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I have wondered about this for a long time. Was the sinking of beleriand swift because of the power of the valar or did it happen naturally over time?
It must have happened at least over a few months, probabaly alot more (perhaps a few years) becuase it took time for the servants of Morgoth (like Sauron) and the Elves that did not go into the west (like Galadriel) to journey over the Blue mountains in the East and out of Beleriand before it sank.
You are problably right but as for sauron i think that he was where he wanted to be long before the elves. Though i dont know the means of travel that the maiar used but i have understood that they could move very fast if they needed to.

But think of this: maybe the sinking would have been swift. maybe after the defeat of morgoth the valar held back the sinking for a litle while and warned the elves and the remaining edain who would then move into boats and simply sail to the east.
The sinking I very much doubt was at the control of the Valar.

Three such mass continental movements have happened 3 times in the First Age. Once when Melkor destroyed the Two Pillars of Light (the world then split into 3 continents and Aman was formed), once after the Fall of Utumno and the War of the Powers (a new continent was formed between Middle-earth and the Lands of Sun called the Dark land), and once after the War of Wrath. None of these were at the control of the Valar. They certainly did not want there lovely Isle of Almaren ruled after the first great battle.

Ps: If you want to have a look at some maps then give us a shout and I will pm you with the links.
shout!

Was it not said in the silmarillion that they held back the destruction of their work?
And does that not mean that they could have controlled the sinking of beleriand?
The sinking was slow enough for many of the Elves to retreat to higher ground where they build ships to sail both eastward to what remained of Middle-earth and back Into the West towards Aman.
Arath please quote me the passage you are refering to so I can see what context its in.
Your "First Age" includes everything before the sinking of Beleriand?
I know that the First Age was only from when the Noldor arrived into Endor and the rising of the Moon up until the Sinking of Beleriand but its just easier to say 'the First Age' to include everything before the second age.
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The sinking was slow enough for many of the Elves to retreat to higher ground where they build ships to sail both eastward to what remained of Middle-earth and back Into the West towards Aman.

And slow enough for the willing Edain to reach Númenor.
Thus it seems logical to assume it was a process that took a number of years, not instantly. And it is also probabale that the Valar did not simply say "Ok thats the last of 'em, Let her sink Ulmo!"
Correct, he said, "Pull the plug Ulmo, but do it slowly so all the rats can leave the sinking ship."
CJRT said he was surprised that for Quenta Silmarillion (QS) his father followed the earlier Qenta Noldorinwa (Q) so closely in features where the 'intrusion' of Númenor had already introduced new conceptions. I note an interesting passage in QS describing that after the Great Battle 'Men... fled far away, and it was long ere they came back over Eredlindon to the places where Beleriand had been'

What then was the meaning of this in the earlier Qenta Noldorinwa? Christopher says that he does not certainly know what this refers to, but speculates that it's conceivable that it refers to 'the bloody invasions of England in later days described in Ælfwine II; for there is very little in that text that cannot be readily accommodated to the present passage in S and Q, with the picture of the fading Elves of Lúthien leaving our Western shores. But a serious difficulty with this idea lies in the coming of Men 'over the mountains' to where Beleriand once had been.' Christopher Tolkien, The Quenta, HME IV

Well that's interesting! And in The Fall of Númenor II, Elendil the Númenorean, a king of Beleriand '... took counsel with the Elves that remained in Middle-earth (and these abode then mostly in Beleriand); and he made a league with Gil-galad the Elf-king. And their armies were joined, and passed the mountains and came into inner lands far from the Sea.'

Also in the extant QS, Tolkien wrote '... of the great building of ships upon the shores of the Western Sea, and especially upon the great isles which, in the disruption of the northern world, were fashioned of ancient Beleriand.' Turning again to Qenta Noldorinwa CJRT writes: 'The relation between these passages* strongly suggests that the 'Western Isles' were the British Isles, and that England still had a place in the actual mythological geography, as is explicitly so in S.' Of course Tolkien could use the same or similar passage from an older version and 'give' it new meaning (even if not clearly discerned), but I think the external history of the text here is very interesting.

