trees themselves, consumers of the water that falls, are gone as well. A potential loss of fertile topsoil, end result of wetter less quality soil and then even landslide conditions on angled slopes.

Two things as you say, flooding of living areas as well as the lack of habitat for the trees to regrow.

(I wonder if JRRT had specific knowledge of such sites; certainly his strong ecological feelings were part emotional I feel, and also part of his world view based on his faith. Such a site would have been confirmation of his beliefs for him I think.)

The first TORn Amateur Symposium starts this week in the Reading Room! Come and join in!









Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 23 2013, 4:29pm

Post #15 of 70 (1626 views)
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The Shire vs Numenor [In reply to] Can't Post

In your description of the post-Beleriand geographic changes, it feels indeed like there is a metaphor in there. The area of Eraidor and the Shire become more of the classic (to JRRT) old-world farm country: lush and fertile. Hobbits use only what they need and make minimal environmental impact. An ideal land to migrate to!

In contrast, when Numenor shows up (having already lost one land) proceed to use more than their 'need' in their sailing compulsion and potentially have a massive impact on their local ecosystem: based on their political strategies.

He hates the word 'allegory' but here really is an endless metaphor of our Human impact, contrasted with the idealized Hobbit impact.

The first TORn Amateur Symposium starts this week in the Reading Room! Come and join in!









squire
Half-elven


Jul 23 2013, 5:14pm

Post #16 of 70 (1625 views)
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"Bringing up young hobbits took a lot of provender" [In reply to] Can't Post

Hobbits do seem to make a minimal environmental impact on the idyllic landscape of the Shire, but Tolkien admitted from time to time that his portrait of the Shire lacked economic rigor. According to his story (and the family trees in the appendices) Hobbits were quite prolific, yet there are no indications of heavy child mortality nor of a population explosion during the years of the Shire Reckoning (i.e, before the new time of the Fourth Age). There is only one general famine (the Long Winter) and it is due to unnatural circumstances.

In reality, Tolkien's memories of the well-tended and picturesque English countryside of his youth were of a post-industrial landscape, where the land had been enclosed for scientific farming (Baggins and Took wealth?) and the surplus peasant (Gamgee?) labor exported to factory towns. In the medieval and early modern eras, which are economically and technologically more analogous to the state of things in the Shire, food shortages and famine and emigration were endemic in response to population increases among the peasantry of England.

I agree that Tolkien is using Numenor as an analogy to both the evils of imperialism and ecological destruction due to industrialism, and that he constructed the Shire (and Hobbits) to contrast as an ideal to some of the unsound Mannish practices he deplored in the real world of his own time. But it is just fantasy, of course, and he would concede that whenever he was pressed. The point of Hobbits is not that their lifestyle is practical for us, but that in reading about them we may enjoy wishing that it were.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


noWizardme
Half-elven


Jul 23 2013, 5:18pm

Post #17 of 70 (1615 views)
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* Magical factors not included [In reply to] Can't Post

Quite so. It's fun to speculate how things would work with the science we know: whether ecology here, or physics earlier in the symposium. But it's a limitation - or feature - of the analysis that the assumptions would break down where Middle-earth is not like Modern-earth.

Readers have to add their own magical variable M to the equations, whether its Wizards tweaking their coefficient of drag ("wardrobe- bring me a more manly costume!") or modelling the effects of a flat world.

M does not come as standard, but may be imagined as a optional extra Smile

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


noWizardme
Half-elven


Jul 23 2013, 5:21pm

Post #18 of 70 (1614 views)
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It was a grand day out [In reply to] Can't Post

Along with the dig, we got a tour of the gravel extraction - we had a kid at just the Big Machines age to enjoy that as only a 3 year old can.

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 23 2013, 5:25pm

Post #19 of 70 (1602 views)
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Very agreed Squire! // [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The point of Hobbits is not that their lifestyle is practical for us, but that in reading about them we may enjoy wishing that it were.


