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  1. #1

    The Ring of the "Lord Of The Rings" have Greek origin!!!

    A few days ago has started the first part of the trilogy of the movie "The Hobbit." The spectators attended the scene to find a dark cave of the One Ring, which makes you invisible when you wear it and with weather corrupts. Inspired by British author Tolkien story? Of course not.

    Once again a Greek myth became "copy-paste". The myth of Gyges:

    Plato, in his Second book of the "Πολιτεία" (State) and with the mouth of Glafkona, invents a myth.

    A shepherd king of Lydia named Gyges finds a magical ring accidentally after two destructive natural phenomena. While tending his sheep of the lorda terrible storm started and a strong erthquaqe happend, that opened the earth beneath his feet. He went sown into the gap created there in the bowels of the earth and he saw a large hollow bronze horse. Some openings in the side looked inside and found that there was one lying dead with almost gigantic dimensions. And most importantly, he wore in his hand a gold ring. When we got to the surface found that the finding had one intriguing magical ability. Rotating the stone ("sfendonin" Plato calls it) to the inside of the palm, becoming invisible and appeared again, turning the ring to the opposite direction.

    The humble shepherd was then in the hands a huge weapon. He could do whatever it wished, without realizing and mostly without punished or even reprimanded. Was from one moment to another carrier at least a paradoxical and unexpected power, which could work to his advantage, but always with the possibility of even latent injustice, which could arrive as though the crime. And indeed he did.

    The insignificant until then Gyges became lover of the queen and with her help he killed his master and himself took the power of King in his hands. So he occupied a position that gave him the power of a gold ring, without considering the unfair means used, but with unique incentives - common in human nature-the glory and wealth.

    Glafkonas, who tells this fantastic story concludes that it is in human nature to be unjust, especially when he knows in advance that he will not suffer the consequences of injustice. And because common sense says that justice is ultimately a commodity in our lives, since the application is contrary to the interests of our staff. So for us the excruciating question "αδικείν ή αδικείσθαι"(unfair to your self or unfair to others) Is very simple. And the answer to our conscience is not at least a painless neutrality, but a conscious choice interest "adikein" and even if possible unpunished.

    So a ring was the cause corrupted one guileless shepherd and pass by the light of virtuous in the shadow of criminal. Committed a sin that Plato called injustice, ie removal of justice.

    The man then asked to change mindset to wrestle with evil be viewed in the light that is nice, law, harmonious, true, and this is done with a single weapon according to Plato, an invincible weapon even today: the Integrated Education.

    [The Gyges - historical figure - was king of Lydia in the first half of the 7th century BC He took the throne with the help of the wife of the last king of the descendants of Hercules and founded a new dynasty Mermnadon].

    With the legend agrees to some extent, and the fact that he had in his scepter and a ring with a large gem. It is also known to be active and energetic king and that led Lydia and its capital, Sardis, the greatest prosperity. The kingdom, included the whole of western Asia Minor to the river Halys and the dynasty held power over one hundred years.

    The last descendant of the throne of Lydia Croesus was the king, who was renowned for his wealth and poor interpretation of the oracle Pythias.O myth of Gyges has inspired many contemporary writers. Perhaps best known to him the drama of Friedrich Hempel "The Gyges and his ring" (1856). In literature myth exploited by Theophilus Gautier in his novella "The King Kandaflis" (1844) and again in the theater by Andre Gide in the homonymous theatrical work (1901). In 1920 A. Bryno wrote the opera "Kandaflis'.]


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  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Abso-1 View Post
    A few days ago has started the first part of the trilogy of the movie "The Hobbit." The spectators attended the scene to find a dark cave of the One Ring, which makes you invisible when you wear it and with weather corrupts. Inspired by British author Tolkien story? Of course not.
    Really? You don't think that a movie adaptation of a book written by Tolkien was "inspired" by Tolkien? Are you thick? Or perhaps you meant "OMG! There's another story with a magic ring out there? Tolkien must have stolen it!"

  4. #4
    Startling....just startling!!!

    Imagine, another story that has a ring AND a cave!!!! The similarities between the two tales are...well......you know.....

    Incredible. Pffft.

