(Tolkien's Middle-Earth)

"The Hill and Stone at the head of the Blackroot Vale"1, in the Lamendon province of Gondor.

Save for Tolkien's writings in Unfinished Tales, English language writings expanding on the above seem to be scant (I found the finnish definition "Alkuperäinen teksti. Erech Kukkula Gondorin länsipuolella jossa Isildurin Kivi oli", but that didn't help.

Actually, it is suffice to say that Erech was merely a hill and an ancient stone, presumably "fallen from heaven"2. What is more interesting is the dark history of the Oath of Erech, merely alluded to in the Lord of the Rings, and expounded upon in the Druédain3.

The stone, a black sphere ten feet in diameter was set upon the hill in 3320 S.A. by Isildur as a symbol of the royalty of Gondor and her kinship with ancient Númenor. The men of the White Mountains (the Druédain) were required to swear fealty to the Dunédain upon it. However, "after the return of Sauron when Isildur summoned the men from the mountains to fulfil their oath and join the last Alliance S.A.3430 they would not come because they had in the dark years before worshipped Sauron."4

Enraged, Isildur laid a curse upon the aboriginal woses*, declaring that they would "never find peace and rest until their oath was fulfilled"5, naming Erech (for their King of the Drughu was named the same as the hill) as the last King. "The men of the mountains did not dare to go to war upon either side, they hid themselves in the mountains and slowly they dwindled."6

In the Third Age Aragorn II "Elessar" summoned the Men of the White Mountains to the Stone of Erech, where they in turn fulfilled their oath, when Ghân-buri-Ghân "guided the Rohirrim down the Stonewain Valley on their way to Minas Tirith"7 and the Battle of the Pelennor Fields in March 3019 T.A. (In reward Aragorn gave him and the Druédain the Druadan Forest for perpetuity, forbidding any man to enter it without their leave.)

In the "real world", Erech--also known as Ancient Uruk-- "length", or "Moon-town", was one of the cities of Nimrod's kingdom in the plain of Shinar (Gen. 10:10) 8, one of the first cities established after the Biblical account of the Great Flood.

* The Men of the Druadan Forest were known by many names: in the Sindarin of Gondor "Druédain"; in their own tongue, "Drughu" (pl. of Drûg); and in common speech, "Púkel Men", or "woses".

1 from The Encyclopaedia of Arda, http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/e/erech.html
2 ibidem. Though the Danish site "Annals of Arda" says it "was set there by Isildur at his landing, brought from Numenor after the Downfall."
3 Tolkien, J.R.R., Unfinished Tales, 1982 Unwin/Hyman ed., pp. 377-387.
4 at http://www.annalsofarda.dk/annals-of-arda/Places-index/Places-ME/Erechs-Stone.htm
5, 6 ibidem
7 Unfinished Tales, p. 382
8 from The Bible Encyclopaedia, http://www.christiananswers.net/dictionary/erech.html

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