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Thread: Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth.

  1. #1
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    Arrow Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth.

    That is not the voice that the Wise hear out of the darkness and from beyond it. Nay, lord, the Wise among Men say: "We were not made for death, nor born ever to die. Death was imposed upon us."
    What was the reason behind this claim of Men? Surely, there is some reason (allthough in the Athrabeth Men do loathe to tell that to elves) what are your thoughts about this claim, and what do you think is the reason behind this claim.

    2.
    'I will not,' said Andreth. 'We do nor speak of this to those of other race. But indeed the Wise are uncertain and speak with contrary voices; for whatever happened long ago, we have fled from it; we have tried to forget, and so long have we tried that now we cannot remember any time when we were not as we are- save only legends of days when death came less swiftly and our span was still far longer, but already there was death.'
    Isn't this claim appose to the general opinion? Men's life span was shorter before they reached Beleriand? Do you believe this claim to be true? If yes, then why?

    3.
    But already we had our lore, and needed none from the Elves:
    Why? Did the Atani learned most of their craft from the Dark Elves and the Nandor? or were they born with the knowledge of Middle-Earth? And if not then the development of a whole civilaztion is a long prcoess while the men achieved it in about three hundred years? Had the Vala or Eru already (if Vala had the power) enriched the brains of Men with the knowledge of Middle-Earth?

    4.
    'In that the Eldar would say that they err,' said Finrod. 'To us your claim for Men is strange, and indeed hard to accept, for two reasons. You claim, if you fully understand your own words, to have had imperishable bodies, not bounded by the limits of Arda, and yet derived from its matter and sustained by it. And you claim also (though this you may not have perceived) to have had hroar and fear that were from the beginning out of harmony. Yet harmony of hroa and fea is, we believe, essential to the true nature unmarred of all the Incarnate: the Mirroanwi as we call the Children of Eru.' 'The first difficulty I perceive,' said Andreth, 'and to it our Wise have their own answer.
    What might the answer be? Since the Answer of Ingold seems so logical?

    5.
    'I will not,' said Andreth. 'We do nor speak of this to those of other race. But indeed the Wise are uncertain and speak with contrary voices; for whatever happened long ago, we have fled from it; we have tried to forget, and so long have we tried that now we cannot remember any time when we were not as we are
    Lets look at it.

    Men awoke in 1 A.O.S. (age of Sun)

    Baran lived from 262* to 355* A.O.S. He lived to the age of 93. Seeing that he died at a pretty old age, surely in his youth people would have been alive who were 80 to 90 years old, and who fathers and grandfathers would be the first generation of Men. Surely from them Beor would have learned the old traditions and they would have been kept alive. And Andreth is only three generations on from Beor and she was born only after 5 years of Beor's death. So with regard to that the lore and earlier knowledge should have been transferered to Andreath. Not a lot of time and generations have elasped since the first begining of men, speically if we consider Andreath's claim that save only legends of days when death came less swiftly and our span was still far longer And Andreath here is talking as if ages of Sun or trees have elasped when really not more then 8 or 7 seven generations of men would have passed since the first awakeing of men. I just am not clear about the point. I am not sure i have made the point very clear, since i myself am perplaxed in which way to put the interogative question, but i'd like you to explain whatever you know about this topic.

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    I have only read the Athrabeth once, and therefore this may be off the mark. Also, I don't remember the Answer of Ingold that you alluded to. So:

    a) the Athrabeth seems to be Tolkien's attempt to reconcile the Silmarillion myths with Christianity. Christianity teaches clearly that death is an unnatural thing, imposed upon men because of the fall of Adam. It is the consequence of sin. This is why St. Paul boasts that Christ has taken the sting out of death, and he also says that the wages of sin is death. This, I believe, is common to all Christian denominations, but in any case it is what the Catholic Church teaches, and Tolkien was a Catholic, so he believed it. Therefore echoes of this can be seen in Andreth's words, in the Athrabeth.

    b) the chronology. Christopher Tolkien says in Morgoth's Ring that Tolkien was revising the chronology. There are allusions to the appearance of men still in the darkness of the stars, and that Melkor would have caused their fall before he was chained. This would leave the Three Ages of his imprisonment as well as the years of the sun to account for such ancient lore among men.

    Sorry I can't give quotes, I don't have the book with me.

    In any way when reading any volume of HoME we must take care to note that the published Silmarillion is in many places contradictory with the other texts (those of HoME). Christopher Tolkien had to select among several versions of each story in order to forge a coherent narrative. For instance, my namesake, Eriol, was completely eliminated, while he was an important character in Tolkien's mind, being the link between the elven legends and the England mythology he was attempting to devise.

