Peter's wafflings...

From: Peter Metcalfe (metcalph@voyager.co.nz)
Date: Sat 31 Jan 1998 - 05:01:02 EET


Nils Weinander:

>>The stasis of Chinese Culture in the face of invaders is
>>a bit of a myth. The Ming Empire was markedly different
>>from the Sung for example. Which is why I tend to be
>>extremely sceptical about claims for Kralorela's cultural
>>conservatism.
>
>Let's see, the chinese writing system has evolved,
>but the basic characters are still recognizable on
>the over 300 years old oracle bones. 2000 years old
>paintings show definite stylistic similarities to
>those a mere hundred years old. Etc.

Nils, similar conservatism can be found in the roman script
based on the Cadmean Letters. We can still see the Ox Head
in the A if we flip it upside down! Are you going to claim
that the West has been unchanged on this basis? As for

stylistic similarities in art, I have in front of me a photo
of a relief that depicts Loius XIV as the God Mars. Some
details changed over the years but the basic conventions are
still there. It is likewise with Chinese Art.

>There was one big cultural change in China though:
>the coming of buddhism. I think that's a lot like
>what Daruda did by bringing on the draconic stuff.

China had a whole raft of cultural changes. They had
Confucianism, they had Taosim, they had Legalism, they
had Gun powder and they even had Christainity. A good
read on the last would be 'God's Chinese Son' by
Jonathon Spence (1996).

>>> "The civilization is ancient, based upon
>>> Golden Age customs long lost to the rest
>>> of the world."
>
Me>>And how many of the other cultures in the world make the same
>>claim? The Dara Happans, the Malkioni, the Brithini, the
>>Elves, the Mostali and the Teshnans. Even the Lunars claim to
>>have restored lost Golden Age customs.

>The Genertela book is not written from the subjective
>point of view of each area.

You haven't disproved my point. The claim is true for each
and every one of those other cultures that I listed for they
all claim (with some justice) to have Golden Age traditions
that are lost to the rest of the world. The Orlanthi and Doraddi

would also make the same claims but they view the Golden Age as
a Bad Time so they don't. Golden Age Traditions are nothing
special. The Kralori make a big song and dance about doing so
but the question remains so what? Are the Amish any more special
because they preserve customs before the days of the Dark Satanic
Mills?

>>It may be but we know Kralorela cannot be that place for it has
>>been conquered by Orlanth, Kajaboom, the God Learners and by
>>Sheng Seleris.

>
>Then please tell us in what way they changed Kralorelan
>_culture_ in a major way. Foreign conquerors don't
>necessarily mean broken tradition.

It is far more probable for traditions to be changed under
the impact of foreign conquerers than it is for them to be
miraculously intact. For a start, the path of Immanent
Mastery plays a far larger part in society than it did
before the God Learners came. The Worship of the Sun, Moon
and Stars has changed under the influence of transplanted
Lunars into Kralorela.

David Dunham:

Me>> To thrive off a elf forest, one has to be a hunter/gatherer
>
>I'm not convinced of this assertion. I suspect that the "Orlanthi" of
>Umathela practice shifting cultivation, also known as slash & burn
>agriculture. This is a sustainable form of horticulture (at population
>densities greater than hunter-gathering but less than sedentary
>agriculture).

True, but I feel that those parts of the woods are not elfwoods and
are set aside for humans.

PP>>> It is also said that humans have
>>> driven trolls to their homelands from some places.

>> I can only find _two_ instances of this occuring, one in Ralios
>> (Corolaland) and one in Kralorela (Coromandol). So to blame the
>> humans 'putting away' the Uz to their current locations is
>> farfetched.

>An obvious example is Dragon Pass, extensively occupied by trolls during
>the Inhuman Occupation. While they didn't explicitly force trolls
>somewhere, they did for the most part expell them from Tarsh and Sartar.

The Trolls were kicked out by the Dragonewts and not by humans. I
don't recall Arim the Pauper, the Colymar clan or even the Grazers
having any problems with Trolls.

Joerg Baumgartner:

>The God Learners are my guess, too, unless the early settlers of the Leftarm
>Isles did that - they were sort of Malkioni after all, and knew about castles.

They weren't Malkioni until the God Learners came. They bought
the fable about them being Malkioni but this is on par as the
Romans thinking themselves descendants of the Trojans under Prince
Aenas or even the Britons under Brutus the Trojan. There is also

the theory of British Israelitism.

- --Peter Metcalfe

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