Monday, 8 February 2016

More On "Eutopia"

Continued from here.

"White Neathenai swept in grace and serenity down to the water."
-Poul Anderson, Past Times (New York, 1984), p. 139.

Does anyone know what "Neathenai" means?

Daimonax says of the Westfallers:

"'...they use nerves, glands, muscles more. So they know an aspect of being human which our careful world has denied itself.'" (ibid.)


Eutopia has "...athletic fields..." (p. 115);
Iason himself is tall and broad and has been trained by Olympeion wreath winners.

So the Eutopians do already combine physicality with philosophy.

Of the Westfallers:

"'The family, the kingdom, the race is something to live and die for.'" (ibid.)

That is because these social units are still in dangerous conflict with each other. The human race can become something to live for, the only conflicts being with disease and with the recalcitrance of the physical environment that requires human action to satisfy human needs.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

A few random thoughts comes to mind.

I think "Neathenai" merely means "New Athens."

But, the athletic fields of "Eutopia" are themselves examples of the kind of thing being criticized by Daimonax as being "too careful."


David Birr said...

Sean and Paul:
Yeah, "Athenai" (or "Athinai," depending on the reference) is Greek for "Athens," and "Nea" is "New." I learned that decades ago when compiling a list of colony planets for a role-playing game I hoped to run, and I was trying, if naming places "New" Something, to do so in the language that people from the original area would use. Ny Sverige, Xinshanghai, Noviy Svet, Nuevo Cordillera, etc.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, David!

Exactly what I thought "Neathenai" meant. And of course there are plenty of real world examples of that. For instance, New York City used to be "New Amsterdam" in Dutch before the English wrested away that city and province from the Dutch.