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Dates
Originated sometime between II 3319 and II 34411
Origins
Said to have been written by Elendil
Race
Division
Culture
Pronunciation
Númenor is pronounced 'noo'menorr'
Meaning
Númenor means 'Land in the West'
Other names

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  • Updated 8 July 2014
  • This entry is complete
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The tale of the destruction of the island kingdom of Númenor, said to have been written by Elendil, leader of the Exiles who escaped that destruction. It was more commonly known by its Adûnaic name of Akallabêth, and was preserved in Gondor2 after Elendil's time.

The Tale told of more than simply the Downfall, and in fact presents an abbreviated history of Númenor from its earliest days, concentrating on the growth of pride and discontent among the Númenóreans. This pride grew so great that Númenor's last King, Ar-Pharazôn, built a vast fleet and sailed into the West to attack the land of the Valar. This misadventure ended in utter disaster; the entire land of Númenor was swallowed beneath the Great Sea, and only a handful of Dúnedain survived. Led by Elendil, these few reached the shores of Middle-earth, where they founded the Realms in Exile: Arnor and Gondor.


Notes

1

Necessarily the tale of the Downfall must have been written after the Downfall itself, and so the earliest possible date would be the year of that event, II 3319 (though presumably at least some time would have passed before the account was set down). At least the earliest versions are attributed to Elendil, and must therefore have been composed before his death in II 3441.

2

Elendil was High King in Arnor, and so presumably the preserved work in Gondor was a copy of his original, which would surely have been written in the North-kingdom. If a copy was held in the libraries of Arnor, no record of it remains; it was perhaps lost in the disastrous war against Angmar.

See also...

‘Akallabêth’

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