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 1997-2018. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry


Tenders of the sick in Minas Tirith

The name given to the lore-masters that preserved the knowledge and practice of leechcraft within the walls of Minas Tirith. Though much of their lore had been lost through the long years of the Third Age, they were nonetheless highly skilled at their work, capable of healing both wounds and illnesses. Much of the wisdom of the Healers appears to have been preserved in ancient rhymes, but by the time of the War of the Ring, the meaning behind some of these rhymes had faded and been forgotten.

The preserve of the Healers was a group of buildings known as the Houses of Healing, which were set within their own gardens and trees high in Minas Tirith, against the southern wall of the sixth of that city's seven circles. Most important among the Healers within the Houses was one appointed to the role of Warden, who was himself a Healer. Also important among the Healers was the herb-master, who studied the lore of the many herbs held within the Houses and used by the Healers in their work.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda