Soria Moria/Moriah/Moria

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Soria Moria/Moriah/Moria

Post by Lomelindo »

Quote from "History of the Hobbit":

"Trolls with multiple heads appear in many stories, perhaps the most famous of which is Dasent’s ‘Soria Moria astle’, where the hero must confront and defeat first a three-headed troll, then a six-headed troll, and finally a nine-headed troll (East o’ the Sun & West o’ the Moon) [1888], pages 397–401)"

Plot summary from Wikipedia:

A poor couple had a son named Halvor who was like the Ash Lad (Norwegian: Askeladden), good for nothing but to sit about groping in the ashes. One day, a skipper asked him if he would like to go to sea. He went, and a storm blew them far off course. When Halvor got off the ship, he walked and found a castle. When he reached it, a princess warned him that a troll with three heads lived there and would eat him. Halvor refused to leave. The princess fed him and asked him to try to wield a sword. He could not, and she advised him to drink from a flask; afterwards, he could wield it. He killed the troll on its return. The princess told him of her two other sisters, also held captive by trolls, and Halvor rescued them as well, though one troll had six heads and the other nine.

They offered that any of them would marry him, and he chose the youngest princess, but he missed his parents and wanted to tell them what had happened. The princesses gave him a ring to wish himself there and back but warned him not to name them. His parents took a long time to recognize this grand lord as their son, but they were very pleased with him. The young women were abashed before him, because they used to mock him. He wished the princesses were there to show them how abashed they should be. They appeared. The youngest princess persuaded Halvor to lie down and sleep, put a ring on his finger, took the wishing ring and wished them back to Soria Moria Castle.

He set out to find them, bought a horse, and found a cottage with an old couple where the woman had a nose long enough to stir the fire with. He asked if they knew the way to Soria Moria Castle, and they did not, nor did the Moon when the old woman asked it, but the old woman traded him a pair of boots that took twenty miles a step for his horse, and asked him to wait for the West Wind. It knew where Soria Moria Castle was, and that there was to be a wedding there. Halvor set out with the West Wind to reach it. There, Halvor put the ring the princess had given him into a cup and had it brought to the princess. She recognized it and married Halvor instead of the new bridegroom.

https://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/lfb/re/refb05.htm

Meaning:

- (Wikipedia) The exact meaning of the name Soria Moria is not known. It may be related to Moriah, the name given to a mountain range in the Book of Genesis. According to tradition, this was the place where Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac. JRR Tolkien acknowledged that the name (in sound, not meaning) lay behind his "Mines of Moria." It could also be related to the Greek words "sophia" and "moria" which mean wisdom and foolishness.

- In the story of Askeladden, the Ash Lad catches sight of Soria Moria Castle glittering far away in the distant mountains, the manifestation of all his longing and dreams.

- for most Norwegians and all readers of the folk tales, the far-off castle shining in the sun stands as symbol of our quest for happiness and personal fulfillment. And this quest is not always an easy one. The path is not clearly marked, and there are dangers along the way.

- Some would call Soria Moria Castle a "dream castle" which suggests the Imaginal realm.

https://www.norwegianamerican.com/soria-moria/

This reminds me of Gondolin. The shimmering city in the mountains though it probably wouldn't be quite this visible in the Legendarium.
soriamoria.PNG
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Re: Soria Moria/Moriah/Moria

Post by Lomelindo »

Notice the presence of a magic ring that transported him home.

Curiouser and Curiouser....
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Re: Soria Moria/Moriah/Moria

Post by Lomelindo »

Moriah = Mountainous region mentioned in the Book of Genesis, site of the Biblical story where Abraham almost sacrifices (by fire) his son Isaac to the "Lord" (more like Morgoth, would Eru ever make a demand like this? I highly doubt it). Makes me think of Morgoth since Yahweh desires a burnt human sacrifice, like in Numenor when Sauron poisioned the minds of the Numenoreans.

Solomon builds a temple on Mouth Moriah (Heb. Har Moriyya) which is 2520 ft (768 m) in height. Legends say he used a magic ring to summon demons to build the temple for him, which is interesting since we have another magic ring in the picture. The Jews say that the Temple Mount in Jerusalem itself is Mount Moriah.

From http://www.templemount.org/moriah2.html below

The topographic map shows that Mount Moriah is not a single peak, but an elongated ridge which commences to rise at its Southern end at the junction of the Kidron and Hinnom Valleys, at the original City of David, (elevation approximately 600 meters). The ridge then climbs in elevation to a maximum of 777 meters just Northeast of the present Damascus Gate of the Old City. The Temple Mount, prominent in most photos of Jerusalem occupies an area of about 45 acres. However the elevation of the bedrock outcropping on the Temple Mount within the Dome of the Rock Moslem shrine is only 741 meters.

