Tolkien Gateway

Menegroth

(Difference between revisions)
(added stub)
m (Bot comment: changed category.)
(25 intermediate revisions by 12 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
 
{{Stub}}
 
{{Stub}}
 
[[Image:Alan Lee - Beleg Departs Menegroth.jpg|thumb|''Beleg Departs Menegroth'' by [[Alan Lee]].]]
 
[[Image:Alan Lee - Beleg Departs Menegroth.jpg|thumb|''Beleg Departs Menegroth'' by [[Alan Lee]].]]
'''Menegroth''', the 'Thousand Caves', was the city in the land of [[Doriath]] which was home to king [[Thingol]] and queen [[Melian]] of the [[Sindar]]in people.  It was there that [[Thingol]] was slain by the Dwarven craftsmen of [[Nogrod]]. It was later sacked by the [[sons of Fëanor]] in pursuit of the one of the [[Silmarils]] to have left [[Morgoth]]'s iron crown prior to the [[War of Wrath]]. This description can be found in the [[Lay of Leithian]]:
+
{{pronounce|Sindarin - Menegroth.mp3|Gilgamesh}}
 +
'''Menegroth''' ([[Sindarin|S]], pron. {{IPA|[meˈneɡroθ]}}), the 'Thousand Caves', was the city in the land of [[Doriath]] which was home to king [[Thingol]] of the [[Sindar]]in elves and queen [[Melian]], one of the [[Maiar]], during the [[First Age]]
 +
=History=
 +
==Years of the Trees==
 +
During the ages of the [[Chaining of Melkor]], the [[Sindar]] had lived scattered in Beleriand, some at the havens of the [[Falas]] others in the woodlands of [[Region]] and [[Neldoreth]] were also their King [[Thingol]] and his queen [[Melian]] abode. When the third Age of Melkor's chaining began, Melian urged Thingol to build a fast place for their people. Thingol was on friendly terms with the Dwarves and he commissioned the [[Dwarves of Belegost]] to aid with the building of a fortress.
  
:…through corridors of carven dread
+
Much after the manner of the Dwarves they delved an underground fortress into a rocky hill on the banks of [[Esgalduin]], where the river turned to the west. The only entrance were gates high above the river, that at this place run in a deep ravine and was crossed by a stone bridge. The place was thereafter known as Menegroth, the Thousand Caves, because so many were the halls the Dwarves had hewn out of the rock.
:whose turns were lit by lanterns hung
+
:or flames from torches that were flung
+
:on dragons hewn in the cold stone
+
:with jewelled eyes and teeth of bone.
+
:Then sudden, deep beneath the earth
+
:the silences with silver mirth
+
:were shaken and the rocks were ringing,
+
:the birds of Melian were singing;
+
:and wide the ways of shadow spread
+
:as into arched halls she led
+
:[[Beren]] in wonder.  There a light
+
:like day immortal and like night
+
:of stars unclouded, shone and gleamed.
+
:A vault of topless trees it seemed,
+
:whose trunks of carven stone there stood
+
:like towers of an enchanted wood
+
:in magic fast for ever bound,
+
:bearing a roof whose branches wound
+
:in endless tracery of green
+
:lit by some leaf-imprisoned sheen
+
:of moon and sun, and wrought of gems,
+
:and each leaf hung on golden stems.
+
:  Lo! there amid immortal flowers
+
:the nightingales in shining bowers
+
:sang o’er the head of Melian,
+
:while water for ever dripped and ran
+
:from fountains in the rocky floor.
+
:There Thingol sat.  His crown he wore
+
:of green and silver, and round his chair
+
:a host in gleaming armor fair…
+
  
 +
After the [[First Battle of Beleriand]] many Elves who had not lived in the cities, fled to Doriath which was afterwards protected by the [[Girdle of Melian]]<ref name="Sindar">{{S|Sindar}}</ref>.
 +
 +
==Years of the Sun==
 +
Menegroth and Doriath had peace for a long time. Thingol did prefer a policy of isolationism and did not to mingle in the affairs of the [[Noldor]], the [[War of the Jewels]] and the conflict with [[Morgoth]] in general and never a host of Doriath participated in one of the great battles, except the First. Only with [[House of Finarfin|his kin]] in [[Nargothrond]] Thingol remained in contact<ref>{{S|Noldor}}</ref><ref>{{S|Fifth}}</ref>.
 +
 +
Yet also Menegroth became entangled in the fate of the [[Silmaril]] and thus the [[Oath of Feanor]] and the [[Doom of Mandos]]. When the man [[Beren]] asked for the hand of Thingol's daughter Lúthien in marriage, Thingol was upset by this affront, as he deemed it, thinking not too well of mortal men. As bride price he demanded that Beren should bring one of the Silmaril from Morgoth's iron crown<ref name="Beren">{{S|Beren}}</ref>. 
 +
With help of Lúthien, Beren succeeded, but the price was high: [[Carcharoth]] the wolf who was guarding the Gates of [[Angband]], bit off the hand, in which Beren was holding the Silmaril. Driven mad by the pain that the hallowed stone caused to him, searing his intestines, Carcharoth ravaged Beleriand and finally broke through Melian's Girdle, threatening Menegroth. He was confronted somewhat to the north-east from the city at the banks of Esgalduin and killed by [[Huan]] the Great Hound of Valinor, having wounded Beren mortally. The Silmaril was found in his stomach, and thus found its way to Menegroth.<ref name="Beren"/>
 +
 +
===The Sack of Doriath===
 +
Years later, [[Húrin Thalion]] brought as a gift the famed [[Nauglamír]] to Thingol. Thingol then had become enchanted by the beauty of the Silmaril and in his mind made up the plan, to set the Silmaril into the Nauglamír. It happened that at this time a troop of [[Dwarves of Nogrod|Dwarves from Nogrod]] were in Menegroth.
 +
Thingol offered a high price to them, if they managed to set the stone into the Nauglamír. But when seeing the unrivalled jewel and the necklace a great desire and greed came upon them to posses both and when they had finished their work they claimed the treasure, Thingol was slain by them and they fled from Menegroth.<ref name="Ruin">{{S|Ruin}}</ref>
 +
 +
News of the event spread fast and the Dwarves were hunted and slain. Two of them escaped and told a crooked tale about how they were betrayed and their brethren slaughtered by the Elves. The Dwarves of Nogrod rose in anger and mustered a great army. Doriath lay open to their onslaught, the Girdle was not more since Melian in deep sorrow for her husband's death had lost her power and left Middle-earth.<ref name="Ruin"/>
 +
 +
The Dwarves invaded Doriath and found little resistance, the captains of the Sindar were indecisive and despaired, and attacked Menegroth. Many Dwarves and Elves fought in the [[Battle of the Thousand Caves]] and many were slain. [[Mablung]], captain of the guard, was slain at the doors of the treasure chamber were the Nauglamír was stored. This terrible event then lead to the distrust that thereafter was ever between Elves and Dwarves. On their way back though, the Dwarves were waylaid at [[Sarn Athrad]] by the [[Laiquendi]] led by [[Beren]] and their king was slain by Beren in single combat. The remainder of their host was destroyed by [[Ent]]s.<ref name="Ruin"/>
 +
 +
===The Second Kinslaying and the End of Menegroth===
 +
The Nauglamír with the Silmaril was thereafter worn by Lúthien at [[Tol Galen]] in [[Ossiriand]]. Although weakened the Kingdom of Doriath continued, for [[Dior|Dior Eluchíl]] son of Lúthien and Beren took up the crown. However, after the death of Lúthien and Beren the Nauglamír was returned to Doriath. The [[Oath of Feanor]] stirred again and [[Sons of Feanor|his sons]] stated their claim on the Silmaril. Dior refused to hand over the stone for which is parents had endured so much. [[Celegorm]] instigated his brother and in the mids of winter their hosts deployed at the gates of Menegroth and a second time Elves were slain by Elves.<ref name="Ruin"/>
 +
 +
Dior was slain, and of the seven Sons of Feanor only four were alive after the battle. Dior's sons, [[Eluréd]] and [[Elurín]], were abandoned in the forest to die, but his daugher [[Elwing]] could flee to the havens at the [[Mouths of Sirion]], bearing the Silmaril with her. The realm of Menegroth did not endure this second slaughtering and did not rise again.<ref name="Ruin"/>
 +
 +
==Description==
 +
Menegroth was a wholly undeground city accessed only through a stone bridge over Esgalduin. While the Dwarves did the major work, also the Elves participated in the construction: The pillars imitated beeches, with branches and leaves. The halls were lit by golden lanterns and there were silver fountains, and many figurines of animals. It is told that nightingales and other birds lived within the caves. Thus Thingol had the most beautiful palace, a king ever had owned east of the Sea.<ref name="Sindar"/>
 +
 +
This description can be found in the [[Lay of Leithian]]:
 +
 +
<poem>
 +
…through corridors of carven dread
 +
whose turns were lit by lanterns hung
 +
or flames from torches that were flung
 +
on dragons hewn in the cold stone
 +
with jewelled eyes and teeth of bone.
 +
Then sudden, deep beneath the earth
 +
the silences with silver mirth
 +
were shaken and the rocks were ringing,
 +
the birds of Melian were singing;
 +
and wide the ways of shadow spread
 +
as into arched halls she led
 +
[[Beren]] in wonder.  There a light
 +
like day immortal and like night
 +
of stars unclouded, shone and gleamed.
 +
A vault of topless trees it seemed,
 +
whose trunks of carven stone there stood
 +
like towers of an enchanted wood
 +
in magic fast for ever bound,
 +
bearing a roof whose branches wound
 +
in endless tracery of green
 +
lit by some leaf-imprisoned sheen
 +
of moon and sun, and wrought of gems,
 +
and each leaf hung on golden stems.
 +
  Lo! there amid immortal flowers
 +
the nightingales in shining bowers
 +
sang o’er the head of Melian,
 +
while water for ever dripped and ran
 +
from fountains in the rocky floor.
 +
There Thingol sat.  His crown he wore
 +
of green and silver, and round his chair
 +
a host in gleaming armor fair…
 +
</poem>
 
::''Lay of Leithian'', [[Lay of Leithian Canto IV|Canto IV]], lines 981-1011
 
::''Lay of Leithian'', [[Lay of Leithian Canto IV|Canto IV]], lines 981-1011
  
This description is remarkably similar to the description of [[Morgoth]]'s stronghold of [[Angband]] ([[Lay of Leithian Canto XIII|Canto XII]], lines 3840-3903), suggesting that in a way these were the opposites: the symbol of the forces of light and its evil counterpart of darkness.
+
This description is remarkably similar to the description of Morgoth's stronghold of [[Angband]] ([[Lay of Leithian Canto XIII|Canto XII]], lines 3840-3903), suggesting that in a way Tolkien envisioned Menegroth its direct opposite as the symbol of the forces of light.
  
 +
==Etymology==
 +
The name means "Thousand Caves" and is analyzed as ''[[meneg]]'' "thousand" and ''[[groth]]'' "excavation".<ref>{{HM|WJ}} p.414</ref>
 +
 +
In the earlier ''[[The Etymologies|Etymologies]]'' [[J.R.R. Tolkien|Tolkien]] explains the word is of [[Doriathrin]] language and gives the final element as Doriathrin ''[[roth]]''.<ref>{{LR|Etymologies}}, p.384 entry ROD</ref>
 +
{{references}}
 
[[Category:Beleriand]]
 
[[Category:Beleriand]]
[[Category:Cities]]
 
 
[[Category:Caves]]
 
[[Category:Caves]]
 +
[[Category:Doriathrin words]]
 +
[[Category:Sindarin locations]]
 +
[[Category:Cities, towns and villages]]
 +
 +
[[de:Menegroth]]
 +
[[fi:Menegroth]]
 +
[[fr:encyclo/geographie/villes_tours_et_forteresses/beleriand/menegroth]]

Revision as of 18:24, 13 June 2012

"...there is much else that may be told." — Glóin
This article or section is a stub. Please help Tolkien Gateway by expanding it.
Beleg Departs Menegroth by Alan Lee.

Menegroth (S, pron. [meˈneɡroθ]), the 'Thousand Caves', was the city in the land of Doriath which was home to king Thingol of the Sindarin elves and queen Melian, one of the Maiar, during the First Age.

Contents

History

Years of the Trees

During the ages of the Chaining of Melkor, the Sindar had lived scattered in Beleriand, some at the havens of the Falas others in the woodlands of Region and Neldoreth were also their King Thingol and his queen Melian abode. When the third Age of Melkor's chaining began, Melian urged Thingol to build a fast place for their people. Thingol was on friendly terms with the Dwarves and he commissioned the Dwarves of Belegost to aid with the building of a fortress.

Much after the manner of the Dwarves they delved an underground fortress into a rocky hill on the banks of Esgalduin, where the river turned to the west. The only entrance were gates high above the river, that at this place run in a deep ravine and was crossed by a stone bridge. The place was thereafter known as Menegroth, the Thousand Caves, because so many were the halls the Dwarves had hewn out of the rock.

After the First Battle of Beleriand many Elves who had not lived in the cities, fled to Doriath which was afterwards protected by the Girdle of Melian[1].

Years of the Sun

Menegroth and Doriath had peace for a long time. Thingol did prefer a policy of isolationism and did not to mingle in the affairs of the Noldor, the War of the Jewels and the conflict with Morgoth in general and never a host of Doriath participated in one of the great battles, except the First. Only with his kin in Nargothrond Thingol remained in contact[2][3].

Yet also Menegroth became entangled in the fate of the Silmaril and thus the Oath of Feanor and the Doom of Mandos. When the man Beren asked for the hand of Thingol's daughter Lúthien in marriage, Thingol was upset by this affront, as he deemed it, thinking not too well of mortal men. As bride price he demanded that Beren should bring one of the Silmaril from Morgoth's iron crown[4]. With help of Lúthien, Beren succeeded, but the price was high: Carcharoth the wolf who was guarding the Gates of Angband, bit off the hand, in which Beren was holding the Silmaril. Driven mad by the pain that the hallowed stone caused to him, searing his intestines, Carcharoth ravaged Beleriand and finally broke through Melian's Girdle, threatening Menegroth. He was confronted somewhat to the north-east from the city at the banks of Esgalduin and killed by Huan the Great Hound of Valinor, having wounded Beren mortally. The Silmaril was found in his stomach, and thus found its way to Menegroth.[4]

The Sack of Doriath

Years later, Húrin Thalion brought as a gift the famed Nauglamír to Thingol. Thingol then had become enchanted by the beauty of the Silmaril and in his mind made up the plan, to set the Silmaril into the Nauglamír. It happened that at this time a troop of Dwarves from Nogrod were in Menegroth. Thingol offered a high price to them, if they managed to set the stone into the Nauglamír. But when seeing the unrivalled jewel and the necklace a great desire and greed came upon them to posses both and when they had finished their work they claimed the treasure, Thingol was slain by them and they fled from Menegroth.[5]

News of the event spread fast and the Dwarves were hunted and slain. Two of them escaped and told a crooked tale about how they were betrayed and their brethren slaughtered by the Elves. The Dwarves of Nogrod rose in anger and mustered a great army. Doriath lay open to their onslaught, the Girdle was not more since Melian in deep sorrow for her husband's death had lost her power and left Middle-earth.[5]

The Dwarves invaded Doriath and found little resistance, the captains of the Sindar were indecisive and despaired, and attacked Menegroth. Many Dwarves and Elves fought in the Battle of the Thousand Caves and many were slain. Mablung, captain of the guard, was slain at the doors of the treasure chamber were the Nauglamír was stored. This terrible event then lead to the distrust that thereafter was ever between Elves and Dwarves. On their way back though, the Dwarves were waylaid at Sarn Athrad by the Laiquendi led by Beren and their king was slain by Beren in single combat. The remainder of their host was destroyed by Ents.[5]

The Second Kinslaying and the End of Menegroth

The Nauglamír with the Silmaril was thereafter worn by Lúthien at Tol Galen in Ossiriand. Although weakened the Kingdom of Doriath continued, for Dior Eluchíl son of Lúthien and Beren took up the crown. However, after the death of Lúthien and Beren the Nauglamír was returned to Doriath. The Oath of Feanor stirred again and his sons stated their claim on the Silmaril. Dior refused to hand over the stone for which is parents had endured so much. Celegorm instigated his brother and in the mids of winter their hosts deployed at the gates of Menegroth and a second time Elves were slain by Elves.[5]

Dior was slain, and of the seven Sons of Feanor only four were alive after the battle. Dior's sons, Eluréd and Elurín, were abandoned in the forest to die, but his daugher Elwing could flee to the havens at the Mouths of Sirion, bearing the Silmaril with her. The realm of Menegroth did not endure this second slaughtering and did not rise again.[5]

Description

Menegroth was a wholly undeground city accessed only through a stone bridge over Esgalduin. While the Dwarves did the major work, also the Elves participated in the construction: The pillars imitated beeches, with branches and leaves. The halls were lit by golden lanterns and there were silver fountains, and many figurines of animals. It is told that nightingales and other birds lived within the caves. Thus Thingol had the most beautiful palace, a king ever had owned east of the Sea.[1]

This description can be found in the Lay of Leithian:

…through corridors of carven dread
whose turns were lit by lanterns hung
or flames from torches that were flung
on dragons hewn in the cold stone
with jewelled eyes and teeth of bone.
Then sudden, deep beneath the earth
the silences with silver mirth
were shaken and the rocks were ringing,
the birds of Melian were singing;
and wide the ways of shadow spread
as into arched halls she led
Beren in wonder. There a light
like day immortal and like night
of stars unclouded, shone and gleamed.
A vault of topless trees it seemed,
whose trunks of carven stone there stood
like towers of an enchanted wood
in magic fast for ever bound,
bearing a roof whose branches wound
in endless tracery of green
lit by some leaf-imprisoned sheen
of moon and sun, and wrought of gems,
and each leaf hung on golden stems.
   Lo! there amid immortal flowers
the nightingales in shining bowers
sang o’er the head of Melian,
while water for ever dripped and ran
from fountains in the rocky floor.
There Thingol sat. His crown he wore
of green and silver, and round his chair
a host in gleaming armor fair…

Lay of Leithian, Canto IV, lines 981-1011

This description is remarkably similar to the description of Morgoth's stronghold of Angband (Canto XII, lines 3840-3903), suggesting that in a way Tolkien envisioned Menegroth its direct opposite as the symbol of the forces of light.

Etymology

The name means "Thousand Caves" and is analyzed as meneg "thousand" and groth "excavation".[6]

In the earlier Etymologies Tolkien explains the word is of Doriathrin language and gives the final element as Doriathrin roth.[7]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Sindar"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Noldor in Beleriand"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad"
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beren and Lúthien"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels p.414
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Three: The Etymologies", p.384 entry ROD