|History of Arda|
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The Fourth Age was the time period that followed the War of the Ring. It was an age of peace and the "Age of Men".
The Fourth Age began after Sauron was vanquished and his Ruling Ring had been destroyed. The Shire and the kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor were restored. It marked the ascent of Men and the diminishment of the Elves. Gandalf, Elrond, Galadriel, Bilbo and Frodo sailed for the Undying Lands.
The allies of Sauron suffered a devastating blow that would take them centuries to recover, if they did at all. Harad suffered a devastating defeat and concluded a peace with King Aragorn II Elessar, by which Umbar, whose fleet had been completely destroyed in the mouths of the Anduin, was returned to Gondor, and South Gondor also annexed. The Easterlings also suffered a terrible defeat as their Orc allies fled in terror from the Battle of the Black Gate. However, King Elessar, his descendants and allies such as King Éomer still on occasion warred with their enemies over land, particularly over the bitterly contested region of the Sea of Rhûn. King Elessar died in FO 120 and was succeeded by his son Eldarion who ruled until about FO 220 . Of the kings of the Reunited Kingdom after him, nothing is known.
Tolkien said that he thought the distance between the end of the Third Age and the 20th century A.D. was about 6000 years, and that 1958 should have been around the end of the Fifth Age if the Fourth and Fifth Ages were about the same length as the Second and Third Ages. He said, however, in a letter written in 1958 that he believed the Ages had quickened and that it was about the end of the Sixth Age or beginning of the Seventh (this letter is referred to in the "Fourth Age" article of The Encyclopedia of Arda as mentioned below).
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- Fourth Age at Glyphweb