    Summing up: the "official" chronology of the published Silmarillion is not in agreement with the Athrabeth, and that is the answer for most questions of chronology.
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    What was the reason behind this claim of Men? Surely, there is some reason (although in the Athrabeth Men do loathe to tell that to elves) what are your thoughts about this claim, and what do you think is the reason behind this claim
    Bitterness perhaps against their mortality. The 'mortality' of men had been existent since before their creation. They just needed an excuse, remember that Tolkien says 'All men are fallen', both in his Letters and in the Athrabeth.

    Men's life span was shorter before they reached Beleriand? Do you believe this claim to be true? If yes, then why?
    Yes. Looking at the age spans of some of the Beorian lords, they often numbered 90+ years, and Andreth comments on it. I think that in a way they had found 'paradise' in pre-Bragollach Beleriand and they could interact with the crème de la crème of the Quendi, the Eldar (As opposed to the Avari) and this had an effect on them. But Sador, Hurin's servant comments on this, the 'flame' (fea?) of men burning quicker when they interact with the Eldar:

    In their light we are dimmed, or we burn with to quick a flame...
    Unfinished Tales; Of Turin Turumbar

    This of course, could be a poetic reference to their low life expectancy in comparison to Elves.

    Why? Did the Atani learned most of their craft from the Dark Elves and the Nandor? or were they born with the knowledge of Middle-Earth? And if not then the development of a whole civilaztion is a long prcoess while the men achieved it in about three hundred years? Had the Vala or Eru already (if Vala had the power) enriched the brains of Men with the knowledge of Middle-Earth?
    The Valar, apart from Ulmo maybe, had little interaction with men, Finrod seems to think men are 'too great' for them to handle. Read the part about Andreth's fall carefully, and you will see how Eru allows them to make their own discoveries and decisions.

    On Elvish help before they entered into Beleriand. It's is probable that any Nelyarin Avari would’ve taught them lore (As Tolkien comments on) but the Tatyarin Avari, who were not as friendly as their Moriquendi counterparts would've been unfriendly to them and judging by the reaction of the Nandor of Ossiriand, in which they said they would afflict men unless they left, they would've received little help from any Eriadorin Nandor, or any that they encountered on their journey. 'Of Dwarves and Men' comments on the kinship between the tongue of the Easterlings and the Easterlings and about various alliances between the Longbeard Dwarves and pre-Marachian tribes in Rhovanion, so they could've learnt lore from a combination of Nelyarin Avari and Dwarves.

    What might the answer be? Since the Answer of Ingold seems so logical
    I don't understand why are you using outdated names? 'Ingold' as a name for Finrod only existed in the pre-LoTR Quenta's of HoME 4 and 5.

    Men awoke in 1 A.O.S. (age of Sun)
    As Eriol said, Men were supposed to have awoken much further back, in Tolkien’s latter writings. I believe this is the case in the Athrabeth as in the story of the downfall Melkor puts on a fair semblance and the Silmarillion tells us that after his fleeing from Formenos and destruction of the Trees he could never put on a fair semblance again. Also the time-line for it cannot possibly allow for the men to 'fall' and then for some to rebel and migrate, and reach Beleriand. That couldn’t happen in 300 odd years.
    Curiosity is insubordination in its purest form-Vladimir Nabokov

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  4. #4
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    Originally posted by Eriol
    a) the Athrabeth seems to be Tolkien's attempt to reconcile the Silmarillion myths with Christianity. Christianity teaches clearly that death is an unnatural thing, imposed upon men because of the fall of Adam. It is the consequence of sin.
    I agree mostly with that point of view. I too tended to compare this "first fall of menkind" with the end of the "Golden Age" in the Genesis. But a closer look might lead to different conclusions, though, because in Genesis the "fall" is a "loss of innocence", a "separation from God". Eating the "fruit of the forbidden tree" probably meant "gaining knowledge" rather than "loosing immortality" (which IMO was a mere consequence of the former), something that God had prohibited for his children.

    Furthermore I see Tolkien's ideas, as presented in the Athrabeth, exceeding the philosophical conceptions of Christianity by far...
    fa' zoccu hai di fari e li fatti d'àutru nun guardari....

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    Originally posted by Walter
    Eating the "fruit of the forbidden tree" probably meant "gaining knowledge" rather than "loosing immortality" (which IMO was a mere consequence of the former), something that God had prohibited for his children.
    Yep. That is why death is the consequence of sin. Death is not "sin", but the consequence of man's separation from God, and wanting to be as God, to quote the snake.

    Furthermore I see Tolkien's ideas, as presented in the Athrabeth, exceeding the philosophical conceptions of Christianity by far...
    Then you have a greater opinion of them than Tolkien himself, most probably. I am sure he would not call his philosophical insights greater than that... he would probably agree that "the wisdom of men is foolishness in God's eyes".

