(urth) Cumaeans

b sharp bsharporflat at hotmail.com
Fri Feb 6 09:53:00 PST 2009

I thought the winged creature in the book was more angelic-looking than lepidopterous. 
I really don't remember it being "toothy".  There was a predatory butterfly sort of creature
Severian encounters on Tzadkiel's ship. Perhaps there was a mix-up of these two?
I am of the view that Father Inire, as an ancient god of the arts (Apollo)/alien analog, 
appears in various guises throughout the story, mostly as monkeys or monkey-like and/or 
artsy human characters such as Fechin, Isangoma, the boatman, the cowled cenobite, the masked
jungle guide and perhaps Rudesind.
If the Cumaean is Inire's fellow analog, ancient god of medicine/alien I expect her also to have
an animal alter ego and to appear in other guises. Aside from an incidental snake here and there,
her most likely alter egos would be the old leech/pedophile and Ceryx as they are all obsessed with 
raising the dead. Her attraction to young men could be a parallel to Inire's obsession with young
women. (so many greek gods seemed to share the same sort of pedophilia)
Moreover the mythical Cumaean Sybil had requested long life (1000 years) from Apollo in exchange for
her virginity (when she reneged on the deal, he let her live but shrivel). Apollo is, of course, also 
associated with prophesy. Also, Ceryx means "herald" and the Cumaean Sybil was known as an early 
herald of Christ.

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