Anyway, Tolkien did make a manuscript Tale of Years that was essentially a fair copy with fuller entries of an earlier pre-Lord of the Rings version. In this he wrote:

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540 'The last free Elves and remnants of the Fathers of Men are driven out of Beleriand and take refuge in the Isle of Balar.
547 The Host of Valar comes up out of the West (...)
550-597 The last war of the Elder Days, and the Great Battle, is begun. In this war Beleriand is broken and destroyed. Morgoth is at last utterly overcome (...) and the last two Silmarils are regained.
597 Maidros and Maglor, last surviving sons of Feanor, seize the Silmarils. (...)
600 The Elves and the Fathers of Men depart from Middle-earth and pass over Sea. (...)'


In version B however, the coming of the host of the Valar was moved to 545, and the dates of the last war of the Elder Days were changed to 545-587

Unfortunately, due to the complexities of the subsequent versions, it's hard to tell how these specific entries, if indeed abandoned, were going to read in revision. Using 'what there is' however, it looks like we have 42 years with respect to the dates for the Last War. And we also seem to have Elves and Men upon the Isle of Balar before the War.

Not an exhaustive look, but in any case it speaks to the nature of the Silmarillion tradition as Tolkien himself left it at his passing.

*see HME IV for better context concerning 'these passages' here
The sinking of Beleriand was probably swift, geologically speaking, taking just a few years as opposed to centuries or millenia. The problem with this question lies in the Tale of Years and its inexactness in the definition of the Ages and their precise lengths.
All we know about the First Age is that it was just about 600 Years of the Sun long: I deduce this from the notation in the Silmarillion that states that Earendil was born 503 years after the Noldor came to Middle-Earth, add seven years until the time when Morgoth attacks Gondolin, Tuor grows old and Earendil becomes lord of the people, builds Vingilot, makes his Voyage: the Host of the Valar prepares for battle, comes to Middle-Earth, the War of Wrath, etc. End of the First Age.
But what delineates the end of the First Age and the beginning of the Second? There's no particular event, other than the mention of the building of the Grey Havens and Lindon in the year 2.By then, Beleriand was underwater and supposedly the Host of the Valar had returned to Valinor and the other Elves were joining them. Or maybe they waited for the Havens to be built before setting sail. It's not said.
I agree it cannot have been more than even a century, as it must have occurred sometime between FA 545 and the start of the Second Age (with the FA ending in 590). At least according to the 'last' version of the TYs that Tolkien wrote anyway -- the last version that covered this period.

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But what delineates the end of the First Age and the beginning of the Second? There's no particular event, other than the mention of the building of the Grey Havens and Lindon in the year 2.


For the end of the FA:

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590 (revised date) 'The Elves and the Fathers of Men depart from Middle-earth and pass over Sea. Morgoth is thrust from Arda into the Outer Dark.

Here ends the Elder Days with the passing of Melkor, according to the reckoning of most lore-masters; here ends also the First Age...'
JRRT, Tale of Years


In my quote above the date is 600, and in the subsequent commentary I only noted the later changes made to the War of Wrath; but this too was revised.
Thanks for that. Smile Smilie
It's kind of hard to imagine how long these events took. Is there any indication anywhere as to how long a sea voyage to Aman from Middle-Earth takes? I can only speculate that it takes about 2-3 months, even after the Changing of the World in Akallabeth. Given that the Downfall occurred 39 days after the Fleets departed from Numenor, figure about 3 weeks or so to reach Tol Eressea, another week to reach the Final Shore, a couple of days while Ar-Pharazon hesitates before actually landing, the force lands and starts inland toward Tuna and encircles it, and then Manwe calls upon The One and the Valar lay down their governorship of Arda.
Then, given that Numenor was between Middle-Earth and Aman but closer to Aman, that gives me the estimate of 2-3 months, probably closer to 3 months. Am I wrong?
Given this to think about, it took longer for the Host of the West to return to Aman because the Encircling Sea was now wider than when they set out for the Great Battle. How long did that battle last, anyway?
Anyway, back to the original question: How long did it take for Beleriand to sink? Like I said, probably a matter of years but not a century, or even a half century. There were probably major quakes which sparked tsunami that covered the lands, along with aftershocks, maybe even volcanic eruptions from Thangorodrim and the Iron Mountains, or a huge wave from the final sinking of the Island of Balar. Then there was the splitting of Ered Luin with its ensuing quakes and tsunami. There were probably still some lingering aftershocks at the beginning of the Second Age but only for a few months, allowing the surviving Teleri to build the Grey Havens.
This also brings up another question: Did the building of such huge fleets at the end of the First Age exhaust the forests at the base of the Blue Mountains? Did the Green Elves of Ossiriand move inland to the primeval forests in Eriador, or did they pass over sea to the Undying Lands? Or did they die out in the War or in the inundation of Beleriand?
Looking forward to future posts on this subject.
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This also brings up another question: Did the building of such huge fleets at the end of the First Age exhaust the forests at the base of the Blue Mountains? Did the Green Elves of Ossiriand move inland to the primeval forests in Eriador, or did they pass over sea to the Undying Lands? Or did they die out in the War or in the inundation of Beleriand?