    And I am not sure of what you are calling "the philosophical conceptions of Christianity" either, so I can't delve deeper into that.
    The greatest thing you will ever learn, is just to love, and be loved in return - Nat King Cole (I don't know the composer !?)

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    But the serpent said to the woman: "You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of ityour eyes will be opened and you will be like God, Knowing good and evil."

    And he said: 'The Valar have possessed themselves of the land where there is no death; and they lie to you concerning it, hiding it as best they may, because of their avarice, and their fear lest the Kings of Men should wrest from them the deathless realm and rule the world in their stead. And though, doubtless, the gift of life unending is not for all, but only for such as are worthy, being men of might and pride and great lineage, yet against all Justice is it done that this gift, which is his due, should be withheld from the King of Bangs, Ar-Pharazôn, mightiest of the sons of Earth, to whom Manwë alone can be compared, if even he. But great kings do not brook denials, and take what is their due.'

    ----

    I did not say or mean "greater" than the philosophical conceptions of Christianity, I meant "broader" or "wider", regarding to the considerations about the "eternal harmony" of hröa and fëa (within the confines of Arda) as well as about the re-incarnation or "re-housing".

    ----

    "...the wisdom of men is foolishness in God's eyes".

    Polemical, but I can't resist: Which God? The omniscient, allmighty benevolent one? The one that dismissed Adam and Eve? Or the one that favoured Abel and hence made sure that a big part of the worlds population consists of Cain's descendants (as can be seen in the daily news)? Or the one that "blotted out" every living thing except Noah and his passengers, because he no longer was pleased with his creation? The one that chose Abram and his family with their chronical endogamous habits? Etc, etc.... This God?
    fa' zoccu hai di fari e li fatti d'àutru nun guardari....

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    Originally posted by Walter

    I did not say or mean "greater" than the philosophical conceptions of Christianity, I meant "broader" or "wider", regarding to the considerations about the "eternal harmony" of hröa and fëa (within the confines of Arda) as well as about the re-incarnation or "re-housing".
    Oh, I got it. Sorry then. You mean that Tolkien's imaginings are broader in the sense that it involved re-incarnation, re-housing, etc. etc. That is correct, of course -- since these things do not happen (or at least were never observed) in our world, no wonder philosophers (Christian or otherwise) never gave any thought to it. Elves surely had to do it, for they experienced both phenomena in themselves.

    As for which God, you are again correct . That God, which did all of those things you mentioned. Do you mean you think he could have done better, as in "He is not as good as you would expect him to be"? Well, that's a whole new debate, and an interesting one. If the Guild of Philosophy is ever created I would like to discuss that...
    The greatest thing you will ever learn, is just to love, and be loved in return - Nat King Cole (I don't know the composer !?)

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    But I do think that philosophers gave some thought to those ideas. Even aside from the Eastern religions (where re-incarnation plays a major role), in early Egypt, for instance, when the corpses were preserved to enable a return of the soul ("re-housing"), but also in early Western civilizations philosophers like Orpheus ("wandering of the soul"), Pythagoras ("re-incarnation"), Empedokles (dtto.), etc. took some heed of such ideas.

    As for the discussion about God, I would be willing, but I'm not sure I'm prepared for something like that. Little do I know and even less precise is my idea or vision about God and what he could/should have done better (if we take the things reported in the Old Testament for granted). Aside from that I have a feeling that a few things found in the Genesis are remnants of another - probably polytheistic - religion or mythology, maybe derived from others (found in Mesopotamia)...
    fa' zoccu hai di fari e li fatti d'àutru nun guardari....

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    Re: Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth.

    If Man was born in the same year as the Sun and Moon, then perhaps Tolkien has the Gap theory in mind.

    I as a Young Earth creationist reject the Gap theory. But the gist of it is, that there is a supposed Gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. That the 6 Days of Creation (During which the Sun and Moon where created, as well as Adam on the 6th) where really a Recreation. And that during the Gap there was a very different world, where Angels possibly lived within the world more directly, and there was a Pre-Adamic Race, and that World was basically destroyed by Satan's fall and the War between the Fallen and Unfallen angels. Sounds quite a bit like the era of the Valian years. Most Gap theorists don't think there where survivors of the Pre-Adamic race overlapping with Adam's history though.

    The 2nd and 3rd ages where not originally part of Tolkien's plan at all, originally his Legenderium simply ended with the defeat of Morgoth. Since there where only 590 years form the birth of the Sun to the Defeat of Morgoth, that means it could easily have been hypothetically reconcilable with Early Pre-Flood Biblical history (There where 1656 years till the Flood).

