Ad. Lament of Akallabêth

Ad. Lament of Akallabêth

This text is the only substantial work in Adûnaic, appearing in Tolkien’s unfinished story “The Notion Club Papers” (SD/145-327). In the context of this story, a modern Englishmen named Lowdham retrieves the tale from visions of the ancient past, along with a Quenya translation of the same text. The text summarizes the tale of the fall of Númenor. Tolkien himself did not name the text, but it is sometimes referred to as the “Adûnaic Fragments” (SD/311, VT24/14). This entry uses the title “Lament of Akallabêth”, the Adûnaic equivalent of the common title of its Quenya version, the Lament of Atalante.

There are three known versions of the text:

Christopher Tolkien was uncertain which of the typescipt or manuscript was the true final revision of the text (SD/289). Andreas Moehn (LGtAG) and Aleš Bičan (AF) both suggested that the typescipt is the later of the two, but I believe it is the manuscript, based on its cleaner glosses and the development of îdô “now” in the sentences êphalak îdô Yôzâyan and êphal êphalak îdô hi-Akallabêth (see the entries for îdô and the draft predicate suffix -n for further details). Both texts are extremely close, however, and can be collectively called the “final version”.

The version given here is the final manuscript version, with spelling normalized to use the circumflex (â) for long vowels instead of the macron (ā). In the original version, English glosses appeared underneath words to indicate their literal meaning. The English translation given here is a combination of the manuscript and transcript translations, modified to use more natural English with some editorial additions in [brackets] where Tolkien omitted names and definite articles from his English translation. Original glosses and textual variations are discussed in the entries for individual phrases. The entire first draft is given its own entry below as a specimen of the draft version of the Adûnaic grammar.

Another analysis of this text can be found in “Lalaith’s Guide to Adûnaic Grammar” by Andreas Moehn (LGtAG). A less formal analysis can be found in the “Verbs, Syntax, Hooray!” article (VT24/14-38) by Carl Hostetter and Patrick Wynne, which analyzes much of text as part of their general discussion of Adûnaic grammar.



kadô Zigûrun zabathân unakkha “and so [Sauron] he came humbled”
Êruhînim dubdam ugru-dalad “[the Children of Eru] fell under shadow”
Ar-Pharazônun azaggara Avalôiyada “[Ar-Pharazôn] was warring against [the] Powers”
Bârim an-Adûn yurahtam dâira sâibêth-mâ Êruvô “Lords of [the] West, they rent [the] Earth with assent from Eru”
azrîya du-phursâ akhâsada “that [the] seas should gush into [the] chasm”
Anadûnê zîrân hikalba “Númenor the beloved she fell (down)”
bawîba dulgî “winds (were) black”
balîk hazad an-Nimruzîr azûlada “seven ships of Elendil [went] eastward”
agannâlô burôda nênud “[the] death-shadow [is] heavy on us”
zâira nênud “longing (is) on us”
adûn izindi batân tâidô ayadda “[the] road west once went straight, (lit.) west straight road once went”
îdô katha batîna lôkhî “now all ways (are) bent”
êphalak îdô Yôzâyan “far away now (is) the Land of Gift”
êphal êphalak îdô hi-Akallabêth “far far away now (is) She-that-hath-fallen”

Ad. Lament of Akallabêth (first draft)

The first draft of the Lament of Akallabêth (SD/311-2), presented in full here as a specimen of the draft Adûnaic grammar.


Kadō zigūrun zabathān {hunekkū >>} unekkū “and so ‽ humbled he-came”
ēruhīn udūbanim dalad ugrus “‽ fell under ‽horror‽shadow”
arpharazōn azgaranādu avalōi-{men >>}si “‽ was waging war‽ Powers on”
bārun-adūnō rakkhatū kamāt sōbēthumā eruvō “the Lord of West broke asunder earth assent-with of God”
azrē nai {phurusam >>} phurrusim akhās-ada “seas might-flow Chasm-into”
anadūni akallabi “Westernesse fell in ruin”
Adūnāim azūlada “The Adunai (Men of W.) eastward”
agannūlo burudan nēnum “death-shade heavy-is on-us”
adūn batān akhaini ezendi “West road lay straight”
īdō kathī batānī rōkhī-nam “lo! now all ways bent-are”
ēphalek īdōn akallabēth “far away lo!now is She-that-is-fallen”
ēphal ēphalek īdōn athanātē “far far away is now the Land of Gift”