Belegost

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Belegost
General information
Other namesGabilgathol (K)
Túrosto (Q)
Mickleburg[1]
LocationBlue Mountains, north-east of Mount Dolmed, not far from lake Nenuial
People
PopulationDwarves of Belegost
LanguageKhuzdul, Sindarin
GovernanceLord of Belegost
History
FoundedBetween Y.T. 1050[2]
and Y.T. 1250[3][1][4]
DestroyedF.A. 587
AbandonedS.A. 40
Followed byKhazad-Dûm

Belegost was one of two great Dwarven cities in the Blue Mountains, the other being Nogrod. It was home to the Dwarves of Belegost.

Geography[edit]

Belegost was in the north central part of the Blue Mountains, northeast of Mount Dolmed, north of Nogrod,[5][6][7][1] and not far from lake Nenuial[8] guarding one of the only passes over the Blue Mountains[9].

History[edit]

Belegost was founded during the Years of the Trees when the western Fathers of the Dwarves awoke from beneath the Blue Mountains.[10]

During the mid First Age Azaghâl was the Lord of Belegost until he was killed in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad.[11][12]

At the end of the First Age, Belegost was ruined in the War of Wrath.[13] Around the S.A. 40 many Dwarves migrate from Belegost to Moria[14] and bring much lore and craft with them[13]. However, some Dwarves remained on the eastern side of the Blue Mountains.[8]

Etymology[edit]

Belegost is Sindarin for "Great Fortress",[15] from beleg ("great") + os(t) ("fortress").[16] It was the translation of the original Dwarvish name into Sindarin.[15]

Other names[edit]

The original name in Khuzdul was Gabilgathol.[15] Paul Strack suggests that it contains the elements gabil ("great") and gathol ("fortress").[17]

Unlike other names of The Silmarillion, the text also gives us an English name, which was possibly from Westron: Mickleburg ("Great Fortress").[18] Mickle is a root meaning "big"; see also Michel Delving. It is notable that Miklagarðr, also meaning "Great city", was the Old Norse name for Constantinople.

The Quenya cognate was Túrosto.[19]

Other versions of the legendarium[edit]

On the Eastward Extension of the First 'Silmarillion' Map, the Dwarf-road crosses the Blue Mountains below Mount Dolmed, then turns to the south and continues until the edge of the map with the direction "Southward in East feet of Blue Mountans are Belegost and Nogrod".[20][21][22] In the second version of the Earliest Annals of Beleriand[23] and in the Later Annals of Beleriand,[24] Belegost was in the east of the Blue Mountains and far south of Beleriand.

The position of Belegost was later moved by J.R.R. Tolkien to the north of Mount Dolmed on a photocopy of the Second 'Silmarillion' Map.[7] This corresponds with its position in the Quenta Silmarillion from 1937,[25] in the revised version of the Later Quenta Silmarillion,[26] and in the Grey Annals.[27]

The position of Belegost is indicated on the southern slopes of the eastern spur of the part of the Blue Mountains, which is south of the Gulf of Lune on the First Map of The Lord of the Rings that was drawn by J.R.R. Tolkien, on the version of this map that was redrawn by Christopher Tolkien and published in The Treason of Isengard[28] and on the 1943 Map of The Lord of the Rings, but not on any subsequent maps.[7] Christopher Tolkien does not explain why this position of Belegost was not retained on the subsequent maps, but it is possible that his father realised that it was different from the position that he indicated on the photocopy of the Second Silmarillion map.

Although the locations of Belegost and Mount Dolmed are not indicated on the General Map of Middle-earth and on the map of The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age, Mount Dolmed can be identified as the westernmost mountain in the middle of the part of the Blue Mountains, which is north of the Gulf of Lune by using the position of Mount Dolmed relative to the positions of the hill Himring and the highland of Taur-nu-Fuin on the Map of Beleriand and the Lands to the North and determining the position of Belegost and Mount Dolmed relative to the positions of their respective remains after the War of Wrath, the island of Himling and the island of Tol Fuin,[29] on Christopher Tolkien's original map of The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age.[30][31][32] This location is on a similar latitude as lake Nenuial.

Portrayals in adaptations[edit]

