Tolkien Gateway

Letter 344

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{{letter|344}}
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{{letter infobox
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| #=344
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| to=[[Edmund Meskys]]
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| date=[[23 November]] [[1972]]
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| subject=Numerals
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}}{{letter|344}}
 
==Summary==
 
==Summary==
This fragment of a letter, dated [[November 23]], [[1972]], is written to a [[Edmund Meskys]], president of the [[Tolkien Society]] of America. It deals with the use of duodecimal numeral system of the [[Elves]]. Tolkien tells briefly on the Elves and the Babylonians, and then mentions that he did devise a set of both decimal and duodecimal numbers in [[Tengwar|Fëanorian script]], but that he can not find it. He only remembers that they were written with a positional system like Arabic, and started with the lowest number on the left.  
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Tolkien replied to [[Edmund Meskys]], president of the [[Tolkien Society of America]], who had questions about Elvish numerals. Tolkien briefly wrote about the similarities of the Elves and the Babylonians, and then mentioned that he had devised a set of both decimal and duodecimal numbers in [[Tengwar|Fëanorian script]], but that he could not find it. He only remembered that they were written with a positional system like Arabic, and started with the lowest number on the left.  
 
==Notes==
 
==Notes==
* The numbers were published in ''[[Quettar]]'' in the 1980's, and now come standard on most [[fonts]].  
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* The numbers were published in ''[[Quettar]]'' in the 1980s, and now come standard on most [[fonts]].  
* The Elves used a [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duodecimal duodecimal] system, the men a [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal decimal] one.
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* The Elves used a [[wikipedia:Duodecimal|duodecimal]] system, the men a [[wikipedia:Decimal|decimal]] one.
* The only "mainstream" example of Fëanorian numbers is found in ''[[Sauron Defeated]]'', in the "[[King's Letter]]". As the writer of this letter is [[Aragorn|Elessar]], the numbers ([[Fourth Age 16|6341 and 61]] are decimal.
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* The only "mainstream" example of Fëanorian numbers is found in ''[[Sauron Defeated]]'', in the "[[King's Letter]]". As the writer of this letter was [[Aragorn|Elessar]], the numbers ([[Fourth Age 16|6341 and 61]] were decimal.
 
{{letters}}
 
{{letters}}

Revision as of 07:33, 3 July 2011

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 344
RecipientEdmund Meskys
Date23 November 1972
Subject(s)Numerals

Letter 344 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Summary

Tolkien replied to Edmund Meskys, president of the Tolkien Society of America, who had questions about Elvish numerals. Tolkien briefly wrote about the similarities of the Elves and the Babylonians, and then mentioned that he had devised a set of both decimal and duodecimal numbers in Fëanorian script, but that he could not find it. He only remembered that they were written with a positional system like Arabic, and started with the lowest number on the left.

Notes