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    You are indeed correct that that was the first episode of a ring that renders the wearer invisible, however the simple inclusion of a invisibility ring does not mean that Tolkien just stole, because the ring itself had direct corrupting powers, not allows the wearer to be corrupted by outside influences. Also there are many other places where Tolkien used something that appeared before because it is universal in Faerie stories(I suggest you read some of J.R.R. Tolkien's letters and his essay "on Faerie stories"

    A good example is a Norwegian Professor who said that the Ring could be considered Du Ring De Nibelungen, to which Tolkien replied "both rings were round and there the resemblance ends." Others include the Ents, the Elves, the Dwarves, the Goblins, the Dark Lord, Numenor, Valinor, etc.

    If you considered only the original author of each element to be the only one worthy of praise then very few authors would be original, but it is not the elements that are included, but the order and details with which they are included that counts.
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    Do legends and tales passed down or written have a common ancestor? Who knows? They certainly could have way back in ancient times. There are many stories from all lands that include magic rings. There have been magic cloaks, hats, shoes and more but all these have a theme - they make the wearer magic or give them a special power.

    If I was to write a tale I may even use a ring to denote something magical. Doesn't mean I copied the story of a Greek ring or even the ring (of the many) Tolkien wrote about. It's just a means to an end.

    Prof. Tolkien loved legends and the history of ancient places and peoples. How could he not have been influenced by what he knew when he wrote his own books of legends? It does not mean one greek ring was the basic substance of his tale. Most have heard that because Tolkien was a linguist he wrote the stories to fit with his languages. I enjoy the books, the languages, and especially the long history of his tales in his lesser read books and try not to see any comparison to individual things others may have written.
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    I bet each Tolkien fan would like to hear that his stories were partly inspired by their own culture. But claiming that they were entirely inspired by by only one culture is not true. He used various sources. And yes, Tolkien did study greek in one point.

    However, it's rather considered whether Lord of the Rings (the object) was inspired by the Ring of Nibelung (work of Wagner inspired by norse mythology).

    Tolkien's Arda is known surely, and largely to be affected by:

    - His own life story
    - World War I
    - Christianity (note that he was a roman catholic)
    - Norse and nordic mythology
    - Anglo-saxon,
    - Celtic and
    - Arthurian legends

    Also, tengwar (elvish script) was affected by Tolkien's mother's hand-writing.

    Rest is speculation.
    Last edited by Lindaelle; Dec 24 2012 at 01:21 PM.
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  8. #8
    Ι spoke with facts.
    The book of Plato exists more than 2.300 years now.
    This opus have 10 parts.These parts are not from Plato but seperate from scientists many hundrend years after.
    The story is inside the book and from language to language the translation can have some differences.
    The original text is to ancient greek.
    I don't know if Tolkien read Plato or if he had the same idea with Plato but the story of the ring is the same.
    And the name Gandalf is close with Glafkonas (Γλαύκων).
    Btw Glafkon was the brother of Plato.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Abso-1 View Post
    Ι spoke with facts.
    The book of Plato exists more than 2.300 years now.
    This opus have 10 parts.These parts are not from Plato but seperate from scientists many hundrend years after.
    The story is inside the book and from language to language the translation can have some differences.
    The original text is to ancient greek.
    I don't know if Tolkien read Plato or if he had the same idea with Plato but the story of the ring is the same.
    And the name Gandalf is close with Glafkonas (Γλαύκων).
    Btw Glafkon was the brother of Plato.
    You spoke w/ wild conjecture, at best (and that's being charitable) or w/ slanderous intent. I assume English is not your native language so your atrocious grammar and spelling might be excused. The age of Plato's writings is not germane, nor is the number of their parts. Of course Professor T. read the Greeks. It was pretty standard fare in a British education at least in his day. The name Gandalf is close to Glafkonas? Are ya kidding? Why, because it starts w/ G and contains a, l, n and f? Glafkonas has 3 syllables, Gandalf but 2. If an author names his character John does that mean he stole the name from the Bible story of Jonah? After all both start w/ J and both contain o, n and h and Jonah has one more syllable than John. They must be the same therefore the modern author must have stolen the name from antiquity. You need to learn logic, for yours is flawed to say the least.
    A few years ago someone tried to make the case to me that the Japanese and hebrew languages were related, based on the "fact" that both languages had a simillar word for alien or outsider. He said gaijin (J) and goyim (H) both started w/ g, there could be simillar pronunciations of the first vowel though they were different in these words. He further stated that in some cases j could be pronounced like the y in goyim though not in gaijin. The penultimate letter is the same and the similarity between n and m in both look and sound. He made a better case than you, but his logic was also fatally flawed. Goyim is simply a plural form of goy which in hebrew means nation (so goyim is nations). However in Yiddish goyim has become non jewish person. Yiddish is not Hebrew though Hebrew is probably its foundation. Yiddish borrows heavily from German and according to a jewish acquaintance of mine, from russian, polish and other European languages. As flawed as his logic was, yours is far weaker.
    Last edited by Duathrandir; Dec 24 2012 at 04:43 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abso-1 View Post
    And the name Gandalf is close with Glafkonas (Γλαύκων).
    Reaching a bit, aren't you? 'Gandalf' was a name Tolkien borrowed from the Völuspá, it's Old Norse.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Abso-1 View Post
    And the name Gandalf is close with Glafkonas (Γλαύκων).
    Btw Glafkon was the brother of Plato.
    That Tolkien lifted Gandalf's name, along with the Hobbit's other Dwarven names from the Dvergatal interpolation found with the Poetic Edda's Völuspá is established fact.

    9. Then sought the gods | their assembly-seats,
    The holy ones, | and council held,
    To find who should raise | the race of dwarfs
    Out of Brimir's blood | and the legs of Blain.

    10. There was Motsognir | the mightiest made
    Of all the dwarfs, | and Durin next;
    Many a likeness | of men they made,
    The dwarfs in the earth, | as Durin said.

    11. Nyi and Nithi, | Northri and Suthri,
    Austri and Vestri, | Althjof, Dvalin,
    Nar and Nain, | Niping, Dain,
    Bifur, Bofur, | Bombur, Nori,
    An and Onar, | Ai, Mjothvitnir.

    12. Vigg and Gandalf | Vindalf, Thrain,
    Thekk and Thorin, | Thror, Vit and Lit,
    Nyr and Nyrath,-- | now have I told--
    Regin and Rathsvith-- | the list aright.

    13. Fili, Kili, | Fundin, Nali,
    Heptifili, | Hannar, Sviur,
    Frar, Hornbori, | Fræg and Loni,
    Aurvang, Jari, | Eikinskjaldi.

    14. The race of the dwarfs | in Dvalin's throng
    Down to Lofar | the list must I tell;
    The rocks they left, | and through wet lands
    They sought a home | in the fields of sand.

    15. There were Draupnir | and Dolgthrasir,
    Hor, Haugspori, | Hlevang, Gloin,
    Dori, Ori, | Duf, Andvari,
    Skirfir, Virfir, | Skafith, Ai.

    16. Alf and Yngvi, | Eikinskjaldi,
    Fjalar and Frosti, | Fith and Ginnar;
    So for all time | shall the tale be known,
    The list of all | the forbears of Lofar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tolkien in Letter 25
    The dwarf-names, and the wizard's, are from the Elder Edda.
    Last edited by Ceredig; Dec 24 2012 at 04:33 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abso-1 View Post
    Ι spoke with facts.
    The book of Plato exists more than 2.300 years now.
    This opus have 10 parts.These parts are not from Plato but seperate from scientists many hundrend years after.
    The story is inside the book and from language to language the translation can have some differences.
    The original text is to ancient greek.
    I don't know if Tolkien read Plato or if he had the same idea with Plato but the story of the ring is the same.
    And the name Gandalf is close with Glafkonas (Γλαύκων).
    Btw Glafkon was the brother of Plato.
    Assuming all these facts are correct (I'm not going to spend the effort to verify them), how do they support the idea that Tolkein based LotR in part or in full on this particular myth? I'd call this circumstancial at best.

    To pick out one of your facts specifically, because L Ron Hubbard's "Mission Earth" and the "Friday the 13th" films each have 10 parts, so they must inspired by this story as well.

    It's been said many times that there are no new stories. The trick is telling the old ones in new and interesting ways. Tolkein succeeded.

  13. #13
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    You'll have to remember the history of wizards and other Maiar though:

    Saruman's other name: Curumo, Sharkû
    Servant of: Sauron (formerly Aulë who sent him)
    Power in: Knowledge, leadership, voice

    Gandalf's other names: Olórin, Mithrandir, Incánus
    Servant of: Nienna, Manwë (who sent him) and Varda
    Power in: Wisdom, fire, light, visions

    Radagast's other name: Aiwendil
    Servant of: Yavanna (who sent him)
    Power in: Knowledge and balance of nature

    Alatar and Pallando (blue wizards)
    Servants of: Oromë (who sent them)
    Power in: Exploring and finding far regions

    Sauron's other names: Mairon, Gorthaur, Carcharoth, Annatar, Necromancer, The Eye
    Servant of: Morgoth (formerly Aulë who sent him)
    Power in: Fear, leadership, deception, shape shifting

    Melian's other names: Melyanna, Tóril
    Servant of: Yavanna and Vána
    Power in: Nature, enchantment, protection

    My point? Arda is it's own entity and lore. Not an allegory, and not a copy of another lore known to our own world. And part of it's magic is in it's mystery, intentional or not.
    Last edited by Lindaelle; Dec 24 2012 at 05:15 PM.
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  14. #14
    The book of Plato speaks for justice, democracy, society and have nothing to do with Tolkien.
    The myth with the ring is an expample for the humans corruptions.
    Tolkien from other side includethe story of the ring to a great fairy tail.
    Platos book and Tolkien book are 2 different kind of books.
    Politeia is a philosofic book and Silmarillion is a piece of art.

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    Have you ever heard of the logical fallacy "Post hoc ergo propter hoc" or "after this therefore because of this"? It basically says that assuming that Y came directly from X just because X happened before Y is illogical thinking. You seem to me to be falling into this fallacy.

    Tolkien was very open about what his influences were and if you read his letters it is very clear that he was inspired mostly by northern writings and mythologies. Those appear to be the stories that Tolkien felt the deepest personal connection with and thus what he drew on for his own opus.

    If you want people to believe that Tolkien drew the details of his Ring directly from a Greek story, you will have to do better than "there are some superficial similarities between these two stories and, oh, one came first so the other one MUST be stolen from it."
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    Calm down folks. lol

    We know he studied Plato, and I would figure he would have come across this myth.
    Now remember, the ring at the time of the Hobbit writing, was not all that. Just invisibility.
    Although a case can be made for corruption, as Bilbo begins to lie and not tell the entire truth of the matter.

    Remember the time of the writings. LotR was NOT planned at the time of the Hobbit. It grew out from that.

    Also, Tolkien eventually intended for ME to be a history/mythos for England and used all kinds of existing myths to build into a cohesive whole.

    It is not inconceivable that this Greek myth had been encountered and had influence on the abilities of "the One Ring". However; to say that the entire story is based off of that would be wrong, IMO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pdt_the_Confused View Post
    It is not inconceivable that this Greek myth had been encountered and had influence on the abilities of "the One Ring". However; to say that the entire story is based off of that would be wrong, IMO.
    This is the exact point I'm trying to deliver. Tolkien was a learned person - he could understand up to 35 languages somehow, and he preferred to read mythologies in their original languages.

    It is inconceivable to me that he would have drawn influence from only one source. His mind must have combined many.
    'There now the numbers of Eldar increase,' Voronwë said, 'for ever more flee thither of either kin from the fear of Morgoth, weary of war.'

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pdt_the_Confused View Post
    Also, Tolkien eventually intended for ME to be a history/mythos for England and used all kinds of existing myths to build into a cohesive whole.
    However, he said that he'd wanted his constructed myth to have the 'air' of North-Western Europe in particular rather than the South, so that's strongly indicative of where the primary influences came from and it makes any strong Greek influence highly unlikely.

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    Wikipedia on the origin of Gandalf:

    When writing The Hobbit in the early 1930s Tolkien gave the name Gandalf to the leader of the Dwarves, the character later called Thorin Oakenshield. The name is taken from the same source as all the other Dwarf names (save Balin) in The Hobbit: the "Catalogue of Dwarves" in the Völuspá. The Old Norse name Gandalfr incorporates the words gandr meaning "wand", "staff" or (especially in compounds) "magic" and álfr "elf". The name Gandalf is found in at least one more place in Norse myth, in the semihistorical Heimskringla, which briefly describes Gandalf Alfgeirsson, a legendary Norse king from Eastern Norway and rival of Halfdan the Black.

