August 15th, 2010

duckman

The Eternal Empire: Pan-garble

Another potentially long one on the subject of my 'ancient' empire idea, so you can yawn and pass over at will. I devoted my last post to an overview of the lineage of kings, mostly to set the general tone of changes for future reference. In this, I'll try to come up with a preliminary look at the pantheon of gods in my series of kingdoms. As the cultures surrounding the Mediterranean were varied in their theology as well as their theogony, my empire should also be complex in this way. I played at forming a dogmatic mythology for Sita Roryn, but the religions of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome were never so concretely defined. Many of their gods were worshiped before they even had writing, and many factors precluded their religions from ever being defined in a single coherent mythos. Particularly in Egypt, there was a dichotomy between official gods, those used in political ceremonies and whose cults were handled by vast and rich bureaucracies, city and village gods, whom were worshiped locally and generally had a more personal character, and household gods, whose character and attributes shifted with location. As far as I know, only the Hindu pantheon has been given even partial consistency in works like the Vedas and the Mahabharata. Nevertheless, in a given place and time of Ancient Egypt or Greece, the religion was consistent and well understood by the people. It is only when trying to look at every location and time period together as a seamless whole that the tapestry and evolution of the religion becomes needlessly confusing. In my empire, therefore, the religion will also be both universal and local, timeless and evolving, official and personal.

I won't try to create a comprehensive timeline that includes every god, spirit, or elemental force with their interrelationships; this would be folly and would require thousands of pages in its own right. This kind of thing is impossible even for Egypt, though its religion was documented for several thousand years in countless texts and monuments. Such a religion is not a monolithic entity to be looked at in this way, it must be watched as it evolves, with understanding about its origins and inner connectivity gained by understanding this evolution. Instead, I'll come at the problem in the same way as I show the narration - from many different perspectives at different points in time. I do need at least a quick reference on its major aspects to keep what I write in context, however, so I'm setting some of it out here pretty much as I think of it.

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