Narnia (country)

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Kingdom of Narnia
La geografia de narnia-por samuelmat.JPG
Map of the Narnian Realm
Flag of Narnia.svg
Flag of the Narnian Realm (Golden Age)
Flag of Narnia (New Dynasty).svg
Flag of the Narnian Realm (later years)
The Chronicles of Narnia location
Other name(s) Narnia
Created by C. S. Lewis
Genre Juvenile fantasy
Type Absolute Monarchy
Ethnic group(s) Telmarines (formerly Humans from Earth), Dwarfs, Giants, Fauns, Centaurs, Nymphs, Marsh-wiggles, Talking Animals, Humans, etc.
Notable locations Cair Paravel (capital), Lantern Waste, Beaversdam, Beruna
Notable characters Mr. Tumnus, White Witch, Caspian X, Trumpkin

In C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia series of novels, Narnia is the country around which the books revolve. It is one of several lands in the Narnian world.

Geography[edit]

Coat of arms of Narnia (Golden Age)
Coat of arms of Narnia (later years)

Narnia is a land of rolling hills rising to low mountains in the south. It is predominantly forested except for marshlands in the north. The country is bordered on the east by the Eastern Ocean, on the west by a great mountain range, on the north by the River Shribble, and on the south by Archenland.

The economic heart of the country centres on the Great River of Narnia, which crosses the country from the northwest on an east-southeasterly course to the Eastern Ocean. The seat of government is Cair Paravel, at the mouth of the Great River. Other communities along the river include (from east to west):

  • Beruna: One of four named towns in the country of Narnia. Beruna grew as a strategic location because of the fords on the Great River that were located there. When Narnia was conquered by the Telmarines, a town was built at the Fords of Beruna and a bridge over the river was constructed. In Prince Caspian, Susan Pevensie and Lucy Pevensie accompany Aslan to the bridge, and Bacchus destroys it at the request of the river-god ("Loose my chains").
  • Beaversdam: A community named for the dam in the area built by Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, helped to escort the four Pevensie children (Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy) to the Stone Table to meet Aslan. (LWW) The name kept alive memory of the beavers, though in later times they became extinct in Narnia. The community was likely developed before the Telmarine conquest (unless the Telmarines named it after the "Old Narnian" story of the Pevensies', which is unlikely), but it still existed under the Telmarine rule, and seemed to have hosted a majority of the Telmarine-descent population. At the time when the usurper Miraz purged the aristocracy of anyone who might threaten his rule, two brothers who were the lords of Beaversdam were locked up as "madmen" (PC)
  • Chippingford: One of four towns named in the country of Narnia. It is mentioned briefly at the start of The Last Battle when Shift the Ape sends Puzzle the donkey there to buy oranges and bananas. It is a British English name, made up as if derived from the Anglo-Saxon Cēapungford which means "market ford". (LB)

History[edit]

Inhabitants[edit]

The Kings and Queens of Narnia[edit]

Regnal history[edit]

While only some kings and queens are named in the book, the custom of Narnians to name sons after fathers, as well as a timeline that Lewis wrote outside of the series proper, helps create a fairly complete list of monarchs in the world of Narnia. This table gives the regnal years of the monarchs, as determined by the timeline and clues in the books themselves.

Regnal Years Monarch Notes
1–? Frank I and Helen A working class couple from our world. King Frank had previously been a London cab driver.
Before 180 Five descendants of Frank and Helen All are named Frank.
Col, second son of Frank V, was the first King of Archenland, which he founded in 180.
Between 180 and 302 Three unnamed descendants of Frank VI Presumed to have existed in order to make Gale the tenth King of Narnia
Before 302 Gale First Emperor of the Lone Islands.
Before 900 Swanwhite Date mentioned in The Last Battle.
Contradicts Lewis's timeline, which says 1502.
900–1000 Jadis, Empress of the Lone Islands (a.k.a. the White Witch) Ruled during the Hundred-Year Winter.
1000–1015 Peter the Magnificent (High King)
Susan the Gentle
Edmund the Just
Lucy the Valiant
Ruled concurrently as siblings until they left Narnia.
1998–? Caspian I the Conqueror First King after Telmarine invasion.
?–2290 Eight descendants of Caspian I All named Caspian.
2290–2303 Miraz the Usurper and Prunaprismia Son of Caspian VIII; murdered his brother Caspian IX and displaced his nephew (who succeeded him as Caspian X).
2303–2356 Caspian X the Seafarer (or, the Navigator) and Ramandu's daughter. Son of Caspian IX.
2356–? Rilian the Disenchanted Son of Caspian X.
? Four[1] descendants of Rilian
? Erlian Father of Tirian.
?–2555 Tirian Last King of Narnia before its destruction.

Titles[edit]

When monarchs are installed on the throne of Narnia, they receive the following titles:

  • King/Queen of Narnia
  • Emperor/Empress of the Lone Islands (first acquired by Gale of Narnia) & Dragon Island
  • Lord/Lady of Cair Paravel
  • Lord/Lady of Telmar (from Caspian I to Tirian)

They may also receive the following titles:

Narnia and Narni (Italy)[edit]

C. S. Lewis took the name from the Italian town of Narni, whose Latin name was in fact Narnia. Concerning Narnia and Narni Roger Lancelyn Green writes about C.S. Lewis and Walter Hooper:

When Walter Hooper asked [C.S. Lewis] where he found the word 'Narnia', Lewis showed him Murray's Small Classical Atlas, ed.G.B. Grundy (1904), which he acquired when he was reading the classics with Mr Kirkpatrick at Great Bookham [1914-1917]. On plate 8 of the Atlas is a map of ancient Italy. Lewis had underscored the name of a little town called Narnia, simply because he liked the sound of it. Narnia — or 'Narni' in Italian — is in Umbria, halfway between Rome and Assisi.

Narnia, a small medieval town, is situated at the top of an olive-covered hill. It was already ancient when the Romans defeated it in 299 BC. Its thirteenth-century fortress dominates a deep, narrow gorge of the Nera river which runs below. One of its most important archaeological features is a Romanesque cathedral, which contains the relics of a number of Umbrian saints.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lewis, C.S. (1964). The Last Battle. Puffin. p. 42. ISBN 0140302050. ...and Tirian was once more alone with the cold and the darkness. He thought of other Kings who had lived and died in Narnia in old times and it seemed to him that none of them had ever been so unlucky as himself. He thought of his great-grandfather's great-grandfather King Rillian...