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Old 01-02-2009, 01:41 PM   #1
Groin Redbeard
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Tuvo the wizard king

I was recently reading through the History of Middle-earth books and I came across a interesting text that mentions the greatest wizard that dwelt in Arda:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilfanon’s Tale: The Travail of the Noldoli
Now the tale tells o a certain fay and names him Tu the wizard, for he was more skilled in magics than any that have ever yet dwelt beyond the land of Valinor; and wondering about the world he found the elves and he drew them to him and taught them many deep things, and he became as a mighty king among, and their tales name him the Lord of Gloaming and all the fairies of his land Hisildi or twilight people.
The text goes on to explain that Tu is also known as Tuvo, and explains his part in the awakening of men. After this Tuvo (as I shall refer to him) is never mentioned anywhere else in all of Tolkien’s writing (at least not under the name of Tu or Tuvo). How is it that we never hear of this important figure? Is it because he wis known by a different name in later years?

Chirstopher Tolkien explains that one concept for the story was for Tuvo to be evil. On a scrap piece of paper JRR Tolkien wrote: “Melko meets with Tuvo in the hall so Mandos during his enchainment. He teaches Tuvo much black magic.” This, however, was struck out and nothing more was said on the matter. This raises another question: what is Tuvo? This wizard is likely enough to be elf, seeing that Chistoper Tolkien explains that “after the escape of Melko and the ruin of the Tees that Tuvo entered the world and “‘set up a wizard kingship in the middle lands.’” However, Tuvo has knowledge that no Elf, that I kno of , had. When the Elf, Nuin, tells Tuvo of his finding of the resting place of men:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilfanon’s Tale: The Travail of the Noldoli
Then did Tu fall into fear of Manwe, nay even Iluvaar the Lord of All. The Wizard Tuvo told Nuin that the sleepers he had found were the new children of Iluvatar, and that they were waiting for light. He forbade any of the Elves to wake them or to visit those places, being frightened of the wrath of Iluvatar...”
How did he know this? The possibility of him being a Maiar arises, but didn’t the Valar restrict any one of their kind from ruling over the Elves once they left Valinor?

What do you think happened to the wizard king? Is he an Elf, Maiar, or possinly something else (can I hear some one say Tom Bombadil)?
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:00 PM   #2
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Which volume did you get this from? Just to save me rummaging for the Index, you understand

I'm wondering if the name evolved into Tevildo, Lord of Cats? Being that Tolkien was fond of recycling names...
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:48 PM   #3
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Which volume did you get this from? Just to save me rummaging for the Index, you understand
Volume 1, and the chapter is Gilfanon's Tale: The Travail of the Noldoli, page 232. Looking forward to your response!
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Old 01-02-2009, 05:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Groin Redbeard View Post
Volume 1, and the chapter is Gilfanon's Tale: The Travail of the Noldoli, page 232. Looking forward to your response!
Cheers, I shall have a look at this tonight!
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:24 PM   #5
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Probably from Book of Lost Tales. Anyway those stories are so old, that many of the ideas were simply dropped and fully replaced. Same goes for Tuvo I believe, Tolkien simply gave up the idea and perhaps some of his characteristics (evil ruling wizard) later passed on to Saruman. No idea really, but as said a lot of BoLT is really old dusty stuff.
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendë View Post
Which volume did you get this from? Just to save me rummaging for the Index, you understand

I'm wondering if the name evolved into Tevildo, Lord of Cats? Being that Tolkien was fond of recycling names...
By now you'll have figured this out, likely enough, Lal, but here is it for the public record anyway: this is out of The Book of Lost Tales. It's from the chapter "Gilfanon's Tale" which isn't so much a narrative as disjointed scraps around the missing "middle section." Insofar, therefore, as Tuvo/Tu's name goes, it probably postdates rather than predates Tevildo, since Tevildo is a major character in the original tale of Beren and Tinuviel, which predates these near-the-end workings on the Book of Lost Tales.

