Wednesday, 31 October 2012


Another real person encountered by Gratillonius in Gallicenae (London, 1988) by Poul and Karen Anderson is Decimus Magnus Ausonius, described in the list of Dramatis Personae as "Gallo-Roman poet, scholar, teacher, and sometime Imperial officer." (p. 424)

Ausonius had corresponded with Bodilis, one of the Nine Witch-Queens of Ys who are married to their King, Gratillonius. Consequently, the latter visits Ausonius when the opportunity arises.

Ausonius thinks that Ys might " '...hold the world's highest civilization..." but is also aware of "That mysterious force which has worked for centuries to erase its name from our chronicles...' " (p. 97)

- which is why we read about it only in legends and works of fiction.

Told that Gratillonius is Mithraist, Ausonius responds:

" '...I'm Christian myself, but hold that to be no grounds for scorning the ancients or any upright contemporaries who believe otherwise. Surely God is too great to be comprehended in a single creed...' " (p. 98)

Did the real Ausonius say anything like this? If so, then we might comment either that he was ahead of his time or that a great deal of Classical Pagan sense counteracted his Christianity. Bishop Martinus and Maximus Augustus would scarcely have agreed that God was not comprehended by the Christian creed.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

It would have been more correct, in Catholic eyes, if Poul and Karen Anderson had Ausonius saying that he rejected nothing that was true in other faiths. Even Islam, a religion I dislike and sharply disagree with is right when it says God is One, Just, Merciful, and our Judge.


Paul Shackley said...

Instead of "God is too great to be comprehended by any single creed", he should have said, "Other creeds have parts of the truth."

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

Yes,that is what I would preferred the Andersons having Ausonius say. But, really, both in THE KING OF YS and other works, Poul Anderson said very, very few things about Christianity I would disagree with.