Friday, 26 October 2012

Ysan History

The fifth century BC Carthaginian explorer Himilco was the first sailor from the Mediterranean to reach North Western Europe. Because he sailed up the Atlantic coast of France, the Andersons, in Roma Mater (London, 1989), make him the founder of the Armorican coastal city, Ys, which the Carthaginians needed to be a self-sufficient trading post and naval base. Immigrants to the newly founded colony included Babylonians and Egyptians escaping from Persian rule.

Since Himilco's exploratory voyages were eight and a half centuries before the time of the last King of Ys, Gratillonius, the latter hears only of a "legend" that Himilco slew a monster and that local ghosts prophesied inundation for the city if its inhabitants did not remain at peace with the Gods. Consequently, the city was dedicated to Ishtar, the Star of the Sea. Colonists identified Ishtar with Isis and the name, "Beth-Isis," House of Isis, was shortened to Ys.

Rome destroyed Carthage. Julius Caesar made Ys a foederate of Rome. Augustus Caesar sent engineers to construct the Ysan sea defences. The Ysan priestess Brennilis foresaw that the city would be veiled from history as its Gods kept it apart from the " God who was to come...," the God born in the reign of Augustus. (p. 215)

Thus, the Andersons construct for Ys an elaborate origin story referring explicitly to Himilco, Julius and Augustus and indirectly to Cyrus of Persia who conquered Babylon and to Scipio Africanus who defeated Hannibal of Carthage.

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