That is not to say, however, that Groin is quite right in his assertion:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Groin Redbeard
After this Tuvo (as I shall refer to him) is never mentioned anywhere else in all of Tolkien’s writing (at least not under the name of Tu or Tuvo).
The name "Tu" does not reappear, this is correct, but a very similar DOES appear--as a wizard, a powerful one, and a not so pleasant character either. Interesting enough, Thű, while having a name similar to "Tu"--and possessing some similar characteristics, is more of a replacement of Tevildo in the Beren and Tinuviel story--who was also apparently a Necromancer of some distinction. He had a minor role in The Hobbit, and as the 1930s went by, Tolkien gave him another name, by which he would chiefly be known in both the developing Silmarillion and in [i]The Hobbit[/b]'s famous sequel--Sauron.

Of course, I'm not suggesting that Sauron is equatable with Tu, but I WOULD suggest that, by stages, Sauron inherited something of the persona or aura of Tu, mixed into his plot-role inherited from Tevildo. And insofar as Saruman seems to be something of another working of the Sauron tradition (servant of Aulë, evil wizard, ring-maker, corrupter of orks), I think The Might might be on to something.
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:58 AM   #7
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That was interesting, Lalwendë, that you thought of Tevildo as perhaps being a recycling of Tu/Tuvo.

I first thought that this Tu/Tuvo character might have later evolved into Thű - Thű the Hunter and Thű the Necromancer. Both of these being early names of Sauron, as was Tevildo.

Tolkien, or so it seems to me, sometimes approached working out characters and their places in the history of Arda in rather circuitous ways.

I also recalled a brief mention of Tu/Tuvo by Tom Shippey - HERE. Unfortunately the article does nothing to illuminate who Tu was, but it is an interesting discussion of how Tolkien might have evolved his own particular concept of Elves.
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:40 PM   #8
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I'm beginning to think that Tu must have evolved, along with Tevildo, into Sauron eventually.

I found the passages relating to Tu and to Nuin the Dark Elf (which aside from anything else, proves how your eye can always be caught by something anew in Tolkien's work - it's a quite beautful piece of writing and a crying shame he didn't use it ), and what strikes me most strongly is that Tu reminds me of Merlin, what with the dwelling under the lake, and the passageway leading to the sleeping Men before their awakening.

Tu doesn't really strike me as having been evil though, and as Groin says, Tolkien struck out the possibility of this in one of his drafts - so could he really have been the genesis for Sauron???

He certainly seems like a prototype Maia though, with his knowledge of who/what the sleepers were, and his warning to Nuin not to tell any other Elves what he saw.

The sleepers themselves struck me as being very Arthurian...
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Lalwendë View Post
Tu doesn't really strike me as having been evil though, and as Groin says, Tolkien struck out the possibility of this in one of his drafts - so could he really have been the genesis for Sauron???
Gives a whole new meaning to what Elrond says about Sauron:

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Originally Posted by The Council of Elrond
For nothing is evil in the beginning. Even Sauron was not so.
Of course, I doubt Elrond meant it meta-textually.
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Old 01-03-2009, 06:01 PM   #10
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Of course, I doubt Elrond meant it meta-textually.
Maybe Elrond is a keen Post-modernist?
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Old 01-03-2009, 07:48 PM   #11
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OT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendë View Post
Tu reminds me of Merlin, what with the dwelling under the lake, and the passageway leading to the sleeping Men before their awakening.
Just asking for information, Lal: what source are you referring to that mentions Merlin dwelling under a lake, and what do the sleepers have to do with it? I've read about him being confined (by Vivian/Nimue) to a hawthorn bush or a hill/barrow (both after his involvement with Arthur and the Round Table), but nothing about him residing under water. Since Merlin is a minor hobby of mine, I'd love to be enlightened...

Apart from that, and from everything that has been said, I find the whole Tu/Tuvo business quite fascinating as one of the early germs from which the Legendarium might have evolved into something quite different from the canon we know. How would the Silmarillion read if Tu and his story had been retained as conceived, instead of Tu and Tevildo being fused into Sauron (which I believe correct)? I just can't help wondering...

Back to Groin's original question: What kind of being was Tuvo (as first conceived)? Tolkien calls him a 'fay', which doesn't sound very helpful. He uses 'fairy' more or less as a synonym for 'elf' in his early writings. But does 'fay' = 'fairy'? The only example for 'fay' that I can recall at the moment is Luthien, who is referred do as 'L. the Fay' in one of the titles for the Lay of Leithian (quite a couple of years later). But Luthien was part Elf, part Maia, so which part of her heritage does the epitheton refer to (even if we assume that Tolkien's usage was consistent)?
Maybe Tolkien didn't know (or couldn't decide) who or what Tuvo was any better than we do, but just invented him first and decided he didn't fit in later. Which may be the reason why he didn't keep him but, being loth to abandon him completely, merged him and Tevildo into the Sauron we all know and love.
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:52 AM   #12
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The only example for 'fay' that I can recall at the moment is Luthien, who is referred do as 'L. the Fay' in one of the titles for the Lay of Leithian (quite a couple of years later). But Luthien was part Elf, part Maia, so which part of her heritage does the epitheton refer to (even if we assume that Tolkien's usage was consistent)?
Tolkien called Feanor "fey" at the time of his death when he pursued retreating Orcs into Angband.

The Silmarillion, pg. 107

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Yet cause he had for great joy, though it was hidden from him for a while. For Feanor, in his wrath against the Enemy, would not halt, but pressed on behind the remnant of the Orcs, thinking so to come at Morgoth himself; and he laughed aloud as he wielded his sword, rejoicing that he had dared the wrath of the Valar and the evils of the road, that he might see the hour of his vengeance. Nothing did he know of Angband or the great strength of defence that Morgoth had so swiftly prepared; but even had he known it would not have deterred him, for he was fey, consumed by the flame of his own wrath. Thus it was that he drew far ahead of the van of his host; and seeing this the servants of Morgoth turned to bay, and there issued from Angand Balrogs to aid them. There upon the confines of Dor Daedeloth, the land of Morgoth, Feanor was surrounded, with few friends about him. Long he fought on, and undismayed, though he was wrapped in fire and wounded with many wounds; but at the last he was smitten to the ground by Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs, whom Ecthelion after slew in Gondolin. There he would have perished, had not his sons in that moment come up with force to his aid; and the Balrogs left him, and departed to Angband.
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:56 AM   #13
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OT:

Just asking for information, Lal: what source are you referring to that mentions Merlin dwelling under a lake, and what do the sleepers have to do with it? I've read about him being confined (by Vivian/Nimue) to a hawthorn bush or a hill/barrow (both after his involvement with Arthur and the Round Table), but nothing about him residing under water. Since Merlin is a minor hobby of mine, I'd love to be enlightened...
Mostly from various fictional works - the scenes with Tu and Nuin especially brought to mind The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, which is interesting as that has Svartelves and Morthbrood and that odd tunnel in Fundindelve....I've decided it's time to give that another read!
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:04 AM   #14
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I thought fay with an 'a' described the 'spiritual' (faerie?) beings including the Maiar and Valar (and probably others). Though I doubt this was so developed at the early stage we're discussing here. Am I remembering this right?

Hi Pitchwife, can't remember anything to do with Merlin living in/on/under a lake (though the Lady of the Lake comes to mind). The sleepers are the knights of the round table who sleep beneath Glastonbury Tor, so they say, until Britain's hour of greatest peril when they will rise to defeat the enemy!

Fey with an 'e' has the usual meaning of other-worldly, fated or doomed and wilful which I guess means the two words are somewhat related.
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:11 AM   #15
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Tolkien used the term fay when he was describing the lesser ainur that were part of the hosts of the different Valar in BoLT. Tolkien also used the terms pixies, brownies, & leprawns among others. Throughout the rest of BoLT, he uses the term almost exclusively when describing proto-maiar, with the exception of Luthien, who was herself daughter of one such fay. So I think it is fair to say that if Tu/Tuvo would have eventually made it into the the later versions, he would have been a maia.

In the Silmarillion, the use of the word fey, to me, means that Fëanor was under a spell of madness.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:06 AM   #16
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In the Silmarillion, the use of the word fey, to me, means that Fëanor was under a spell of madness.
The word is also used of Theoden in the Great Charge, and 'fey he seemed' appears more than once to describe someone apparently under a 'madness.'
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:33 PM   #17
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As for 'fay' with an a, Rumil and Orald have summed it up pretty well.

Another argument for Tuvo as a proto-Maia (now that I've finally managed to get my hands on copy of BoLT and had a chance to look the whole story up): He seems to have had a pretty accurate idea as to what or who was sleeping in Murmenalda (or why else would he have forbidden his people to go there?), and unless he himself had previously stumbled across the sleepers much like Nuin did later, how could he know, if not by remembering a vague hint heard in the Music?
As Lalwende remarked, however, he doesn't really make an evil impression, with his forbidding Nuin to trouble the sleepers because he was scared of the wrath of Manwe or Ilúvatar himself - a consideration that wouldn't have kept any genuine disciple of Melko from causing any mischief he could. (It certainly didn't prevent Melkor himself in the later Silmarillion messing with the Children of Ilúvatar.)
So (to correct my earlier post) there isn't really that much evidence leading from Tuvo to Thű/Sauron, apart from the similarity of names and the rejected 'sorcerer's apprentice' note.

There is, however, another character in the outlines for Gilfanon's Tale who strikes me very much as proto-Sauronic: namely, Fukil/Fankil/Fangli, a servant of Melko's who escaped from the attack of the Gods on Utumna without getting caught and later corrupted most of the newly-awakened Men, turning them against the Elves of the Great Lands. That story rings a lot of bells for me, from Melkor's servants catching Elves near Cuiviénen in order to corrupt them into Orcs to Aranel's story of the Fall of Men in the Athrabeth...
Anyway, it seems our beloved Necromancer had a lot of ancestors...
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:14 PM   #18
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maybe Tuvo is some kind of Mage who does exist in Middle Earth, and yet was not written of in the official canon of the Legendarium.....i mean, just like in the Bible where there are plenty of stories etc that don't figure into the official book, but were confirmed by later scholars as being deliberately left out of the Bible canon for political reasons, there could be entities etc that don't show in the written accounts of Elves or Hobbits that actually DO exist (and maybe they won't play a role in the first but rather the last Ages of Arda). all speculation but remember Tolkien was a professor and would be used to the idea of several different readings/writings of events, both official and heretical...
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:00 PM   #19
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just like in the Bible where there are plenty of stories etc that don't figure into the official book, but were confirmed by later scholars as being deliberately left out of the Bible canon for political reasons,
For example?
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:37 PM   #20
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For example?
The apocrypha?

I think that fay and fey have different origins. Fey (which can also mean having second sight as well as doomed),is Scots from AS/Icelandic/OHG.

Fay is just an anglicised spelling Fee - the french for Fairy. They are homophones not polysemic.
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Old 01-28-2009, 04:05 PM   #21
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OT for a moment: the Apocrypha's history was quite the reverse- these were 'extra' books included in the Alexandrine Jewish (Greek) Old Testament, the Septuagint, which the Jews rejected in the 1st Century, none of them having been written in Hebrew, and all postdating the 'end of prophecy.' The Christian world universally accepted these books as canonical until the Reformation, when Protestants set them apart in their own section- by the 19th century they were usually omitted entirely from Protestant bibles. Whereas they remain a part of Catholic and Orthodox bibles to this very day, so one can hardly claim they've been 'suppressed!'
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Old 01-28-2009, 04:24 PM   #22
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Thank you...for the enlightenment. I was raised Anglican so it isn't something I have much experience of ... though I can hardly deny that the Church of England had a somewhat political start.... ... So not the apocrypha but more the DaVinci code conspiracy theory lark...
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Old 01-28-2009, 04:30 PM   #23
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Reading The Da Vinci Code as a source of Church history is about like reading the Bible as a science text.....
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:02 AM   #24
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for example:

The Testament of Solomon
The Zohar (The Book of Splendor)
The Alphabet of Ben-Sira
Joseph and Aseneth
The Septuagint
Bel and the Dragon
The Acts of Peter
The Acts of Paul and Thecla
Mar Saba letter and The Secret Gospel of Mark
The Gospel of Judas

or, even better:

The Book of Adam and Eve
Book of Jubilees
Book of Enoch
The Infancy Gospel of Thomas
Proto-Gospel of James
The Gnostic Scriptures of Nag Hammadi
The Gospel of Mary
The Gospel of Nicodemus
The Apocalypse of Peter
Second Apocalypse of Peter

so you See, not all of us blindly accept the political maneuverings of the Mannish Councils of Nicea

some of us Elves, in fact, know that All Men Seek the Power of the One, and there hearts are so...easily corrupted...and as to the reading of Science as Text...well, that hairline distinction is between a 'factual' Truth (e.g. orthodox Sciences) and a 'fictional' Truth (e.g. a self-evident work like the Da Vinci Code) in which form of the organization of collective Thought shall prevail over the larger population to the detriment of the other form (sounds a bit like Sauron, or Melkor, init?)


you've pointed out some of these Books, but in that you have made my point - some group in their political meandering have chosen this over that doctrine for political effects, and protection of some status-quo. obviously, Middle-Earth was not unaffected by this reality.

ps - then there is the issue of the Writing of the Legenderium in Biblical-style medieval and Renaissance English, giving it a similar topographical and homological similarity and thus authority
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:53 AM   #25
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so you See, not all of us blindly accept the political maneuverings of the Mannish Councils of Nicea
As if Nicea were remotely relevant to the Canon. The damnable Dan Brown again. The Manichaeans, Marcionites and Gnostics had been rejected long before: Nicaea was convened to settle the Arian/Athanasian conflict over the Trinity.

The Canon was already established in its essence by the time of Irenaeus. The NT Canon was assembled very slowly, and analysis of the scriptues quoted by the Patristic Fathers lays out a pretty clear outline of what was a slow process of accretion, not rejection. First the Pauline epistles, followed by the Synoptic Gospels; John and the pastoral epistles took longer to gain general acceptance. Revelation wasn't accepted until rather late.

None of the Fathers ever relied on or considered the Gnostic pseudo-gospels to be canonical or authoritative. The only books from the Early Church which didn't make the cut were the Didache and Hermas' Shepherd. The Didache because it is simply a compression of the Synoptics into a synthetic text; Hermas because he had no apostolic authority (all the books of the NT canon were supposed to have been written by or under the supervision of an apostle: the chain of 'eyewitnesses' was considered crucial. In fact the earliest writers hold up "this is what John told me" as superior to any written text.).

As to the OT, the Christians had really nothing to do with it: first the (Jewish) Alexandrian Canon, and later the (Jewish) Jamnia Canon.

(Incidentally, Enoch and Jubilees are considered canonical by the Ethiopian Church)
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:47 AM   #26
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Reading The Da Vinci Code as a source of Church history is about like reading the Bible as a science text.....
Quite.... personally I read it as comedy (DVC not the bible...) but I was aware that some people take it rather more seriously. However coincidentally I bought at the weekend "The Bible, the Biography" by Karen Armstrong which given her history, I imagine may be rather more reliable . I haven't got very far yet but the concept of a canon within a canon might have application to Tolkien's work.

by the by I do wonder which early spindoctor managed to get the Song of Songs to make the cut... though I am very glad it did...
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:30 PM   #27
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Unfortunately we have very little direct evidence of the formation of the Old Testament canon. The oldest extand manuscripts are those from Qumran near the Dead Sea, which only give a partial picture of a dissident sect's library, and only in the 1st Century CE. (Aside from the Dead Sea scrolls, the earliest surviving Hebrew scriptures are medieval, the Masoretic texts).

We do have various copies and part-copies, mostly Christian, in Greek and Syriac; but, again, these are removed from the originals by a very wide span of years. What we do know is that the Septuagint (3rd-1st c. BCE) included a number of books which were excluded from the 'Palestinian canon', the Jewish and Protestant Old Testaments; but when the ketuvim "Writings" were selected the Song made the cut. Why? Who knows? Why is Ecclesiastes in and Ecclesiasticus out?

It does seem to be the case that the concept of a definitive Canon was not yet fixed; the New Testament authors (all of them originally Jews) quote from Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Wisdom of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Baruch, additions to Daniel (The Prayer of Azarias, the Song of the Three Children, Susanna and Bel and the Dragon), additions to Esther, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, 3 Maccabees, 4 Maccabees, 1 Esdras, the Prayer of Manasses, and Psalm 151.
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:06 PM   #28
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As if Nicea were remotely relevant to the Canon. ...

