Tolkien’s Ithilien and the Landscape of the Ancient Mediterranean

Keywords: Tolkien, Vergil, Ecocriticism, Ithilien, Flora


This paper examines the intertext between Tolkien’s Ithilien episode in Two Towers and artistic presentations of plants in the art and literature of Augustan Rome. We argue that the evident ‘superbloom’ depicted in the ekphrasis of the flora of Ithilien recalls both Vergilian botanical adynata (especially in the Georgics) and Roman wall paintings of the Augustan period.