Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Patriarchs And Patricians

In Latin:

pater, father;
patres, forefathers;
patricius, of the forefathers;
patricii, patricians, aristocrats.

Patres is plural of pater and patricii of patricius.

In Poul and Karen Anderson's King of Ys Tetralogy, St Martin says that his cousin, Sucat, will become Christ's patrician. Sucat is renamed "Patricius," in English "Patrick," and canonized, thus St Patrick.

In Poul Anderson's History of Technic Civilization, a star is named "Patricius." Thus, the star and its planets are the Patrician System.

In Larry Niven's Known Space future history, the kzinti are ruled by a Patriarch. In Poul Anderson's Man-Kzin Wars stories, Ulf Markham admires the kzinti and has a hereditary vote in the Wunderlander House of Patricians although only on federal matters. Election as a consul of his state would give him a say in who attends the House of Delegates. This sounds to me like Anderson's political thinking enriching the Wunderlander constitution in Niven's future history.

Markham leaks the hyperdrive to the kzinti. His excuse:

"'They would inevitably have gotten it. Only by taking part in events can we hope to exercise any influence.'" (The Man-Kzin Wars, p. 125)

A familiar argument: we can influence Apartheid by supporting it instead of sabotaging and ending it.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I absolutely disagree with what Markham did! His betrayal of the FTL drive to the Kzinti ENDANGERED the entire human race because the Patriarchy was bent on the conquest and enslavement of mankind. That kind of treason can never be justified!

While it is true the Kzinti would in time have gained the FTL drive, there was no need for them to get it sooner than it had to be.