The Eastern most part of Beleriand, i.e. Ossiriand, later called Lindon, never sank beneath the waves.

Hence I do not think the Laiquendi moved inland.
As for how long it would take to sail across the western Sea...Its roughly 2000 miles across the Girdle of Arda, from say Tiniquetil to the mid-region of Middle-earth.
As for how long it took after Aman was removed from the world I cannot say.
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Did the Green Elves of Ossiriand move inland to the primeval forests in Eriador, or did they pass over sea to the Undying Lands? Or did they die out in the War or in the inundation of Beleriand?


According to the Silmarillion tradition: 'companies of the Dark-elves of Doriath and Ossiriand' set sail into the West. There's a later story ('later' with respect to when Tolkien wrote it) concerning Galadriel and Celeborn, where it is said:

'... she did not go West at the Downfall of Melkor, but crossed Ered Lindon with Celeborn and came into Eriador. When they entered that region there were Noldor in their following, together with Grey-elves and Green-elves; and for a while they dwelt in the country about Lake Nenuial.'
The last half of Galin's preceding post is from Part Two, Section IV of the Unfinished Tales and span almost 40 pages which are entitled 'The History of Galadriel and Celeborn and of Amroth King of Loríen.' Teacher Smilie
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Did the building of such huge fleets at the end of the First Age exhaust the forests at the base of the Blue Mountains?


In a version of the Silmarillion, for example, there are great isles left after the drowning:

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'In those days there was a great building of ships upon the shores of the Western Sea, and especially upon the great isles, which, in the disruption of the northern world, were fashioned of ancient Beleriand.'

JRRT Quenta Silmarillion, the third version, nearing completion at the end of 1937


It is also said in this version that not all the Elves were willing to forsake the 'Hither Lands' and some lingered in the West and North, and 'especially in the western isles and in the land of Leithien.'

Leithien is England (or was), and the western isles probably were the British Isles (at one point) or included them. In the 'Earliest Silmarillion' for example, also called The Sketch of the Mythology (S), and in the Qenta Noldorinwa of 1930 (Q), it was said:

S: 'The Northern and Western parts of the world are rent and broken in the struggle [added in pencil] and the fashion of the lands altered. (...) The Elves march to the Western Shore, and begin to set sail from Leithien (Britain or England) for Valinor.'

Q: this part of the Qenta has two versions, and QI reads: '... and most upon the great isles...' revised in QII to read: '... and especially upon the great isles...' (as above, in the '1937 version').

Tolkien would later revise this sentence a bit, essentially removing the word 'especially' from the earlier version; but Christopher Tolkien warns that the fact that he did so need not imply a final approval of content.

Of course after The Lord of the Rings was completed in the early 1950s the British Isles were no longer a surviving part of drowned Beleriand. But JRRT did not return to this section of Quenta Silmarillion again with any real attention -- he never truly updated this section.

At one point Christopher Tolkien generally noted: 'What little was ever told of the Drowning of Beleriand is very difficult to interpret; the idea shifted and changed, but my father never at any stage clearly expounded it.'
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I know that the First Age was only from when the Noldor arrived into Endor and the rising of the Moon up until the Sinking of Beleriand but its just easier to say 'the First Age' to include everything before the second age.


I rather think the 'First Age' refers to a time that began with the Awakening of the Quendi.
I consider the First Age to be starting with the Return of the Noldor to Beleriand and the Dagor-nuin-Giliath.
Hmmm, too short I think; that's less than one thousand years. JRRT said the First Age was the longest and that each 'Age' lasted somewhat more or less than 3000 years (at least he thought so at one point anyway, albeit in draft text).

