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 1997-2024. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Latest entries and updates

Featured Entry

Full Muster

The combined armed might of Rohan

A 'muster' referred to the calling together of an armed force, and is used especially (though not uniquely) with reference to the Rohirrim of Rohan. The Riders were organised into three separate musters, each commanded by a Marshal, who would gather to defend against threats to particular parts of the land. Only rarely would the King of Rohan decree a Full Muster, in which all three of these lesser musters would be called, causing the entire military force of Rohan to gather for war.

The basic unit of the military among the Rohirrim was the éored, which dated far back in the history of this people. We have references to éoreds even from the times even before the ancestors of the Rohirrim settled in the northern land of the Éothéod, the place they occupied before migrating to Rohan. In these older times éoreds seem to have been large bodies of riders, though by the time of the founding of Rohan they had become more formalised, and typically contained one hundred and twenty horsemen.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda