Just a point on the Varangian Guard. They're not really linked to Gondor at all. However Tolkien did write in the Variags during the battle of the Pellinor fields. I think he refers to them as bearded, axe wielding men from the east.
Variag I believe was used to describe the Varangian Guard. It meant "Foreigner." The Varangians were norse warriors in service to the Emperor of Constantinople. They became his elite bodyguard. I'm sure I read somewhere the Variags, in service to the Easterlings, were also horsemen. From this I think, like the men of Dale and the Rohirrim, they were a branch of North Men that went even further east and ended up on the wrong side of the conflict.
I guess my point is they're in the lore, but they're breaking down the walls rather than guarding them.
Pippin after meeting Denethor
White tree of Gondor by moonunderwater
Last edited by Al.; Dec 21 2013 at 07:28 PM.
Aragorn by John Howe, no mere ranger
Gondorian skirmish with Southeners
House of Healing possibly Egyptian Conception of the healing arts.
Last edited by Al.; Dec 26 2013 at 10:14 PM.
King Arthur by John Howe, possible inspiration for Aragorn and Knights of Gondor.
King Salomon's temple was used for healing among other things that preserved the rites of Egyptian people, also the temple was destroyed an is now the dome of rock thrid islamic most popular landmark.
After the brief history lesson, the building must be in Gondor as part of the city.
I know a little bit about history, enough for instance to know that Jerusalem was never geographically part of ancient Egypt
The fact is that we don't know with absolute certainty whether or not the first temple even existed, let alone its exact location. There has never been any archaeological evidence for the first temple, and no corroborating historical evidence. There are several suggested sites for where the original temple might have stood, including what today is known as the Temple Mount. You state that the temple was used for healing, where is the evidence of that?
The truth be told, your inclusion of King Solomon's Temple as an example of Gondorian architecture is just another example of your carelessness with the facts, something that has been consistent throughout this entire thread.
There have been a total of 88 separate images posted in this thread, 81 of which have been posted by you. Ask yourself this, given what a popular subject this should have been, and the free availability of Tolkien art on the internet, why have so few people (apart from yourself) contributed to this thread? Could it be that the entire thread was tainted from the beginning?, by your constant posting of pictures of elves, Rohan warriors, artwork from other games, some of which are not even Tolkien related. Not to mention your disrespect to the many brilliant artists who created the original artworks by not crediting or miscrediting them.
You for example don't know how the temple was built, but there is a lot information of how it looked and its funcionality. Also for example Jewish people were once captives in egypt that history 101 you lack.
Gondor Houses of Healing is definetly very smilar to Egyptainn conception of healing houses, the relation is obvious.
BalckVale root by Ted Nasmith
Pelagir Port Side
Your ignorance is simply staggering, you assume there is a single person in the Western Hemisphere who doesn't know the story of the Jewish captivity in Egypt?
The problem is the your also assume that your own knowledge is somehow superior to everyone else, yes I have read the biblical account of how the temple was supposedly built, and it is fairly detailed. If you even bothered to read my reply you would notice I said there was no CORROBORATIVE EVIDENCE for the existence of the original temple, and also no ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE. I realise your not very bright but the obvious point I was making is that you're talking about the temple as if we can be certain of every little aspect of it, the simple truth is we can't even say for certain that it even existed. Perhaps in your ignorance you are getting confused with the second temple, sometimes known as Herod's Temple, part of which is still standing and has come to be known as the Wailing Wall.
Back to your ridiculous claims, what has a Jewish temple in Jerusalem got to do with an Egyptian house of healing? Let me answer that for you, you were caught out again trying to pass off an image you posted as something entirely different, and now you are trying to invent a connection between your false claim that it was an Egyptian building to save what little credibility you have.
And you still wonder why no-one is posting in this joke thread?
Houses of Healing could use the Salomon temple as design or in other buildings
Last edited by Al.; Dec 28 2013 at 08:15 PM.
Minas Tirith by Abepapakhian
Even if you could prove both points beyond any doubt, you still can't get around the fact that the Temple of Solomon has no direct connection to Egypt, and even less to Gondor.
You were simply caught out (once again) at a lie.
Here I must agree with Wolfhelm. We know from his writings that Tolkien very clearly based Rohan on the Anglo-Saxons, since they were a people and culture he very much loved, with the addition of horses. The problem though is we cannot make those kinds of conclusions with Gondor. Gondor is its own culture wholly and completely unique to Middle Earth. Are their similarities between it and and cultures of own history? Of course, it was not created in a vacuum after all. I, in my own opinion, see many between Gondor and Rome for example.
You cannot, and I might even says "should not" point to something in our history and go "this part of Gondor was clearly based on this". I think is is especially true of Egyptian or Near Eastern culture in general. Remember Tolkien's area of interest and study was not the Near East but rather European, and specifically Northern European, history. Besides that we each see and take different things from the books. You may see Egyptian influences where I see the houses of healing as more valetudinaria, the hospitals of Ancient Rome. In neither case is it right to take what we see and apply it categorically to Gondor.
While Gondor was an amalgamation of native men and women and Númenóreans in the region, urban culture, art and literature, technology, philosophical and quasi-religious beliefs and values, and the political system were inherited primarily from Númenor. And Númenórian civilization was founded on the three Houses of the Edain in the First Age - those men who crossed the Ered Luin and settled in Beleriand among the Noldorian and Sindarian elves. The Edain modeled their own civilization on that of the Noldor, who taught them written language, law, metallurgy and agricultural technology, architecture and engineering, and deeply influenced their art and literature. During the wars with Morgoth, the House of Bëor was nearly exterminated, and the survivors merged with the House of Hador to become the people known as the Númenóreans.
Tolkien was a linguist, an anthropologist, and a historian - and knew well how the processes of civilization and cultural formation developed. This knowledge is reflected in his literature - particularly in The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales - and is part of what makes them dimensional and convincing. So - you can't just say "Gondor is inspired by ancient Egypt or Rome", because that's not how Tolkien worked. Gondor was structured and deeply influenced by Númenor. Númenor was a fusion of two Houses of the Edain. The Edain were largely gifted their civilization by the elves in the First Age - to a degree, the Sindar, to a greater degree, the Noldor. Sindarian elves were largely an isolated and autonomous civilization in Beleriand, but the Noldor came from Aman - where they, in turn, had been greatly influenced by the Valar.
The principle source of Gondorian civilization traces back to the Noldor and Valar. After the fall of Arnor, no other civilization of men in all of Arda had the same roots, although the peoples of Rohan and Dale shared some lineage to the Houses of Bëor and Hador. The question to ask is not "what in the real world inspired Gondor?" - because that question by definition is incomplete. The question is: "What in the real world inspired Tolkien in creating the civilizations of the Noldor, the Teleri who accompanied the Noldor to Aman, and the Valar - of which Gondor is a distant facsimile?"
We already know the answer to that. The civilization of the Elves of Aman and the Valar who ultimately ruled over them was based largely on Catholicism in its ideal and idealistic forms. Rohan may have been Anglo-Saxon in nature, but Gondor was inspired in nearly all of its urban, political, architectural, and cultural forms by Catholicism, and more specifically by medieval and pre-modern Catholic literature and theology such as Augustine's City of God or Aquinas' Summa Theologica.
If one must find a historical comparison for Gondor, then think of it as a Catholic Crusader state, standing at the frontier of western civilization, blocking the tide from the east. And think of Minas Tirith as an armed and fortified Jerusalem during the Crusades, occupied and ruled by a strange and alien people from very far away.
Last edited by Kathindi; Dec 29 2013 at 04:11 AM.
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While I agree with much of what you're saying here, my main beef with Al is not the fact that he is making comparisons between ancient Egypt and Gondor, Tolkien did borrow from many sources in the creation of his imaginary world, and one of the few things Al and I agree on is that Egypt was one of them. What I am taking him to task on is his frequent posting of images that have no connection whatsoever with Gondor, and in many cases (such as Solomon's Temple) falsely claiming them as something they are not.
You are right however, it's a mistake to over simplify these things, giving them a simple one to one translation is not only wrong (ie. Gondor equals ancient Eqypt, therefore we should see pyramids in Gondor), it also becomes something which Tolkien disliked very much, an allegorical work.
Minas Tirith wasn't always Minas Tirith, the Guard-Tower; it hasn't been that for much more than a dash over 1000 years.
It's certainly not 'occupied and ruled by a strange and alien people from very far away.' Hasn't been, not since the Númenóreans began to mingle with the 'Middle Men', the Men native to Middle-earth; even though their regality still remains visible for those who can see, it's greatly diminished by T.A. 3018, 3019, the time of the game and the War of the Ring.
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