Monday, 6 June 2016

End Of Empire

A centurion enters Confluentes and calls on Gratillonius to disband the defensive brotherhoods and to conscript Armoricans into the civil war on the side of the usurper, Constantinus III. Gratillonius replies that:

he has neither the power nor the will to issue such orders;

to disband the brotherhoods would be to open Armorica to renewed barbarian incursions;

by, first, leaving Britannia undefended and, secondly, engaging in civil war against powerful enemies, Constantinus is giving himself bigger problems than he can handle;

for all these reasons, Constantinus cannot impose his will on Armorica;

sending the centurion is a mere bluff and that officer had better leave immediately, with whatever protection Gratillonius can give him.

Gratillonius' sources of information are traders, couriers and the Church: Rufinus' and Corentinus' intelligence services. These enable him to tell the centurion that the Empire is dead.

"'We'll never build a legion, though,' Drusus said.
"'No,' Gratillonius sighed. 'The time for that is past. We don't live in the same world any more.'"
-Poul and Karen Anderson, The Dog And The Wolf, Chapter XXI, section 3, p. 421.

- as I no longer live in the world that my parents took for granted.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I would say, rather, that the Western Empire was entering prolonged death agonies, was dying, but not yet DEAD. I still think attention needs to be paid to Emperor Honorius' relatively successful efforts at holding the Empire together during the last ten years of his life (an argument developed by Arther Ferrill in THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE). But, this was after the conclusion of THE KING OF YS.

We certainly don't live in the same world of our parents! My father was born in 1903, when Western civilization was both strong and made even stronger by its self confidence. WE live in bad times, where strength is sapped by despair, self doubt, and obstinately repeated folly.