Saturday, 30 April 2016

Threats To Ys

(i) Although the Roman Empire has become Christian, both the decline of the Empire and the advances made by Christian missionaries threaten Ys.

(ii) Niall's renewed onslaught will also threaten Ys although we do not know that yet. In fact, it will be the beginning of the end. By protecting not itself but the rest of Armorica, Ys will earn his undying hatred.

(iii) The previous post cited two instances of "England's disadvantage" (Roman civil war, World War I) becoming "Ireland's advantage" (Niall's renewed onslaught, the Easter Rising).

We have compared Gratillonius refusing to wear a crown with Cromwell refusing the kingship. Now we compare Niall's assault on the Roman Empire with the Irish rebels' assault on the British Empire.

Gratillonius is the second Roman soldier to become King of Ys:

the Ysans helped Caesar to defeat another Armorican tribe;
Caesar visited Ys;
he appointed a soldier to kill and become the King;
Ys became a Roman foederate;
Augustus sent engineers to erect the sea wall and the gate;
Ys was effectively ruled by Queen Brennilis whose vision had told her that the sea would rise.

Thus, there is a Roman King of Ys both at the beginning and at the end of the Age of Brennilis. The perpetual threat to Ys is from its God, Lir - "'May His wrath not be upon us...'" (Roma Mater, p. 191), - Who insists on a dry-laid wall that He will be able to destroy.

Queen Forsquilis shows Gratillonius her arcane objects:

scrolls;
codices;
a Tyrian figurine;
inscribed bones;
dried herbs;
flints -

- and comments:

"'These things are not needful in themselves... They are but teachers and helps.'" (p. 201)

That reminds me of something that a Merseian says in A Circus Of Hells but I will be unable to access that novel until tomorrow evening.

The following evening -

Ydwyr's arcane objects are:

two mounted animal skulls;
convoluted tubes and flasks;
a large carved monolith;
a large, beaked, leathery, winged, perched "thing" - alive or stuffed?

He describes them as:

"'...symbols...certain objects, certain rites, which different thinking species have found will help raise buried parts of the soul.'"
-Poul Anderson, Young Flandry (New York, 2010), p. 301)

1 comment:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    If Niall's son had not been killed by an Ysan missile when his first assault on Armorica was beaten off he might not have come to hold such an implacable hatred of Ys. Absent his son's death Niall have accepted his defeat as just one of those things that happens in war.

    I remember the bit about Augustus sending engineers to help rebuild Ys, esp. how they were forbidden to use CONCRETE for both the sea and land walls of Ys. A prohibition the Romans did not understand and accepted only reluctantly. Roman concrete was famously excellent and could last for centuries as a binding material.

    And you beat me to mentioning Ydwyr the Seeker and his collection of arcane objects, whom we see in A CIRCUS OF HELLS. (Smiles)

    Sean

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