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posts by precentor Commoner | joined 12 Dec 2005 | 7


posted 12 Dec 2005, 20:12 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Nail of Heaven - What is it? by precentor, Commoner

[quote="H":1meqedq2]I still think it would make most sense being the pole star. [quote="wiki":1meqedq2]Pole stars are often used in celestial navigation. While other stars' positions change throughout the night, the pole stars' position in the sky does not. Therefore, it is a dependable indicator of the direction north.[/quote:1meqedq2] The moon and venus, or even the milky way wouldn't be static in the sky, i don't think (i'm no astronomer). The name Nail of Heaven implies that it is stationary which, to me, imples it could only be a pole star...[/quote:1meqedq2] it implies only that they see it as stationary. we don't know how advanced their astronomy is. view post


posted 12 Dec 2005, 20:12 in The Darkness That Comes BeforeBest character by precentor, Commoner

[quote="LooseCannon":4lwrnotf]I liked them all pretty much. However, the Emperor Xerius really stood out for me. The guy was absolutely hilarious. His inner monologue was a treat to read, not to mention the way he treated his mother. Needless to say I got mucho amusement from his chapters. Hopefully if he dies he will come back as a disembodied voice or something. ;)[/quote:4lwrnotf] agreed! xerius seems like a composite of all the worst east roman emperors, and the nansur is a hilarious parody of byzantium. love it! view post


posted 12 Dec 2005, 21:12 in The Darkness That Comes BeforeYour less favourite characters by precentor, Commoner

[quote="Randal":11zsk95q]Again, two questions here. Which character do you dislike reading about? And, Which character do you dislike as a 'person'? Anyway, the answer to both these questions is the same for me in this case. The old queen-mother. Or should that be empress-mother? She's utterly vile and disgusting, albeit in a more human way than the Consult. Which only serves to make her even more disturbing. And she's one of the few characters in literature who disgust me to the point of not wanting to read about them either. At least she's a radical reversal of the mother-figure stereotype.[/quote:11zsk95q] she's nero's mother, isn't she? (agrippina--isn't that her name?) view post


posted 12 Dec 2005, 21:12 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by precentor, Commoner

[quote="Tattooed Hand":2cyrwhq7] Having studied Just War ethics, I can bring an example from such a context. The Catholic Church, before the Crusades, unequivocally held that killing was wrong. When soliders went to war, they were required to beg for forgiveness for their sin of killing. [/quote:2cyrwhq7] i think the reality is more nuanced than that. the crusades were the first war waged by christendom for (putatively) religious reasons; killing the saracens in a war to recover the holy land was seen as more like executing malefactors than making war on fellow-christians. and that's probably more of a latin/western thing, which comes from augustine and that lot, and which has its root in the penitential manuals that became popular in the 7th-8th centuries; the east never took that view of war, and being a soldier in the service of the christian empire was seen as a perfectly acceptable and virtuous (i.e. not sinful) calling. view post


posted 12 Dec 2005, 21:12 in The Darkness That Comes BeforeSo exactly how many God's are there? by precentor, Commoner

[quote="Erthaelion'":2vj45tzl]The Thousand Temples blends rather conveniently monotheism and a polytheistic pantheon. I think its and idea to blend the beliefs of the Roman's in the late days of the Empire with that of the slowly Christianized world- the few who still clung to the traditional imperial cult, and the masses who had long ago adopted Christianity. Also, if you think of Christianity, I think its Bakker's take on the myriad Saints, prophets and Angels that litter the faith of the newly adopted Christians.[/quote:2vj45tzl] it makes me think more of hinduism. the idea that all the various gods are aspects or emanations of the one god is common in hinduism. there aren't christian analogues for every single feature of inrithism--scott has borrowed from islam, judaism, and hinduism as well. view post


posted 13 Dec 2005, 00:12 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by precentor, Commoner

[quote="Tattooed Hand":3u8h1rxo]I'm afraid you are wrong. Christian soldiers fought against Muslims - sarascen is a derogatory slur and I don't care to use it shorn of quotation marks - in Spain and Italy before the Crusades. In both cases soliders were required by the Church to repent their sin of killing another human being. At the start of the first Crusade, the Pope issued a Bull saying that killing a Muslim (or a Jew, thousands were slaughtered in the Rhineland by the Crusaders on their way to the Middle East) was outside this definition. A lot had to do with the collapse of the Roman Empire and the relative poverty of Christian European kingdoms vis a vis the more cultured and wealthy Muslim Spain. The former denounced the latter as morally corrupt to make themselves feel better (to grossly simplify things). The representations of Muslim which followed made the later Papal Bull possible.[/quote:3u8h1rxo] but again, the idea of soldiers doing penance for killing enemies (of whatever stripe) comes from ambrose and augustine. it's not to be found in the earlier fathers. augustine is 5th century, and his views don't find universal acceptance; he's an immense influence on the west (which is where the penitential manuals which prescribe set penances for particular sins come from), and irrelevant to most eastern christians. eusebius (3rd century), in fact, declared that christian soldiers were morally obliged to go to war on behalf of the church, if ordered to do so by the emperor. the east never repudiated that idea. i'm not saying i think you were wrong--i'm just saying that there is nuance and complexity, and that the idea of soldiers needing to do penance for killing enemies comes from late antiquity at the earliest (or the early middle ages, depending on where you draw the line). and the roman empire's collapse was a long process, not an event. for most people in the former (western) empire, things didn't change drastically. peter brown, among others, is very convincing on this point. view post


posted 13 Dec 2005, 00:12 in The Warrior ProphetA critique of the Warrior Prophet by precentor, Commoner

[quote="H":1iw4j27s]There is a dificulty in saying that a novel is the 'ultimate inkblot test.' The premise of the inkblot is that it inhernetly has no symbolic meaning previously. A novel inherently has a meaning already. [/quote:1iw4j27s] and of course, the critic is just as liable as the author to dissection...bakker is one of the only fantasy novelists i've read who is realistic about the place of sex in his world. people think about sex constantly, and it motivates more of our actions than we like to admit. view post


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