(urth) Short Sun blog

Jeff Wilson jwilson at io.com
Sat Sep 25 12:14:50 PDT 2010

On 9/25/2010 1:45 PM, Roy C. Lackey wrote:
> 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.

Then whose memories lie behind Ymar's?

 > 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.

It might be the most familiar and  the only commonly used one, but I 
find it hard to believe it is the only one during a time of active war; 
surely people talk about the Asciians soldiers and the Periscii raiders
and must have words for their rulers other than "autarch" if only to 
avoid dishonoring the autarch by association. "King" appears in the 
brown book, which was popular closer to Sev's time than to Typhon's.

 > 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.

Yes, this is what I mean, "autarch" or something very similar like 
"autocrat" must be known to Typhon and accepted as a suitably respectful 
or flattering title, seeing as he is such a stickler for respect for his 

> 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.

Yeah; the general solution of tissue rejection makes clones obsolete for 
medical reasons, time travelers don't need them because there are 
already a succession of Severians, and you seem only to need them when 
you want someone who looks just like the original but isn't, and even 
that seems to be a fading tradition.

Jeff Wilson - jwilson at io.com
Computational Intelligence Laboratory - Texas A&M Texarkana
< http://www.tamut.edu/CIL >

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