Silmaril (Silmarill-, as in pl. Silmarilli), noun, name of the shining jewels made by Fëanor; full sg. form Silmarillë (SA:sil, SIL, RIL, MIR).Translated "radiance of pure light" in Letters:148. Gen. pl. Silmarillion, as in (Quenta) Silmarillion "(the Story) of the Silmarils".
radiance of pure light
proper name. Great Jewel
The name of the great jewels crafted by Fëanor from which The Silmarillion legends gets their name (S/33). It sometimes appeared in the longer form Silmarillë (PE17/47, PM/363). Tolkien translated this name as “radiance of pure light” (Let/148) and said that it was a combination of silima, the crystaline substance from which the jewels were made (RGEO/65), and a derivative of the root √RIL “brilliant, brilliance” (PM/363), perhaps in the form (ᴹQ.) rille “brilliance”.
Conceptual Development: The name ᴱQ. Silmaril dates back to the earliest Lost Tales (LT1/128). Christopher Tolkien suggested that at this early stage it was a compound of ᴱQ. Sil “Moon” and ᴱQ. marilla “pearl” (LT1A/Silmaril), which is consistent with its Gnomish cognate G. Silubrilt. In The Etymologies, the name ᴹQ. Silmaril appears as a combination of silma “silver, shining white” and the root ᴹ√RIL (Ety/RIL, SIL), similar to its later etymology.
- silmaril ✧ LotR/1034; PE17/112
- silmaril(le) ✧ PE17/047
- silmaril(lë) ✧ PM/363
- Silmarillë ✧ PMI/Silmaril
- silma-ril ✧ RGEO/65
- Q. Quenta Silmarillion “History of the Silmarils” ✧ S/033
Word Gloss silima “crystal substance devised by Fëanor” RIL “brilliant (light), brilliance, brilliant (light), brilliance, [ᴹ√] glitter”
Word Form Gloss Source Silmarilli plural “radiance of pure light” ✧ Let/148; Let/425; LotR/1033; MRI/Silmaril; PM/030; PMI/Silmaril; SA/sil Silmarillion genitive plural “of the Silmarils” ✧ S/033
maril noun "glass, crystal" (VT46:13; if this is to be the same word as the second element of Silmaril, the stem-form would be marill-, cf. pl. Silmarilli)
cilin noun "glass" ("often used as in English ("often used as in English for any thing or implement made of glass") (PE17:37). Compare calca, hyellë.
- √KALAK “glass” ✧ VT47/35
- T. calca “glass” ✧ VT47/35; VT47/35
Development Stages Sources √KALAK > calca [kalka] ✧ VT47/35
calca noun "glass" (VT47:35); compare hyellë, cilin.
hyellë noun "glass" (KHYEL(ES), VT45:23; the later source also provides the unglossed form hyelma, which may be a synonym of hyellë; alternatively hyellë could be "glass" as a substance, whereas hyelma_ rather refers to "a glass" as a drinking vessel). _In later sources, cilin or calca is given as the word for "glass".
mírë noun "jewel" (MIR, SA:mîr), "a treasure, a precious thing" (PE17:37).Cf. Elemmírë; short form -mir in Tar-Atanamir (SA:mîr); see also Artamir.