Forum: Economics in Middle-earth

Discussing: Trade in the second age

Trade in the second age

Postulating scattered communities of men along the shore near the mouth of the Brandywine, would they trade? How and who with? Would the Haladrim be less likely to trade than any remnants of the Beor or Hador? (who I realize are less likely to be there).

I would think the main need would be metal objects- knives, whatever would be needed for small boats, tack if they had horses.

To trade- I see the possibilities as salt, dried fish, perhaps dried fruit, and again, maybe horses.

I could see a small amount of trade along the coastline, conducted in small boats, expanding as the Numenoreans brought in new technology and knowledge.

Equally, trade could occur down the Brandywine, connecting that area with products from the elves and dwarves.

I'm interested in anyone's knowledge/speculation/other.




Re: Trade in the second age

According to Tolkien Edain of the First and Second Houses, descended from those who never passed over the Ered Luin into Beleriand or refugees who fled back over the mountains during and after the War of Wrath, lived between the Brandywine and Weather Hills, also on the shores of Lake Nenuial and the North Downs, and undoubtedly the southern downlands as well.

As I see it these people, whom I call the Runedain (East Edain as opposed to Dunedain) would have had a standard of living similar to the Rohirrim and were politically organized into a loose confederation of small principalities and lordships know to the Elves as 'Arthedain', the Realm of the Edain.

These people had some contact with the Elven Realms of Lindon and later Eregion. According to Tolkien the Runedain sometimes travelled into the unsettled lands west of the Brandywine specifically in order to meet and socialize with the wandering companies of Elves who could be found there and their relations with the Kingdom of Lindon were good enough for them to ask favors of Gil-Galad, (ie: introduction to the Numenoreans). It is also highly likely they traded with Eregion and later Imladris. And fought on the side of the Elves in the War of the Elves and Sauron. It is possible that one or more of their princes are numbered among the Nine, though going by the only two named Nazgul, Khamul the Easterling and the Witch King, Sauron preferred to do his recruiting among the Men of the South and East who had long been under his influence.

It is likely the Runedain also had trade relations with the Dwarves of the Ered Luin and of Moria and Mount Gundabad.

According to Unifinished Tales the heavy forests between the Gwathlo and the Brandywine, (of which the Eryn Vorn must have been a survival) were inhabited by Edain of the Second House, the Haladin. Their relations with the Numenoreans were poisoned by the latter's extensive logging operations that basically turned what had been heavy forest into open grassland. It is my personal belief that the Men of Bree and their like are descended from these folk, not the ancestors of the Dunlendings, (who are described as looking quite different from the ruddy, brown haired and blue eyed Breelanders.

The Numenoreans had havens in the North, near Mithlond, (which I have named Ost-en-Dunhirion 'citadel of the Lords of the West) Lond Daer at the mouth of the Gwathlo, and of course Pelagir in the South. Numenorean ships going up and down the coast might well have stopped to trade with Men at the mouth of the Brandywine before relations deteriorated to actual warfare c. 1000 SA

As the Kings of Numenor became corrupt their relations with the Men of Middle Earth became more exploitative and the Faithful began to emigrate in great numbers to escape persecution. Many, perhaps even the majority chose the Northern port, and settled the lands between the Ered Luin and the Brandywine and on the banks of the river Lhune.



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