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Professor Tolkien used his blood memory and revelations in his dreams, besides being blessed with deep understanding of mythology and culture. So unreal it's real. Great read, as always.

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Mar 7, 2023Liked by The Saxon Cross

I like this. A lot.

According to Wikipedia, Tolkien would certainly have had access to information about Doggerland. H.G. Wells wrote about it as early as 1897. https://www.gutenberg.org/files/27365/27365-h/27365-h.htm#Page_59

Indeed, there seems to have been significant interest in this area of now-submerged Europe in the first few decades of the twentieth century. Someone as well-read as Tolkien must, I think be assumed to have been aware of it.

As to why Tolkien kept such associations/origins to himself. . . I think the answer is probably a lot more straightforward and, unfortunately, less interesting than some that have been suggested both here and in your previous post. Tolkien may have been one of (if not the) first authors to come up with a detailed fictional map of a fantasy world, but he would hardly be the last. I think Tolkien just straight-up borrowed/stole real geography of Iron Age Europe for the sake of convenience, just like Martin obviously repurposed the geography of the British Isles for his map of Westeros. I mean, seriously: https://brilliantmaps.com/westeros/

Why did he keep this to himself? Because I think convenience was likely the main motivation. If he had really intended for the geographic connections to convey real meaning, I don't see any reason he couldn't or wouldn't have just said so. He certainly wasn't coy about his works' meaning in other contexts. So the fact that he never really did much with this suggests, to me, that he didn't want his works to be burdened with the "Gondor is Rome, Mordor is Persia/the Ottomans" associations that would have inevitably arisen if he'd been clearer about that.

It's worth mentioning at this point that Tolkien does reference Rome (Rûm), Troy (Trui), Babylon (Bablon), and Nineveh (Ninwi) in very early versions of his legendarium. But these are all depicted as having met their ends long after the end of the Third Age.

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Brilliant work. A few quibbles: in the captions and elsewhere, don't you mean a lower sea level? One of the captions is also incomplete I think.

A sea level rise of 2100 m is quite extraordinary, usually the end of the ice age is said to have raised them by 100 m if I'm not mistaken. What does the Mid-Atlantic ridge look like with a more modest reduction in sea level?

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