Re: Father of Lies

From: Bernuetz, Oliver: WPG (bernuetz.oliver@cbsc.ic.gc.ca)
Date: Thu 24 Oct 1996 - 17:04:14 EEST


In response to me Peter Metcalfe said:
================
>>Something I don't understand is people taking the histories Greg Stafford
>>has written, like King of Sartar and the GRoY, etc. as verbatim accounts.
>>My impression has been that these are highly subjective accounts.

>Nobody has ever claimed that King of Sartar and the GRoY are
>completely and utterly accurate. Large parts of them *are*
>quite subjective and some are downright fabrications (ie Argrath
>relighting the Flame of Sartar). The question (and what we
>debate about) is which parts are untrustworthy.

I'll grant you this point but frankly it doesn't always look like a
discussion about what is and what isn't trustworthy.

>>It's like taking everything Herodotus wrote about or the Bible as the
gospel
>>truth (pun intended). There's a reason why Herodotus was known as the
>>Father of Lies. He was quite capable (as were most ancient historians) of
>>altering the truth to fit his facts.

>And what are the lies told by Herodotus to fit his facts? Even
>Thucydides only faulted Herodotus for two trivial mistakes in
>his work. The most part of Herodotus's work is considered
>reliable by many scholars for finding out what happened during
>the Persian Wars for instance. The Penguin edition of his
>histories has an essay about the reliability of his work which
>I suggest you read.

Obviously this whole point about Herodotus got overemphasized by me. The
point I wanted to make was that Classical historians are not the most
reliable lot. Virtually every history ever written has been written from a

specific biased viewpoint and the point I was trying to make was that works
like the KoS are meant to biased accounts. I don't get that impression form
the history of Talastor in the Dorastor book to me at least it loks like a
pretty bald factual account of the area's history. (I did reread Burn's

essay last night BTW and I suggest you do the same. I admit that I was
wrong when I stated Herodotus lied and I try not to second guess people who
are long dead).

>>The Dara Happan's may claim to have thousands of years of uninterrupted
>>history but this claim seems to be contradicted by the write-up in the
>>history section of the Doraster book that the Tripolis was founded by the
>>slaves freed from horse-riding Yelm worshippers by the First Council.

>And you believe the _one_ line that reflects the worldview of Talastari
>barbarians over that of cultured Solar Priests? That's like saying
>that the Hittites don't exist because they are not mentioned in Homer
>or other greek writers. Why should the Talastari have privileged
>information about the origins and antecedents of Dara Happa? Methinks
>you've gone overboard in your skepticism.

As I mentioned above I don't think that the history write-up in the Dorastor
book was meant to reflect any specific group's worldview. I may be wrong in
that (and it seems the Tripolis was founded before the World Council freed
the Dara Happans from the Sun Lords) but I await some proof of that.

>>Hardly thousands of years of uninterrupted history. Someone is being lied
>>to. Personally I find it more interesting to believe that the priesthood
is
>>lying to their worshippers than that their history is so at odds with the
>>rest of Genertela's.

>The Pelorian Histories (GRoY, Entekosiad and Fortunate Succession) do
>not contradict the rest of Genertela's history. It describes the
>History of Peloria and that's all it does. Yes, the histories do
>contain significant amounts of biases but these biases are more valuable
>in describing the society.

I agree with you about the value of the histories and I must admit rather
shamefacedly that I've never read any of the accounts about Peloria but
working from what I've read in the digest it seemed to me that there were
some contradictions or rather the Dara Happans certainly believe some pretty
outrageous things.

Persoannly I'd love to see more "object" historical accounts. It makes it
easier to put things into perspective. Yes, it's valuable to "know" what a
people think and believe but I also like to know what actually happened.

Oliver D. Bernuetz
bernuetz.oliver@cbsc.ic.gc.ca

------------------------------

End of Glorantha Digest V3 #249
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