Sea travel and trade in Beleriand

Odola

Well-Known Member
I guess so. If they have wine caravans, why shouldn't they also transport figs or lemons too if they can get them.
Why only caravans? Do Cirdian's sailors not trade? How was Earendil a Mariner then? He had to earn his wages somehow - beyond the local salt business? Are no ships coming up the Sirion and Narog? Actually the Falls of Sirion cut of Doriath and Tol Sirion but the Narog seems passable - its rapids seem to be North of Ringwil - so Nargothrond should be a rich trading city outdoing Lake Town?
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Why only caravans? Do Cirdian's sailors not trade? How was Earendil a Mariner then? He had to earn his wages somehow - beyond the local salt business? Are no ships coming up the Sirion and Narog? Actually the Falls of Sirion cut of Doriath and Tol Sirion but the Narog seems passable - its rapids seem to be North of Ringwil - so Nargothrond should be a rich trading city outdoing Lake Town?
Interesting Questions, but would these sailors deploy by boat to Nargothrond or Menegroth? I doubt it.

But yes, i wonder if they had any connections to the south which generally is an interesting place... who lived there at the time? Avari?
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Interesting Questions, but would these sailors deploy by boat to Nargothrond or Menegroth? I doubt it.
Why not? Sailors need goods to sell both ways. If they bring stuff up they bring stuff down to exchange.
The way to Valinor is blocked off as yet, so they do not have anything else to do anyway.

And Menegroth is cut off - the Falls of Sirion and the swamps above would divide Sirion into two parts. You can ship somethings between Menegroth Brethil and Tol Sirion but not down to the sea. You would have to change over onto land to go around.

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But Nargothrond seems reachable without any problems from the sea and vice versa?
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It seems you can get plants from anywhere in Nargothrond. Even if the rivers have changed their courses several times during the three Ages the basic principle of rivers going to the sea stays the same.

But yes, i wonder if they had any connections to the south which generally is an interesting place... who lived there at the time? Avari?
Humans and Avari would be it. But would real Avari not avoid sea (reminding them of the call of the Valar they have refused?) Have no problem of the Avari living more up the great rivers. Anduin itself is blocked at the Falls of Rauros. But the rivers of Eriador, future Gondor and Harad should be fine?
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Don't culturally stereotype the Avari! As elves of cuivienen they may not be great mariners, but they could still know boats and rafts, especially their Nelyarin strain...
Or could such potential farming- elves also technically be Nandor?

No idea.

The Gates of Sirion and Aelin Uial were the main reasons i had in mind when i doubted Cirdans folk did much trade and travel...
There wasn't any settlement there, was it? I mean... sure... american trappers also did trade and travel in sometimes quite small canoes and were a major economic force. . But they traded in luxury goods like expensive furs!

How would you imagine trade connections between the Falas or Mouths of Sirion and northern Beleriand practically?
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Don't culturally stereotype the Avari! As elves of cuivienen they may not be great mariners, but they could still know boats and rafts, especially their Nelyarin strain...
Or could such potential farming- elves also technically be Nandor?

No idea.
Farming yes, but high sea travel for Avari? You would have to convince me.

The Gates of Sirion and Aelin Uial were the main reasons i had in mind when i doubted Cirdans folk did much trade and travel...
There wasn't any settlement there, was it? I mean... sure... american trappers also did trade and travel in sometimes quite small canoes and were a major economic force. . But they traded in luxury goods like expensive furs!
? Cirdan's? Or Thingol's?
Cirdan is down at the Mouths of Sirion and the Bay of Balar, isn't he?
He has all the sea at his disposal.

How would you imagine trade connections between the Falas or Mouths of Sirion and northern Beleriand practically?
Cirdian's sailors must get some stuff from the Norths to sell in the South. Usually this would be furs.
You have the Hills of the Hunters in Nargothond's South and the plain of Talath Dirnen - where the C-Bros are hunting - towards Brethil?

Some river barges going up and down would make sense for me. And a steep economic decline once Nargothrond is sealed up.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
High sea travel and riverine or coastal travel imho are two quite different pairs of shoes...

I doubt Thingol does a lot of trade hy himself, he is quite an isolationist in politics. That dies not ne essarily exclude him from welcoming a few fellow elves who happen to have some luxury goods he likes, like heavy wines, and trading in whatever his realm has to offer, but by himself... i do not see him sending out abything but a few selected agents.

I would like to discuss possible trade economy for beleriand in more depth...
River barges that circumvent the gates and fens... okay!
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
High sea travel and riverine or coastal travel imho are two quite different pairs of shoes...
Not so very much if you already have had millenia of try and error...

I doubt Thingol does a lot of trade hy himself, he is quite an isolationist in politics. That dies not ne essarily exclude him from welcoming a few fellow elves who happen to have some luxury goods he likes, like heavy wines, and trading in whatever his realm has to offer, but by himself... i do not see him sending out abything but a few selected agents.
He can have Melian take care of that, she has far less reservations in this regard. And as long as he gets his wine on the table Thingol probably does not care much how exactly it got there?

I would like to discuss possible trade economy for beleriand in more depth...
Would need probably an extra thread to do that.

River barges that circumvent the gates and fens... okay!
Cirdian has sailors and those must be doing something or the ships will not pay themselves. Cirdian does not need Thingol's approval for every action he takes. As such, Finrod can have deals with Cirdian without Thingol caring much.
What Thingol might get angry about would be if Cirdian would make deals with the Feanorians via the Gelion river.

