Q. Armenelos loc. “City of the Kings; (lit.) *Noble Heaven City”

Q. Armenelos, loc. “City of the Kings; (lit.) *Noble Heaven City”

The capital city of Númenor. Tolkien glossed this name as the “City of the Kings” (UT/165), but the elements of the name appear to be ar- “noble”, menel “heavens” and the suffixal form -os of osto “city”. As such, its literal meaning seems to be “*Noble Heaven City”, probably a reference to its location on the slopes of the mountain Meneltarma. The city’s Adûnaic name, Arminalêth, has a similar meaning.

Conceptual development: In the earliest stories of Númenor, the name of this city was given as ᴹQ. Númenos or Númar (LR/14). In the later versions of the story associated with “The Notion Club Papers”, its Quenya name was change to ᴹQ. Antirion (SD/347), but for the most part it was referred to by its Adûnaic name Arminalêth. In the drafts of the Akallebêth the Quenya name was Q. Tar Calimos (PM/145) before it was replaced by its final form Armenelos as in the published version of The Silmarillion.

In the index of Sauron Defeated, Christopher Tolkien incorrectly wrote that Armenelos replaced the name Arminalêth (SDI2/Arminalêth). He corrected this mistake on PM/145, where J.R.R. Tolkien’s notes clearly indicate that Armenelos was the Eldarin [Quenya] name of the city, coexisting with its Adûnaic name Arminalêth.

References ✧ LR/30; LRI; PM/145, 148; PMI/Armenelos, Númenos, Tar Kalimos; SDI2/Armenelos, Arminalêth; SI; UT/165; UTI

Glosses

Variations

Elements

ar(a)- “noble, high”
menel “the heavens, firmament, sky”
osto “fortress, stronghold, strong place” suffix

Cognates


Q. Tar Calimos loc. “*Royal Bright City”

An earlier name for Armenelos (PM/145), apparently a combination of tar “king and queen (in compounds)”, calima “bright” and osto “city”.

See Q. Armenelos for further discussion.

References ✧ PM/145; PMI/Tar Kalimos; SDI2/Tar Kalimos

Variations

Changes

Elements

tar “high”
calima “bright, luminous”
osto “fortress, stronghold, strong place” suffix

ᴹQ. Antirion pn.

An earlier name for Armenelos appearing in Númenórean stories from the 1940s (SD/347), apparently some kind of elaboration on tirion “tower”.

Reference ✧ SDI2/Antirion

Elements

?
tirion “watch-tower, tower”

ᴹQ. Númenos pn.

This name appeared in tales of the Fall of Númenor from the 1930s, first as the name of the island (LR/11) and then as the name of its capital city (LR/14). This name is a compound of númen “west” and osto “city”.

See Q. Armenelos for further discussion.

References ✧ LR/11, 14, 30; LRI; PMI; SDI2/Númenos

Related

Changes

Elements

númen “west”
osto “city, town with wall round, fort”