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Would Gondor have been multicultural and/or cosmopolitan?
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Escapist
Gondor


Apr 3 2014, 7:06pm

Post #26 of 36 (141 views)
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To be fair [In reply to] Can't Post

and tall, would be an indicator of elven heritage mingled in the family line.

The "greater" implied in the "lesser men" distinguishment separating men of Gondor seems to me to indicate the non-human elvish bloodlines and other influences that would literally take these men beyond the normal human physical limitations for things like lifespan and immunities (possibly) which could lead further to differences in education and training further distinguishing them as "greater" than regular men.

The fair skin and tallness would only be indicators of the elvish, and in and of themselves without true elvish ties would be a false indicator of "superiority". I'd say it really has nothing to do with some humans being superior to others identifiable by simple things like appearance - and everything to do with associations with the elvish traits that stretch (some) Numenoreans to superhuman traits - if not all purely by actual genetic ties, also by the benefits that enriched training and insight from their leadership would contribute within their communities leading to various benefits.

If all the world's a stage then who's writing the script?


HeWhoArisesinMight
Rivendell


Apr 3 2014, 7:07pm

Post #27 of 36 (153 views)
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Fascism in Gondor [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Gondor is also the only kingdom in Middle Earth that had race-based civil conflicts; the kin-slaying was all about blood mixing with 'lesser blood'. One would think settling in Gondor would be easy but it seems they were selective as to who was actually "in" with Gondor. I would say Gondor is like the Roman Republic or the Greek city states in that one had to be of a certain appearance and manner to be considered "civilized" and welcome as a citizen. The later empires of Rome, Venice and the Byzantines were truly cosmopolitan, but were not founded as so.
This would make Gondor somewhat fascist and there were some criticisms that PJ's portrayal of Gondor was somewhat fascist. The concern about blood-mixing to me was more about dwindling longevity than race itself, however. The Gondorians were concerned that other men were too short-lived, not so much their racial purity in terms of skin color (OK this is debatable LOL).
However, race and longevity could have been tied together in Gondor. Yet, by the time we reach the end of the Third Age, I would imagine that Gondor's demographics changed significantly enough to become cosmopolitan. I do not think Gondor was feudal. Politically, the hierarchy was probably organized as patricians, plebes and maybe "non-citizen" resident laborers (I use non-citizen in terms of political rights, not residency).



Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Apr 3 2014, 9:58pm

Post #28 of 36 (133 views)
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Point of Record [In reply to] Can't Post

It is a bit confusing when you reply to a post within the quotation box for that post. I generally place my reply below the box, but others put it above. Either way is better than mixing them together.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Apr 3 2014, 10:11pm

Post #29 of 36 (135 views)
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Bree and Gondor [In reply to] Can't Post

Even at its height, Bree never seems to have been a large trading center. It is located at an important crossroads, so I can see how it could have become one if circumstances had allowed.

As for Gondor, I don't think that the wall surrounding Minas Tirith prevented the general populous in the countryside from intermarrying. At the same time, there isn't any indication of such intermarriage until one leaves the bounderies of the city. We do learn that what trade with the South or East that there had been, ended many years ago. Most foreign trade in Gondor was probably conducted in Pelargir and, to a lesser extent, in Dol Amroth. Pelargir was, I would guess, the most ethnically diverse city north of Umbar (although there is something to be said for Lake-town).

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Apr 3 2014, 10:20pm)


demnation
Rohan

Apr 3 2014, 11:29pm

Post #30 of 36 (124 views)
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It's all debatable, of course! [In reply to] Can't Post

Smile
As I've said below, much of what we are talking about relies on a lot of supposition on our part and much less on any fact based or textual evidence. And any text evidence that does exist is actually rather rare and vague.

"It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule." Gandalf, "The Last Debate."


Escapist
Gondor


Apr 3 2014, 11:34pm

Post #31 of 36 (144 views)
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I think that diversity may be more of a spectrum than a yes/no. [In reply to] Can't Post

The presence of walls and suppression of trade both contribute to lessening diversity. Awareness and concern about "bloodline purity" also tends to curb diversity.

Different parts of Gondor wouldn't necessarily have to be the same on these terms, but it gets harder and harder to speculate the further and further we go from the story.

