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Re: CHAT: Easter & the Saxon Calendar (was: Passover/Easter)

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Monday, May 1, 2000, 17:43
Raymond Brown wrote:

> The month names Stone gives are:
I thought it would be interesting to directly compare the names Tolkien uses for the Shire Calendar.
> Bede's name Normalized West Shire Calendar Approximate Gregorian > Saxon equivalent > Giuli [after] Geola Afteryule January > Solmonath Solmonath Solmath February > Rhedmonath Hrethmonath Rethe March > Esturmona? Eastermonath Astron April > Thrimilchi Thrimilche Thrimidge May > Lida [ere] Litha Forelithe June > Lida [after] Litha Afterlithe July > Weodmonath Weodmonath Wedmath August > Halegmonath Haligmonath Halimath September > Winterfilleth Winterfylleth Winterfilth October > Blodmonath Blotmonath Blotmath November > Giuli [ere] Geola Foreyule December
All of the Shire month names are transparent *except* "Astron". It is plain why Tolkien would not want to use "Eastermath", as it would import unwanted (and unwonted) Christian associations. But where did he get "Astron" from? One theory is that it is from Eastron, pl. of Eastre. This is etymologically plausible, but doesn't account for the plural form. -- Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis um dies! || John Cowan <jcowan@...> Schliesst euer Aug vor heiliger Schau, || Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau, || Und trank die Milch vom Paradies. -- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)