Tuesday, 2 February 2016

New Virginian Neofeudalism

SM Stirling, Conquistador (New York, 2004), Chapter Three.

New Virginian troopers wear gray Commission Militia uniforms but mark their Family affiliation with shoulder flashes. A squad presents arms for the Batyushkov Prime when he has arrived at Colletta Hall in a convoy displaying double-headed eagles and mounted machine guns.Thus easily can ex-KGB men become technologized Cossacks.

The Colletta's Fr Sarducci greets the Batyushkov's Orthodox priest and Giovanni thinks that the two clergymen might argue about filioque. I understand that New Virginian society has lagged behind FirstSide but surely it has not gone that far backwards?

Protocol is all. For the Colletta Prime to greet the Batyushskov at the door would imply equality so the Colletta heir must do it. Batyushkov shows deference by coming to the Hall and to the Prime's office; Giovanni shows respect by meeting him privately and by observing Russian drinking rituals. However, he draws the line at matching his guest drink for drink. A clear head is more important than a minor breach of etiquette and loss of face.

Batyushkov applies the Russian custom of patronymics to his host's Italian name. Thus, he addresses Salvatore's son, Giovanni, as "'...Giovanni Salvatorovich...'" (p. 92)

Behind all this diplomacy and maneuvering is the deadliness of their plan to seize the Gate and rule the Commonwealth.


ndrosen said...

Kaor, Paul!

Well, the Western Catholics and Eastern Orthodox still disagree anout the Filioque in this timeline, even if they're not slaughtering each other about it, so why would they have to go backward in New Virginia for the two priests to argue?

Best Regards,
Nicholas D. Rosen

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Nicholas!

You beat me to it! I was going to tell Paul I've come across Orthodox who still denounce the Filioque. Which meant Catholics like me had to defend its truth and orthodoxy. (Smiles)

For that matter, in one of his letters to me, as we were discussing theology, I recall how Poul Anderson commented on how he had come to realize the Filioque was more important than he had thought.