A distinctly separate "mountain" is Mount Zion (elevation 772 meters) which lies about 600 meters to the West.

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/mount-moriah

Mount Moriah's sacred status may date back to the early Canaanite period, when it perhaps was the cultic center of "El Elyon," god of Melchizedek, king of Salem: "And Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine; he was a priest of God Most High [=El Elyon]. He blessed him, saying, Blessed be Abram of God Most High, creator of heaven and earth" (Genesis 14:18)

The tradition of "Jacob's Dream" is also identified with Mount Moriah: "He came upon a certain place and stopped there for the night, for the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of that place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. He had a dream; a stairway was set on the ground and its top reached to the sky, and angels of God were going up and down on it. And the Lord was standing beside him... Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ... "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the abode of God and that is the gateway to heaven" (Genesis 28:10-18).

This is perhaps the most colorful representation of the essential nature of the site which some would later claim was the "navel of the world". At the summit of Mount Moriah, traditionally, is the "Foundation Stone," the symbolic fundament of the world's creation, and reputedly the site of the Temple's Holy of Holies, the supreme embodiment of the relationship between God and the people of Israel.
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Re: Soria Moria/Moriah/Moria

Post by Lomelindo »

https://www.thetorah.com/article/the-my ... -of-moriah

In his JPS Genesis excursus 16, Nahum Sarna surveys several suggestions for the etymology of the word “moriah”:

The Lofty Country – Septuagint
The Land of Worship – Aramic Targum / Ramban
The Land of Vision – Vulgate /Samaritan Targum
The Land of the Amorites – Peshitta / Rashbam
The Land that I will show you – Genesis Rabba 55:9
The Place from which fear of the Lord emanates – R. Jannai in Tanchuma
The Place from which teaching issued to the world – b. Taanit 16a / Rab. 55.9

- The Syriac translation of the Septuagint describes Moriah as the "land of the Amorites". Amorite in Akkadian is Amurru. They are also called Mar-tu "Westerners" in Sumerian and Amor in Ancient Egypt. In 2200 BC they moved to southern Mesopotamia because of a drought. The Amorites are a nomadic people with a Semitic culture and language. They are described as a powerful people of great stature "like the height of the cedars" (Amos 2:9) who had occupied the land east and west of the Jordan. The height and strength mentioned in Amos 2:9 has led some Christian scholars, including Orville J. Nave, who wrote the Nave's Topical Bible, to refer to the Amorites as "giants". This means that these people would be considered the offspring of the Watchers (fallen angels) and human women in the Book of Enoch.

In Deuteronomy, the Amorite king, Og, was described as the last "of the remnant of the Rephaim" (Deut 3:11). The terms Amorite and Canaanite seem to be used more or less interchangeably, Canaan being more general and Amorite a specific component among the Canaanites who inhabited the land.

- Strictly speaking, the extra-biblical usage of the name Amorites was applied almost exclusively to people who came from southern Mesopotamian locations prior to 2000 B.C.E. It is clear, however, that people with the same language were present along the mid-Euphrates at *Mari in the 20th century, at Babylon about 1830, and at Asshur on the Tigris River about 1750 B.C.E. That they were even present in Palestine is witnessed by the Egyptian Execration Texts of the 20th and 19th centuries. Their language did not survive in writing, but when they took over Akkadian Old Babylonian, they transliterated their names (which were often theophorous, for example, the elements 'am "people"; 'ab "father"; 'ah "brother," were combined with names of deities such as El and Hadad) and employed words, forms, and linguistic usages most closely paralleled in later West Semitic languages.

- The Talmud applies the term darkhei ha-Emori ("the ways of the Amorite") to superstitious heathen practices not covered by specific prohibitions but subsumed under the general prohibition of "neither shall you walk in their statutes" (Lev. 18:3). The verse actually refers generally to the prohibition against "the doings of the land of Canaan" in general. The Mishnah (Ḥul. 4:7) forbids as "Amorite practices" the burial at the crossroads of the afterbirth of the first born of an animal which had been set aside for an offering, or hanging it on a tree, and the wearing of such charms as "a locust's egg, a fox's tooth, or a nail from the gallows of an impaled convict" (Shab. 6:10). Chapters 6 and 7 of Tosefta Shabbat give a comprehensive list of such prohibitions, and are referred to as "the chapter on Amorite practices" (Shab. 67a where other examples are given). Nevertheless, the rabbis held that whatever is done for medicinal purposes is not prohibited as Amorite practice (ibid.).

