(urth) Oldest altar

James Wynn crushtv at gmail.com
Thu Sep 16 13:25:14 PDT 2010

  On 9/16/2010 2:30 PM, Roy C. Lackey wrote:
> Andrew wrote:
>> "When the first people came here, Auk, they were shown how we desired
>> to be worshipped. Soon, they were made to forget. They did, but because
>> they had seen what they had seeen, a part of them remebered, and when
>> they found our altars on the inner surface, they sacrificed as we had
>> taught them. First of all, here."
> Roy-
> That quote doesn't make sense. I wonder if it's tied to what Lemur said
> about entrenched memories of Typhon and his family being too deep to
> eliminate, so the Nine were renamed. Let's parse the Tartaros quote.
> At first glance, the first sentence seems straightforward enough, but then
> you have to wonder what the first people were doing down in the tunnels. The
> area with the altar and a Window was wider than the tunnels that led to it,
> but it's unclear just how large the area was. The chamber was not too far
> from the Pit. So was it some sort of orientation center for new arrivals who
> had just been brought up to the ship in landers?

Let me take a shot at it.

1) I would suppose that when Tautaros says "when the first people came 
here" he means "came to the Whorl generally".

2) As they traveled deeper into the Whorl from the outside, they 
encountered Tautaros' altars first because they were closer to the 
outside. Based on their training, they knew what to do when they 
encountered an alter. If they had no animals to sacrifice, they chose 
one of their fellow colonists.

3) Presumably, when Taurtaros says "First of all, here" he is only 
talking to Auk specifically about the Vironese colonists, but the 
principle would be the same in other cities.

> Roy -
> Even if that is so, why were they then made to forget what they had been
> taught? Is this where Lemur's comments come in? Maybe I better give that
> quote again: "The surgeons found, however, that their patients' memories of
> their ruler, his family, and some of his officials were too deeply
> entrenched to be eliminated altogether. To obscure the record, they renamed
> them. Their ruler, the man who called himself the monarch, became Pas, the
> shrew he had married Echidna, and so on."
> Now to the third sentence of the Tartaros quote. After being made to forget
> how to worship properly, complete with sacrifices, when the first people saw
> the altars set up in the cities that had been built for them, they went back
> to worshipping as they had been taught, complete with sacrifices. What had
> changed?

I _think_ you are misinterpreting what Tartaros is saying here. I don't 
take this to mean they were made to forget specifically what they were 
taught about worship. They were taught how to worship just before the 
memory wiping specifically so they _would_ remember it right after the 
procedure. What they forgot--at least to some degree-- was what they did 
before. This seems to me to imply that the memory tinkering was not a 
purely medical process. Memory wiping was medical. But to implant 
altered knowledge and memories, you had to teach it to them before the 
mind wiping. What's in short term memory survives.

> Roy-
> I really have no vested interest one way or the other in the notion that
> Typhon and his family had been worshipped on Urth, so if anyone has a better
> explanation for Tartaros' statement, I'd like to see it. And that is not a
> challenge.
> BTW, while it is true that there is no evidence in the Urth Cycle that
> Typhon and his family had been worshipped  back on Urth, neither is there
> any evidence that Catholicism or some approximation thereof had been
> practiced in Typhon's time.

Aren't the many close analogs between the Chapter and Roman Catholicism 
evidence of this? If Lemur is entirely correct that the Chapter was a 
parody of the state religion of Urth, then that religion is likely to 
have been something like Roman Catholicism. It is clear that the Gospels 
have survived to Typhon's time and been incorporated into the Writings 
because Silk refers to the event of Jesus casting out the money changers.

"The sellers never extended a single bit's credit, true. They gave 
credit to no augur, and certainly they would not extend it to an augur 
whose manteion stood in the poorest quarter of the city. Yet the 
Outsider could not be denied, so they would have to. He would have to be 
firm with them, extremely firm. Remind them that the Outsider was known 
to esteem them last among men already that according to the Writings he 
had once (having possessed and enlightened a fortunate man) beaten them 
severely in person."[Nightside, page 17]

But it is also possible that Lemur's knowledge was inaccurate in some 
ways. A skeptic like Lemur in Trivigaunte might say the same about the 
religion there and have been *just* as accurate/inaccurate. Both RC and 
Islam *have* been state religions at certain times in history.


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