Q. cemendë tambe Erumandë “on Earth as [it is] in Heaven”

Q. cemendë tambe Erumandë, “on Earth as [it is] in Heaven”

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The fifth line of Átaremma, Tolkien’s Quenya translation of the Lord’s Prayer. The first word cemendë “on Earth” is an assimilated-locative form of cemen “earth”. The word tambë likely corresponds to “as”, while Erumandë “in Heaven” is an assimilated-locative form of Eruman “Heaven”. The English words “it is” are not represented in the Quenya phrase.

Decomposition: Broken into its constituent elements, this phrase would be:

cemen-dë tambe Eruman-dë = “*earth-on as [it is] Heaven-in”

Conceptual Development: In earlier versions of this phrase (I-V), Tolkien used menel for “Heaven”. Elsewhere, Tolkien said that menel referred to the dome of the sky or “the firmament”, and therefore was not proper for “Heaven” (MR/387, PE17/152), which is probably why he changed the word to Eruman in version VI of the prayer.

Tolkien experimented with various ways of comparing Earth to Heaven: ier ... ar tér (I), ier ... tier (IIa), ya(n) ... ar san (IIb) and san ... ya (III-IV), each probably meaning something like “as ... so ...”, as suggested by Wynne, Smith and Hostetter (VT43/16-7). In versions V and VI Tolkien switched to a single word “as”: sívë¹ (V) and tambë (VI).

The English words “it is” are only expressed in version III-IV, with the Quenya verb na, appearing at the end of the phrase as is typical of declarative statements.

    I   IIa IIb III IV V VI
{yé >> ye >>} ier ya(n) san  
menelle menelze menelde cemende
ar tér tier ar san ya sívë tambe
{kemenze >>} cemenze cemende melelde Erumande

References ✧ VT43/8-12



cemen “the Earth; earth” locative ✧ VT43/17 (cemenze); VT43/17 (cemende)
tambë “*as, so” ✧ VT43/17
#Eruman “Heaven” locative ✧ VT43/16 (Erumande)
menel “the heavens, firmament, sky” locative ✧ VT43/16 (menelle); VT43/16 (menelze); VT43/16 (menelde)
tier “*so” ✧ VT43/17 (tér); VT43/17; VT43/17 (ter)
ye “who” ✧ VT43/16 (); VT43/16 (ye)
ier “*as” ✧ VT43/16
ya “which, where, that (relative pronoun)” dative ✧ VT43/16 (ya(n)); VT43/16
ar “and” ✧ VT43/17
san “*then, so, thus” ✧ VT43/17
ná- “to be” aorist ✧ VT43/16 (na)
sívë¹ “*as” ✧ VT43/17

Element In