(urth) Lictor

David Stockhoff dstockhoff at verizon.net
Sat Feb 17 11:43:27 PST 2018

Sure, they have a "concrete" (literal but not literary?) meaning. But 
they surely have other meanings, because the literal one is, well, 
fairly meaningless. This is standard Wolfe stuff.

Yes, Severian is an armed state employee. The torturer has a shadow. So 

On 2/17/2018 1:56 PM, Dan'l Danehy-Oakes wrote:
> Whereas I am suggesting that, just as the other three titles do, the 
> title of volume 3 has a direct literal meaning.
> As for castration, I confess I was confusing Mithras with Cybele.
> Dan'l Danehy-Oakes
> The spatula is the natural enemy of the hypothalamus.
> On Sat, Feb 17, 2018 at 10:04 AM, David Stockhoff 
> <dstockhoff at verizon.net <mailto:dstockhoff at verizon.net>> wrote:
>     I should clarify. Severian is indeed the "Lictor of Thrax," but he is
>     not a lictor in any other sense that corresponds to the meaning of
>     "lictor." For example, Roman towns didn't have one lictor, although
>     there were not many of them even in Rome.
>     Wolfe is using the word to mean something else, just as he uses
>     "pandour" to mean a half-beast soldier instead of a Croatian
>     mercenary.
>     In other words, when we encounter the volume title, it has no literal
>     meaning outside the book, since Severian is not a lictor. I am
>     proposing
>     that it has a suggestive meaning that is only enhanced by the Mithraic
>     connection.
>     For example, a Roman lictor "clears the way" for his master (which
>     Severian doesn't ever actually do in Thrax as far as I recall, but I
>     could be wrong). If this is intended, I assure you that the
>     reference is
>     not to the magistrate of Thrax any more than it is to a magistrate
>     of Rome.
>     ---
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