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Elenna ([eˈlenːa]) or Elenna-nórë (Q, pron. [eˌlenːa-ˈnoːre]) also Andor, the "Land of Gift", was a name said to mean 'Starwards',[1] referring to the island on which the realm of Númenor was founded.[2]

It was taken from the fact that the first Men to inhabit that island came to it by following the light of the Star of Eärendil.

Generations later, owing to the Númenóreans' arrogance and blasphemy against the Valar, Elenna was deluged during the Changing of the World.


[edit] Geography

The map of Númenor

The island of Númenor was about 167,961 square miles,[3] It was located in the Belegaer closer to Valinor (about 39 days) than Middle-earth.

Its shape was of a 5-point star, each point having its own unique geological and physical features, therefore considered a separate region of Númenor and had separate names:

The area between Orrostar and Hyarrostar was the bay of Rómenna, with Tol Uinen standing off its coast.

The central region of Mittalmar contained the region of Emerië, a grass land with many sheep, and the sacred mountain Meneltarma, standing in the very center of the island. It was the highest location on the entire island and was a holy place devoted to Eru Ilúvatar. It was said that on a clear day the 'far-sighted' might see Tol Eressëa, the island east of Valinor proper which along with it comprised the Undying Lands.

The lower slopes of the mountain, the Tarmasundar, were gentle grass-covered, however, near the summit the slopes became more vertical and could not be ascended easily. The kings later built a spiral road to the peak, beginning at the southern tip of the mountain and winding up to the lip of the summit in the north.

The only other known mountain on the island was Sorontil, in Forostar.

Númenor had only two rivers: Siril which began at Meneltarma and ended in a small delta near the city of Nindamos, and the Nunduinë, which formed the lake Nísinen before reaching the sea in the Bay of Eldanna near the haven Eldalondë.

The island itself was tilted southward and a little westward; the northern coasts were all steep sea cliffs.

[edit] Etymology

The word is actually the allative form of the Quenya word elen meaning "to (a) star". The "longer" name Elenna-nórë is glossed as "Land of the Star",[4] literally "Starwards-land". The island was named so as the Edain colonists sailed "starwards", following the Star of Eärendil.

Robert Foster mistakenly identifies the word as being the "essive" form of elen.[5] Essive is a grammatical case that exists in Finnish (but not in Quenya), and is marked by the ending -na, like the Quenya allative.

The Adûnaic name was Gimlad (cf. gimil).

[edit] Location

The location of Númenor in Fonstad's maps, between Aman and Middle-earth; the red line shows the north-south axis

Tolkien never drew a map of Arda showing where exactly in Belegaer, or relative to Middle-earth the island of Númenor stood but there are some narrative hints.

While sailing for Lindon, Vëantur had to fight the north and east winds[6] suggesting the the island was south of the latitude of Lindon. It is also mentioned that Vëantur was accompanied by (apparently migratory) birds in autumn and spring.[7]

The Downfall of Númenor, while also causing important loss in Lindon, most of all filled much of the Bay of Belfalas so that the city of Pelargir was left far inland[8]. This may suggest the island was more or less around the latitude of the Bay of Belfalas. As vineyards are attested in the eastern part of the Hyarnustar, Didier Willis notes that adequate climatological conditions for viticulture are quite strict[9] and estimates the island to be located around 40° N, indeed facing the Bay of Belfalas.[10]

As for the distances, we are told simply that the island was closer to Valinor than Endor[11]. It was said that from Meneltarma, the keen-eyed Númenóreans could sometimes get a glimpse of Avallónë;[11] the Fall of Númenor came 39 days after Ar-Pharazôn left,[11] but his actual voyage could be shorter.

Didier Willis estimates that as Vëantur could sail directly from Númenor to Lindon - not needing to find a closer coast and follow it up to his destination - the island was close enough to Lindon, with a realistic distance between 2000 to 3000 km.[7]

Karen Wynn Fonstad placed the island in her Second Age maps around the latitude of the Bay of Belfalas, but without giving any reasoning or calculations. It approximates the Númenórean ports of Vinyalondë, Pelargir and Umbar on Middle-earth. Her map shows the distance between the Island and Eressea approximately 1700 km.[12]

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Akallabêth: The Downfall of Númenor"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Númenor"
  3. Estimation by Karen Wynn Fonstad in the The Atlas of Middle-earth
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan"
  5. Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, entry "Elenna"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner's Wife"
  7. 7.0 7.1 Mystères géographiques n°2 : La position de Númenor, Du kirinki au puffin cendré (2000-2001). In this article, Willis suggested that the presence of those birds could indicate that the island was found south of the Tropic of Arda, but he later changed his mind.
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, p. 183.
  9. See e.g. Jones, Gregory V., "Climate Change: Observations, Projections, and General Implications for Viticulture and Wine Production" in Practical Winery and Vineyard, July/August 2007, pp. 44–64.
  10. Didier Willis, Tolkien, le façonnement d'un monde, vol. 2, p. 213 (map of adequate climatological zones for vines on Earth), pp. 215-220 (application to Númenor and discussion).
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Akallabêth: The Downfall of Númenor"
  12. Karen Wynn Fonstad The Atlas of Middle-earth