    Adam and most names listed in Genesis 5 lived to over 900 though, all lived to over 700. So there would be the question of how Men noticed they couldn't live forever. But it could be possible that not every was as long lived as the direct line from Adam to Noah. Perhaps only the Kin of Enosh where gifted with that long a life. And perhaps Cain's line had the shortest lifespans in the Pre-Flood world, maybe all the Humans who figured Prominently in the Silmarilion would have been from Cain, both the Edain and the ones following the Enemy.

    Or maybe Tolkien originally intended more years from the Birth of the Sun to Morgoth's defeat before he added other ages. The History before Beren and Luthien is less detailed.
    Last edited by Mithrandir-Olor; 12-22-2012 at 08:27 PM.

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    Re: Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth.

    Onestly, I had always thought that Tolkien, in this particular myth, intended not only to made a thread-link between his tales and the Christian tale, but also, as the linguist as ha was, to render it on proper terms: he knew that the most ancient legends of humanity contain many errors, more often than not voluntary errors ( i.e., Jesus Christ date of birth was voluntary postponed of a couple of years to make it simultaneous with the passage of the infamous comet, an event also registered from the stories ). I think that, in this case, that claim of men was under such a kind of mistake: when talking about death, Andreth referred not specifically to the severance between body and soul ( as did Finrod ), but to the possible consequence of this severance: to speak more cleary, she referred to the possibility or not of the soul to continue its journey, or to simply end it utterly ( which is, of course, also a consequence on its on right ). In this case, the Tale of Adanel is similar to many other tales of such a kind, not only to the Christian one ( i.e., the tale of the Quetzacoatl, and so on ): it tries to explain the existence of things like death and suffering, in one way ( the Corruption of Mankind as in the Tale of Adanel and in the Christian one ) or another ( the never-ending journey of the soul as in Buddhism ), and in these tales the only fixed element is, in fact, the question " why such things happen? "; the presence of an agent like Satan ( or Melkor ), or of a Corruption of any kind, is not as fixed. So, maybe the first men effectively came under the shadow of Melkor, and doing so, thought that he was God and that they would be consequently damned no matter what ( in fact, if God is evil, all of his creation must be evil ); and that was exactly what Melkor wanted for the men to think: that they were Hopeless, and that whichever " voice " they heared coming out of the Void, claiming That God was not Melkor, was an illusion of their hearts. This story of the Voice seems to me in fact another mistake: an attempt to explain on " material " and therefore provable terms why men perceived that there was a God and that they were t be eternal, even without the teachings of the Valar, as had been for the Quendi.
    Tolkien was not only a linguist and a Christian, but also a very learned person, who knew that, even if the massage of the Christian Tale was supposed to be accepted with faith from its acolytes, the tales themselves frequently contained the voluntary errors cited above; and so, I think that in the Tale of Adanel, the claim of Man to be eternal meant to point out their capacity to perceive God and what lied Beyond the Boundaries of The World more cleary than any other race, even more than the Valar themselves, as stated from the Gift of Men; and that they were, in fact, born to die in this world from the very beginning, but with the greatest Gift of hope: to know and perceive no matter what to what end they would eventually come. With that, I don't want to affirm that men of old didn't come under the shadow of Melkor, just that this event didn't determine any kind of permanent Corruption, because such a thought, it seems to me, was exactly what Melkor hoped for; men thought to be Corrupted and Damned, and so they were either desperately vengeful against Melkor ( as the Three houses of the Edain ), or so convinced of their of Hopeless damnation to give in to it completely, as the Easterling.
    hope I have made myself clear my being not english is a bit of a limit, when trying to explain such contorted things

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    Re: Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth.

    "( i.e., Jesus Christ date of birth was voluntary postponed of a couple of years to make it simultaneous with the passage of the infamous comet, an event also registered from the stories )"

    I have never heard of this before?

    The theory that the Star of Bethlehem was a Commet is the worst of them all, Aceint Astorlogers ocnsidered those Bad Omens.

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    Re: Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth.

    I always known that the Star of Betlehem was a comet, but maybe I'm mistaken... However, even if Wikipedia is not the best source if you search for accurate news, here it is a link to its Jesus page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus. I've known the fact that his traditional date of birth was not exact from many years now... From the Catholic School I attended when I was a child. But you can find this bit of news easily.

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    Re: Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth.

    Our Date for his Birth is off, but that's not why.

    http://www.versebyverse.org/doctrine/birthofchrist.html

    http://askelm.com/star/

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    Re: Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth.

    so, maybe I had heared wrong... I onestly knew, as already stated, that the Star was a comet, and everything followed then... but, however, this is not the only case in which men have ( or have not ) made voluntary errors in the transmition of their tales: for example, the dates of births and deaths of the wise old greeks were usually altered from the hellenistic loremaster in order to " demonstrate " that the birth of a new wise followed directly the death of another one, as if wiseness could pass from one to another... to make an example.

    However, all of this was referred to the Tale of Adanel

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