The first TORn Amateur Symposium starts this week in the Reading Room! Come and join in!









noWizardme
Half-elven


Jul 23 2013, 5:36pm

Post #20 of 70 (1612 views)
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The problem with "the good old days"… [In reply to] Can't Post

…my mother used to say, was that "everyone imagines they would be living like the squire, but no one would have to live like the skivvy. "

But, outside pastoral idyls I think it takes many skivvies to support one squire.

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 23 2013, 5:41pm

Post #21 of 70 (1600 views)
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So true!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
…my mother used to say, was that "everyone imagines they would be living like the squire, but no one would have to live like the skivvy. "

But, outside pastoral idyls I think it takes many skivvies to support one squire.




Your mother was quite spot-on!

Like all those folks who want to be thought of as a reincarnation: and its always a queen or a king and not a groom or a chimney sweep! (I mean what are the odds, really?)

The first TORn Amateur Symposium starts this week in the Reading Room! Come and join in!









Darkstone
Immortal


Jul 23 2013, 6:04pm

Post #22 of 70 (1609 views)
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The answer is obvious if unthinkable. [In reply to] Can't Post

Young hobbits *were* a lot of provender.

******************************************
"The tragedy of territorial geeks is that they found the wonderful world of fantasy, then missed its point."
-Luke McKinney

(This post was edited by Darkstone on Jul 23 2013, 6:04pm)


Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 23 2013, 7:12pm

Post #23 of 70 (1602 views)
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An Industry! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It was also weather-seasoned timber which went into ships - so the trees had to be grown, and cut, and weathered for some years before the ship could be built. Quite an undertaking!




You are right - I hadn't taken that into account. So after the initial harvest of the first oaks, I guess they would have had to let them weather for quite a long while until more actual shipbuilding could begin. So it bought the forest a little time but not much, and after that regular harvesting would be needed to keep the weathering supply sufficient for demand of building and refitting.

I would guess to that they relied on other woods for building everyday items (ie: pine) as the hardwoods would be dedicated for shipbuilding. So that would impact the softwood trees too.

I remember reading that Peter the Great used green wood, in a fantastic hurry to build the first ships of the Russian navy. It didn't turn out well!

The first TORn Amateur Symposium starts this week in the Reading Room! Come and join in!









Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 23 2013, 7:23pm

Post #24 of 70 (1594 views)
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Hobbit society [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Hobbits do seem to make a minimal environmental impact on the idyllic landscape of the Shire, but Tolkien admitted from time to time that his portrait of the Shire lacked economic rigor.There is also that profound lack of a shoe industry... only the blacksmith is regularly making shoes. Wink In reality, Tolkien's memories of the well-tended and picturesque English countryside of his youth were of a post-industrial landscape, where the land had been enclosed for scientific farming (Baggins and Took wealth?) and the surplus peasant (Gamgee?) labor exported to factory towns. In the medieval and early modern eras, which are economically and technologically more analogous to the state of things in the Shire, food shortages and famine and emigration were endemic in response to population increases among the peasantry of England. Excellent tracing here of the divergence of the economic paths of the countryside. I agree, the picture we get of Hobbiton is a very stable, unchanging society; very sweetly idealized in the metaphor. One can only suppose an outward migration from the center of the Shires out towards the Boundary as population (as you point out, and is described to do) increased; and the presumption of a thinly populated center in the origins of the Hobbit migration. One wonders if with this initial portion of free space available to expand, and the profound need for expansion in this particularly fertile race, the encroaching pressures of human habitation nearby had an impact in JRRT's mind explaining their eventual decline.

The first TORn Amateur Symposium starts this week in the Reading Room! Come and join in!









noWizardme
Half-elven


Jul 23 2013, 7:50pm

Post #25 of 70 (1596 views)
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Victory takes years of preparation [In reply to] Can't Post

HMS Victory was ordered 1758 (coincidently the year Admiral Nelson was born). The keel was laid in 1759, (and the timber fir it would have been felled some years before) but the ship wasn't launched until 1765.

Planning ahead is not a new thing!

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"

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