- Civis Illustris
I suppose my interpretation is also guided by the fact that since every other verb in that couplet has aorist aspect, it only makes sense for the "rule" verb to have aorist aspect as well, since it's very strange to have one ongoing action preceding three completed actions. (It would be less weird if the three completed actions happened first and the couplet ended with one ongoing action.) I think this might be a case in which English is just less precise than Greek, and that this imprecision can actually be remedied by making use of Greek's greater precision of aspect.Thanks for the discussion, @Callaina, those are interesting points... I think I see what you mean, but I'm not sure that interpretation is necessary there. No matter the "synonymes" used by JRR (if those were synonymes), I think that "rule" or "dominate" really means here (and the translators of Tolkien to foreign languages seem to agree on that) that he wants to HAVE them under their control. And "having them" that is still a state just like "ruling" is by default.
But yes, if there was clearly "subdue", I would agree... I mean, I think what is described here is how he holds the power and the ring bearers are in his thralldom (like the Ring Wraiths) - forever and do his biddings, are his eternal slaves: the dwarf lords, mortal men, the elven kings*. And that is a process...
*I know they didn't give in
I just think it takes some extra mental effort to "unthink" the process from "to rule" and reinterpret it unless it is somehow respecified in English. I also think that the default meaning for "rule" makes sense in regard to the story (although you made an interesting argument).
But thanks for the input, it's an interesting food for thought...