Re: Portuguese History, etc.

From: Nick Brooke (
Date: Fri 09 Jan 1998 - 11:24:03 EET

While I love learning random snippets of intriguing historical,
mythical, literary, etc. lore, perhaps the best way to post such
(further to Sergio's recent suggestion) would be for the poster
to make some attempt at suggesting a Gloranthan parallel, or even
to attempt a conversion. Thus, while I recently posted "straight"
an excerpt from the Persian Shah-Nama, I also suggested relevant
bits of Glorantha (Carmania and/or the caste-ridden West) where
such a story might be part of local folklore. Some of Nils' and
Sandy's "Kralori" tales are "conversions" of existing stories, I
believe. Certainly, my own folk-tales benefitted from real tales:
"The Emperor Who Had No Clothes", "Mr. Fox", "The Old Woman Who
Lived In A Vinegar Bottle" to name but three.

The Roman distaste for traitors is well-known, cf. their treat-
ment of the Schoolmaster of Falerii (who led his pupils, sons of
the noble families of his city, out to the Roman camp to deliver
them as hostages; rather than being rewarded, he was handed over
to his former pupils, stripped and bound, and they were given
sticks with which to beat him back to town; the people of Falerii
were so impressed by this noble gesture that they made peace and
submitted to the SPQR). Dead impressive, that. You can make lots
of friends by treating them honourably in the face of opportunity.

Sadly, the Lunars seem to *love* traitors, and probably wouldn't
treat them this way (pour encourager les autres). Some more "noble-
spirited" people -- Humakti, say, or Yelmalions, or the old-time
Dara Happans -- might have more scruples.

There's an interesting parallel story from Livy's history, about
the traitress Tarpeia who delivered Rome to the Sabines. One of her
motive was pure greed -- the Sabines wore golden arm-rings, and she
offered to give them access to the Capitol in exchange for "all of
those things you wear on your arms". The Sabines, hating traitors
just as much as the Romans, availed themselves of her offer, then
crushed her to death by throwing their shields at her -- these
being the *other* things they wore on their arms. As Jean Markale
noticed, there's something pleasantly Celtic/barbaric about this
transaction, suggesting Livy's possible source (and, of course, a
useful Orlanthi parallel).

(Yet another example comes from Polyaenus Gallicus' "Ancient and
Modern Stratagems of the Gauls", published in 1658: "A young Ephesian
who surrendered her country was buried under the gold and precious
stones of the Gauls." It's a tough life, selling out to noble types.
Better to join the Empire any way you can, by hook or by crook -- and
the Empire richly rewards its crooks!).



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