Wednesday, 4 July 2018
Piracy And Barbarism
"'Piracy' is what the Minos says it is. Why should our young men not be let blood themselves, and win their fortunes off a Levantine tin ship or a Hittite town? Because it would inconvenience the Cretans in their trade relationships with those places, that's why.'"
-Poul Anderson, The Dancer From Atlantis, CHAPTER NINE, p. 75.
Piracy is exactly what that is. The Cretans have every right to protect their trade relationships by preventing the plundering of tin ships and towns. Anderson's historical fiction covers periods when it was still considered acceptable for one realm to maintain its own dynamism, "...blood themselves...," by attacking others.
More importantly, the Minos keeps the Achaeans divided and weak. They have every right to try to unite.
"'Northward and eastward, in the mountains, are the real barbarians. They prowl the marches like wolves. If we Achaeans cannot be brought together, in the end we'll be invaded and overrun. What then of 'preserving civilization,' when the scrolls burn with the cities?'" (ibid.)
barbarian species armed with atomic weapons and the hyperdrive prowling the marches of the Terran Empire;
Dominic Flandry anticipating the burning of books (here);
later Andersonian future histories in which interstellar imperialism is not an issue but other conflicts arise.