(urth) Thea's Identity

Sergei SOLOVIEV soloviev at irit.fr
Fri Apr 12 07:07:04 PDT 2013

But in Ottoman empire the harems (seraglios) had reproductive purpose as 
a central one.
Moreover, since it was difficult to apply the principle of 
"primogeniture" with the great
number of babies, when the time to designate a heir arrived, it was 
desperate for women
to fight for their sons to be chosen (by intrigue etc.) because usually 
all other male descendants
after the heir was chosen risked elimination. It is quite different with 
autarchs because
the successor is defined differently.


Sergei Soloviev

Lee Berman wrote:
>> David Stockhoff: The Ottoman seraglio had a political, legal, and physical
>> purpose---they were hostages who could be killed if their parents got out 
>> of line. And the sultans pumped them full of, er, genetic material to produce 
>> heirs AND give the nobles a *positive *incentive to send their daughters to 
>> him. So ...
> I was aware that Wolfe had borrowed from the Byzantine empire to create The 
> Commonwealth and its government but I didn't know Thecla and her fellow 
> autarchial concubines had been drawn so directly from the Ottoman aristocracy.
> I appreciate being made aware of it. 
> I definitely agree that there are elements of both sexual and reproductive
> slavery being presented in the Commonwealth arrangement (with reproduction not 
> necessarily a product of sex, as has been discussed). I really think witches are 
> involved. What were those "hairless, crippled animals" Severian sees in a glass table
> being supervised by the Cumaean in the Witches Tower? Given his role as the source of
> some of the man-animal people-creatures we encounter, Father Inire is also likely 
> involved.
> It reminds me of the Dune series and how through most of the story we are told 
> how the Face Dancer species used their vats to produce customized clones and 
> ton-lots of the precious chemical spice that drives that universe. Only later
> do we learn, with horror, that all along the "vats" were really female Face Dancers.
> Also in parallel to Wolfe's work, Herbert has some of the Face Dancers, who 
> are mimics, eventually being able to copy human beings so perfectly that they end 
> up leapfrogging and becoming superhuman, benign, god-like beings. 		 	   		  
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