The Canon was already established in its essence by the time of Irenaeus. The NT Canon was assembled very slowly, and analysis of the scriptues quoted by the Patristic Fathers...
None of the Fathers ever relied on or considered the Gnostic pseudo-gospels to be canonical or authoritative. The only books from the Early Church which didn't make the cut were the Didache and Hermas' Shepherd. The Didache because it is simply a compression of the Synoptics into a synthetic text; Hermas because he had no apostolic authority (all the books of the NT canon were supposed to have been written by or under the supervision of an apostle: the chain of 'eyewitnesses' was considered crucial. In fact the earliest writers hold up "this is what John told me" as superior to any written text.).

As to the OT, the Christians had really nothing to do with it: first the (Jewish) Alexandrian Canon, and later the (Jewish) Jamnia Canon.

(Incidentally, Enoch and Jubilees are considered canonical by the Ethiopian Church)
all this is very enlightening in its bookish focus on particulars - but where are your erudite analyses of the social and political conditions of their "slow, accreted" production? as i said, there are politics involved in the production of any "authoritative" text (and in your case, the flippant disregard for the patriarchal social apparatus which gave rise to the widely accepted legitimacy of the "authoritative" texts. oh, and i do include Tolkien, given his topological deference to the Biblical codex in his masterful (to be sure) issuance of the Legendarium....

i'll let you Bend your..considerable ... Thought on the homologies which tie Nicea, the Bible codex, and the Legendarium. you may catch my Meaning in the meanwhile

Mithalwen, Grey Maiden - YOU ROCK!!!
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:37 PM   #29
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DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! WARNING! WARNING! PoMo ALERT!!!!

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Old 01-30-2009, 11:12 AM   #30
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There's an "off-topic" skwerl peeking around the corner - please remember to include a Tolkien reference in your posts!
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:46 AM   #31
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Elaine Pagels' Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas offers some interesting analysis on the creation of the biblical canon.

Her work makes me wonder who will write a study of Christopher Tolkien's work? As a scholar, he must have a considerable method and manner of organisation and work. While he explained his methods in HoMe (but not in The Silm), perhaps it will fall to another scholar to examine his papers and see how he made the cuts, if his explanation does in fact pertain to the Tolkien pere texts in his collection, and--the most intriguing point to me at the moment--what are the problems with releasing Tolkien's translation of Beowulf.

The questions about Tuvo remind me of Tolkien's thoughts on creation in OFS. Tolkien essentially says that we subcreate in imitation of the divine creation (relying on memory here, don't have the niggling details at hand). But can we look at Tolkien's method of creating the Legendarium, with its constant re-vision over time, and refer that back to, say, Eru, whose music seemed always to expanded over time? Just a thought. Would Tolkien have rejected the character of Tuvo because, somehow, he felt the character was heretical or non-canonical?
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:27 PM   #32
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1). A book to be published in May, Arda Reconstructed. will be a line-by-line analysis of the published Silmarillion and its assemblage from the source-texts, at least as those are published in HME.

2). The Beowulf translation is on indefinite hold essentially from practical and process considerations, which I can't really say more about

3.) Pagels unfortunately in both her books works from a fanciful premise: that the Gnostic gospels were contemporary with the canonical gospels and therefore in direct competition with them. But in fact they belong to the Third Century, and of course reflect a syncretism with pagan Gnosticism which was seen immediately and correctly to be entirely inconsistent with the already-established Pauline/synoptic canon: Irenaeus the leading condemnatory voice of many. The essence of Gnosticism - 'knowledge', meaning secret knowledge, was that the Truth was confined to a small circle of adepts; the hallmark of a Gnostic gospel is Jesus purportedly calling aside the nominal author and telling him, "Here's the real deal, but you can't let those othe dopes know." Utterly at variance with the Pauline/synoptic tradition, which is as close to "authenticity" as we're likely to get. That of course doesn't stop innumerable people writing books claiming dark conspiracies and 'suppression of the truth,' when in fact the Christian Gnostics were the Scientologists of their day.

The principal value of Thomas is that it might - might - be in part derived from the hypothetical Q-gospel and therefore include more authentic text where it parallels the Synoptics.
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:02 AM   #33
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i'll let you Bend your..considerable ... Thought on the homologies which tie Nicea, the Bible codex, and the Legendarium. you may catch my Meaning in the meanwhile


there is my reference to the Legendarium "PoMo" or No..... mister Hickin's reaction is, I believe, making my point about the hold of the One over threatened, Mannish minds, besides clearly having not a faintest idea of what I am speaking.

