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  1. Many thanks to Professor Miryam Librn-Moreno for her essay in the Scholars Forum. Prof. Librn-Moreno has published a number of excellent studies on Tolkien's works, including a stellar contribution to last year's acclaimed Tolkien and the Study of his Sources(my personal favourite essay in the collection, actually), and it's really great to be able to present some of her work on the Plaza. Please use this thread for any thoughts or comments about the essay, which you can read here:



    http://www.lotrplaza.com/forum/forum...asp?TID=243743
    It is laden with history, leading back into the dark heathen ages beyond the memory of song, but not beyond the reach of imagination.

  2. halfir's Avatar
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    #2

    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
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    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">Spectacular!What is so illuminating is that Professpr Moreno gives chapter and verse to C S Lewis' belief that LOTR resonated the Aenied. Lewis himself, of course saw Virgil's great work as one of the seminal influences on his own lfe and work
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">cf, Lewis's Losr Aenied
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    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">http://www.lotrplaza.com/forum/forum...asp?TID=240634
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    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">Lewis's admiration of and love for the Aeneid are well attested in the three volumes of his collected letters edt. by Walter Hooper. Quotes from the Aeneid iterally 'litter' his voluminous correspondence, and it is fascinating to track his ever increasing fascination with Virgil's great work - something I will return to in later posts.
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">In a letter to Dom Bede Griffiths ( an earlier student of his) of 23/4/51 Lewis wrote:
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">The Prelude {Wordsworth} has accompanied me through all the stages of my pilgrimage; it and the Aeneid (which I never feel you value suffciently) are the two long poems to wh. I most often return.(Collected Letters Vol 3 1950-1963 edt. Walter Hooper).
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    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">In a letter of Oct 27 1949 to Tolkien, congratulating him on his masterpiece- LOTR- Lewis draws some very clear parallesl between The Aeneid and LOTR.( Collected Letters Vol 11 1931-1949 edt,. Walter Hooper pp. 990-91).
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">In this letter which opens with the Latin phrase:
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    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">Uton herian holbytlas -Let us praise hobbits
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">Lewis -inter alia-compares LOTR favorably with the Aeneid.
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">To Lewis, LOTR combines:
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">the variety of Ariosto with the unity of Virgil
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">It will rank, along with the Aeneid as one of what I call my immediately sub-religious books
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">Indeed ( unexpectedly) the general aroma seems to me more like the Aeneid than anything else, in spite of your Northerness. This is partly because both (a.) Are so often sylvan (b.) Have strategy as distinct from mere combat ,(c.) Suggest an enormous past behind the action.
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">With regard to point (c) it is interesting to compare Tolkien's comments to CT in Letter # 96
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">A story must be told or there'll be no story. Yet it is the untold stories that are most moving. I think you are moved by Celebrimbor because it conveys a sudden sense of untold stories.
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    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">Interestingly enough, given his addiction to Virgilain quotes from the Aeneid in this letter Lewis quotes Horace instead, in referring to those blemishes that he does find in the story:
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">Ubi plura netent in carmine non ego paucis offendo maculis (Indeed, when much glistens in a poem , I shall not be offended by a few blemishes
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    In her updated essay on The Silmarillion {A Mythology for England in The Silmarillion Thirty Years On edt. Allan Turner- Walking Tree Publishers 2007 ISBN 978 3 905703 10 8} Dr. Beare writes:

    There is a Celtic element in Tolkein's mythology, but he did not wish his fantasy to be fantastic and irrational like early Celtic myth. He desired the Classical restraint found in sunnier lands. He wanted to compose a large work in which every part should be subordinate to the whole as in the Aeneid; there is no such unity in The Mabigonion.The Celtic mist prevents one from taking in at a glance the whole landscape or an epic; the clearer atmopshere of England permits it. That perhaps is what Tolkien meant (Letters, p.144) when he said that the tone and quality he desired was 'somewhat cool and clear' and 'redolent of our air'.


    Dr. Beare herself, of course, has a heavily classical background, bothvia a family, her father was Professor of Latin at <?: prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><?: PREFIX = ST1 /><?: PREFIX = ST1 /><?: PREFIX = ST1 /><ST1:PLACE w:st="&#111;n"><ST1:PLACENAME w:st="&#111;n">Bristol</ST1:PLACENAME> <ST1:PLACE w:st="&#111;n">University</ST1:PLACE></ST1:PLACE>, and an academic one, she read classics at Girton. <?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><?: PREFIX = O /><?: PREFIX = O /><?: PREFIX = O /><O:P></O:P>

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    And in Letter # 142 to Father Murray, Tolkien observes on his debt to the Classics:<O:P></O:P>
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    Certainly I have not been nourished by English Literature, in which I do not suppose I am better read than you; for the simple reason thatI have never found much there in which to rest my heart (or heart and head together). I was brought up in the Classics, and first discovered the sensation of literary pleasuer in Homer.<O:P></O:P>
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    And it is interesting that Dr. Beare in her reference to the Aeneid echoes Lewis:

    Indeed (unexpectedly) the general aroma seems to me more like the Aeneid than anything else, in spite of all your Northerness.This is partly because both (a) Are so often sylvan (b) Have strategy, as distinct from mere combat (c) Suggest an enormous past behind the action

    for example shesees some resemblance between Elendil and his escape from Numenor with Aeneas's escape from burning Troy.

    In another thread (from which most of this post is extracted)

    http://www.lotrplaza.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=224748

    geordie refers to a book by Robert E.Morse ''Evocation of Virgil in Tolkien's Art'? (1986)and quotes an extract from Morse regarding classical aspects inherent in Tolkien's work:

    'Tolkien was a careful, capable author. An author of Tolkien's learning who wanted to write a 'Nordic' myth would have done so. Tolkien's soup is certainly flavored with rings, witches and the Germanic traditions. However, these are seasonings only... In Tolkien's broth are other flavors. For example, there is the taste of Christianity, and the savor of Classical epic... The languages, geography and politicical ties described in LotR are reminiscent of Rome, the Latin League, and Rome's empire'.



    In an entry in the Routledge Encyclopedia under Virgil, by Cecilia Barella, who mentions Morse's book in her 'Further Reading ' note, she comments that Tolkien claimed - The Monsters and the Critics- that the Anglo-Saxon poet of Beowulf was inspired by emulation of Virgil.Quoting Shippeys' reference to Tolkien's comment in The Monsters and the Critics:

    Alas for the lost lore, the annals, and old poets {that Virgil knew and only used in the making of a new thing}

    I will return later to comment on Miryam's paper on detail- but WOW - how it so fits in.
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    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">Edited by: halfir
    He that would foil me must use such weapons as I do, for I have not fed my readers with straw, neither will I be confuted with stubble.

  3. Dorwiniondil's Avatar
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    #3

    Yes, "impressive" does not do this major work of scholarship justice.

    Alas for the lost lore, the annals, and old poets {that Virgil knew and only used in the making of a new thing}

    Indeed. Where is Ennius when you need him? To say nothing of those whose very names are forgotten.

    Just to add another emphasis: Augustus stressed the fact that he represented a return to established order (res publica resitituta), which chimes with Elessar Envinyatar, the Renewer. And of course the distant age of Saturn is also invoked in the famous 4th Eclogue:
    Iam redit et virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna.
    A constant theme in Augustan propaganda.
    "I am no longer young even in the reckoning of Men of the Ancient Houses."

  4. Dorwiniondil's Avatar
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    Another couple of comparisons where our boy definitely comes out ahead:
    - both Elessar and Augustus achieve the highest power through war. However, in the case of Augustus, the war is almost entirely civil: Romans fighting Romans. Elessar's enemies are external.
    - they both tend to change their names, but here there's no comparison. On the one hand we have Estel&gt;Aragorn&gt;Thorongil&gt;Strider&gt;Elessa r. On the other, we have C. Octavius Thurinus&gt; C. Julius Caesar Octavianus&gt;C. Julius Caesar Augustus. No contest!
    "I am no longer young even in the reckoning of Men of the Ancient Houses."

  5. Agreed:a wonderful contribution! Many competing obligations prevent me from saying anything more specific at this time, but I read the essay with great interest. And well done, halfir, with your calvacade of quotations, to which I would add one more, one of my personal favorites:

    Hardly any lawful price would seem to me too high for what I have gained by being made to learn Latin and Greek.
    C. S. Lewis, Rehabilitations and Other Essays (1939)

  6. halfir's Avatar
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    He that would foil me must use such weapons as I do, for I have not fed my readers with straw, neither will I be confuted with stubble.

  7. Globmd's Avatar
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    #7
    Sum studens linguae Latinae ac Tolkieni....and I was fascinated by your insights!



  8. Athelas_H's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great essay Miryam . I found it very facinating and enjoyable to read.

    The Elendil, Erendil, and Aragornconnections were interesting and I felt like I wanted to read more on the subject. Venus appears to me as being like to Varda in her connection with the stars, yet I also see echos of Galadriel in her motherly care of Aeneas and Augustus (Galadriel seems motherly to Aragorn) - [I hope that sentence makes sense ]. I have recently been reading Ovid's Metamorphoses and I was pleased to see the quotation of Julius Caesar's deification included, I feel Ovid captures the moment beautifully (though we must remember that Ovid's poem was pro-Augustus propaganda to win back Augustus' favour ) and he should be included in the discussion even though the focus is on Virgil. The quoted Ovidian passage also reveals Venus' link with the stars.

    Nice work.
    Previously known as Stinker.

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