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Sam as Frodo's Garner

Olorgando

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So, to streamline this...Tolkien put a Victorian society in what seems like a proto-Dark Ages world?
Very interesting.
CL
I would think very much yes - except that this "proto-Dark Ages" world of Gondor would have been at least on a par with the quite well-documented Roman Empire in the aftermath of Augustus, and superior to anything before the invention of cannon, militarily at least (but there's Saruman's forces blowing up things at the Battle of Helm's Deep). There were "Dark Ages" after the end of the Bronze Age (at least in what is now Greece), after the demise of the western Roman Empire in western Europe, after the onset of the "little Ice Age" commencing around 1200 or 1300 AD … after the break-up of The Beatles … ;)
 

CirdanLinweilin

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I would think very much yes - except that this "proto-Dark Ages" world of Gondor would have been at least on a par with the quite well-documented Roman Empire in the aftermath of Augustus, and superior to anything before the invention of cannon, militarily at least (but there's Saruman's forces blowing up things at the Battle of Helm's Deep). There were "Dark Ages" after the end of the Bronze Age (at least in what is now Greece), after the demise of the western Roman Empire in western Europe, after the onset of the "little Ice Age" commencing around 1200 or 1300 AD … after the break-up of The Beatles … ;)
I see your point, but the Dark Ages I meant was the one after the Fall of the Roman Empire, and Preceding the later Middle Ages, but okay.


CL
 

Olorgando

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I see your point, but the Dark Ages I meant was the one after the Fall of the Roman Empire, and Preceding the later Middle Ages, but okay.
CL
Umm, those pre-Luther "Dark Ages" might be considered a successful Protestant "propaganda campaign" to discredit anything (Roman) Catholic, which pretty much covers the about 1000 years between Luther and the fall of the (by then heavily Christian?) western Roman Empire. Confusing the hierarchy (tending to corruption as all unregulated power sources do) with "the masses". Certainly (in my view) the ascent of Aragorn to the kingship of the then reunited kingdoms was entirely the opposite of Dark Ages. If you mean that the Shire, being in what once had been the kingdom of Arnor, were in the midst of Dark Ages of the kingship of the then defunct Northern Kingdom - from an external perspective, yes, but the (Northern) Rangers managed to keep the negative effects of this power vacuum away from the Hobbits - for whatever reason ...
 

CirdanLinweilin

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Umm, those pre-Luther "Dark Ages" might be considered a successful Protestant "propaganda campaign" to discredit anything (Roman) Catholic, which pretty much covers the about 1000 years between Luther and the fall of the (by then heavily Christian?) western Roman Empire.
Now that you mention it, yeah I see what you're saying.


CL
 

Rivendell_librarian

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I don't think the Green Dragon would accept a prize marrow for a pint of best even though they would have served food for sure. (too many marrows in season)
 

Olorgando

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I don't think the Green Dragon would accept a prize marrow for a pint of best even though they would have served food for sure. (too many marrows in season)
Oh quite! Of course with marrow, you have chosen one of the most quickly perishable forms of nutrition (together with all forms of raw fish(esssss).

And the consider this: one of the duties laid on the Hobbits settling in (what was to become) the Shire in 1601 TA by the leave of King Argeleb II of Arthedain "... was that they should keep the Great Bridge [over the Baranduin / Brandywine] in repair, and all other bridges and roads, speed the king's messengers, and acknowledge his lordship."
The road passing south of Hobbiton and Bywater was thus the Great East Road. From an Elven viewpoint, it connected the Grey Havens with Rivendell. From a Dwarven viewpoint their dwellings in the Blue Mountains (later Thorin's dwellings) with either the road crossing the Misty Mountains and points east, or leading to the intersection with the Greenway by Bree, where they would take a right turn and head south for Moria. Only the Dwarves would possibly have been interested in a rest stop in inns along the way - and fitted comfortably under the low Hobbit ceilings. So there must have been the possibility of payment by coin, especially from the Dwarves, who could be assumed to be the great minters of Middle-earth anyway. And as the Dwarves are not (explicitly, anyway) associated with agriculture etc. very much, the Hobbits may have been the suppliers of agricultural produce for the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains, which would lead to a certain supply of coins in the Shire.

What was almost totally lacking in the Shire is something that can make up 70% of GDP in current western countries, the service economy. Besides the inns (lots of those, it seems), I can only think of the postal system and the shirrifs / bounders. Now this part of an economy simply cannot function without a money supply. And most of that has by now become none-tangible, to a lesser degree in Germany where people are still very fond (most fond of all nations in Europe, possibly) of bank notes and coins. Some Scandinavian countries are doing upwards of 70% of all transactions with bank cards, or debit and credit cards. The last of these mentioned, the true credit card so ubiquitous in the US, is not offered by the nationwide system of savings and loan banks ("Sparkassen") in Germany, or at least by the regional one I have my bank accounts with, as a matter of principle.
 

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