Still Nargothrond is well connected and can get anything from anywhere in ME at the moment.
As such they can have exotic plants in their orchands as long as they know how to overwinter those - either by spells or by other means - it seems.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Not sure if i would agree. There are many many cultures which simply do not develop sea-travel, because they simply do not need it.The Avari we met so far are nomadic hunters, now there seems to be one culture, of Avari or Nandor which are farmers or at last quite sophisticated Vintners.They still do NOT need sea-travel.Not if their northern neighbours do it for them, such trade and sea-travel cultures are quite well known, most famous the Phoenecians.

Second... you say the ships do not pay off. Do they have to? The Sindar may not be anarcho-communists as Corey puts it, they seemingly DO have a gifting, sharing & bartering economy of sort.They do not necessarily need to do trade for anything to pay off.They would still do it to get stuff they would like to have and have not by themselves, such as plants and products from plants which grow in a warmer climate (or dwarven weapons!).

Second , the Falathrim do not build ships because they need to.They do sea travel for the sake of it, because they love it, because they love the sea and love to build ships, they do not NEED any other reason and nothing needs to pay off for them.They are just natural born ship&ocean enthusiasts!

They still would use these knowledge and skills for practical purpose such as trade and transport if it suits them though...
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Círdan builds ships because he is the Shipwright. It is his mission in life, given to him by Ulmo, to connect Middle-earth to Valinor by ocean-going vessel. This mission is established explicitly in season 2, and is the reason Círdan remained behind in Beleriand and did not go to Valinor.

The other half of this Ulmo-granted mission is, of course, Olwë with his swanships. The connection is meant to run both ways.

Olwë made ocean-going vessels first. But Círdan will get there soon. Turgon will start commisioning some...
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Círdan builds ships because he is the Shipwright. It is his mission in life, given to him by Ulmo, to connect Middle-earth to Valinor by ocean-going vessel. This mission is established explicitly in season 2, and is the reason Círdan remained behind in Beleriand and did not go to Valinor.

The other half of this Ulmo-granted mission is, of course, Olwë with his swanships. The connection is meant to run both ways.

Olwë made ocean-going vessels first. But Círdan will get there soon. Turgon will start commisioning some...
But Valinor has been hidden for some time now since the revolt of the Noldor - as we will see soon in Earendil's efforts - nobody can find it yet? Are Cirdian's ships just rotting away in the docks? Doubt so. They have to go somewhere.
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
But Valinor has been hidden for some time now since the revolt of the Noldor - as we will see soon in Earendil's efforts - nobody can find it yet? Are Cirdian's ships just rotting away in the docks? Doubt so. They have to go somewhere.
Sure.On the ocean!
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Sure.On the ocean!
Mithluin just stated:
Olwë made ocean-going vessels first. But Círdan will get there soon. Turgon will start commisioning some...
soon, not yet?

So it were near-coastal routes for until now.

Elves need sweet water and food and clothes too. And they are curious and love gossip and pretty things. And also get stranded by storms.
They have to know their coast to know where to seach refuge and sustenance.

No reason they do not trade, as they have to sustain themselves too during their travels away from home. Or do you suspect they are fishers, whalers or pirates?
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Mithluin just stated:


soon, not yet?

So it were near-coastal routes for until now.

Elves need sweet water and food and clothes too. And they are curious and love gossip and pretty things. And also get stranded by storms.
They have to know their coast to know where to seach refuge and sustenance.

No reason they do not trade, as they have to sustain themselves too during their travels away from home. Or do you suspect they are fischers, whalers or pirates?
Whom should they pirate on, theres no other sea-faring culture anywhere near. Sure i'd see them fishing, whaling, why not. Whom could they trade wirh? There isn't really anybody in the north, there isn't really anything in the west. They could deal with their own people in the east - but there is no ocean- and the hypothetical dor-winion culture somewhere in the south.I could see that.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Whom should they pirate on, theres no other sea-faring culture anywhere near. Sure i'd see them fishing, whaling, why not. Whom could they trade wirh? There isn't really anybody in the north, there isn't really anything in the west. They could deal with their own people in the east - but there is no ocean- and the hypothetical dor-winion culture somewhere in the south.I could see that.
There are humans down there - and as they did not waste time nomading around propably at some levels of culture? And Avari up the greater rivers? And Cirdian's people themselves might have set up temporary repair and rest havens?
 
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Odola

Well-Known Member
Humans, but since the Numenorean kingdoms from the Third Age take a lot of their practices from the Elves, I would imagine the Elves came up with it first.
It was Legolas who suggested that? Might be a Telerin custom. But would they have much deads to bury this way - beyond those killed in storms and shipwrecks?
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
There are humans down there - and as they did waste time nomading around propably at some levels of culture? And Avari up the greater rivers? And Cirdian's people themselves might have set up temporary repair and rest havens?
These humans then would be relatives of the later Oathbreakers and Dunlendings, some folk who had the same ancestors as our Haladin and Druedain i suggest. Avari up the rivers makes sense, and yes, the Falathrim may not build steady settlements down there, but maybe camps and repair havens. Námorie and Tremórie are apocryphic names which showed up somewhere, i chose they could be names for the lands south of Taur im Duinath and north of the gulf of Belerlorn -later bay of Belfalas?
 
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