Of course the awakening of the Quendi would make the First Age significantly longer than 3000, but at least it falls in line with Tolkien's other comment (that it is longer than SA and TA).
Come now, when did it ever matter what the author said about his own work?

Oh, wait... Elf Sticking Tounge Out Smilie

Anyway, isn't it mentioned in the Appendices to LOTR that the First Age started upon the Return of the Noldor to Middle-earth? I seem to remember something about this...
If it is I stand corrected, and will go without supper tonight too (maybe, I'm playing tennis later on and will probably get hungry).

Wink Smilie

But I don't remember that; though Appendix B mentions (generally) when the First Age ended.
In The Silmarillions 'Of the Sun and Moon' it says:
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Therefore by the coming and going of Anar the Valar reckoned the days thereafter until the Change of the World.
Where Anar was the sun which had settled down into making its journey from east to west. I consider the First Age Year One started when it reversed its course into the east to west direction. Until that occurance there was no way to count days, let alone years. And of course the Change of the World was the at the end of the First Age. Of course I'm probably wrong. Elf Winking Smilie
One could reckon Valian years before the Sun arose (in the version in which the Sun was the flower of a Tree anyway), and the cycle of the Two Trees could be used to reckon time. A full flowering of both Trees was 12 hours or 1 'day' for example (but 1 hour of the Trees = 7 hours of our time).

If we start from the new reckoning of Sun Years, that only leaves 590 years for the First Age.
Yes, it's First Age, Second Age and Third Age of the Sun.
Well, the First Age of the Sun does not fall in line with either comment by Tolkien. It is the Children of God who will write the legends (and tale of years) that will ultimately become part of the Red Book. Sun Year reckoning represents a new reckoning of course, but not necessarily the start of the First Age. Why not the First Age of the Children?

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'Those were the Days before days. Thereafter one thousand and four hundred and five and ninety Valian Years (or fourteen thousand of our years and three hundred and twenty-two) followed during which the Light of the Trees shone in Valinor. Those were the Days of Bliss. In those days, in the Year one thousand and fifty of the Valar, the Elves awoke in Kuiviénen and the First Age of the Children of Ilúvatar began.' JRRT Annals of Aman


And with respect to the Tale of Years published in War of the Jewels, Christopher Tolkien explains: 'In the manuscript as it was originally written the Elder Days began with the Awakening of the Elves: 'Here begins the Elder Days, or the First Age of the Children of Ilúvatar'; but 'the Elder Days' was struck out and does not appear in the typescript.'

Of course Tolkien later considered altering 1 Valian Year to equal 144 Sun Years, but it might not be JRRT if he didn't niggle a bit, and I just mention it here to mention it.
I think its a matter of scale as to what Age begins where.

For example in our own world we could class 'Ages' as things as large as periods, for example Permian, Jurrasic, Triassic, carbiniforous (sp) etc etc, or as even as Era, such as the Mesozoic. Or we could class Ages far smaller, for example the Bronze Age, or the Iron Age.

In Arda we could class the First Age as the 'Years of the Powers', the Second Age as 'The Years of the Tree's' and the Third Age as the 'Years of thr Sun [and Moon]'. This would be in terms of a complete record from the beginning of Arda (but not of Ea) to the later parts.
However the 'history' of Arda' - that is when we 'officially' begin recording history for ourselves, begins with the First Age which begins with the Noldor returning to Earth - that is returning to a 'Ordinary place' e.g. outside of the Blessed Realm. And of course when the recording of Time begins in a less ethereal state (the Sun and Moon, rather then the Trees of Valinor).
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However the 'history' of Arda' - that is when we 'officially' begin recording history for ourselves, begins with the First Age which begins with the Noldor returning to Earth - that is returning to a 'Ordinary place' e.g. outside of the Blessed Realm. And of course when the recording of Time begins in a less ethereal state (the Sun and Moon, rather then the Trees of Valinor).


However Tolkien's world includes Elves, and indeed Of the beginning of time and its Reckoning is said to be the work of the Elda Quennar Onótimo, as well as Yénonótie 'Counting of Years'.

I see no reason for the Elves to disregard the Years of the Trees as unofficial, or evidence that they thought of Aman as too extraordinary of a place to include in the reckoning of time with respect to the First Age. The 'measurement of time first known to the Eldar' is used to record events in Aman too, where they lived for many years before the revolt of the Noldor (who do not represent all Elves in any case), and is broken down into days and hours. I don't see why The Two Trees would be too 'ethereal' to the Elves compared to the flowers of the same Trees (meaning the Sun and Moon of course).

