Saturday, 4 June 2016

Foreshadowings III

See Foreshadowing II.

Rufinus cannot sleep. His bed feels like a grave. He is about to go out and be killed by Dahut.

Gratillonius said:

"'You've bought us some years...'"
-Poul and Karen Anderson, The Dog And The Wolf, Chapter XVII, section 7, p. 351.

The Time Patrol and Dominic Flandry also buy years that people can live in.

On his way out of the city:

"Rufinus dodged around horse dung and offal heaps. Though Gratillonius fumed about it, there was likely no hope of enforcing such cleanliness as had been on the streets of Ys." (p. 352)

No, indeed. Ys is gone and Rome withdraws. The Dark Ages, to be followed by the Middle Ages, approach.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

We see similar sentiments being expressed by Colonel John Christian Falkenberg and other characters in Pournelle/Stirling's Co-Dominium stories. That is, the best military action can do is buy time for the politician to find workable solutions for the mistakes and problems which had made war inevitable.

And one sign of a falling civilization will be neglect of public hygiene, with all that it means in dirt, squalor, and diseases. But I think the Eastern Roman Empire, down to its later years, managed to uphold higher standards of public cleanliness.