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Old 07-02-2016, 09:49 AM   #17
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
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Originally Posted by Marwhini View Post
Later in the Second and Third Ages, the Easterlings seem to have characteristics similar to the Hunnic, Bulgar, Magyar, or other "Steppe Nomads" that invaded Christian Europe, not the least the Mongols, Timurids, or Khurasanis, Kwarismians.
I agree.
Originally Posted by Marwhini View Post
Varyag is a term to refer to the Kievan Rus employed by the Byzantines. They have an appearance that is similar to that Tolkien used for the people's of Khand (shortish Men, with broad shoulders, and dark beards similar to those of dwarves). But it can also apply to the peoples of the Magyars, Pechengs, and Khazar Khanate also employed by the Byzantines for the Varangian Guard.
I see this sometimes, but I don't believe that there's any evidence that the dwarf-like Men seen in Gondor in the War of the Ring were identified with Khand.

The text states the following:

"countless companies of Men of a new sort that we have not met before. Not tall, but broad and grim, bearded like dwarves, wielding great axes. Out of some savage land in the wide East they come, we deem."

Khand is never mentioned. I only raise this because I get the impression that these "dwarf-like" men are often identified with Khand, but I don't know why. Khand was quite close to Mordor, and thus quite close to the West, while these Dwarvish Men seem to be from some far region of Rhūn with which the Men of Gondor were unfamiliar. The text even says later "Easterlings with axes, and Variags of Khand," as if the axe-bearing Men and the Variags were different.

That's not to say that bearded Men with axes don't correspond quite closely with Byzantine Varyags or medieval Russian heavy infantry (they do); I just don't think the common assertion that they are meant to be from Khand is supported by the text.

EDIT: Nonetheless I think this does function as potential evidence that there was a strong cultural influence from the Dwarves among certain Easterlings, which would make sense given that the Dwarves appear to have dwelt in somewhat greater numbers in the East than in the West.
"Since the evening of that day we have journeyed from the shadow of Tol Brandir."
"On foot?" cried Éomer.

Last edited by Zigūr; 07-02-2016 at 09:55 AM.
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