In the fantasy world of J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, poetically Orod-na-Thôn, was a highland region of the First Age, lying to the north of Beleriand, south of the plains of Ard-galen that extended north to Morgoth's stronghold of Thangorodrim. Within the stories it became known as Taur-nu-Fuin, or Mirkwood. Dorthonion is notable in its function as a dangerous stage and scene in the adventures of many major characters in several of Tolkien's books and other works such as The Silmarillion, The Lays of Beleriand, most The Children of Húrin. Similar to the other great forests of Tolkien's legendarium such as Mirkwood and Lothlórien it provides a transitional device in the invented history of Tolkien's Middle-earth and important episodes in the heroic quests of his characters such as Beren, Lúthien, Beleg and Túrin. Dorthonion was 60 leagues east to west. In the north it rose from the plains, with extensive pine forests on these slopes, as well as on the western slopes above the Pass of Sirion.
The majority of Dorthonion consisted of a high plateau with bare and rocky peaks rising to higher altitudes than the mountains of the nearby Ered Wethrin. The Ered Gorgoroth formed the southern boundary of Dorthonion, bending to the north on the east side to create the Pass of Aglon between Dorthonion and Hills of Himring. To the south and west of Dorthonion were the Echoriath, which surrounded the hidden kingdom of Gondolin. Between Dorthonion proper and the Echoriath lay the Pass of Anach. Treebeard the Ent wandered in Dorthonion in an early era; when the Noldor returned to Middle-earth and Aegnor, two of the sons of Finarfin, established a realm in Dorthonion under the suzerainty of their older brother Finrod. The north-eastern area of Dorthonion, was given to Boromir of the House of Bëor as a fief and held by his descendants. In the Dagor Bragollach, Dorthonion was a key theatre of war, as Morgoth concentrated on conquering it. Angrod and Aegnor were killed, along with most of their people, including Bregolas Lord of Ladros, all the warriors of his House, Dorthonion was overrun.
Bregolas' brother Barahir remained in Dorthonion leading a band of guerrillas in opposition to Morgoth, retreated to the high mountains of Ladros. The pine forests, under Morgoth's influence became dark and dangerous, were named Taur-nu-Fuin; as Barahir's forces were driven back, more and more of Dorthonion fell to Morgoth, the name Taur-nu-Fuin was applied to the whole plateau. Allied forces under Maedhros regained Dorthonion shortly before the Nírnaeth Arnoediad, before Morgoth took it back permanently in the aftermath of that battle. Along with the other lands west of the Ered Luin, Taur-nu-Fuin was destroyed in the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age, its highest parts survived as part of the western isles. Dagor Aglareb Tolkien in the land of Arthur: the Old Forest episode from The Lord of the Rings. Mythopoeic Society, 2006. An article discussing the significance of forests in Tolkien's work, in particular, the Old Forest with comparisons to other myths and romances. Dorthonion at the Encyclopedia of Arda
The Kalevala is a 19th-century work of epic poetry compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Karelian and Finnish oral folklore and mythology. It is regarded as the national epic of Karelia and Finland and is one of the most significant works of Finnish literature; the Kalevala was instrumental in the development of the Finnish national identity, the intensification of Finland's language strife and the growing sense of nationality that led to Finland's independence from Russia in 1917. The first version of The Kalevala was published in 1835; the version most known today was first published in 1849 and consists of 22,795 verses, divided into fifty folk stories. Elias Lönnrot was a physician, botanist and poet. During the time he was compiling the Kalevala he was the district health officer based in Kajaani responsible for the whole Kainuu region in the eastern part of what was the Grand Duchy of Finland, he was the son of a tailor and Ulrika Lönnrot. At the age of 21, he entered the Imperial Academy of Turku and obtained a master's degree in 1826.
His thesis was entitled De Vainamoine priscorum fennorum numine. The monograph's second volume was destroyed in the Great Fire of Turku the same year. In the spring of 1828, he set out with the aim of poetry. Rather than continue this work, though, he decided to complete his studies and entered Imperial Alexander University in Helsinki to study medicine, he earned a master's degree in 1832. In January 1833, he started as the district health officer of Kainuu and began his work on collecting poetry and compiling the Kalevala. Throughout his career Lönnrot made a total of eleven field trips within a period of fifteen years. Prior to the publication of the Kalevala, Elias Lönnrot compiled several related works, including the three-part Kantele, the Old Kalevala and the Kanteletar. Lönnrot's field trips and endeavours not only helped him to compile the Kalevala, but brought considerable enjoyment to the people he visited. Before the 18th century the Kalevala poetry was common throughout Finland and Karelia, but in the 18th century it began to disappear in Finland, first in western Finland, because European rhymed poetry became more common in Finland.
