The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Pronunciation
gwi'rith
Meaning
Uncertain1
Other names
Víressë; closely equivalent to Astron on the Shire Calendar

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About this entry:

  • Updated 4 December 2017
  • This entry is complete

Gwirith

The fourth month of the year

Months of the year

According to the usage of the Dúnedain, the fourth month of the year, equivalent to Quenya Viressë. The meaning is obscure: the name arguably contains a root-word for 'web', though it is unclear how that idea relates to the nature of the month. The Shire-hobbits called the same month 'Astron'.


Notes

1

Elvish month-names commonly contain references to the weather typical of that time of year, but Gwirith (and its Quenya equivalent Víressë) are obscure. Both words seem to contain roots relating to webs or weaving, but any meteorological implications of those concepts are unclear (they perhaps refer to bedewed spider webs, but that seems rather a leap). Alternatively, the names perhaps refer to the rain showers common at this time of year, though there is no known etymological route to confirm this.

From ancient times the fourth month of the year has been given names relating to goddesses (the modern name April ultimately comes from the goddess Aphrodite). There is a remote possibility that Tolkien followed this tradition and connected Gwirith/Víressë to one of the Queens of the Valar, specifically Vairë the Weaver. If so, it would be almost completely outside the pattern of the other month-names (with the possible exception of a connection between Ivanneth/Yavannië and the Vala Yavanna) and thus seems rather unlikely.

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 4 December 2017
  • This entry is complete

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