And in any case the Elvish Awakening fits with Tolkien's own comment on the First Age being the longest, though the Return of the Noldor does not.
I believe you are forgetting that with the First Rising of the Sun comes the awakening of Mortal race. That is what I mean by 'official'. The First Awakening of the 'ordinary' for lack of a better word. The 'not-so' angelic. Whatever you want to call it.
I nowhere disputed that the Years of the Trees, or indeed of the 30-40000 years previous to the rising of the Moon are not to be considered an accurate measurment of time, I merely stated that the 'First Age of the Sun' begins with the Sun, which is how time was reckoned ever after, and was the only measurement of time that Mortal race knew.
I'm not forgetting the Awakening of Men, but the Children of God includes the Elves of course.

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I nowhere disputed that the Years of the Trees, or indeed of the 30-40000 years previous to the rising of the Moon are not to be considered an accurate measurment of time, I merely stated that the 'First Age of the Sun' begins with the Sun, which is how time was reckoned ever after, and was the only measurement of time that Mortal race knew.


And? Of course the 'First Age of the Sun' could begin with the Sun, if you're going to phrase it that way to begin with! The question however is if the 'First Age' is considered as such.

And by this reckoning, it is far too short to be the 'longest' of the Three Ages.
Just to give an example:

"And at the end of the first age of the Chaining of Melkor, when all the Earth had peace and the glory of Valinor was at its noon, there came into the world Lúthien, the only child of Thingol and Melian."

Here we see that there is an end to the First Age even before the Noldor returned to Middle earth. There is even a second Age of the captivity of Melkor.

There are the Ages of the Trees, there are the Ages of the Pillars, there are the Ages of the Sun.
But my point is that the 'focal' ages are the Ages of the Sun and Moon, which started with the Noldor's return to Middle-earth and the Awakening of the Second Born in Hildorien.
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But my point is that the 'focal' ages are the Ages of the Sun and Moon, which started with the Noldor's return to Middle-earth and the Awakening of the Second Born in Hildorien.


OK, so are you or aren't you claiming that the 'First Age' begins with the Awakening of Men? Robert Foster would also be aware of the Silmarillion quote you raised, for example, but in his entry for First Age he writes: 'The First Age may have begun with the completion of Arda or with the Awakening of the Elves.'

I agree so far with his second choice, but his sources did not include the Annals of Aman, and so his work does not mention Quennar (or his Yénonótie) and I wonder how his entry would read if so. In any case the issue he is trying to speak to here is essentially the issue new to this thread.

In 1958 (in a letter) Tolkien noted that he imagined that the Ages had quickened between the Fall of Sauron and 'our Days' as he put it, perhaps indicating that he still held to his once explicit statement that the First Age was the longest.
Ok here goes...

The First Age of the Children of Iluvatar indeed began with the Awakening of the Elves. But by 'the First Age' it doesn't mean a set period of time like it does with the First Age of the Sun. Its just a vague reference, like for example 'the First Age of industry began', or 'The First age of computing began' etc. Of course the First Age of the children of Iluvatar awoke when they first came into being! But its not meant as an actual Age, an actual time frame, a source of direct reference in history, if you see what I mean. No doubt you could say that Dwarves probably have there own 'First Age' that began when Durin awoke.
Just as 'the First Age of the captivity of Melkor was over' - its not a time frame to directly relate history to. Its just a structure in which to place a given event.

Whereas the First Age of the Sun is an actual recording of Time, which begins with the Rising of the Sun and Moon, and ends with the defeat of Morgoth. Just as the second Age ends with the defeat of Sauron, and the Third with the Rings destruction. These are actual recordings of history in which all races adhere to.

To give you another example...there are many instances where people (notably Gandalf) says "And there Angmar stood in ages past" (for example). But Angmar actually stood there in the same Age as when Gandalf is speaking. But he is not refering to the Ages in which time is recorded for the history of Arda. Just like you could say 'and the 4th Age of Arnor began'. That is the fourth age in which Arnor ruled and in which each age began and ended with Arnor's own defeates and victories - nothing to do with the main ages.

