(urth) Hierogrammates

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Wed Oct 3 23:05:01 PDT 2007

Since I touched on the subject of the Pelagian heresy: Peter Wright, in
ATTENDING DAEDALUS, contended that the Hierogrammates had their own alien
agenda, that they were not manipulating mankind on Urth at the behest of the
Increate. In simplistic terms; they were bad guys.

If they were bad guys, then Severian was just their puppet, the destruction
of Urth and the birth of Ushas were just necessary steps in furtherance of
their own selfish ends. It had happened before and would happen again. Ushas
was not a new beginning for mankind that would lead to some sort of
reconciliation with the Increate, it was not a break in the pattern of
repeating universal cycles. The remnants of mankind from Urth would, in
Ushas, develop (with the guidance of the Hierodules and the Hierogrammates)
into the Hieros, who would then cruelly fashion the Hierogrammates.

It's not hard to find evidence in the text of the Urth Cycle to counter the
idea that Wolfe intended the Hierogrammates to be seen as bad guys. I've
pointed out such evidence in past discussions. Still, if the Hierogrammates
are good guys, they seem to be aggressively exercising the Pelagian belief
that man can achieve salvation by his own efforts, without need of a


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