Finnish folk poetry was first written down in the 17th century and collected by hobbyists and scholars through the following centuries. Despite this, the majority of Finnish poetry remained only in the oral tradition. Finnish born nationalist and linguist Kaarle Akseli Gottlund expressed his desire for a Finnish epic in a similar vein to The Iliad and the Nibelungenlied compiled from the various poems and songs spread over most of Finland, he hoped that such an endeavour would incite a sense of nationality and independence in the native Finnish people. In 1820, Reinhold von Becker founded the journal Turun Wiikko-Sanomat and published three articles entitled Väinämöisestä; these works were an inspiration for Elias Lönnrot in creating his masters thesis at Turku University. In the 19th century, collecting became more extensive and organised. Altogether half a million pages of verse have been collected and archived by the Finnish Literature Society and other collectors in what are now Estonia and the Republic of Karelia.
The publication Suomen Kansan Vanhat Runot published 33 volumes containing 85,000 items of poetry over a period of 40 years. They have archived 65,000 items of poetry that remain unpublished. By the end of the 19th century this pastime of collecting material relating to Karelia and the developing orientation towards eastern lands had become a fashion called Karelianism, a form of national romanticism; the chronology of this oral tradition is uncertain. The oldest themes have been interpreted to have their roots in distant, unrecorded history and could be as old as 3,000 years; the newest events seem to be from the Iron Age. Finnish folklorist Kaarle Krohn proposes that 20 of the 45 poems of The Kalevala are of possible Ancient Estonian origin or at least deal with a motif of Estonian origin, it is understood that during the Finnish reformation in the 16th century the clergy forbade all telling and singing of pagan rites and stories. In conjunction with the arrival of European poetry and music this caused a significant reduction in the number of traditional folk songs and their singers.
Thus the tradition faded somewhat but was never eradicated. In total, Lönnrot made eleven field trips in search of poetry, his first trip was made in 1828 after his graduation from Turku University, but it was not until 1831 and his second field trip that the real work began. By that time he had published three articles entitled Kantele and had significant notes to build upon; this second trip was not successful and he was called back to Helsinki to attend to victims of the Second cholera pandemic. The third field trip was much more successful and led Elias Lönnrot to Viena in east Karelia where he visited the town of Akonlahti, which proved most successful; this trip yielded over copious notes. In 1833, Lönnrot moved to Kajaani where he was to spend the next 20 years as the district health officer for the region, his fourth field trip was undertaken in conjunction with his work as a doctor. This trip resulted in 49 poem
In historical linguistics, the tree model is a model of the evolution of languages analogous to the concept of a family tree a phylogenetic tree in the biological evolution of species. As with species, each language is assumed to have evolved from a single parent or "mother" language, with languages that share a common ancestor belonging to the same language family. Popularized by the German linguist August Schleicher in 1853, the tree model has always been a common method of describing genetic relationships between languages since the first attempts to do so, it is central to the field of comparative linguistics, which involves using evidence from known languages and observed rules of language feature evolution to identify and describe the hypothetical proto-languages ancestral to each language family, such as Proto-Indo-European and the Indo-European languages. However, this is a theoretical, qualitative pursuit, linguists have always emphasized the inherent limitations of the tree model due to the large role played by horizontal transmission in language evolution, ranging from loanwords to creole languages that have multiple mother languages.
The wave model was developed in 1872 by Schleicher's student Johannes Schmidt as an alternative to the tree model that incorporates horizontal transmission. The tree model has the same limitations as biological taxonomy with respect to the species problem of quantizing a continuous phenomenon that includes exceptions like ring species in biology and dialect continua in language; the concept of a linkage was developed in response and refers to a group of languages that evolved from a dialect continuum rather than from linguistically isolated child languages of a single language. Augustine of Hippo supposed that each of the descendants of Noah founded a nation and that each nation was given its own language: Assyrian for Assur, Hebrew for Heber, so on. In all he identified tribal founders and languages; the confusion and dispersion occurred in son of Heber, son of Shem, son of Noah. Augustine makes a hypothesis not unlike those of historical linguists, that the family of Heber "preserved that language not unreasonably believed to have been the common language of the race... thenceforth named Hebrew."
Most of the 72 languages, date to many generations after Heber. St. Augustine solves this first problem by supposing that Heber, who lived 430 years, was still alive when God assigned the 72. St. Augustine's hypothesis stood without major question for over a thousand years. In a series of tracts, published in 1684, expressing skepticism concerning various beliefs Biblical, Sir Thomas Browne wrote: "Though the earth were peopled before the flood... yet whether, after a large dispersion, the space of sixteen hundred years, men maintained so uniform a language in all parts... may well be doubted." By discovery of the New World and exploration of the Far East had brought knowledge of numbers of new languages far beyond the 72 calculated by St. Augustine. Citing the Native American languages, Browne suggests the "confusion of tongues at first fell only upon those present in Sinaar at the work of Babel...." For those "about the foot of the hills, whereabout the ark rested... their primitive language might in time branch out into several parts of Europe and Asia...."
This is an inkling of a tree. In Browne's view, simplification from a larger aboriginal language than Hebrew could account for the differences in language, he suggests ancient Chinese, from which the others descended by "confusion and corruption". He invokes "commixture and alteration."Browne reports a number of reconstructive activities by the scholars of the times: "The learned Casaubon conceiveth that a dialogue might be composed in Saxon, only of such words as are derivable from the Greek... Verstegan made no doubt that he could contrive a letter that might be understood by the English and East Frislander... And if, as the learned Buxhornius contendeth, the Scythian language as the mother tongue runs throughout the nations of Europe, as far as Persia, the community on many words, between so many nations, hath more reasonable traduction and were rather derivable from the common tongue diffused through them all, than from any particular nation, which hath borrowed and holdeth but at second hand."
The confusion at the Tower of Babel was thus removed as an obstacle by setting it aside. Attempts to find similarities in all languages were resulting in the gradual uncovering of an ancient master language from which all the other languages derive. Browne undoubtedly did his writing and thinking well before 1684. In that same revolutionary century in Britain James Howell published Volume II of Epistolae Ho-Elianae, quasi-fictional letters to various important persons in the realm containing valid historical information. In Letter LVIII the metaphor of a tree of languages appears developed short of being a professional linguist's view: "I will now hoist sail for the Netherlands, whose language is the same dialect with the English, was so from the beginning, being both of them derived from the high Dutch: The Danish is but a branch of the same tree... Now the High Dutch or Teutonick Tongue, is one of the prime and most spacious Maternal Languages of Europe... it was the language of the Goths and Vandals, continueth yet of the greatest part of Poland and Hungary, who have a Dialect of hers for their vulgar tongue...
Some of her writers would make this world believe that she was the language spoken in paradise." The search for "the language of paradise" was on among all the linguists of Europe. Those who wrote in Latin called it the lingua
In J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional universe of Middle-earth, Hithlum is the region north of Beleriand near the Helcaraxë. Hithlum was separated from Beleriand proper by the Ered Wethrin mountain chain, was named after the sea mists which formed there at times: Hithlum is Sindarin for "Mist-shadow". Hithlum was subdivided in Mithrim, where the High Kings of the Noldor had their halls, Dor-lómin, which became a fief of the House of Hador; the Ered Wethrin formed the southern and eastern wall, had only a few passes. The western wall was formed by the Ered Lómin or "Echoing Mountains", which curved north-westward to the Helcaraxë; the land of Lammoth was not part of Beleriand or Hithlum. The land of Nevrast was separated from Hithlum by the southern part of the Ered Lómin range. Nevrast was seen as part of Hithlum, but its climate was that of Beleriand. Hithlum was quite fertile; the Noldor first camped at the shores of Lake Mithrim. In the First Age, Hithlum was continually under attack by Morgoth being lost after the Nírnaeth Arnoediad.
The Hadorians were scattered, killed, or enslaved, the Noldor were enslaved in Morgoth's mines if they could not flee in time, Morgoth trapped the Easterlings there. Hithlum was destroyed during the War of Wrath. Mithrim formed a part of Hithlum, was the south-eastern corner of it, bordering Dor-lómin to the west, from which it was divided by the Mountains of Mithrim. Mithrim's climate was the same as Hithlum's, the air was cool and the winters were cold but it was a fair land; the area was home to a great lake, the Lake of Mithrim, the body of water north of Beleriand where the Noldor first dwelt in Middle-earth: the Sons of Fëanor on the northern shore and Fingolfin's host on the southern shore. The Noldor dwelt here for a while until their feud was healed, they removed to other lands. Mithrim was home to Sindarin Elves, who soon mingled with the Noldor after they had learned Sindarin. In the First Age Mithrim was ruled by Fingolfin, as it formed the most densely populated part of Hithlum; the Mithrim Montes on Titan, the great moon of Saturn, are named after Tolkien's Mountains of Mithrim.
Dor-lómin, "Land of Echoes", was the south-western part of Hithlum, bordered in the east by the Mountains of Mithrim, in the north by the river which formed the Rainbow Cleft known as Annon-in-Gelydh, or "Gate of the Noldor". It was first colonized by the Noldor shortly after they arrived in Middle-earth, for a long time was ruled by Fingon son of Fingolfin, before he took over as High King of the Noldor after his father was killed. By this time the Edain who became known as the House of Hador had entered Beleriand, Fingon granted them the land of Dor-lómin as a fief, he gave them the Dragon-helm of Dor-lómin, it was thereafter their chief heirloom. Húrin son of Galdor, the last Edain lord of Dor-lómin dwelt in its south-western corner, near the mountain known as Amon Darthir, where the river Nen Lalaith began. After the Nírnaeth Arnoediad, when the House of Hador was destroyed or scattered, Easterlings dwelt in Dor-lómin, Tuor — Húrin's orphaned nephew — was fostered by the Elves of Androth in the nearby Mountains of Mithrim.
Like the rest of Hithlum Dor-lómin was destroyed during the War of Wrath. Dagor Bragollach Hithlum at the Tolkien Gateway
Cryptography or cryptology is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties called adversaries. More cryptography is about constructing and analyzing protocols that prevent third parties or the public from reading private messages. Modern cryptography exists at the intersection of the disciplines of mathematics, computer science, electrical engineering, communication science, physics. Applications of cryptography include electronic commerce, chip-based payment cards, digital currencies, computer passwords, military communications. Cryptography prior to the modern age was synonymous with encryption, the conversion of information from a readable state to apparent nonsense; the originator of an encrypted message shares the decoding technique only with intended recipients to preclude access from adversaries. The cryptography literature uses the names Alice for the sender, Bob for the intended recipient, Eve for the adversary. Since the development of rotor cipher machines in World War I and the advent of computers in World War II, the methods used to carry out cryptology have become complex and its application more widespread.
Modern cryptography is based on mathematical theory and computer science practice. It is theoretically possible to break such a system, but it is infeasible to do so by any known practical means; these schemes are therefore termed computationally secure. There exist information-theoretically secure schemes that provably cannot be broken with unlimited computing power—an example is the one-time pad—but these schemes are more difficult to use in practice than the best theoretically breakable but computationally secure mechanisms; the growth of cryptographic technology has raised a number of legal issues in the information age. Cryptography's potential for use as a tool for espionage and sedition has led many governments to classify it as a weapon and to limit or prohibit its use and export. In some jurisdictions where the use of cryptography is legal, laws permit investigators to compel the disclosure of encryption keys for documents relevant to an investigation. Cryptography plays a major role in digital rights management and copyright infringement of digital media.
The first use of the term cryptograph dates back to the 19th century—originating from The Gold-Bug, a novel by Edgar Allan Poe. Until modern times, cryptography referred exclusively to encryption, the process of converting ordinary information into unintelligible form. Decryption is the reverse, in other words, moving from the unintelligible ciphertext back to plaintext. A cipher is a pair of algorithms that create the reversing decryption; the detailed operation of a cipher is controlled both by the algorithm and in each instance by a "key". The key is a secret a short string of characters, needed to decrypt the ciphertext. Formally, a "cryptosystem" is the ordered list of elements of finite possible plaintexts, finite possible cyphertexts, finite possible keys, the encryption and decryption algorithms which correspond to each key. Keys are important both formally and in actual practice, as ciphers without variable keys can be trivially broken with only the knowledge of the cipher used and are therefore useless for most purposes.
Ciphers were used directly for encryption or decryption without additional procedures such as authentication or integrity checks. There are two kinds of cryptosystems: asymmetric. In symmetric systems the same key is used to decrypt a message. Data manipulation in symmetric systems is faster than asymmetric systems as they use shorter key lengths. Asymmetric systems use a public key to encrypt a private key to decrypt it. Use of asymmetric systems enhances the security of communication. Examples of asymmetric systems include RSA, ECC. Symmetric models include the used AES which replaced the older DES. In colloquial use, the term "code" is used to mean any method of encryption or concealment of meaning. However, in cryptography, code has a more specific meaning, it means the replacement of a unit of plaintext with a code word. Cryptanalysis is the term used for the study of methods for obtaining the meaning of encrypted information without access to the key required to do so; some use the terms cryptography and cryptology interchangeably in English, while others use cryptography to refer to the use and practice of cryptographic techniques and cryptology to refer to the combined study of cryptography and cryptanalysis.