Bęthberry! that was a lovely segue into my exact Thoughts concerning the notion of sub-creation and the Children of the One...the Valaquenta and Ainulindalë does state that each Age contains Chords that spontaneous arise, having no specifically conscious placement there by the Ainur: a type of Age-specific "Emergence" or "Auto-poeisis"(to use a more literary term for it)
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Old 01-31-2009, 01:22 PM   #34
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12)

2.) The Beowulf translation is on indefinite hold essentially from practical and process considerations, which I can't really say more about

3.) Pagels unfortunately in both her books works from a fanciful premise: that the Gnostic gospels were contemporary with the canonical gospels and therefore in direct competition with them. But in fact they belong to the Third Century, and of course reflect a syncretism with pagan Gnosticism which was seen immediately and correctly to be entirely inconsistent with the already-established Pauline/synoptic canon: Irenaeus the leading condemnatory voice of many. The essence of Gnosticism - 'knowledge', meaning secret knowledge, was that the Truth was confined to a small circle of adepts; the hallmark of a Gnostic gospel is Jesus purportedly calling aside the nominal author and telling him, "Here's the real deal, but you can't let those othe dopes know." Utterly at variance with the Pauline/synoptic tradition, which is as close to "authenticity" as we're likely to get. That of course doesn't stop innumerable people writing books claiming dark conspiracies and 'suppression of the truth,' when in fact the Christian Gnostics were the Scientologists of their day.

The principal value of Thomas is that it might - might - be in part derived from the hypothetical Q-gospel and therefore include more authentic text where it parallels the Synoptics.
The dating of the Gospel of Thomas has not been definitively ascertained; scholars in addition to Pagels place it in the first century with other canonical gospels while others place it in the second century. Late Daters tend to be those who wish to deny authenticity to the gnostic gospels. It's rather like those who object to seeing or acknowledging that Tolkien did, towards the end of his life, work to niggle his faith into his legendarium. They deny Christian elements by saying they were parcelled in after the fact and after Tolkien had experienced his authentic inspiration, so that his latter work does not really represent his true intentions.

The fact is the gnostic gospels were written for the same reason the other gospels were: to explain, to articulate the writer's response to the events of Jesus' life. Some used mythic or symbolic narrative techniques. (And, by the way, gnosticism was hardly an elaboratedly worked out system of theology, so it cannot be said to to have one essential element or doctrine, such as the allegation of secrecy you provide.) As such, a truly objective history of the period should and must include them to present a full depiction of the ferment of the time. (Note, I am not saying they must be declared canonical, I am simply saying they deserve to be recognised as part of zeitgeist.) Analogies to our contemporary religious enthusiasms don't really do justice to legitimate discussion. No matter what I think of Scientology (or the gnostics, for that matter), a scholarly study of religion in the US in the twentieth century would have to include Scientology, just as it would have to include Seventh Day Adventists and the plethora of other "cults" that have developed in the US. After all, Scientology has a legitimate tax exemption from the US Government as a religion. (One doesn't have to accept that status, but one does have to acknowledge it and refute it, not maintain silence as if it does not exist.)

Just as, if one wanted to pursue a study of Tolkien's academic oeuvre, it would be incomplete without consideration of his translation of Beowulf. I can track down his professional publications on, for instance, Middle English dialects, but to compare his understanding of language there with his translation of OE, I would have to go the Estate to request permission--unless the work is part of his papers at Marquette University--and if permission were denied, well, then the work would not be complete. Withholding the Beowulf translation means that any attempt to articulate fully his philosophy of language would be limited.

Mithalwen, I do know some of Karen Armstrong's books but not her book on the Bible. Perhaps you could explain her idea of a canon within a canon for us once you have finished reading the book?
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Old 01-31-2009, 04:02 PM   #35
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Oh now I will really have to read it.... ok. I'll give it a go.. but maybe it would be easier if I sent you the book and you explained it to me? .
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Old 01-31-2009, 04:46 PM   #36
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The only Tolkien papers at Marquette are those related to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, Farmer Giles and Mr Bliss. All the rest (including Beowulf) are in the Bodleian.

