Umbar was an important harbourage and fortress on the coasts of the Great Sea, far to the south of Gondor, and long held by enemies of that land. In III 933 King Eärnil I, the second of the so-called Ship-kings, succeeded in capturing the haven for Gondor.
Over the following years, the Haradrim whose lands surrounded the fortress were stirred up by the Men who had held Umbar before the Gondorian invasion, and in III 1015 a huge combined force attempted to retake Umbar from the Gondorians. The King at that time, Ciryandil, was slain in battle, but the fortress itself withstood the assault, and so began the long Siege of Umbar.
For many years, a stalemate existed; the Gondorians were able to keep Umbar supplied by sea, but could not defeat the besieging forces. The new King, Ciryaher, spent these years building up his own forces. At last, in III 1050 (after thirty-five years of the siege) he had built a great army. This crossed into the Harad from the north, and combined with the power of the Gondorian navy it utterly defeated the besieging Haradrim. After their overwhelming defeat the lands of the Harad acknowledged the power of Gondor, and King Ciryaher took the name Hyarmendacil,'South-victor', to commemorate his triumph.
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