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Old 07-06-2016, 06:52 AM   #49
Faramir Jones
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
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Middle-earth a pre-industrial, Feudal, Pagan world?

Marwhini, you said that outside the Shire, Middle-earth was a 'pre-industrial, Feudal, Pagan world'. I would disagree with this description in the last 2 parts:

1. Lake-town: This appears to be a republic, headed by an elected Master. While we don't know how large the electorate is, and how long a term of office the Master serves, the Master we see in The Hobbit is recognisable as a more 'modern' leader, whose main business is dealing with the town's economy, and who has been elected on his supposed ability to manage that economy. While I feel Lake-town can be compared to medieval Venice, with its Doge having more power, it certainly isn't 'feudal'.

2. Monotheism: When you use the term 'Pagan', do you mean adherents to polytheistic, pantheistic or animistic beliefs? It appears that the beings we meet are monotheistic in their beliefs, including those who worship Sauron as a God-king. The issue is that Tolkien did not represent religion in LotR in a way that many of us readers would recognise, either from our own times, or from what we've read of previous times.

If we try and make comparisons with Medieval Christian Europe, things are still very different. Satan (i.e. Sauron) actually exists, and has a mighty stronghold in a land with huge numbers of followers and allies, many worshipping him. Also there are beings (Elves) who can remember having dealings with other beings (the Valar) who have had dealings with God. This would be the equivalent of an Elf telling a Pope that not only did he remember that man's predecessors; he also remembered Jesus and the Twelve Apostles.
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