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The Goths

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The Goths is an unpublished lecture by J.R.R. Tolkien, that deals with the vanished tradition, literature, history, and the tongue of the Goths.[1]

The manuscript is held at the Bodleian Library, Oxford: Dept. of Western Manuscripts, Mss Tolkien A15/2, fol. 149.[1]

Parts of the lecture notes were published in Tolkien and the Study of His Sources (2011).

[edit] Extract

"In vain we regret the past, or speculate on what might have been. Yet it is inevitable that we should regret... In dealing with the Goths — regret cannot be avoided, if not regret for what might have been, at any rate regret for our altogether scanty records of what was... the vanishing of their tradition, literature, history, and most of their tongue." Tolkien also deplored the Roman conquest, which led to "the ruin of Gaul and the submergence of its native language (or languages) arts and traditions... dooming to obscurity and debate the history of perhaps the most remarkable of the Cymric speaking peoples."[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Tolkien's Lecture Notes - publish or be damned!", The Lord of the Rings Fanatics Plaza: Forum (accessed 11 May 2014)
  2. Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: II. Reader's Guide, p. 555