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[freeciv-data] Re: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: Fixes and additions for nation file

[freeciv-data] Re: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: Fixes and additions for nation file

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To: freeciv-data@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [freeciv-data] Re: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: Fixes and additions for nation files
From: Brandon Craig Rhodes <brandon@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: 12 Dec 2002 18:26:37 -0500
Reply-to: freeciv-data@xxxxxxxxxxx

"Eric S. Raymond" <esr@xxxxxxxxxxx> writes:

> That's OK, I'll pick nits right back at you.  The Gondorians don't
> describe themselves as Dunedain in the books. :-)

And they avoid this description with good reason - the survivors from
the downfall could not have numbered more than a few hundred, even
assuming they were packed tightly on those seven ships; and they were
vastly outnumbered by the people of the coast where they established
their rule.  (Yes, there were Númenoreans living in the fortresses
from which Númenor held the coasts in subjection, but these seem not
to have been among the Faithful, and Faramir tells Frodo in IV.5 that
`The Men of Númenor were settled far and wide on the shores and
seaward regions of the Great Lands, but for the most part they fell
into evils and follies.')  The surviving Númenoreans became the
aristocracy of Gondor, and they numbered so few that only the royal
house of Gondor seems to have attempted to maintain pure blood, the
basis of their royalty:

   [Faramir said,] `And this I remember of Boromir as a boy, when we
   together learned the tale of our sires and the history of our city,
   that always it displeased him that his father was not king. "How
   many hundreds of years needs it to make a steward a king, if the
   king returns not?" he asked. "Few years, maybe, in other places of
   less royalty," my father answered. "In Gondor ten thousand years
   would not suffice."' (IV.5)

But this effort to maintain purity within a small stock depleted their
strength until their line finally failed:

   [Faramir said,] `We of my house are not of the line of Elendil,
   though the blood of Númenor is in us. For we reckon back our line
   to Mardil, the good steward, who ruled in the king's stead when he
   went away to war. And that was King Eärnur, last of the line of
   Anárion, and childless, and he came never back. And the stewards
   have governed the city since that day, though it was many
   generations of Men ago.' (IV.5)

For the most part men of Gondor had little Númenorean blood at all,
and even the aristocracy could claim only mixed descent:

   For [old age] [the men of Gondor] had found no cure; and indeed the
   span of their lives had now waned to little more than that of other
   men, and those among them who passed the tale of five score years
   with vigour were grown few, save in some houses of purer blood.

Therefore it seems that only the royalty of Arnor and Gondor could
ever have been described as Númenorean, and once the Southern line
failed the title could only be claimed by the royal line in the North
- and thus, at the time of the War of the Ring, by Aragorn and the men
of his household.  In Gondor were no Númenoreans.

Brandon Craig Rhodes   brandon@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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