Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Rumors Of Ys II

The mystery continues as Gratillonius and his men approach Ys in the Anderson's Roma Mater (London, 1989). He tries to encourage them:

"...with a speech on the marvels awaiting them at Ys, but he was hampered by the fact that he didn't know just what those were." (pp. 82-83)

Despite this, he reflects that:

"His mission lay before him, in glorious Ys." (p. 88)

There is an Anglican equivalent, Susan Howatch's "...radiant, ravishing Starbridge."

At last, an Italian commander gives Gratillonius some information:

Ys was a Carthaginian colony;
Ysans interbred with the Old Folk who had raised the great stones;
they prospered on trade;
Caesar made them a foederate;
but Ys has not had an Imperial resident or paid tribute for a very long time;
asked to help in the defence of Armorica, Ysans reply that they help by patrolling their own waters;
the Duke of the Armorican tract lacks the manpower to enforce Ysan help;
the city is well protected by its wall;
few visit it;
Caesar did according to tradition but he, Tacitus and Plinius never wrote about it;
Ysans practice royal sacrifice;
their nine witch-queens work black magic on a desert island...

As Maximus, Duke of Britannia, had said to Gratillonius, it does not sound like a place for a Christian - but Gratillonius is Mithraist.

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