Thursday, 26 May 2016

From Atlantis To Quimper

Ysan spies gather intelligence from the most reliable of sources. Stilicho, the dictator of the Western Roman Empire, informs Rufinus of the destruction of Ys. Niall of the Nine Hostages, himself responsible for the destruction, informs Maeloch.

Before that, Maeloch had been startled to hear his beloved city described in the past tense when a woman asked:

"'Were you ever in Ys?...I hear it was magical. They say the Gods raised it and used to walk its lanes at night.'"
-Poul and Karen Anderson, The Dog And The Wolf, Chapter III, section 3, p. 77.

That is a beautiful fable but we have seen the real Ys and it was wondrous enough.

Poul Anderson presents the last days of Atlantis, visited by time travelers. Both Andersons present the last years of Ys, lived through by a Roman centurion. Greece followed Atlantis or, at least, Plato wrote about Atlantis. Rome followed Troy and Greece. Ys followed Tyre and Carthage and interacted with Rome. What city follows Ys? Quimper.

Ysan survivors, led by among others their Christian pastor, Corentinus, build a city that will become Quimper with its Cathedral of St Corentin. When Corentinus says that the new city must avow Christ, this is not as narrow as I thought at first. It was generally acknowledged that a city must avow some deity and this city will align itself with Roman civilization. The leader of the former Ysan vestals agrees.

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