As far as Bree goes, I think that there are things we know for certain and things that are not defined and thus are left to imagination / assumptions. We know it was for a long time a place of news and many travelers went that way. We know that there were plenty of hobbits living amongst the men of Bree and that dwarves would at times travel that way. The rangers were also to be found from time to time and there were several neighbooring towns like Archet and Staddle. The Shire was also not all that far from Bree. We do not know for certain that trade was a major thing, but we do know that The Prancing Pony got fairly good business at times and that all these groups of people could have traded with each other - and that if they did, Bree would be the most convenient location for it.

If all the world's a stage then who's writing the script?


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Apr 4 2014, 1:42am

Post #32 of 36 (127 views)
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Many different folk passed through Bree [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think that many foreigners settled in Bree-land though.


In Reply To
The presence of walls and suppression of trade both contribute to lessening diversity. Awareness and concern about "bloodline purity" also tends to curb diversity.

Different parts of Gondor wouldn't necessarily have to be the same on these terms, but it gets harder and harder to speculate the further and further we go from the story.



I'm not sure if this matters, but I don't believe that Gondor initiated any "suppression of trade." As the South grew more hostile, most trade with the North simply dried up. There is a good chance, though, that smuggling increased in response. Pelargir may ro may not have had walls, but I don't know that walls, alone, would have suppressed commercial trade. Walled cities tend to be safer and more secure. In addition, Pelargir was located where the River Sirith flowed into the Anduin and also where the Harad Road intersected with the South Road, making it a natural trading center.


Quote

As far as Bree goes, I think that there are things we know for certain and things that are not defined and thus are left to imagination / assumptions. We know it was for a long time a place of news and many travelers went that way. We know that there were plenty of hobbits living amongst the men of Bree and that dwarves would at times travel that way. The rangers were also to be found from time to time and there were several neighbooring towns like Archet and Staddle. The Shire was also not all that far from Bree. We do not know for certain that trade was a major thing, but we do know that The Prancing Pony got fairly good business at times and that all these groups of people could have traded with each other - and that if they did, Bree would be the most convenient location for it.



Bree seems to be full of contradictions. Also located at the meeting of two major trade routes, Bree-landers welcomed the custom of strangers passing through and gossiped endlesslessly about the doings of such foreigners. At the same time, the Bree-land communities stayed small and travellers would pass through without settling there. Trade doubtless took place, but not on a large scale. Perhaps that is due to the fall of Arnor to the north and Tharbad to the south.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Darkstone
Immortal


Apr 4 2014, 1:11pm

Post #33 of 36 (123 views)
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"I am not in fact tall..." [In reply to] Can't Post

... or strongly built. I now measure 5 ft 8 1/2..."
- Letter #294

******************************************
A fox passing through the wood on business of his own stopped several minutes and sniffed. "A chicken crossing the road!" he thought. "Well, what next? I have heard of strange doings in this land, but I have seldom heard of a chicken crossing the road! There's something mighty queer behind this." He was quite right, but he never found out any more because he ate it.


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Apr 4 2014, 3:37pm

Post #34 of 36 (126 views)
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Pelargir [In reply to] Can't Post

For no particular reason except casual interest, here is a map of Pelargir credited to Jessica Ney for the Middle-earth Role Playing (MERP) game:



See Full-Size Image

The game designers imagined the inner city as built upon a spur of rock at the confluence of the Sirith and Anduin rivers and turned into an artifical island by the creation of a canal or moat. The city has since expanded with an outer wall protecting Sirith Town and Moat Town.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Apr 4 2014, 3:45pm)


squire
Valinor


Apr 4 2014, 6:22pm

Post #35 of 36 (122 views)
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Very clever [In reply to] Can't Post

It looks more like an Enlightenment fantasy city, a la Washington DC or St. Petersburg, than anything that Tolkien might have imagined. He never insisted on his cities being really medieval despite the technology level of his universe, and he did like circles and towers as we see in Gondolin, Isengard and Minas Tirith. But he never laid out garden suburbs or axial malls as far as we know.

Did the MERP people do an Osgiliath as well?



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Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Apr 5 2014, 12:05pm

Post #36 of 36 (162 views)
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Osgiliath and Dol Amroth [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Did the MERP people do an Osgiliath as well?



Yes, indeed:



And also Dol Amroth:



'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

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