(urth) Short Sun blog

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Sat Sep 25 11:45:23 PDT 2010

Jeff Wilson quoted and wrote:
> > 1) Why would a clone of Typhon be stored in the Autarch's visiting room?
> > Typhon wasn't an Autarch -- the title wasn't invented in his time. The
> > Matachin Tower was just part of a prison then.
> I just posted a quote from URTH that seems to say that there were
> Autarchs before Typhon, and in SWORD Typhon answers to the title of
> Autarch without correction or comment to Severian.

Dave is right about Typhon not being an autarch. Typhon was the last
monarch, Ymar the first autarch. The title autarch is used by a number of
people in the Commonwealth in Severian's era to mean ruler, because they
know no other word for one. Cyriaca uses autarch in that way in her story
about the founding of Ultan's library, and there are other cases, such as
Nicaret explaining to Severian why pastries and coffee were served to people
in the antechamber, a custom that began before the reign of Ymar.

Jonas, answering a question about the weird soldiers in the Wall, said, "The
old autarchs, who were not autarchs or called so, did use human soldiers."
(CLAW, chap. VIII) Typhon would have answered to "Imperator or something of
the sort" as readily as to autarch.

The autarch's quarters were in the oldest part of the Citadel and may have
antedated the autarchy. Not that I'm buyin' any stinkin' clones.


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