(urth) Agia/Hypogeon/Inire

b sharp bsharporflat at hotmail.com
Mon Jul 24 04:53:04 PDT 2006

Roy writes:

>Jeff is right about the man-apes of the treasure mine being the autarch's 
>command -- see the first page of chapter XXXI in CITADEL.

Cyriaca, who spent long hours with her special, very knowledgable uncle, 
forces us to question whether Father Inire is the humble vizier and servant 
of the autarchs.  I think I'm not the only one to consider that the chain of 
autarchs might be puppets to the (nearly) immortal Inire.  The autarchs 
might command the man-apes but I don't think they created them.  And the 
disturbed, subterranean behemoth?  We know that Abaia is beneath the ocean 
but he is not the only megatherian.

I see little evidence that Father Inire is working FOR the New Sun...in 1000 
years only three autarchs make the trip to Yesod? And quite a gap in the 
middle of that millenium...There is something special about the three who 
went.  Possibly a streak of independence from Inire.  Why does the old 
autarch, Appian, have his own set of mirrors?  The parable of Ymar shows he 
is not so easily swayed by women and wealth (like the corrupt autarch in the 
play).  Rather he, (like Severian) is happy to follow a dog....

Roy asks:

>Am I reading you right? Are you seriously suggesting that Inire was working 
>to prevent the coming of the New Sun?

I am currently finding it fruitful to interpret almost everything in the 
BotNS within a framework which describes the rise of Christianity in 
replacement of earlier pagan religions (in the Western world anyway).  To 
answer Roy's question I would ask, "were Apollo and Jupiter (and Ra and Anu, 
etc.) working to prevent the coming of Jesus?"

To answer I would say no, these pagan gods were just pursuing their own 
goals which might be beyond human understanding.  But the followers of these 
gods were definitely fighting the rise of Christianity. I think true 
believing Christians would assert that God allowed these pagan religions to 
flourish as part of the preparation of the Earth for Christ.

So too I think Father Inire, the master manipulator, has himself been 
manipulated by higher powers to help prepare Urth for the coming of the New 
Sun.  Like the Greek Gods I think Inire (et al.) is near-immortal, 
animal-associated and shape-shifting (in the way of Tzadkiel). Like the 
Greek gods he amuses himself with dalliances with human women and enjoys 
getting involved in human wars.  Appian seem to cynically realize they are 
being manipulated by the gods for fun, asking Severian if he'd like to 
switch armies...or maybe have both...

If we wonder what happened to Father Inire and the others of his kind on 
Urth, I think it was the same fate that befell the pagan gods who were swept 
away by Christianity; the same fate of all gods who find themselves without 
any believers.


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