Greetings, and we will be discussing the lands and lifestyles of the Númenoreans.
Numenor was described in great detail in Unfinished Tales, as well as Nature of Middle-earth.
There, we see a map of the island of Numenor. It resembled a five-pointed star, or pentangle and each “end” expending about 250 miles. They were named:
- Forostar (Northlands)
- Andustar (Westlands)
- Hyarnustar (Southwest-lands)
- Hyarrostar (Southeastlands)
- Orrostar (Eastlands)
There was also a central point called the Mittalmar. It was a region of grass, pastures, and the center of which lay Meneltarma, Pillar of the Heavens, which was sacred to the worship of Eru.
In Mittelmar, the lower slopes of the mountains contained more grass. However, there was no hint of a temple until the coming of Sauron as the summit was somewhat flattened.
Meneltarma extended after the fashion of roots in the direction of the five promontories of the land, which were called Tarmasundar, the Roots of the Pillar. Along the crest of the southwestern ridge there was a climbing road, and between that region and another one on the southeast was Noirinan, Valley of the Tombs.
The least fertile part was the Forostar, which was stony with few trees except in the westward slopes where there are woods.
The Andustar was also rocky, with high fir-woods looking out upon the sea. There were three small bays facing west, and the cliffs on the edges. The Bay of Andúnië was farthest north, with the great haven of Andúnië, sunset, with the tower beside the shore and other dwellings in the slopes. Many of the lands in southern Andustar was fertile, and there were also birch and beech woods on the upper ground and oaks and elms in the lower ground.
Between Andustar and Hyarnustar lay a bay, Eldanna, since it faced towards Eressëa. There lay a beautiful haven called Eldalondë the Green, where the swift white ships often went there. Nunduinë, the river, flowed into Eldalondë.
The seaward slopes grew a lot of evergreen and fragrant trees, which were the greatest delight of Númenor, and praised by the Eldar as a haven in Eressëa. They were also remembered for a long time – though few went into the land of gift – known for the sweet scents, flower, and fragrance.
Hyarnustar was very mountainous in the west, and the east contained great vineyards. Syril, the chief river of the land, flowed down and rose in springs through Meneltarma and under Mittalmar.
And lastly the Hyarrostar had a lot of trees, as well as laurinquë people liked, as it was the “long-hanging clusters of yellow flowers.” Some believe it came from the Eldar of Laurelin, the Golden Tree of Valinor, but it wasn’t so – as there were great plantations during the days of Tar-Aldarion for timber that is to be used for shipbuilding.
Orrostar was cooler, but protected from the cold northeast by winds.
The King spoke three times a year, offering prayers during:
- Erukyermë (first days of Spring)
- Erulaitalë (midsummer)
- Eruhantalë (end of autumn)
…in which he “ascended the mountain on foot followed by a great concourse of the people, clad in white and garlanded, but silent.” (UT: “A Description of the Island of Númenor)
This was later called the Three Prayers of Númenor. The people were called the Witnesses of Manwë, “believed to be sent by him to keep watch upon the Holy Mountain and all the land.” (UT: “A Description of the Island of Númenor)
All of Númenor journeyed from place to place on horseback – as they delighted in them. They were trained to hear and answer calls from a great distance. The roads were mainly made for riding, with the chief and most ancient one containing wheels.
The Edain had a knowledge of many crafts, traditions and gold but they were not found in Númenor. However, there were some metals found in Númenor.
However, in the later days, the bows of the Númenóreans were the ones most feared in battles. They enjoyed Sea and water activities, such as fishing, swimming, diving, and small craft contests in rowing and sailing.
600 years after the Second Age, Erendis’s father, Vëantur was the first to achieve the voyage of Middle-earth with his ship, Entulessë meaning ‘return.’ His son in law, Aldarion, formed the Guild of Venturers, with the Mariners of Númenor.
Númenórean Lifespan + lifestyles
When the Valar offered them reward at the fall of Thangorodrim, the Edain wanted Long Life and Peace. The prayer he made led to a longer lifespan. Elros was treated specially – resulting in a longer lifespan for him than for other Númenoreans of 500 years, compared to 350-420 years of a typical Númenorean. They seem to have lived about 3 (as told in LOTR Appendices)-5x (in earlier writings) as long as Middle-earth men, though their lifespan depended on either their free will or if something occurs, like an illness.
The downfall of Númenor occurred which was marked by “clinging to life,” and the shrinking of a natural lifespan, after the death of Tar-Atanamir in S.A. 2251. Assimilating their lifestyles to be similar to the Eldar helped them increase their lifespan, but only up to a limited point. After the downfall, they became mortal men instead of part of the Elves.
The first sign of the end of their period of vigor reached its end was “world-weariness.” If a Númenórean reached this point at 400, it means he would pass in about 10 years.
They are also not of uniform racial descent – with the main division being between the “House of Hador” and the “House of Bëor.” They had shorter lifespans, of 350 years or less – compared to the 350-420 years we see earlier.
Nearly all of them were bilingual – with two main languages, Sindarin and Númenórean (or Adûnayân), the latter of which is later called Westron in Lord of the Rings. However, the natures of the two languages changed with time. Númenor was a land of peace. Mortal men spoke Sindarin, which naturally tended to become divergent as its form changed.
The Line of Elros, which was mentioned in Unfinished Tales, was mentioned greatly in NoME but not explicitly described as it was in UT.
It was started by Elros, the son of Eärendil, when he ascended the throne in the City of Armelos at 90. They had longer lifespans – Elros himself made it to about 500 years and sufficiently divergent in kinship. The later writings may have slightly diminished the discrepancies of lifespans of the Line of Elros, other Númenóreans, and Middle-earth men. But nevertheless, Númenoreans all had longer lifespans than Middle-earth men.
The Númenoreans typically had one life partner – which was by (either physical or moral) law, unless something pops up.
While there were mountains, there were no great mountains. They also enjoyed dancing and riding horses. The inland roads were “horse-roads,” for they enjoyed horses but had little interest in racing them. Depending on their nature and where they were, they also kept dogs, especially in the country and lands that needed watch-dogs.
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