Middle-earth without the hobbits


Midgard of Norse Mythology, by Idunn on fanpop.com, http://www.fanpop.com/spots/norse-mythology/images/23499804/title/midgard-photo

I have often wondered how I should translate the Old English term middangeard.

Sadly the online Dictionary of Old English (DOE) has only reached the letter G, and I have doubts of seeing M at all in my lifetime with the plethora of H-words ahead.  Bosworth-Toller defines middangeard as ‘the middle dwelling (between heaven and hell), the earth, world’, but what exactly is this ‘dwelling’ – a house, a land, a country, a space?  If you look up geard in the online DOE, you’ll find an assortment of answers to that question, the primary definition being ‘dwelling-place, enclosure; home, abode’, but also including ‘the habitat of the Phoenix’, ‘enclosure, enclosed land’ and ‘country, region’.  ‘Enclosed land’ gives the impression of agricultural pursuits and the sectioning off of land for planting.  As an enclosed space it either…

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