Thread: Athelas
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Old 03-11-2003, 07:30 PM   #35
Haunting Spirit
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Arizona, -East of Dunharrow
Posts: 54
Pukel-Man has just left Hobbiton.

I had a friend ask me if athelas is a real plant, or a plant just invented by Tolkien. Searching the forum, the question seems to have left unanswered so I'll dredge up this old topic again to see if anyone has further insight. I was unable to find anything but came up with my own theory.
As noted earlier in this topic "Athel" is a male given name meaning "noble". There is also the word "atheling"(n.) meaning "man of royal blood", this word is probably derived from the King of England -Athelstan (925-940 AD)who is generally regarded as the first "King of England" for many reasons which I will not list here. Getting back to my theory- I suspect Tolkien took the name Athel and (A.S.)-the accepted abbreviation for "Anglo-Saxon" to create "athelas", or "noble anglo-saxon". Of couse, I could be way off base (as if oft the case). If so, I will blame this ramble on the long-term effects of glue inhalation.
This is not the time or the place to perform some kind of a half-assed autopsy on a fish... And I'm not going to stand here and see that thing cut open and see that little Kintner boy spill out all over the dock!-Mayor Vaughn
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