Thursday, 9 June 2016


"Svipdag felt he had more right to Svithjod and its wealth than any Skjoldung. He raged to see Gram forestalling him."
-Poul Anderson, War Of The Gods (Tor Books, New York, 1999), p. 24.

It cannot be helped but Poul Anderson writes about periods in which powerful men were motivated by greed and rage.

"To us, their behavior seems insanely egoistic..."
-Poul Anderson, Hrolf Kraki's Saga (Ballantine books, New York, 1973), p. xx.

They needed some Taoist wisdom:

"Two sages can share a blanket; two Emperors cannot share a kingdom."

"A rich man thinks of his estates; a wise man thinks of the universe."

"He who conquers others is mighty; he who conquers himself is mightier." (See here. It seems that I have misremembered the quote but I prefer my wording.)


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I assure you, powerful men today can feel as much rage and a desire for greed as any others in the past! Most feel compelled to mask such unworthy passions today.

Hmmm, "...two Emperors cannot share a kingdom"? Most of the time but not always! Beginning with Diocletian the custom of the Empire being ruled by two co-Emperors became firmly rooted.


Paul Shackley said...

co-Emperors granted. But the point of the proverb remains, I think!

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Oh, I understood the point being made by the proverb. I was merely being a tedious pedant! (Smiles)