Sunday, 17 July 2016

Sects And Sprites

Poul Anderson, The Merman's Children (Sphere Books, London, 1981), Book Three, "Tupilak," Chapter I, pp. 113-124.

The action is near the Adriatic coast at edge of the Svilaja Planina. The zhupan Ivan Subitz's castle is in Skradin, the largest community in the zhupe, near the town of Shibenik.

"'...the satnik's men...'" (p. 115) capture merpeople. The castle chaplain, Father Petar, lists the known religions that the captives do not conform to:

"'...Catholics of the Western rite, mauger that one of them knows Latin...'" (p. 115);
Catholics of the local rite;
Orthodox schismatics;
Bogomil heretics;
Jews;
paynim;
heathens.

They do not pray, sacrifice or worship. Petar seems to refer to the local rite as the Holy Glagolitic Church. (I am learning.) This Church is somehow threatened by the Pope, by Serbian and Imperial Orthodox and by the Bogomils. Mention of Serbian Orthodox reminds us of the Orthochristians on the planet Dennitza in Anderson's Technic History.

Father Tomislav, the priest of the zadruga, who studied in Zadar, lists "'...harmless sprites...'" (p. 117) who can be "'...good friends to poor humans...'" (ibid.):

Leshy
domovoi
poleviki -

- but Petar reminds him of viljai.

Thus, this chapter presents highly condensed data. I have read only as far as p. 117 and might need a break.

1 comment:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    "Glagolitic," another curious word!

    And, you or I have wondered if the Dennitzan Orthochristians were either Eastern rite Catholics or Orthodox. I think Anderson deliberately left that question open.

    Sean

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