The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


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Welcome to The Encyclopedia of Arda

The Encyclopedia of Arda is a personal project - a tribute to and a celebration of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. The site is evolving into an illustrated hypertext encyclopedia of Tolkien's realms and peoples. It already contains about four thousand entries, and we're constantly adding new entries and expanding existing ones.

Inside the encyclopedia

The Encyclopedia of Arda contains thousands of articles covering topics from J.R.R. Tolkien's world, some brief, some lengthy and some containing detailed essays and discussions.

You'll also find a selection of interactive tools, including a chronicle to help you explore Tolkien's fictional history, and calendar to translate dates and events, a lexicon of names, a glossary of old and rare words, and much more.

Context and approach

The content of the Encyclopedia is written in the same context as Tolkien himself used; he presented himself simply as a translator, rather than originator of the tales. Hence, we try to describe his world from a 'historical' rather than a literary perspective, though sometimes it's useful to explore ideas in their wider context. Where relevant, therefore, you'll also find a few references to Tolkien's life or opinions, or to real historical or mythological parallels to events in his universe.

About the name Arda

Arda was the name given by the Elves to their World and all it contained, and so 'Encyclopedia of Arda' seemed a peculiarly apt title for this project.

Special thanks

Thanks to all those who've e-mailed us over the years with their suggestions, corrections, ideas and just general support.

But the real Special Thanks, though, belong to the memory of J.R.R. Tolkien for his extraordinary and unparalleled creation.

For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 1997-2019. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry

Battle of the Crossings of Erui

The fall of Castamir the Usurper

Eldacar son of Valacar was crowned as the rightful King of Gondor in III 1432. Because he was descended in part from the Northmen of Rhovanion, his political enemies conspired against him, in a period known as the Kin-strife. After just five years on the throne, he was forced from the Kingship and driven into exile in Rhovanion, while Castamir took the title of King in his place.

Castamir proved himself to be a cruel King, and after ten years many of the people of Gondor were ready to support the return of Eldacar. The opposing leaders each gathered a force of arms, and the two met at the Crossings of Erui in Lebennin, on the road between Minas Tirith and Pelargir. The Battle of the Crossings of Erui that followed saw great slaughter, but Eldacar himself slew the Usurper and forced Castamir's forces into retreat. They fled southwards, and were besieged for a time at Pelargir, before making their escape by sea.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda