Monday, 22 October 2012


Here is another connection:

Poul Anderson's The Corridors Of Time features the originals of Theseus and the Minotaur;

Eodan, the hero of Anderson's The Golden Slave, is compared to Theseus when he throws a bull;

Gratillonius, the hero of Poul and Karen Anderson's Roma Mater (London, 1989), revisiting his family home, sees:

"...Theseus overcoming the Minotaur on a wall." (p. 45)

References to a common stock of mythical figures run through several of Anderson's works.

Gratillonius' family has preserved books copied on scrolls, not bound in codices - the latter more like modern books. The scrolls include The Aeneid which he had enjoyed. My current purpose in relearning Latin is to read The Aeneid. Like me, Gratillonius is British and had not learned Greek so I feel some kinship with him but I hope that, if I had lived then, I would neither have practised a men-only religion, Mithraism, nor, later, have converted to Christianity. A philosophical Paganism strikes me as an appropriate perspective from which to contemplate, and hopefully to survive, the Fall of Rome.

At local Moots, Pagan social gatherings, I meet Dianics who sometimes practise women-only rituals but I do not feel inclined to respond by reviving the Mystery of Mithras! That Mystery might have been slightly more durable if it had at least linked up with a comparable female Mystery, making Mithraists' wives less likely to accept Christ and baptise their children.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Needless to say, Paul, I'm glad Catholic Christianity triumphed over the pagan religions and "transitional" cults like Mithraism. For the very simple reason that I believe Christianity is true.


Paul Shackley said...

I think history could have gone differently (suppose Saul had been killed by brigands en route to Damascus?) but the Roman Empire would probably have generated some sort of belief in a new revelation and universal salvation. A theistic way of putting that would be that God would have saved mankind in some other way if mankind's history had gone differently? I also wonder whether, if there is any truth in the idea of prehistoric civilisations, one or more of those civilisations had beliefs in a divine revelation of which no record has survived?