Saturday, 25 February 2017

Myth And History

During a ritual, the priestess experiences oneness with the Goddess. (SM Stirling, Dies The Fire, New York, 2005, p. 349)

This kind of experience can occur in two kinds of narratives:

a fantasy assuming the literal existence of gods and goddesses;
a narrative set in our world, where such experiences are attested.

Some of the language used here could also be used by a monotheist:

" awareness vast beyond all understanding."

We understand what was meant by the observation that the novel's two themes are myth and technology. See here.

Which god was to be regarded as supreme was an issue of power politics in the ancient world: "In hoc signo vinces." (See here)

Sheila is reading The Silk Roads. Its opening pages refer to:

cities named after Alexander;
the Seleucids;
the Hindu Kush;
the Roman Empire;

Readers of this blog will know how all these names feature in works by Poul Anderson.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I admit to finding the neo-pagan or Wiccan parts of the DIES THE FIRE series the least convincing. Because I simply don't believe there are multiple gods. Monotheism makes far more sense!

The Silk Road of course refers to such beneficial things as the trade and commerce passing both ways (west and east) on that road. It was also, alas, the mean by which disasters such as smallpox (I think) and the Plague spread from east to west.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Corretion, smallpox originated in Africa, not the Far East/China.