translated by Lalaith

Welcome to the Middle-earth Science Pages!

If you expect fancy optical effects here, look elsewhere. I will not waste your bandwidth with useless gimmicks. Anyway, if you are like me (and live in a country where Telecom exploits defenseless customers as much as ours does), you have disabled all graphics and JavaScript options in your browser. A few graphics I have included, but they are not really mandatory to understand the contents of this homepage.

(Well, for those who cannot refrain I have put some small digital images of a few of my gouache and carbon illustrations of Middle-earth right here, the latest ones dating 2003-05-22. You were warned!)

But for the most part, I offer you almost pure text essays on Tolkien's Middle-earth, the probably most detailed and perfect secondary world created in literature. The contents of these pages are entirely my own - though some are very quotation-laden -, so please excuse my imperfect English.

For the beginning, however, you may perhaps enjoy the ultimate critics of Peter Jackson's M*vie attempt by none else but JRRT himself – and the M*vie's extra compressed TCP/IP edition (1 MB)!

List of Contents


A Meridional Grid on the Map of Middle-earth (16 kB)

If you wonder how JRRT's and CT's maps of North-Western Middle-earth (known as "the large LR map") can be projected onto a spherical Earth with proper latitudes and longitudes, here is how to do it. It is easy (and has very little math. Really!).

Note: This text fully relies on the original LR foldout map found only in editions before the publication of UT. Any other maps are unsuitable for this discussion!

Latest update: Nov 08, 2000.

Bombadil in the Shire (8 kB)

A review of the rarely observed geographical aspects of the Shire and the Old Forest described in the poem "Bombadil Goes Boating".

Latest update: Nov 17, 2000.

History and Ethnology

Mannish Rulers of the First to Third Age (18 kB)

This document links to a PDF file (92 kB; Acrobat Reader 3.0 required) that gives genealogical tables of the noble Mannish dynasties of Beleriand, Númenor, Arnor, Gondor, Rohan, and Dale. The accompanying HTML file presents the sources from which the data were taken and discusses problems and inconsistencies in the traditions.

Latest update: 2004-06-28; some slight emendations and corrections.

The Indigenous Population of Middle-earth (55 kB)

In the LR Appendices and in UT, the history of Arnor, Gondor, and Rohan is laid out in much detail. Informations on the pre-Númenorean minorities, however, are spread across a myriad of isolated references. This text compiles what we know about the non-Númenorean Men of North-Western Middle-earth and retells history from their point of view.

Notes: Older versions of this essay appeared in print in:

Click here to download a (in some parts outdated) Polish translation.

Latest update: Jun 11, 2002. Material on the migratory phase added, chronological oddities in the Second Age removed.

The History of the Men of Darkness (79 kB)

Correspondingly, a review of the peoples of Rhún and Harad and their intertwined history.

Note: This text is partially based on the results of "A Meridional Grid..."; see above.

Latest update: 2007-02-03. A chronological error corrected and more on the name Variags added.

The third Realm in Exile(39 kB)

A more detailed look behind the history of the haven of Umbar, the Black Númenóreans, and the Mouth of Sauron, including a map, a timeline, and a photographic view.

Latest update: Apr 04, 2002.

The mysterious king Bladorthin (14 kB)

Hypotheses about this great king, mentioned once and never again, are abundant. Here is yet another one.

Latest update: Apr 30, 2002. New version, same results. History of Dorwinion added.

The History of Ents (19 kB)

A discussion of the origin of the Ents and the Entwives, of their possible relationship to Trolls and the Watchers of Cirith Ungol and of the proposal that Ents could be Maiar.

Latest update: Nov 08, 2000.


The Reckoning of Time (75 kB)

A basic discussion of the calendar systems used in Valinor and Endor from the First to the Fourth Age. Also links to a daily calendar of the year 2941 TA in Shire, Stewards', and Imladris Reckoning.

Latest update: 2005-12-20. Note on the ancient British New Year added.

The Moon and Durin's Day, 2941 TA (44 kB)

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to determine that crucial date in the adventures of Bilbo Baggins on the day precise. This essay discusses the rôle the lunar phases play in determining the chronology and presents the Tale of Days.

Note: This text is partially based on the results of "The Reckoning of Time"; see above.

Latest update: Sep 25, 2002. Discussion of the lunar phase at Smaug's death added.

Language Sciences

How to pronounce Rohirin (9 kB)

This essay is primarily intended for non-Anglo-Saxon readers. While Tolkien gave us detailed notes on the pronunciation of Elvish, he forgot to tell his international audience how translated Rohirian (i.e. Old English) is spoken. Based on a discussion in TolkLang, here are some clues.

Latest update: 2006-12-07. Discussion of the proper name of the tongue of Rohan added.

Problems in Translating the Shire Map (24 kB)

This essay primarily addresses German readers. It discusses Tolkien's changing positions on translating the English-language names of Middle-earth and compares the German translation of the Shire map with his intentions.

Included is a crude attempt to translate the Shire Map into Latin.

Latest update: 2004-05.06. Source text „Etymology of British Place-Names“ used for verification of the suggested translations.

Lalaith's Guide to Adûnaic Grammar (120 kB)

This essay began as an analysis of the Arry Lowdham's Adûnaic fragments known as "the Lament of Atalante" but in a quite Tolkienish manner went out of control and turned into a full-grown discussion of Adûnaic grammar in its three distinct stages of development. As you will see, Adûnaic is in fact not that different from English!

Latest update: 2004-29-09. Completely revised.

An Interpretation of the Names in the Line of Elros (31 kB)

The documents about the Kings of Númenor contain numerous references to why a certain king adopted a certain name. But the names themselves stay untranslated so that to many readers these references may remain obscure. This list tries to fill the gap by interpreting each name found in the Line of Elros, whether Quenya or Adûnaic.
Also included is a comparative discussion of the Adûnaic royal names and the grammar and vocabulary of the Númenorean tongue given in NC.

Latest update: Apr 28, 2003. Interpretation of the name Tar-Anducal changed due to reader suggestion.

Etymologies of the Atani Languages (119 kB)

Regretfully, the Etymologies found in HoMe V deal only with the Elvish languages. No comparable work on Adûnaic, Westron, and the related languages has been preserved. This document tries to fill the gap by reconstructing the most probable origins and connections of the known vocabulary.

Latest update: Jul 18, 2002. New format, Westron vocabulary from TT17 added.

No Science At All

Tolkien on Audio (15 kB)

An incomplete list with comments on music, radio-plays, and audio books dealing with Middle-earth.

Latest update: Apr 04, 2002. The anonymous tenor finally identified!

Sauron's Diary (9 kB)

Excerpts of the great archaeological discovery made in the ruins of Barad-dûr. Read how the War of the Ring was perceived by the Dark Lord himself!

Latest update: 2004-09-29. Comments on „The Two Towers“ and „At Dawn in Rivendell“ added, comment on the German radio play corrected.

Last Night at Dushgoi (part 1)(5 kB)

A historic glimpse into the files of Mordor's feared secret service, the Ears of Sauron, revealing how some orcs knew more than they should...

Latest update: Apr 04, 2002.

Last Night at Dushgoi (part 2)(6 kB)

Another glimpse into the files of the Ears of Sauron, revealing yet unknown details about orcish private life.

Latest update: 2005-12-20.

(To be continued...)

This page was last updated 2007-02-03.

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