    The name "Gandolf" occurs as a character in William Morris' 1896 fantasy novel The Well at the World's End. Morris' book is a multi-part 'magical journey' involving elves, dwarves and kings in a pseudo-medieval landscape which is known to have deeply influenced Tolkien.

    The wizard that was to become Gandalf was originally named Bladorthin. Tolkien later assigned this name to an ancient king who had ordered some spears from the dwarves.

    Tolkien came to regret his ad hoc use of Old Norse name, referring to a "rabble of eddaic-named dwarves, ... invented in an idle hour" in 1937. But the decision to use Old Norse names came to have far-reaching consequences in the composition of The Lord of the Rings; in 1942, Tolkien decided that the work was to be a purported translation from the fictional language of Westron, and in the English translation Old Norse names were taken to represent names in the language of Dale. Gandalf, in this setting, is thus a representation in English (anglicised from Old Norse) of the name the dwarves of Dale had given to Olórin in the language they used "externally" in their daily affairs, while Tharkûn is the (untranslated) name, presumably of the same meaning, that the dwarves gave him in their native Khuzdul language. Tolkien explains this in his Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings (1967) to prospective translators.

    ...

    In a letter of 1946 Tolkien stated that he thought of Gandalf as an "Odinic wanderer". Other commentators have also compared Gandalf to the Norse god Odin in his "Wanderer" guise—an old man with one eye, a long white beard, a wide brimmed hat, and a staff.
    Last edited by Lindaelle; Dec 25 2012 at 05:13 PM.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    it makes any strong Greek influence highly unlikely.
    In the context of the Ring perhaps, but what of the Atlantis-myth of Númenor? There appears to be a very strong Greek influence there, beginning with the most obvious link: the notion of Atlantis originated in the dialogues of Plato.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reddhawk View Post
    In the context of the Ring perhaps, but what of the Atlantis-myth of Númenor? There appears to be a very strong Greek influence there, beginning with the most obvious link: the notion of Atlantis originated in the dialogues of Plato.
    Perhaps. Though to my knowing the origin of Númenor is also in Tolkien's nightmares. He often had repetitive nightmares of a land drowned by the sea.

    Those nightmares ended up to Éowyn in TTT EE movie, it seems.
    'There now the numbers of Eldar increase,' Voronwë said, 'for ever more flee thither of either kin from the fear of Morgoth, weary of war.'

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reddhawk View Post
    In the context of the Ring perhaps, but what of the Atlantis-myth of Númenor? There appears to be a very strong Greek influence there, beginning with the most obvious link: the notion of Atlantis originated in the dialogues of Plato.
    In the context of the Ainulindalë, the Valaquenta and the entire Quenta Silmarillion, not just the history of the Rings of Power. Remember, Atlantis is characterised as a legend rather than a myth and it appears as a legend in Tolkien's version, too; Greek myth has no readily evident influence on Tolkien's constructed mythology, about the origin of the world, the powers that governed it, the Enemy and so on.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lindaelle View Post
    Perhaps. Though to my knowing the origin of Númenor is also in Tolkien's nightmares. He often had repetitive nightmares of a land drowned by the sea.
    That is correct, though whether intentional or not the Akallabêth contains many parallels to the descriptions of Atlantis found in Plato's Timaeus and Critias, as well as in other sources from antiquity.

    I have some research notes on the subject that I'll see if I can dig up to present a more thorough examination. I once intended to write a series of articles examining Tolkien's works as though they (along with other historical documents) provided a true account of a forgotten history.
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  24. #24
    If you peruse Tolkien's Letters, he refers to Numenor and Atlantis often together numerous times but often in terms of Atlantis being a mythic theme/tradition. Indeed the Quenya term for Downfall is Atalantie. However, in the published Letters, Plato is not mentioned once. And this is where we get into the problem of identifying a single source for a specific meme or attributing it the entire tradition of that meme.
    Whereas the source of Gandalf's name can be isolated to a certain text due, the idea of the Atlantis or 'the corrupting influence of power" is far more difficult to determine without some firm attribution by the author himself. In regard to the theme of power, is the Ring of Gyges a source for Tolkien? is Lord Acton's dictum? is the Old English Durham Proverb 14 which states "A man does as he is when he can do what he wants"? or was Tolkien ruminating on H.G Wells and his Invisible Man?

 

 

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