Sunday, 23 July 2017
Able And Unable Rulers
-SM Stirling, The Tears Of The Sun (New York, 2012), Chapter Two, p. 21.
This is the point of Poul Anderson's "Marius."
Both Poul and Karen Andersons' Gratillonius and SM Stirling's Artos are able military leaders who, unlike Marius, also become able political leaders.
Artos' natural abilities are miraculously enhanced by his divinely endowed and empowered Sword whereas Gratillonius, appointed to rule the city of Ys by its Gods, later earns the enmity of those same Gods, thus occasioning the legendary inundation of Ys. By contrast, Artos forges the new High Kingdom of Montival, monarchy having replaced democracy after the Change. This is the kind of situation that we read about but do not want to reproduce in reality - I hope.