Although I can't get into the specific reasons the publication of Beowulf was called off, I can assure you it wasn't out of any desire to 'suppress' it; and, indeed, it's available for scholars on the same terms as the rest of the Bodleian's manuscripts. Sooner or later the obstacles to publication will be worked out, I'm sure.

To liken it to NT scholarship is not quite on point: after all, the NT material from the crucial period simply doesn't exist!!
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Old 01-31-2009, 05:26 PM   #37
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Bęthberry! that was a lovely segue into my exact Thoughts concerning the notion of sub-creation and the Children of the One...the Valaquenta and Ainulindalë does state that each Age contains Chords that spontaneous arise, having no specifically conscious placement there by the Ainur: a type of Age-specific "Emergence" or "Auto-poeisis"(to use a more literary term for it)
Explaining inspiration does seem to be a bit problematic for both religion and literary studies. And for a minute there, I almost thought that would lead you to a mention of Tolkien's Mr. Bliss.

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Oh now I will really have to read it.... ok. I'll give it a go.. but maybe it would be easier if I sent you the book and you explained it to me?
I am, alas, a lazy soul and would far rather benefit from the sweat of someone else's brow than work up some on my own.

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The only Tolkien papers at Marquette are those related to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, Farmer Giles and Mr Bliss. All the rest (including Beowulf) are in the Bodleian.

Although I can't get into the specific reasons the publication of Beowulf was called off, I can assure you it wasn't out of any desire to 'suppress' it; and, indeed, it's available for scholars on the same terms as the rest of the Bodleian's manuscripts. Sooner or later the obstacles to publication will be worked out, I'm sure.
Ah, well then I must remember that when I am able to attend an Oxenmoot with the Tolkien Society and drag along some OE enthusiasts I know this side of the pond. Or perhaps we could persuade an eminent Downer who has some credentials in OE to attempt an assault on the Bodleian such as he attempted on Tolkien's grave.

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To liken it to NT scholarship is not quite on point: after all, the NT material from the crucial period simply doesn't exist!!
But I was under the impression that there are sizable gaps in the historical records of Tolkien's work, particularly for his early years as an academic. And of course his epistles are not complete by any means.
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Old 01-31-2009, 07:03 PM   #38
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Good luck! But I recommend you arrange reader's privileges ahead of time, or you may be disappointed.


Although I really have no idea how much Tolkien academic stuff is there, or in France, on the whole the old boy never threw *anything* away: the preface and commentary to Sigrid and Gudrun come from his lecture-notes on Old Norse poetry fom the 20's; and Drout's Beowulf book was drawn from the various drafts of the famous lecture. I would expect that virtually all his lecture notes survive; they just haven't seen publication (yet).
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Old 02-02-2009, 10:25 AM   #39
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I am, alas, a lazy soul and would far rather benefit from the sweat of someone else's brow than work up some on my own.
So am I, as you may have gathered by my offer ...but since a coating of snow scarce enough to cover a hobbit's toes has brought my land to a standstill... I may get down to some "bread and butter" reading.

If you do obtain admission as a reader http://www.ouls.ox.ac.uk/bodley/serv...ions/procedure

and I did so they can't be too demanding let me know if you are still required to make a solemn declaration in your mother tongue that you will not set fire to the library or take kindling therein.. the idea really hadn't occured until they suggested it ...
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:43 AM   #40
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That's so sweet of you, Mithalwen, to find that link, and thank you Mr. Hicklin for the advice.

This is what makes the Downs such an exceptional community, from one side of the pond to the other.

Perhaps I can reciprocate and offer suggestions on how to handle your 30 cm of snow, seeing as we regularly have three to four feet and I live in a mild winter area. Makeshift toboggans for use at Hampstead Heath can be made from laundry hampers (plastic ones of course) and even garbage bins, although rubber tire tubing (inflated) is a scream. A snowball fight in Trafalgar Square would be a blast, too, with Nelson looking on.

Tolkien however seemed to think snow a malevolent thing, given Caradhras and Helcaraxë, much like Tuvo the wizard king. Pity.
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