Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Into Battle...

...with Everard, Gratillonius, Mithras and Constantine.

How often in Poul Anderson's works does a character entering combat feel inner peace?

"[Everard] felt a chilly peace welling up within him. His unit was committed. At this exact moment, it was in battle yonder. Let that happen which the Norns willed."
-Poul Anderson, Time Patrol (Baen Books, Riverdale, NY, 2006), "Ivory, And Apes, And Peacocks," p. 323.

"As always when battle drew nigh, doubts and qualms fell away from [Gratillonius]. He was committed to action now, and rode at peace with himself."
-Poul And Karen Anderson, Dahut, Chapter VII, section 4, p. 150.

A vision of Mithras carrying a blazing sword and a shield with the Cross of Light inspires the Ysans and scatters the Franks. After this experience, why does Gratillonius later abandon Mithras?

Constantine (is also supposed to have) had a vision before entering battle: "In hoc signo vinces." This also involved a Cross.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

It would be interesting to find out if real history generals and soldiers felt that kind of "chilly peace" as action began. For a while, at least, a commander could only wait and see if his plan of battle would work. Soon enough, he would have to think hard and quickly, making improvisations to counteract enemy actions, etc.