Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Most Middle-Earthian Place on Earth

No, it's not Scandanavia, or Oxford, or even Nebraska, (although It might very well be Scandanavia, I haven't ever been there), It's.......Siena!

You may not know it but I am in Italy, which is why I haven't been posting anything and haven't been sending AAron several e-mails a day. (I have free internet today, because I'm at a hotel in Naples.) You will see pictures of Siena on Disciples of Diotima when I get back to the US. Anyway, there have been times when I have tried to picture myself in Middle earth and have succeeded. In Siena, it was different. I felt like I was in middle-earth without even trying!

Specifically, I felt I was in Annuminas. Annuminas was the capital of the North Kingdom of Men in the early Third Age. It was located in Eriador, a bit north of the Shire. The north kingdom fell about halfway through the third age, leaving only the rangers to guard the free and peacful peoples of Bree, Buckland, and the Shire. Annuminas was the capital of the kingdom that built the fortress on Weathertop, and was where the king resided that the Hobbits of Frodo's time paid posthumous respect to.

13 comments:

Ancient Greek Philosopher said...

Um, who is Aaron?? No wait, don't tell us, and don't tell me. And did you vote on the facebook poll? We had quite a discussion while you were gone (and still gone I presume)...

Hans Lundahl said...

Tolkien wrote somewhere he considered Minas Tirith on same latitude as Rome (so many thousand years later so to speak).

But latitude is not all to an atmosphere, in the south old architecture is better preserved.

Old Fashioned Liberal said...

I remember hearing that too. Which, if the Shire is in south england, would put Mount Doom the adriatic, and Siena into Anorien.

But I couldn't very well feel like I was in Anorien :). Siena definitely felt like Middle-earth, and it felt mannish, not elvish. It didn't have the grandeur of Minas Tirith, but it had more of a cultural tradition behind it than Bree. And it was less "viking" than Rohan (which is where Anorien is). Annuminas was really the only place left.

Hans-Georg Lundahl said...

I am not sure if the Shire would be England rather than some place inland in Benelux.

I think of Italy as Ithilien.

And Mount Doom as some sunken reef in the Ægean. Explaining why there were so many monsters for hercules to kill, so to speak ...

Old Fashioned Liberal said...

Italy (the hilly, foresty parts, NOT the hills with five cypresses on top) as Ithillien works very well. Especially since Italy, like Ithillien, is dead on the inside. And they both begin with an "IT". Tell me about this Benelux place.

Hans-Georg Lundahl said...

"Benelux" is not a place but three countries. It is short for:

BE-lgium
NE-therlands
LUX-emburg

Hans-Georg Lundahl said...

Britain and Ireland could be the two Islands outside Grey Havens.

Old Fashioned Liberal said...

Do those places have hills in which Hobbits can dig their holes? We stupid Americans (well, at least me) think of all the Benelux places as very flat.

Hans-Georg Lundahl said...

The East, and some further in into Germany, yes.

But hills are formations that are more subject to wearing down than mountains.

Old Fashioned Liberal said...

I see. It makes sense, although I have difficulty associating the hobbits with anything but England. But I'm biased because English is my first language.

Perhaps the Gulf of Mithlond became the Zuider Zee?

Hans-Georg Lundahl said...

A beautiful idea.

But for your English idea, maybe Gulf of Mithlond became Irish Sea or something, and the both Islands are meant to be Ireland and Man.

I think this is historically untrue, but so do I think about modern geological theories abot Gondwana.

Old Fashioned Liberal said...

Oh yes...I don't believe it either. NOr in Gonwondaland...or whatever it's called.

And then would Atlantis be Valinor? Or Numenor?

Hans-Georg Lundahl said...

Numenor as Atlantis makes sense. One of its names is "Atalante" - Quenya for "fallen".