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Old 10-14-2023, 05:28 PM   #1
Arvegil145
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Tolkien A new 1948 map of Arda by Tolkien!

I recently stumbled upon this map: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachmen...5666060599a1c&

I found it on a Discord server - it comes from the 2022 'The Great Tales Never End' book, which I sadly don't have.

Does anyone here have a better resolution map? And if so, can someone transcribe the writings on it?
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Old 10-16-2023, 06:10 AM   #2
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I don't have the book and haven't found a copy of the map yet, but a few more details: from the link address, it looks like this is from Carl F. Hostetter's article "Editing the Tolkien Manuscript". This review of the book says that article contains "Hostetter's clear and concise description of the process of deciphering the four manuscript examples that he provides (complete with reproductions of the originals)", while this appendix to the article from Elvish.org mentions "Text 2 — c. 1948 broad-nib pen over hard pencil", which matches your picture. It also includes the "of the" letterform matching the third 'word' on the first ruled line of the picture.

My guess, then, is that the (pen) text is transcribed by Hostetter in the book. It looks like a summary of the creation of Arda - the first part of the main block of ink seems to be "The fashion of the world", and I can see Melkor's name, and "The Valar make a land of [...] of the Great Sea". So the map might just be a sketch of what all that means?

The most interesting thing about the map is that it's clearly Arda - it has the Iron Mountains running across the top - but it's also clearly Earth! I don't remember another Arda map that shows Arabia and India so blatantly. The Africa shape of Harad is in Ambarkanta map V, but that map reduces Arabia & India to a couple of wiggles, and sticks a huge triangular "Australia" off them.

hS

EDIT: I've been puzzling over that broken vertical line running between the eastern end of the Iron Mountains and what's roughly the Red Sea. What is it? It could be a mountain range - Misty or Blue - but it's way too far east for either of them, somewhere near the border with Russia.

Then, separately, I looked at the First LotR Map and noticed how... Turkey-esque the bulk of Gondor is. So I created what I'm calling the "Europe Sucks" version of the Middle-earth : Modern-earth map alignment, and lo and behold: the Misty Mountains are right around the western border of Russia.

What I like about this map is that it uses Tol Falas as Cyprus; it puts the Sea of Rhun in the Caspian Sea; it lines the Misty Mountains up with an actual set of highlands; it implies Anduin is an old course of the Euphrates (birthplace of civilisation); it uses the mountains across Turkey and Iran as the Mountains of Mordor; and it absolutely boots everything west of Poland into the sea. Even raising Beleriand from the sea doesn't bring Britain and France back onto dry land!

hS
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Last edited by Huinesoron; 10-16-2023 at 06:50 AM. Reason: Map malarkey.
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Old 10-16-2023, 08:31 AM   #3
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I need to add a couple of things:

1) An excellent article regarding the geography of Arda (made by the same Discord user who uploaded the 1948 map): https://www.tolkiendil.com/essais/ge..._geographiques (mind you, it's in French - but Google Translate will suffice)

2) The letter that Tolkien wrote in 1967 (Letter 294):

Quote:
If Hobbiton and Rivendell are taken (as intended) to be at about the latitude of Oxford, then Minas Tirith, 600 miles south, is at about the latitude of Florence. The Mouths of Anduin and the ancient city of Pelargir are at about the latitude of ancient Troy.
3) This article on the Tolkien Society webpage: https://www.tolkiensociety.org/2015/...-of-the-rings/

It concerns Tolkien's annotations to Pauline Baynes' map of the North-west of Middle-earth (published in 1970), including a fascinating quote:

Quote:
Minas Tirith is about the latitude of Ravenna (that is 900 miles east of Hobbiton or near Belgrade). Bottom of the map (1450 miles) is about the latitude of Jerusalem. Umbar the city of Corsairs about that of Cyprus.
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Old 10-16-2023, 10:07 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Arvegil145 View Post
I need to add a couple of things:

1) An excellent article regarding the geography of Arda (made by the same Discord user who uploaded the 1948 map): https://www.tolkiendil.com/essais/ge..._geographiques (mind you, it's in French - but Google Translate will suffice)
That map (copied for ease of linking) has a lot going for it. The land-border through the Mediterranean runs roughly along the Strait of Sicily, which was at one point a coastline (albeit briefly). I also appreciate that Tol Himling and Tol Fuin line up closely with the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland.

What it doesn't do, because no map can, is put Minas Tirith at the latitude of Ravenna/Florence and Pelargir at the latitude of Troy. Tolkien's atlas misled him there.

hS
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Old 10-16-2023, 10:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
What it doesn't do, because no map can, is put Minas Tirith at the latitude of Ravenna/Florence and Pelargir at the latitude of Troy. Tolkien's atlas misled him there.
To be fair, I wouldn't take these latitudes too literally - I believe they were just rough approximations in Tolkien's mind when he was writing that letter.
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Old 10-17-2023, 04:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arvegil145 View Post
To be fair, I wouldn't take these latitudes too literally - I believe they were just rough approximations in Tolkien's mind when he was writing that letter.
I think he definitely had a latitude for Minas Tirith in his head: Florence, Ravenna, and Belgrade are all within 1 degree of latitude of each other (between 44 and 45 degrees north). The problem is, none of them are 600 miles south of Oxford!

Also:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baynes map
Minas Tirith is about the latitude of Ravenna (that is 900 miles east of Hobbiton or near Belgrade). Bottom of the map (1450 miles) is about the latitude of Jerusalem. Umbar the city of Corsairs about that of Cyprus.
Minas Tirith is 700 miles east of Hobbiton, according to the scale lines drawn on the Baynes map by Tolkien himself!

What is 900 miles east of Hobbiton, so precisely that I wonder if he used it to determine the scale, is Barad-Dur. The pencil on the Baynes map is quite faint, so I wonder if "but" is actually "b d". They seem easy to confuse. Ravenna is about 650 miles east of Oxford, which is about right for Minas Tirith, so it feels like Tolkien may have actually been using those three as the "real locations" for the map points.

Which would put the Misty Mountains somewhere in eastern France, and make the vertical line on the 1948 map way off the edge of the Third Age Map.

hS
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Old 02-21-2024, 05:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
I think he definitely had a latitude for Minas Tirith in his head: Florence, Ravenna, and Belgrade are all within 1 degree of latitude of each other (between 44 and 45 degrees north). The problem is, none of them are 600 miles south of Oxford!

Also:



Minas Tirith is 700 miles east of Hobbiton, according to the scale lines drawn on the Baynes map by Tolkien himself!

What is 900 miles east of Hobbiton, so precisely that I wonder if he used it to determine the scale, is Barad-Dur. The pencil on the Baynes map is quite faint, so I wonder if "but" is actually "b d". They seem easy to confuse. Ravenna is about 650 miles east of Oxford, which is about right for Minas Tirith, so it feels like Tolkien may have actually been using those three as the "real locations" for the map points.

Which would put the Misty Mountains somewhere in eastern France, and make the vertical line on the 1948 map way off the edge of the Third Age Map.

hS
I think that to get the "correct" distances in Middle-earth - aside from where T gave a numeric figure (for example, precisely 296 miles by road from Edoras to Forannest), one should consult the Map, Tolkien's own working map, done on a grid to keep the scale right, and the original of which CT's published FR map was a direct copy.

CT presents a redrawn version in HME VII 297, or you can see the origianal (unfortunately small) in Maker of Middle-earth 378.
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Old 05-04-2024, 12:40 PM   #8
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Any thoughts on CT's revised version, The West of Middle-Earth at the End of the Third Age, attached to Unfinished Tales?
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