I hope I have clarified my position on thingsSmile Smilie
It appears you think the 'First Age' begins with SY1 and thus (according to text in The History of Middle-Earth at least) lasted 590 years, while the Second and Third were over 3000 years.

If so, OK we disagree.
ObviouslySmile Smilie
I remember a piece in Book of Lost Tales in which a number of Ainur were being sent to the "new" Arda (Timeless Halls are timeless after all).... and there were 3 beings; each one was shorter than the next. I do not remember well, but they were described similar to being 3 "Father-Time"s and a process of the Time in Arda was created describing these beings as wrapping strings of time around Arda so that as they continued that Time will become more "tight" as these strings grew tighter.

So considering that the concept of the passing of time may have some room for variation...
If we are to take the notion that Arda was not a Real Globe until the Third Age than I would think that Time is a less dominating factors during the Sinking of Beleriand.

Do I remember correctly in thinking that it was said: To far off witnesses of that Great Battle at that Ended the First Age merely saw it as great cataclysm in the land.... I would imagine that while these Great and Divine events are happening that the "Time/Space reality bubble of perception" would be different for those who are Elves and those Mortals who are dealing with Elves such as the High Men. Perhaps this is why and HOW the Numenoreans were able to so freely deal with the Elves of that Age... who you must admit.. much have had a much different perception of Time and Space than Mortals.

This would mean that to Lesser Men who view Time relative to their short life-span, the Ruin could have been no different it a comet hit some far off coast line.... but to those who were there.. like Immortal Elves and High Men and those who must have been capable of comprehending what was happening (Eonwe and the armies of the Valar fighting).. those individuals would have had a completely different view point of it... and thus I believe that the "Time" that it took was different for different peoples.
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It is the Children of God who will write the legends (and tale of years) that will ultimately become part of the Red Book. Sun Year reckoning represents a new reckoning of course, but not necessarily the start of the First Age. Why not the First Age of the Children?

But ultimately the tales of the Atani would outlast those of the Quendi, who would (thankfully) all have disappeared from the face of the earth (save in Rovaniemi, Finland), hence it would not be so unlogical for those Atani scholars to begin the First Age with the Awakening of their race at the very first Sunrise.

It would not even be so unlogical for Elven scholars in Middle-earth to use this same Sun Year reckoning for their stories, since I gather most Noldor would view their arrival in Beleriand as a 'new beginning', even a liberation, from their decadent, stagnant and useless lives back in Valinor.
Well, I'm not suggesting it would be illogical that the First Age began with the rising of the Sun, I just think it began with the arising of the Children. Of course, with respect to the story of the Sun and Moon as fruits of the Two Trees, if this was to be a beautiful but somewhat 'garbled' tale due to Mannish influence, then it's in these versions that Men awoke with the Sun.

In the Elvish child's tale that concerns the awakening of the Quendi, for example, the Sun already exists. But I guess tossing in Myths Transformed might just complicate matters here.
Considering LOTR and its earlier histories all take place in a 'forgotten age', it seems that eventually all those stories originating from Elven loremasters (the Music of the Ainur, the Two Trees, Creation of Sun and Moon, etc) would all die out too, be forgotten and replaced by 'alternate' histories proposed by Atani scholars.

Save, of course, if the Dark Queen Galadriel and her Dwarven vanguard would return from Beyond and knock some sense in those thick Atani skulls.
Yes, the Mannish element is noted in Tolkien's remarks in a late letter, for example...

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'(...) This general idea lies behind the events of The Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion, but it is not put forward as geologically or astronomically 'true'; except that some special catastrophe is supposed to lie behind the legends and marked the first stage in the succession of Men to dominion of the world. But the legends are mainly of 'Mannish' origin blended with those of the Sindar (Gray-elves) and others who had never left Middle-earth.' JRRT, Letter 325, 1971


If Rivendell is indeed a repository of lore, and a certain measure of Bilbo's Red Book hails from lore gleaned in Imladris, I think it's possible that this leaves room for certain texts from Elvish minds and hands to also be preserved within a greater legendarium (one that includes variant Mannish traditions).

That said, Tolkien published this, in any event:

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'The beginning of Hobbits lies far back in the Elder Days that are now lost and forgotten. Only the Elves still preserve any records of that vanished time, and their traditions are concerned almost entirely with their own history, in which men appear seldom and Hobbits are not mentioned at all.'


JRRT Prologue, The Fellowship of the Ring