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Aratar

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"Valar (Valian Years)" by Phobs

Aratar or Máhani (Val. māchanumāz) were the High Ones of Arda, the greatest of the Valar: Manwë, Varda, Ulmo, Yavanna, Aulë, Mandos, Nienna and Oromë. Though Manwë was held to be the High King of Arda, the Eight were held in equal reverence, and were said to possess a majesty that surpassed even the other Valar.

The Aratar were originally nine and included Melkor (probably as the greatest of them) but he was removed from this 'order' after his rebellion.[1]

Etymology

Aratar is Quenya for "The Exalted", from the plural of arata ("high").[source?] It has the same root as the Sindarin term Rodon.[2]

Another form is Máhan/Máhani, a loan from the Valarin term māchanāz pl. māchanumāz "Authorities". These terms are also the source of Máhanaxar/Māchananaškad.[3]

Other versions of the Legendarium

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta: Of the Valar"
  2. Hiswelókë suggests an etymology from OS *(a)råto(ndo) "noble one", CE *arâtô. Cf. https://www.elfdict.com/w/rodon/s
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar: Appendix D. *Kwen, Quenya, and the Elvish (especially Ñoldorin) words for 'Language': Note on the 'Language of the Valar'"