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 menelde 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)
ier “*as” ✧ VT43/16 (); VT43/16 (ye); VT43/16
yan “*as” ✧ VT43/16 (ya(n)); VT43/16 (ya)
ar “and” ✧ VT43/17
san “*then, so, thus” ✧ VT43/17
ná- “to be” aorist ✧ VT43/16 (na)
sívë¹ “*as” ✧ VT43/17

Element In