This article examines the importance for J. R. R. Tolkien of late-C10-early C20 debate on the question of the Indo-European homeland, and how this plays out in his legendary world. Through a series of test-cases (tree- and plant-names, wine, dragons, oliphants) it is argued that Tolkien is fascinated with the spread of culture from an area which seems to map onto the Caucasus-Caspian region. In this he appears to follow the German Indo-Europeanists Otto Schrader and Victor Hehn, rather than the 'Nordicist' school represented by Karl Penka and Hermann Hirt. This has implications for our reading of symbolic topography and ethnography in his work.
|Title of host publication||Tolkien and the Classical World|
|Place of Publication||Zurich and Jena|
|Number of pages||31|
|Publication status||Published - 2 Dec 2020|
- Tolkien; classics; nordicism; Indo-European homeland;