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Greek and Adunic

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Gary Hendrickson

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Jul 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/15/98
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I was recently playing (for the trillionth time) Sierra's 'Quest For
Glory.' There is a puzzle near the beginning of the game which involves
a talkative medicine lady (think Ioreth) who has lost her ring, which
she describes as 'shaped in gold like the herb Athelas with entwined
leaves.' This time I read it I stopped and blinked. Athelas! Healing!
Tolkien! Just to make sure that Athelas wasn't a real herb I had my mom
(a gardener) look it up... and she found a reference to the herb
'Althea' (if that's the spelling, I lost the reference), which is Greek
for 'Healing Herb' (or something like that). Is there any kind of
similarity between Greek and Adunic?


David Salo

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Jul 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/15/98
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Yes, there is (if you mean Adunaic), but that doesn't help much since
_Athelas_ is Sindarin in form. Sindarin has a 'th' sound, and Greek came
to have one, but that's about it; _Althaea_ (I think that's the plant
meant, though it's not in my Greek dictionary) has a sequence "ea" which is
very unlikely in Sindarin.
I think it's pretty clear that Sierra borrowed the word _athelas_ from
Tolkien.

David Salo

William

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Jul 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/16/98
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Gary Hendrickson wrote:

> I was recently playing (for the trillionth time) Sierra's 'Quest For
> Glory.' There is a puzzle near the beginning of the game which involves
> a talkative medicine lady (think Ioreth) who has lost her ring, which
> she describes as 'shaped in gold like the herb Athelas with entwined
> leaves.' This time I read it I stopped and blinked. Athelas! Healing!
> Tolkien! Just to make sure that Athelas wasn't a real herb I had my mom
> (a gardener) look it up... and she found a reference to the herb
> 'Althea' (if that's the spelling, I lost the reference), which is Greek
> for 'Healing Herb' (or something like that). Is there any kind of
> similarity between Greek and Adunic?

Fasinating! Although "athelas" is Sindarin, not Adunaic (Numenorean).

The herb was known to the Noldor, who termed it "athea" from *ATHAYA
"helpful, kindly, beneficial." A later sound shift rendered it "asea"
(cf. Aragorn's "asea aranion" in "The Houses of Healing.") In
Middle-earth the word was converted into regularized Sindarin form as
athe- plus -las "leaf."
--
_________________________________________________
William Cloud Hicklin "And he named him craven,
soli...@gamewood.net and lord of slaves"
_________________________________________________

REV...@my-dejanews.com

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Jul 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/18/98
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In article <35AE0B6B...@gamewood.net>,

soli...@gamewood.net wrote:
>
>
> Gary Hendrickson wrote:
>
> > I was recently playing (for the trillionth time) Sierra's 'Quest For
> > Glory.' There is a puzzle near the beginning of the game which involves
> > a talkative medicine lady (think Ioreth) who has lost her ring, which
> > she describes as 'shaped in gold like the herb Athelas with entwined
> > leaves.' This time I read it I stopped and blinked. Athelas! Healing!
> > Tolkien! Just to make sure that Athelas wasn't a real herb I had my mom
> > (a gardener) look it up... and she found a reference to the herb
> > 'Althea' (if that's the spelling, I lost the reference), which is Greek
> > for 'Healing Herb' (or something like that). Is there any kind of
> > similarity between Greek and Adunic?
>
> Fasinating! Although "athelas" is Sindarin, not Adunaic (Numenorean).
>
> The herb was known to the Noldor, who termed it "athea" from *ATHAYA
> "helpful, kindly, beneficial." A later sound shift rendered it "asea"
> (cf. Aragorn's "asea aranion" in "The Houses of Healing.") In
> Middle-earth the word was converted into regularized Sindarin form as
> athe- plus -las "leaf."

A classic shift of sounds! th -> s. This happens in some Greek dialects
e.g. the Spartan version of Dorian, _theos_ (god) -> _sios_

JRR sure knew his linguistics

GR

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James Learman

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Jul 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/22/98
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it wouldnt surprise me if tolkien lifted the word considering his profession


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