HASA Resources

Places in Middle-earth

Rath Dínen

Type: Roads, Lanes, Ways

Region: Gondor

Meaning: silent street

Other Names
the Hallows
the Hallows of Minas Tirith

Location: A walled street in Minas Tirith, leading down from the Citadel to the fifth level, where the Houses of the Dead were located.

Description:

A strong citadel [Minas Tirith] was indeed, and not to be taken by a host of enemies, if there were any within that could hold weapons; unless some foe could come behind and scale the lower skirts of Mindolluin, and so come upon the narrow shoulder that joined the Hill of Guard to the mountain mass. But that shoulder, which rose to the height of the fifth wall, was hedged with great ramparts right up to the precipice that overhung its western end; and in that space stood the houses and domed tombs of bygone kings and lords, for ever silent between the mountain and the tower.

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 1, Minas Tirith

[They] went on through the Citadel gate.... Turning westward they came at length to a door in the rearward wall of the sixth circle.... Beyond it went a winding road that descended in many curves down to the narrow land under the shadow of Mindolluin's precipice where stood the mansions of the dead Kings and of their Stewards....

[At] last they came to the Silent Street, Rath Dínen, between pale domes and empty halls and images of men long dead; and they entered into the House of the Stewards and set down their burden.

There Pippin... saw that he was in a wide vaulted chamber, draped as it were with the great shadows that the little lantern threw upon its shrouded walls. And dimly to be seen were many rows of tables, carved of marble; and upon each table lay a sleeping form, hands folded, head pillowed upon stone.

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 4, The Siege of Gondor

'What is this, my lord?' said the wizard. 'The houses of the dead are no places for the living. And why do men fight here in the Hallows when there is war enough before the Gate? Or has our Enemy come even to Rath Dínen?'

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 7, The Pyre of Denethor

Kings made tombs more splendid than houses of the living...

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 4, Ch 5, The Window on the West


Notables Entombed in the Hallows of Rath Dínen
April 2510 Third Age

His name was long remembered in the song of Rochon Methestel (Rider of the Last Hope) as Borondir Udalraph (Borondir the Stirrupless), for he rode back with the éoherë at the right hand of Eorl.... He fell at last on the Field of Celebrant defending his lord... and was afterwards laid in tomb in the Hallows of Minas Tirith. [Author's note.]

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: Notes, Note 27

August 2510

Cirion removed the tomb of Elendil. For he judged that the... hallow was no longer "at the midpoint of the Kingdom of the South," but on the borders of another realm.... The casket therefore that Isildur had set within the mound Cirion removed to the Hallows of Minas Tirith; but the green mound remained as the memorial of a memorial.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: The Tradition of Isildur

25 June 3019

Then Aragorn laid his hand gently to the sapling, and... it was removed without hurt; and Aragorn bore it back to the Citadel. Then the withered tree was uprooted, but with reverence; and they did not burn it, but laid it to rest in the silence of Rath Dínen.

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 6, Ch 5, The Steward and the King

22 July 3019

Then the kings of Gondor and Rohan went to the Hallows and they came to the tombs in Rath Dínen, and they bore away King Théoden upon a golden bier, and passed through the City in silence. Then they laid the bier upon a great wain with Riders of Rohan all about it and his banner borne before....

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 6, Ch 5, Many Partings

1484 SR [63 IV]

... [Master Meriadoc] and Thain Peregrin went to Gondor and passed what short years were left to them in that realm, until they died and were laid in Rath Dínen among the great of Gondor.

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, The Tale of Years: Later Events Concerning the Members of the Fellowship of the Ring

1541 SR [120 IV]

In this year on March 1st came at last the Passing of King Elessar. It is said that the beds of Meriadoc and Peregrin were set beside the bed of the great king.

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, The Tale of Years: Later Events Concerning the Members of the Fellowship of the Ring

Etymology
[The] second element [in the name Amroth] is a derivative from a stem rath- meaning "climb" (whence also the noun rath, which in the Númenórean Sindarin used in Gondor in the naming of places and persons was applied to all the longer roadways and street of Minas Tirith, nearly all of which were on an incline: so Rath Dínen, the Silent Street, leading down from the Citadel to the Tombs of the Kings).

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 4, The History of Galadriel and Celeborn: Notes, Note 16

dîn  'silent' in Dor Dínen; cf. Rath Dínen, the Silent Street in Minas Tirith, and Amon Dîn, one of the beacon-hills of Gondor.

The Silmarillion, Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names

Contributors:
Elena Tiriel 6Sep04, 15Oct04, 27Oct04, 21Ap405, 28Sep05, 26Jan08, 23Aug08

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