Section 8: Middle-earth Studies
Jenny Coombs and Marc Read
- A Physics of Middle-earth.
- This paper takes a light-hearted look at how far one can
go in applying primary world science to Middle-earth. Tolkien purists and
physics purists may wish to pass over this!
David A. Funk
- Explorations into the Psyche of Dwarves.
- An attempt to explain the characters of the roles played
by, and the major reasons for the creation of, Dwarves as presented in Tolkien's
three major works of fiction concerning Middle-earth. The argument is heavily
biased in favour of Dwarves' indispensability.
William Antony Swithin Sarjeant
- The Geology of Middle-earth.
- A preliminary reconstruction of the geology of
Middle-earth is attempted, utilizing data presented in text, maps and
illustrations by its arch-explorer J.R.R. Tolkien. The tectonic reconstruction
is developed from earlier findings by R.C. Reynolds (1974). Six plates are now
recognized, whose motions and collisions have created the mountains of
Middle-earth and the rift structure down which the River Anduin flows. The
stresses involved in the plate collisions have produced patterns of faults,
whose lines have determined the courses of the other rivers and the occurrence
of the richest ore deposits. However, the time of Bilbo and Frodo is a period of
tectonic quiescence. Volcanic activity is at a minimum and confined to four "hot-spots",
all at some distance from plate margins, while seismic activity is minor.
Tolkien's paintings, in particular, show how glacial and riverine erosion have
shaped Middle-earth's topography.
Lester E. Simons
- Writing and Allied Technologies in Middle-earth.
- This paper discusses the possible (and probable) methods
by which the inhabitants of Middle-earth at the end of the Third Age kept
permanent records. A number of concepts are introduced and defined: substrate,
medium, implement, glyphs and last, but not least, scribe!
Suggestions regarding the possibility of the existence, late in the Third Age,
of printing will be presented.
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