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Hethlin of Anorien

 February, 25 2006

I know CMC's a done deal, but since I intend to give it a thorough editing in the future, I'll include it in this thread, as well as make this a place for any other Heth questions not appropriate for the Silver Swan thread.

OK, this is a very small thing that in fact might not be true for Middle Earth, but it was true for medieval Europe, so I raise it here. As you probably know Isabeau, I especially appreciate Elrohir's obsession with oranges, just because it's funny but also because it highlights one of those interesting things about the Elves in Middle Earth -- they dwelt for millenia in a rather small territory and missed out on a lot of the small, pleasurable things in the world!

OK, on to the thing I want to raise: the word "orange" came to English from French, where it had been imported from Italian, which got it from Arabic, which got it from Persian, and so on. The word followed the fruit's slow movement across Asia into Europe. Before oranges were known in Western Europe, anything that did happen to be of a similar hue to that fruit was probably described as red-yellow or fire-colored.

So if the same conditions exist in Middle Earth, then when Elrohir shows Hethlin the first orange she's ever seen, she probably wouldn't describe it as a strange, orange-colored fruit.

And perhaps you already knew that. Or perhaps it doesn't apply in Middle Earth because there are other common red-yellow objects. Or perhaps it just doesn't matter. But I figured I'd mention it.

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