[DWJ] about those roads in LotR

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Mon Jun 26 14:09:43 EDT 2006

Minnow said...

> So it was one man's full-time job keeping the roads in passable condition.
> She doesn't say who paid him -- probably the parish council, I suppose --
> but one does have to ask, where did the chaps who did all this for the
> roads across Middle Earth *live*?  and who paid *them* to do this
> never-ending job?

Dunno about LotR, but there's a bit in Elizabeth Moon's "Sheepfarmer's 
Daughter" where the heroine is marching to war (in the rain!) with the rest 
of her mercenary troop, and they come to a section of road that has 
completely disintegrated.  They end up having to take stones from the 
(presumably dry-stone) walls at the sides of the road to mend it before they 
can march on, and later they meet a merchant who complains that the local 
landowner whose responsibility the upkeep of the road is takes his tolls but 
doesn't see to the road.

(That's one of the things I like about that book; it gives all sorts of 
glimpses of the practicalities of being a mercenary soldier in a 
faux-medieval world.)

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian E. Gray
israfel at eircom.net

"Worst fears realised darling Seth and Rueben too send gumboots."
- Stella Gibbons, "Cold Comfort Farm" 

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