Collections: A Trip Through Dhuoda of Uzès (Carolingian Values)

This week, we're taking another trip, this time through a medieval author, in this case looking at a selection of passages from Dhuoda of Uzès, Duchess of Septimania's Liber Manualis ("Handbook") for her son William and discussing the model of noble relationships it presents. Dhuoda is a fascinating figure both for the ways she is … Continue reading Collections: A Trip Through Dhuoda of Uzès (Carolingian Values)

Collections: The Fremen Mirage, Part IIIb: Myths of the Atreides

This is Part IIIb of our four-and-three-quarters part series (I, II, IIIa) on what we're calling the Fremen Mirage. Last week, we traced the origins of this idea in the Greek and Roman ethnographic tradition. We found that the tropes that make up this concept - the poor, unsophisticated, but morally pure and militarily powerful … Continue reading Collections: The Fremen Mirage, Part IIIb: Myths of the Atreides

Collections: The Fremen Mirage Part IIIa: …by the Princess Irulan

This is Part IIIa of our four-part series (I, II) looking at what I've termed the 'Fremen Mirage.' We defined the core tenets of this pop-historical notion in more detail in the first post, that hard times and hard lands lead to moral purity and combat effectiveness, while good times, wealth and luxury lead to … Continue reading Collections: The Fremen Mirage Part IIIa: …by the Princess Irulan

Collections: Practical Polytheism, Part III: Polling the Gods

Last week, we looked at some of the basic functions of polytheistic practice, centered on the concept of do ut des, striking a bargain with the god. This week, we're going to turn to another key set of rituals: divination. We're mostly going to look into indirect forms of divining the will of the gods, … Continue reading Collections: Practical Polytheism, Part III: Polling the Gods

Collections: Practical Polytheism, Part I: Knowledge

Today we're going to start looking at one facet of how polytheistic religions function, their practicality. This is going to be a series (I'm currently planning at least four parts) looking at some of the general facets of how ancient polytheistic religions work. And work is the operative word, more so than many religions and … Continue reading Collections: Practical Polytheism, Part I: Knowledge