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At 21:34 01.5.2000 +0100, Raymond Brown wrote:


>At 1:43 pm -0400 1/5/00, John Cowan wrote:
>[....]
> >All of the Shire month names are transparent *except* "Astron".   It is
> plain
> >why Tolkien would not want to use "Eastermath", as it would import
> >unwanted (and unwonted) Christian associations.  But where did he
> >get "Astron" from?  One theory is that it is from Eastron, pl. of Eastre.
> >This is etymologically plausible, but doesn't account for the plural form.
>
>Bede does say "festa.....celebrantur" 'feast days.....were celebrated'
>during that month and IIRC the scanty Germanic etymological evidence does
>suggest that the festival was "Easter(n)s", i.e. that its name was plural.

In view of German _ostern_ the possible concealment value of _astron_ melts
down to nil.



/BP

  B.Philip Jonsson  mailto:[log in to unmask]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~__
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    / /   / /  /  \    / /Melroch\ \_/ // /  / // /  / /
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