Sunday, 2 August 2015


See here.

In the twenty fourth, twentieth and nineteenth centuries, Time Patrol colleagues discuss Carl Farness' fourth century experiences with him. These three very different colleagues include Unattached agent Manse Everard. Thus, we do not lose touch with the original central character of the series although we also meanwhile receive a much broader perspective on the Patrol.

In 337, Dagobert falls in battle against the Huns.

In 1933, Laurie comforts Carl.

337-344, another section summarizing changes in the world, ends with Tharasmund married to the Visigoth King Athanaric's daughter, Ulrica. Constantine divides the Empire East and West, makes Byzantium, renamed Constantinople, the Eastern capital and declares Christ the single god of the state. (Later: see comments.) Many West Goths are converted although not yet the Ostrogoths who include Tharasmund's Teurings.

337-344, like the earlier 302-334, has a collective point of view. We are told not what Dagobert or Tharasmund thought but what others thought of them:

"Dagobert stayed unrestful, though; folk said that was the blood of his father in him, and that he heard the wind at the edge of the world forever calling." (Time Patrol, pp. 382-383)

(Their world indeed has an edge but they have no conception of what lies beyond it.)

"The restfulness of [Tharasmund's] line was in him too, and he wanted freedom to travel.
"That was well for in those days many changes passed through the world. A chieftain must know them before he could hope to deal with them." (p. 396)

(Change, even for those who can travel through time, is the constant theme of the series.)


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Regretfully, you made a mistake here. The Emperor Constantine I did not make the God taught by Christianity the sole God of the Roman Empire. What he (and his then Eastern colleague) did in the Edict of Milan was to repeal the anti Christian laws of past Emperors, declaring Christianity would now be a "religio licita." The Emperor did show favor to Christianity, becoming a catechumen and being baptized on his death bed, but Constantine did not make it the state religion of the Empire.


Paul Shackley said...

Not my mistake, though. Anderson writes, "Constantine had declared Christ the single god of the state." (p. 396) And I think that this in turn reflects not the content of the Edict of Milan but what the Goths thought had happened. This section, headed 337-344, is narrated from their collective point of view. Thus, it also says that the Teuring's "...gods were doing well by them..." (p. 397), which again is what the Teurings believed, not what an omniscient narrator would have said.
Having read such statements in Anderson and elsewhere, I was surprised a while back when googling disclosed that, although Constantine favored Christianity, he stopped short of proclaiming it the one state religion.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Dang! You're right, I should have recalled that this was only what the GOTHS thought had happened in the Empire. Many details, qualifiers, and nuances would be lost as news traveled over time and distance.

It wasn't till the reign of Theodosius I that the Empire formally abandoned or rejected paganism and Catholic Christianity became the religion of the state. I think Poul Anderson and his wife Karen got the chronology of these developments right in THE KING OF YS.