- The Amorites were descended from Eber, son of Canaan
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“We’re not in decent places.” Gollum
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Re: Soria Moria/Moriah/Moria

Post by Lomelindo »

OG is not to be confused with GOG of Gog and Magog, which also leads us to the legendary British giant Gogmagog.

- King Og of Bashan was an Amorite king who was considered the last of the giants (Rephaim)

- It is noteworthy that the region north of the river Jabbok, or Bashan, "the land of Rephaim", contains hundreds of megalithic stone tombs (dolmen) dating from the 5th to 3rd millennia BC. In 1918, Gustav Dalman discovered in the neighborhood of Amman, Jordan (Amman is built on the ancient city of Rabbah of Ammon) a noteworthy dolmen which matched the approximate dimensions of Og's bed as described in the Bible. His bed was made of iron and was more than thirteen feet long and six feet wide. If the giant king's bedstead was built in proportion to his size as most beds are, he may have been between 9 and 13 feet (2.7 and 4.0 m) in height. Maybe Numenorean blood here?

- The 2nd-century BC apocryphal book "Ogias the Giant" or "The Book of Giants" depicts the adventures of a giant named Ogias who fought a great dragon, and who was supposedly either identical with the Biblical Og or was Og's father.

The book enjoyed considerable currency for several centuries, especially due to having been taken up by the Manichaean religion.

- Amorites originally came from the West hence the Sumerian name Mar-tu "Westerners", again reminds me of Numenoreans.

- The Amorites worshipped their own pantheon of gods with a chief deity named Amurru (also known as Belu Sadi - 'Lord of the Mountains' whose wife, Belit-Seri was 'Lady of the Desert'). The god Amurru’s association with the mountains and his wife's with the desert suggests that they may have originated in the area of Syria around Mount Hermon, but this is unsubstantiated. Their origins are unknown, and their precise history, until they settle in cities like Mari, Ebla, and Babylon, is equally mysterious. From their first appearance in the historical record, the Amorites had a profound impact on the history of Mesopotamia and are probably best known for their kingdom of Babylonia under the Amorite king Hammurabi (r. 1792-1750 BCE). The span between 2000-1600 BCE in Mesopotamia is known as the Amorite Period, during which their impact on the region can most clearly be discerned, but there is no doubt that they influenced the people of the various cities long before that time, and their impact was felt long after.

- During the latter part of the thine III Period (also known as the Sumerian Renaissance, 2047-1750 BCE), when King Shulgi of the Sumerian city of thine constructed a wall 155 miles (250 kilometers) long specifically to keep the Amorites out of Sumer. The wall was too long to be properly manned, however, and also presented the problem of not being anchored at either end to any kind of obstacle; an invading force could simply walk around the wall to bypass it, and that seems to be precisely what the Amorites did.

Amorite incursions led to the weakening of thine and Sumer as a whole, which encouraged the region of Elam to mount an invasion and break through the wall. The sack of thine by the Elamites in 1750 BCE ended Sumerian civilization, but this was made possible by the earlier incursions of the Amorites and their migrations throughout the region which undermined the stability and trade of the cities.

- The scholar Paul Kriwaczek writes:

Terah’s family were not Sumerian. They have long been identified with the very people, the Amurru or Amorites, whom Mesopotamian tradition blamed for thine’s downfall. William Hallo, Professor of Assyriology at Yale University, confirms that 'growing linguistic evidence based chiefly on the recorded personal names of persons identified as Amorites…shows that the new group spoke a variety of Semitic ancestral to later Hebrew, Aramaic and Phoenician.' What is more, as depicted in the Bible, the details of the patriarch’s tribal organization, naming conventions, family structure, customs of inheritance and land tenure, genealogical schemes, and other vestiges of nomadic life are too close to the more laconic evidence of the cuneiform records to be dismissed out of hand as late fabrications. (163-164)

- According to the Jewish Encyclopedia:

To the apocryphal writers of the first and second pre-Christian century [the Amorites] are the main representatives of heathen superstition, loathed as idolaters, in whose ordinances Israelites may not walk (Lev. xviii. 3). A special section of the Talmud (Tosef., Shab. vi.-vii. [vii.-viii.]; Bab. Shab. 67a et seq.) is devoted to the various superstitions called "The Ways of the Amorites." According to the Book of Jubilees (xxix. [9] 11), "the former terrible giants, the Rephaim, gave way to the Amorites, an evil and sinful people whose wickedness surpasses that of any other, and whose life will be cut short on earth." In the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch (lx.) they are symbolized by "black water" on account of "their black art, their witchcraft and impure mysteries, by which they contaminated Israel in the time of the Judges"

- Hammurabi was an Amorite.

