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Hallo!

Ray Brown wrote:

> [...]
> 
> As for 'gnomes', it was apparently the Rosicruceans who are responsible
> for depicting them as misshapen elemental spirits, dwelling deep within
> the earth and guarding mines and quarries. But it does seem that it was
> indeed Paracelsus who first coined the term 'gnomus' (gnome) to denote an
> elemental spirit of the earth.

And then Tolkien, in his early writings, confusingly used the word
for the Noldor, a race anything else than misshapen.  Realizing
how misleading this was, he later dropped it.

Greetings,

Jörg.