English is more flexible than several other languages in which crypto
In J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium, Elves are one of the races that inhabit a fictional Earth called Middle-earth, set in the remote past, they appear in The Hobbit and in The Lord of the Rings, but their complex history is described more in The Silmarillion. Tolkien had been writing about Elves; the modern English word elf derives from the Old English word ælf. Numerous types of elves appear in Germanic mythology, the West Germanic concept appears to have come to differ from the Scandinavian notion in the early Middle Ages, Anglo-Saxon concept diverged further under Celtic influence. Tolkien would make it clear in a letter that his Elves differ from those "of the better known lore", referring to Scandinavian mythology. By 1915 when Tolkien was writing his first elven poems, the words elf and gnome had many divergent and contradictory associations. Tolkien had been warned against using the term'fairy', which John Garth supposes may have been due to the word becoming used to indicate homosexuality, although despite this warning Tolkien continued to use it.
By the late 19th century, the term'fairy' had been taken up as a utopian theme, was used to critique social and religious values, a tradition which Tolkien along with T. H. White are seen to continue. One of the last of the Victorian Fairy-paintings, The Piper of Dreams by Estella Canziani, sold 250,000 copies and was well known within the trenches of World War I where Tolkien saw active service. Illustrated posters of Robert Louis Stevenson's poem Land of Nod had been sent out by a philanthropist to brighten servicemen's quarters, Faery was used in other contexts as an image of "Old England" to inspire patriotism. According to Marjorie Burns, Tolkien chose the term elf over fairy, but still retained some doubts. In his 1939 essay On Fairy-Stories, Tolkien wrote that "English words such as elf have long been influenced by French. Traditional Victorian dancing fairies and elves appear in much of Tolkien's early poetry, have influence upon his works in part due to the influence of a production of J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan in Birmingham in 1910 and his familiarity with the work of Catholic mystic poet, Francis Thompson which Tolkien had acquired in 1914.
O! I hear the tiny horns Of enchanted leprechauns And the padded feet of many gnomes a-coming! As a philologist, Tolkien's interest in languages led him to invent several languages of his own as a pastime. In considering the nature of who might speak these languages, what stories they might tell, Tolkien again turned to the concept of elves. In his The Book of Lost Tales, Tolkien develops a theme that the diminutive fairy-like race of Elves had once been a great and mighty people, that as Men took over the world, these Elves had "diminished" themselves; this theme was influenced by the god-like and human-sized Ljósálfar of Norse mythology, medieval works such as Sir Orfeo, the Welsh Mabinogion, Arthurian romances and the legends of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Some of the stories Tolkien wrote as elven history have been seen to be directly influenced by Celtic mythology. For example, "Flight of The Noldoli" is based on the Tuatha Dé Danann and Lebor Gabála Érenn, their migratory nature comes from early Irish/Celtic history.
John Garth sees that with the underground enslavement of the Noldoli to Melkor, Tolkien was rewriting Irish myth regarding the Tuatha Dé Danann into a Christian eschatology. The name Inwe, given by Tolkien to the eldest of the elves and his clan, is similar to the name found in Norse mythology as that of the god Ingwi-Freyr, a god, gifted the elf world Álfheimr. Terry Gunnell claims that the relationship between beautiful ships and the Elves is reminiscent of the god Njörðr and the god Freyr's ship Skíðblaðnir, he retains the usage of the French derived term "fairy" for the same creatures. The larger Elves are inspired by Tolkien's personal Catholic theology—as representing the state of Men in Eden who have not yet "fallen", similar to humans but fairer and wiser, with greater spiritual powers, keener senses, a closer empathy with nature. Tolkien wrote of them: "They are made by man in his own likeness, they are immortal, their will is directly effective for the achievement of imagination and desire."In The Book of Lost Tales, Tolkien includes both the more serious "medieval" type of elves such as Fëanor and Turgon alongside the frivolous, Jacobean type of elves such as the Solosimpi and Tinúviel.