- The Amorites are mentioned more than 80 times in Scripture, and early on, some were allied with Abraham (Genesis 14:13). They were descendants of Noah’s grandson Canaan (Genesis 10:15–16). Although the Bible does not provide this information, the Jewish general-turned-historian Josephus gives the name of their ancestor as Amorreus.1 While the Amorites are mentioned in the same contexts as other giants a few times, they are specifically described as giants in the Minor Prophets.

“Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was as strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit above and his roots beneath. Also it was I who brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite” (Amos 2:9–10).

Through Amos, God clearly stated that the Amorites were generally very tall and strong. Some may downplay the description of the Amorites in this passage, since these verses employ figurative language, but there are some good reasons to take this passage in a straightforward manner.

The idea that the Amorites were giants is supported by the report of the spies whom Moses sent through the land of Canaan. The Amorites were one of the people groups they saw (Numbers 13:29), and they claimed that “all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature” (Numbers 13:32). It is telling that in their response, Joshua and Caleb did not challenge the size of the land’s inhabitants (Numbers 14:6–9)
https://ronmorehead.com/giants-in-the-o ... -amorites/

- The Tower of Babel story is seen as occur in 2500 BC
“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” - Haldir

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Re: Soria Moria/Moriah/Moria

Post by Lomelindo »

This post briefly goes into the genetics of the Canaanites

\https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/07 ... canaanites

- About 50% of the Canaanites’ genes came from local farmers who settled the Levant about 10,000 years ago. But the other half was linked to an earlier population identified from skeletons found in Iran, the team reports today in The American Journal of Human Genetics. The researchers estimate these Eastern migrants arrived in the Levant and started mixing with locals around 5000 years ago.

- This finding fits with other recent studies of the Levant. Iosif Lazaridis, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School in Boston, saw the same mixture of eastern and local ancestry in the genomes of ancient skeletons from Jordan. “It’s nice to see that what we observed wasn’t a fluke of our particular site, but was part of this broader Canaanite population,” Lazaridis says.

Now that Haber had confirmed who the Canaanites were, he set out to find out what happened to them. He compared their genomes to those of 99 living Lebanese people and hundreds of others in genetic databases. Haber found that the present-day Lebanese population is largely descended from the ancient Canaanites, inheriting more than 90% of their genes from this ancient source. The other 7% may have come from migrants from Central Europe who moved to the Levant around 3000 years ago.

So does the new study show that there was no war between the Israelites and the Canaanites? Not necessarily, says Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute geneticist Chris Tyler-Smith, who worked with Haber. Genes don’t always track conflict. “You can have genetically similar or indistinguishable populations that are culturally very different and don’t get on with one another at all,” Tyler-Smith says. This might have been the case with the Israelites and the Canaanites—similar genes, but sworn enemies.
“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” - Haldir

“We’re not in decent places.” Gollum
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Re: Soria Moria/Moriah/Moria

Post by Meneldur Olvarion »

Lomelindo wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:54 pm[...] According to the Book of Jubilees (xxix. [9] 11), "the former terrible giants, the Rephaim, gave way to the Amorites, an evil and sinful people whose wickedness surpasses that of any other, and whose life will be cut short on earth." In the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch (lx.) they are symbolized by "black water" on account of "their black art, their witchcraft and impure mysteries, by which they contaminated Israel in the time of the Judges"
You seem quite familiar with the ancient Levant, which I am not. What do you think those "black arts" and "impure mysteries" might have been? Every conqueror puts their negative spin on the culture of their former enemies, but are there any third-party accounts of this from extant cultures at the time that weren't involved in the conflict?
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Re: Soria Moria/Moriah/Moria

Post by Lomelindo »

Yes I've been doing a lot of research on Semitic peoples since there is a Semitic flavor to the Numenorean culture but instead it seems the creator gods of the Near/Middle East were more consistent with the character of Melkor. In Phoenicia one of the gods they worshipped was named Melqart.

The Talmud applies the term darkhei ha-Emori ("the ways of the Amorite") to superstitious heathen practices not covered by specific prohibitions but subsumed under the general prohibition of "neither shall you walk in their statutes" (Lev. 18:3). The verse actually refers generally to the prohibition against "the doings of the land of Canaan" in general. The Mishnah (Ḥul. 4:7) forbids as "Amorite practices" the burial at the crossroads of the afterbirth of the first born of an animal which had been set aside for an offering, or hanging it on a tree, and the wearing of such charms as "a locust's egg, a fox's tooth, or a nail from the gallows of an impaled convict" (Shab. 6:10). Chapters 6 and 7 of Tosefta Shabbat give a comprehensive list of such prohibitions, and are referred to as "the chapter on Amorite practices" (Shab. 67a where other examples are given). Nevertheless, the rabbis held that whatever is done for medicinal purposes is not prohibited as Amorite practice (ibid.).

