Psamathos Psamathides

From Tolkien Gateway
Psamathos Psamathides by Alan Lee

Psamathos Psamathides was a wizard in Roverandom. Psamathos is the oldest of the Psamathists - sand-sorcerers - is exceedingly old and wise, and enjoys spending his days sleeping in the sand.[1]:11-12 ff

In the story, Psamathos helps Rover by turning him back into a real dog (albeit of smaller size).[1]:12 As Rover doesn't wish to go home, Psamathos has his postman Mew (a seagull) take Rover to the moon. When Rover (now "Roverandom") returned from the moon, Psamathos tried to return Roverandom to his normal size but his magic could not undo Artaxerxes's spell.[1]:17 Psamathos summons the giant whale Uin to take Roverandom to the bottom of the Deep Blue Sea to persuade Artaxerxes to return him to the normal size.[1]:55-8 At the end of the story, Roverandom is reunited with Psamathos and they become good friends.[1]:9

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Psamathos is an ancient Greek poetic word for "sand", which includes the word psammos "sand".[2][3] -ides is an ancient Greek name ending indicating parentage.

The meaning of Psamathos Psamathides name is "Sandy, the son of Sandy" whilst Psamathist is "expert on sand".[1]:95

Inspiration[edit | edit source]

Hammond and Scull note that the Psamathists were originally named Psammead, the sand fairies in the E. Nesbit story Five Children and It.[1]:94 Nesbit's Psammeads were also named after psammos.