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The Atanatárion was a literary work dealing with the three "Great Tales" as written down in Númenor that were primarily concerned with the heroes of the Edain of the late First Age.[1]

These three Great Tales, which were later preserved in Gondor, were:[1]

1) Narn Beren ion Barahir ("Tale of Beren son of Barahir") or Narn e·Dinúviel ("Tale of the Nightingale")

2) Narn e·mbar Hador ("Tale of the House of Hador"), which consists of:


The title Atanatárion is Quenya for "(Legendarium) of the Fathers of Men", with the later part of the title forming a genitive plural of the term Atanatar ("of the Fathers of Men"), while the "Legendarium" part of the title is implied in the English gloss of the title of the work.[2]

The Sindarin cognates of the title are Nern in Adanath and Nern in Edenedair, where the "Legendarium" part of the title is explicitly translated,[2] with the term Nern being the plural of the noun narn ("a tale").[3]


Tolkien wrote about the Atanatárion and the titles of the three Great Tales on a small slip with the heading: Memorandum, some time in the 1950's. According to Christopher Tolkien, he probably considered composing them in the form of three shorter stories as Appendices to The Silmarillion.[1]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Five. Myths Transformed", "[Text] I", p. 373
  2. 2.0 2.1 Paul Strack, "Q. Atanatárion pn.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 22 November 2023)
  3. Paul Strack, "S. narn n.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 22 November 2023)