Alongside the idea of the greater Elves, Tolkien developed the idea of children visiting Valinor, the island-homeland of the Elves in their sleep. Elves would visit children at night and comfort them if they had been chided or were upset; this theme, linking elves with children's dreams and nocturnal travelling was abandoned in Tolkien's writing. Along with Book of Lost Tales, Douglas Anderson shows that in The Hobbit, Tolkien again includes both the more serious'medieval' type of elves, such as Elrond and the Wood-elf king, frivolous elves, such as those at Rivendell. In 1937, having had his manuscript for The Silmarillion rejected by a publisher who disparaged all the "eye-splitting Celtic names" that Tolkien had given his Elves, Tolkien denied the names had a Celtic origin: Needless t
J. R. R. Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, was an English writer, poet and academic, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion. He served as the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon and Fellow of Pembroke College, from 1925 to 1945 and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature and Fellow of Merton College, from 1945 to 1959, he was at one time a close friend of C. S. Lewis—they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972. After Tolkien's death, his son Christopher published a series of works based on his father's extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion. These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, form a connected body of tales, fictional histories, invented languages, literary essays about a fantasy world called Arda and Middle-earth within it.
Between 1951 and 1955, Tolkien applied the term legendarium to the larger part of these writings. While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien, the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre; this has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the "father" of modern fantasy literature—or, more of high fantasy. In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". Forbes ranked him the 5th top-earning "dead celebrity" in 2009. Tolkien's immediate paternal ancestors were middle-class craftsmen who made and sold clocks and pianos in London and Birmingham; the Tolkien family originated in the East Prussian town Kreuzburg near Königsberg, where his first known paternal ancestor Michel Tolkien was born around 1620. Michel's son Christianus Tolkien was a wealthy miller in Kreuzburg, his son Christian Tolkien moved from Kreuzburg to nearby Danzig, his two sons Daniel Gottlieb Tolkien and Johann Benjamin Tolkien emigrated to London in the 1770s and became the ancestors of the English family.
In 1792 John Benjamin Tolkien and William Gravell took over the Erdley Norton manufacture in London, which from on sold clocks and watches under the name Gravell & Tolkien. Daniel Gottlieb obtained British citizenship in 1794, but John Benjamin never became a British citizen. Other German relatives joined the two brothers in London. Several people with the surname Tolkien or similar spelling, some of them members of the same family as J. R. R. Tolkien, live in northern Germany, but most of them are descendants of recent refugees from East Prussia who fled the Red Army invasion and subsequent ethnic cleansing. According to Ryszard Derdziński the Tolkien name is of Low Prussian origin and means "son/descendant of Tolk." Tolkien mistakenly believed his surname derived from the German word tollkühn, meaning "foolhardy", jokingly inserted himself as a "cameo" into The Notion Club Papers under the translated name Rashbold. However, Derdziński has demonstrated this to be a false etymology. While J. R. R. Tolkien was aware of the Tolkien family's German origin, his knowledge of the family's history was limited because he was "early isolated from the family of his prematurely deceased father".
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on 3 January 1892 in Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State to Arthur Reuel Tolkien, an English bank manager, his wife Mabel, née Suffield. The couple had left England when Arthur was promoted to head the Bloemfontein office of the British bank for which he worked. Tolkien had one sibling, his younger brother, Hilary Arthur Reuel Tolkien, born on 17 February 1894; as a child, Tolkien was bitten by a large baboon spider in the garden, an event some think echoed in his stories, although he admitted no actual memory of the event and no special hatred of spiders as an adult. In another incident, a young family servant, who thought Tolkien a beautiful child, took the baby to his kraal to show him off, returning him the next morning; when he was three, he went to England with his mother and brother on what was intended to be a lengthy family visit. His father, died in South Africa of rheumatic fever before he could join them; this left the family without an income, so Tolkien's mother took him to live with her parents in Kings Heath, Birmingham.
Soon after, in 1896, they moved to Sarehole a Worcestershire village annexed to Birmingham. He enjoyed exploring Sarehole Mill and Moseley Bog and the Clent and Malvern Hills, which would inspire scenes in his books, along with nearby towns and villages such as Bromsgrove and Alvechurch and places such as his aunt Jane's farm of Bag End, the name of which he used in his fiction. Mabel Tolkien taught her two children at home. Ronald, as he was known in the family, was a keen pupil, she taught him a great deal of botany and awakened in him the enjoyment of the look and feel of plants. Young Tolkien liked to draw landscapes and trees, but his favourite lessons were those concerning languages, his mother taught him the rudiments of Latin early. Tolkien could write fluently soon afterwards, his mother allowed him to read many books. He disliked Treasure Island and The Pied Piper and thought Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll was "amusing but disturbing", he liked stories about "Red Indians" and the fantasy wor