In The Atlas of Middle-earth Belegost was consciously placed far south of Nogrod and far south of Mount Dolmed on the map of eastern Beleriand[33] based on the location of Belegost on the redrawing by Christopher Tolkien of the First Map of The Lord of the Rings, which shows the Ered Luin after the War of Wrath, although Karen Wynn Fonstad was aware of its different position by Christopher Tolkien on his Map of Beleriand and the Lands to the North in the Silmarillion and of the changes in the narrative relating to the Dwarf-road and Belegost in The Shaping of Middle-earth that led Christopher Tolkien to place Belegost on his map.[34] In addition, the dwarven name of Belegost is incorrectly spelled as Gabilgathod.[35]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Sindar", second paragraph Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Sindar" defined multiple times with different content
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part One. The Grey Annals", entry for the year VY 1050, §3
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part One. The Grey Annals", entry for the year 1250, §19
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Eldarin Hands, Fingers & Numerals and Related Writings — Part Two" (edited by Patrick H. Wynne), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 48, December 2005 "...which had certainly been founded long ago ... before the coming of the exiled Noldor, probably before the Eldar of the Great Journey ever reached Beleriand", p. 24
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Map of Beleriand and the Lands to the North"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Three. The Wanderings of Húrin and Other Writings not forming part of the Quenta Silmarillion: III. Maeglin", redrawn version of a photocopy of the northeast section of the Second Silmarillion map on which J.R.R. Tolkien added the location of Belegost, p. 331
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Treason of Isengard, "XV. The First Map of The Lord of the Rings", "Maps I and IA", p. 301
  8. 8.0 8.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Eldarin Hands, Fingers & Numerals and Related Writings — Part Two" (edited by Patrick H. Wynne), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 48, December 2005, "But the Dwarves had built some great Mansions in those mountains [the Ered Luin] (commanding the only passes)", p. 24
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Eldarin Hands, Fingers & Numerals and Related Writings — Part Two" (edited by Patrick H. Wynne), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 48, December 2005, "...which had certainly been founded long ago ... before the coming of the exiled Noldor, probably before the Eldar of the Great Journey ever reached Beleriand", p. 24
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad"
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Narn i Hîn Húrin (The Tale of the Children of Húrin)", "The Departure of Túrin"
  13. 13.0 13.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk", third paragraph, p. 1071
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age", entry for the year c. 40, p. 1083
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Index of Names", entry "Belegost"
  16. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names", entries beleg, os(t)
  17. Paul Strack, "Kh. Gabilgathol loc.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 21 August 2022)
  18. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Index of Names", entry Mickleburg
  19. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar: Appendix B. Elvish names for the Dwarves", p. 389
  20. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "Preface", p. v bottom-right corner
  21. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "IV. The First 'Silmarillion' Map: The Eastward Extension", entry, Dwarf-road and Sarn Athra, p. 285
  22. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Two. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: Concerning the Dwarves (Chapter 13)", §124
  23. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "VII. The Earliest Annals of Beleriand: The second version of The Earliest Annals of Beleriand [text AB II]", "the Dwarves dwelt in great mines and cities in the East of Eredlindon and far south of Beleriand, the chief of these were Nogrod and Belegost", p. 399
  24. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Two: Valinor and Middle-earth before The Lord of the Rings, III. The Later Annals of Beleriand", entry YS 104 [154], "the Dwarves had great mines and cities in the east of Eredlindon, far south of Beleriand, and the chief of these cities were Nogrod and Belegost" and "the Dwarves trafficked into Beleriand; and they made a great road, which came north, east of the mountains, and thence it passed under the shoulders of Mount Dolm", p. 143
  25. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Two: Valinor and Middle-earth before The Lord of the Rings, VI. Quenta Silmarillion", 10. Of Men and Dwarfs, §122, "the Dwarfs [...] for the chief dwellings of that race were then in the mountains east of Thargelion, the land of Cranthir, and were digged deep in the eastern slopes of Eredlindon", p. 299
  26. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Two. The Later Quenta Silmarillion", Of the Naugrim and the Edain, Concerning the Dwarves, §7, "whereas Belegost and Nogrod were upon the east side of Eredlindon and nigh to the lands of the Eldar"
  27. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part One. The Grey Annals", entry for the year 1250, §19, "on the east-side of Eryd Luin, north and south of Mount Dolmed, in those places which the Eldar named Belegost and Nogrod"
  28. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Treason of Isengard, "XV. The First Map of The Lord of the Rings", "Maps I and IA", Map I, map square L 5, p. 302
  29. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Introduction", "The Map of Middle-earth", second paragraph
  30. Ronald Kyrmse, "The Location of Mount Dolmed on Maps from the First and Third Ages", July 2020; [1], accessed 21 August 2022
  31. Ronald Kyrmse, "The Geographical Relation between Beleriand and Eriador" in Mallorn no. 26, September 1989, pp. 25–27
  32. Didier Willis, Bulletin de géographie Hiswelóce, special issue no. 1, Winter 1994 (French); Mystères géographiques n°1 : Mont Dolmed & cités naines (c. 2000), Hiwelokë, accessed March 23rd, 2011 (French); revised and augmented in "Du Beleriand aux confins de Rhûn" in Tolkien, le façonnement d'un monde, vol. 2, 2014, pp. 197-230.
  33. Karen Wynn Fonstad (1991), The Atlas of Middle-earth, p. 13
  34. Karen Wynn Fonstad (1991), The Atlas of Middle-earth, note 54 to the map of Beleriand, p. 192
  35. Karen Wynn Fonstad (1991), The Atlas of Middle-earth, p. 13 and p. 204