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Things of Middle-earth

Éored

Type: Miscellaneous

Meaning: horse-riding

Description:

A single military unit of Riders of the Mark, consisting of approximately 120 cavalrymen.
According to a note on the ordering of the Rohirrim, the éored "had no precisely fixed number, but in Rohan it was only applied to Riders, fully trained for war: men serving for a term, or in some cases permanently, in the King's Host. Any considerable body of such men, riding as a unit in exercise or on service, was called an éored. But after the recovery of the Rohirrim and the reorganization of their forces in the days of King Folcwine, a hundred years before the War of the Ring, a 'full éored' in battle order was reckoned to contain not less than 120 men (including the Captain), and to be one hundredth part of the Full Muster of the Riders of the Mark, not including those of the King's Household. [The éored with which Éomer pursued the Orcs, The Two Towers III 2, had 120 Riders: Legolas counted 105 when they were far away, and Éomer said that fifteen men had been lost in battle with the Orcs.] No such host, of course, had ever ridden all together to war beyond the Mark; but Théoden's claim that he might, in this great peril, have led out an expedition of ten thousand Riders (The Return of the King V 3) was no doubt justified. The Rohirrim had increased since the days of Folcwine, and before the attacks of Saruman a Full Muster would probably have produced many more than twelve thousand Riders, so that Rohan would not have been denuded entirely of trained defenders. In the event, owing to losses in the western war, the hastiness of the Muster, and the threat from North and East, Théoden only led out a host of some six thousand spears, though this was still the greatest riding of the Rohirrim that was recorded since the coming of Eorl."

The full muster of the cavalry was called éoherë....

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: Notes, Note 36


Etymology
These words [éored and éoherë]... are of course Anglo-Saxon in form, since the true language of Rohan is everywhere thus translated...: they contain as their first element eoh "horse." Éored, éorod is a recorded Anglo-Saxon word, its second element derived from rád "riding;" in éoherë the second element is herë "host, army."

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: Notes, Note 36

Contributors:
Lyllyn 19Feb03
Elena Tiriel 11Jan05

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