I haven't seen any independent accounts. The accounts we have are from their enemies (Sumerians, Akkadians, Canaanites) so we have few clues on what the practices really were. The above quote is according to Semitic scriptures.
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Re: Soria Moria/Moriah/Moria

Post by Lomelindo »

Here's an interesting dissertation on Amorites' cultural identity. I'm going to read it and you are welcome to.

https://escholarship.org/content/qt9pn5 ... f?t=pwzt6k
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Re: Soria Moria/Moriah/Moria

Post by Lomelindo »

And of course we can't forget the archaeological find in Lydney Park in Gloucestershire, which Nodens and the nearby Dwarf mines. The find involved a golden ring as well. He also was asked to work out the etymology of Nodens (who the classical authors associated with Neptune, Silvanus, and Mars) which he traced to Nuada which in turn goes back to Celebrimbor.

The Ring of Silvianus was discovered in 1785 in the field of a farm near Silchester, a town of Roman origins, and the site of many archaeological discoveries. It is unknown how the ring came to be located at The Vyne, but it is presumed that the farmer who found the ring sold it to the family, who were known to have an interest in history and antiquities. In 1888, the owner of the property, Chaloner Chute, wrote about the ring in a history of the house.

In the early 19th century a lead plaque of a type known as a "curse tablet" or defixio was discovered at the site of a Roman temple dedicated to the god Nodens at Lydney Park, Gloucestershire, 80 miles (130 km) from The Vyne. The plaque was inscribed with a curse:

DEVO NODENTI SILVIANVS ANILVM PERDEDIT DEMEDIAM PARTEM DONAVIT NODENTI INTER QVIBVS NOMEN SENICIANI NOLLIS PETMITTAS SANITATEM DONEC PERFERA VSQVE TEMPLVM DENTIS
This translates as

For the god Nodens. Silvianus has lost a ring and has donated one half [its worth] to Nodens. Among those named Senicianus permit no good health until it is returned to the temple of Nodens.


- The Anglo-Saxon name for the place was Dwarf's Hill, and in 1932 Tolkien traced Nodens to the Irish hero Nuada Airgetlám, "Nuada of the Silver-Hand".


Influence of archaeological and philological work at Nodens' Temple on Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium
Shippey thought this "a pivotal influence" on Tolkien's Middle-earth, combining as it did a god-hero, a ring, dwarves, and a silver hand.[14] The J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia notes also the "Hobbit-like appearance of [Dwarf's Hill]'s mine-shaft holes", and that Tolkien was extremely interested in the hill's folklore on his stay there, citing Helen Armstrong's comment that the place may have inspired Tolkien's "Celebrimbor and the fallen realms of Moria and Eregion"

- The name Nodens probably derives from a Celtic stem *noudont- or *noudent-, which J. R. R. Tolkien suggested was related to a Germanic root *neut- meaning "acquire, have the use of", earlier "to catch, entrap (as a hunter)" (cf. Proto-Germanic *neut-e- "to make use of, to enjoy", *naut-a- "benefit, profit; possession; livestock, cattle"). Making the connection with Nuada and Lludd's hand, he detected "an echo of the ancient fame of the magic hand of Nodens the Catcher". Similarly, Julius Pokorny derives the name from a Proto-Indo-European root *neu-d- meaning "acquire, utilise, go fishing".[4] Ranko Matasović has proposed that the name of this deity may come from Proto-Celtic *snoudo-, meaning "mist, clouds". According to his proposal, the transition from *snoudo- to Nodons happened because the particle sN was changed to N in P-Celtic languages, such as Gaulish and Brittonic. Furthermore, Nodons' name – which is in the nominative case – appears in inscriptions as Nodontī due to a change to the dative case. However, sN- was not reduced in Old Irish, in which the cognate is attested as Núada ~ Núadat, not *Snúada, which evidence weakens Matasović's derivation.
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“We’re not in decent places.” Gollum
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Re: Soria Moria/Moriah/Moria

Post by Meneldur Olvarion »

You may already have this, but in case you don't or someone else is interested later, I'm attaching Tolkien's paper "The Name “Nodens”". I remember reading this and being fascinated back in 2005.

(admin edit - moved the attachment here
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Re: Soria Moria/Moriah/Moria

Post by Lomelindo »

Ah excellent! No I actually don't have this, so thanks for posting it!
“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” - Haldir

“We’re not in decent places.” Gollum
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