BG and the DE

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Baliset
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BG and the DE

Postby Baliset » 04 Jul 2009 14:41

Has anyone read the Dune Encyclopedia?

I read the Bene Gesserit history from the Encyclopedia and it's a bit... chaotic.

My first problem is this: several events, "saviors" and figures mentioned... are they supposed to be historical ones? The first savior of the "Bene Gesserat" established an empire, he built a library, and the empire dissolved after his death. It rings a bell: Alexander the Great.

If it is really Alexander, then are the other events supposed to mirror other historical events through the ages? wars, migrations etc?

What are those "territories northwest of the Great Sea"? What are those northern and southern tribes who lost contact and the northern ones lost continuity? are they supposed to tbe the Byzantine Empire? Who is the savior who did not become King but rather the advisor of the "Once and future King"? If there is some historical or legendary figure called like that, I can not identify it.

This explanation would be very interesting, since the Encyclopedia would suggest a fictional alternate history: a secret matriarchical society that evolved behind the known historical real-life events, and which eventually evolved into the well known Sisterhood of the Dune future!! :)

For example the House Harkonnen entry has direct references to the Byzantine Empire and Tsar Nicolai II.

Then again another explanation would be that ALL of it is fictional and refers to the future, after the historical times.

I see that people here have seriously studied Dune. I guess it would be the case also with the Encyclopedia. Is there anybody who actually read and understood the BG entry? Thanks :)

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Serkanner
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Re: BG and the DE

Postby Serkanner » 04 Jul 2009 17:37

Arthur is the "Once and future King".
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Baliset
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Re: BG and the DE

Postby Baliset » 04 Jul 2009 19:09

Let's see, the excerpt says

Code: Select all

Another active male is reported by Voice Morfudd to have known both the ancient past and the distant future. His lineage shows a conjunction of the Bene Gesserat lines with the newer northern family lines. This particular male, Voice Morfudd tells us, rejected the role of savior, choosing to be an adviser to a king rather than the king himself (she notes social prohibitions against his taking power, being outside the regularized marriage lines of either group). Voice Morfudd tells strange stories disputing this man's "death," dormancy myths like those told of Leto II in the Holy Books of the Divided God. She also notes that his powers were transferred through folk myth to the leader whom he served, a man known for millennia in his culture as "The Once and Future King."


The above is said by a Voice called Morfudd. According to Wikipedia, Morfydd is a welsh name, connected to the Arthurian myth.

So in other words it says that Merlin was an "active trait" male who rejected his role as savior, and rather chose to serve King Arthur. He "died" in a strange way and later some of his powers were attributed to King Arthur. So it was Merlin who went to Avalon, not Arthur.

Does it make any sense? I never heard of a theory that identifies Arthur with Merlin.

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Serkanner
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Re: BG and the DE

Postby Serkanner » 05 Jul 2009 04:41

I just remembered the title of T.H. White's book about the Arthur myth. The title being "The Once and future king", I just responded to your post without actually thinking it over.

Interesting part of course is that the character Merlin in White's books travels back in time. In other words: during the reign of Arthur he (should) "remember(s)" God-Emperor Leto II, if he has lived that long of course.
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and wrote a Dune Novel."

Baliset
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Re: BG and the DE

Postby Baliset » 05 Jul 2009 05:58

Thanks for your thought

After reading it over, I realized that the Great Sea is the Mediterranean. The Atlantic is referred as the "Western Ocean".

I am convinced that the first savior is Alexander the Great

Later It mentions a Mother Livia, which is obviously Livia Drusilla, the ancestor of the first Abomination who thought of himself as both male and female and heard "voices". Livia was the ancestor of Nero. I dont know if he had any gender identity disorder and if he claimed to be a prophet, but regarding his infamy, obviously he is supposed to be the Abomination.

Much later it mentions a Mother Eleanor from the north who accompanied her husband-king in an expedition and contacted the southern tribes of Bene Gesserat. There have been several Queen Eleanors whose husbands participated in crusades. I don't know which one should identify with her. The Encyclopedia says that after her death, the northern tribes deteriorated.

Other voices mentioned have french-ish names so therefore later events occur during the renaissance or the Revolution. Then, Wallachia is mentioned as a chapter house. I don't know if Wallachia had any significance.

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EsperandoAGodot
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Re: BG and the DE

Postby EsperandoAGodot » 07 Jul 2009 09:46

Baliset wrote:My first problem is this: several events, "saviors" and figures mentioned... are they supposed to be historical ones? The first savior of the "Bene Gesserat" established an empire, he built a library, and the empire dissolved after his death. It rings a bell: Alexander the Great.

Sounds about right.
Baliset wrote:What are those northern and southern tribes who lost contact and the northern ones lost continuity? are they supposed to tbe the Byzantine Empire?

This, to me, sounds like the 12 Tribes of Israel, and the whole Judea/Samaria thing...I could need to brush up on my history, there, though.
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Baliset
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Re: BG and the DE

Postby Baliset » 07 Jul 2009 12:12

EsperandoAGodot wrote:This, to me, sounds like the 12 Tribes of Israel, and the whole Judea/Samaria thing...I could need to brush up on my history, there, though.

I took it to mean Europe and Africa, around the Great Sea, aka Mediterranean.

Here is a simplified version of the DE text if you need to consult it: http://dune.wikia.com/wiki/Bene_Gesserat (it's still bulky)

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Leto
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Re: BG and the DE

Postby Leto » 08 Aug 2009 04:26

The first part of the article (called "Ancient Terran History") referes to "a major land mass, east and south around a sea through areas remembered by the Voices as Harappa and Mesopotamia. [...] one place named Nippur".
Those locations correspond to present Iraq and the Sumarian/Hittit civilization.

Do not forget that the BG has access to Earth History (thank their memories and Voices) and Leto/Paul, aso... refered regularly to our history.

Voice Claudia also describes the history of a potential, and probable, active-trait male in her territory. He declared himself a living god-emperor, and through marriage to Bene Gesserat Livia produced several generations of active-trait males.

Clearly refers to Rome.


the major political powers north and south of the Great Sea.

I guess Great Sea refers to the Mediterranean. So those powers should be the Christian Empire againt Muslim.

Much later it mentions a Mother Eleanor from the north who accompanied her husband-king in an expedition and contacted the southern tribes of Bene Gesserat. There have been several Queen Eleanors whose husbands participated in crusades. I don't know which one should identify with her. The Encyclopedia says that after her death, the northern tribes deteriorated.

I guess she's Alienor d'Aquitaine (aka Eleanor of Aquitaine in England) who was Duchess of Aquitaine (a french country), then Queen of France and Queen of England. She was the mother of Richard the Lionheart. She managed the Kingdom while Richard led the Crusade. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali%C3%A9nor_d%27Aquitaine).
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SadisticCynic
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Re: BG and the DE

Postby SadisticCynic » 08 Aug 2009 06:28

Leto wrote:
Voice Claudia also describes the history of a potential, and probable, active-trait male in her territory. He declared himself a living god-emperor, and through marriage to Bene Gesserat Livia produced several generations of active-trait males.

Clearly refers to Rome.


There are other people in histroy that declared themselves gods e.g. the pharoahs. Are you thinking of Caligula?

Caligula: I have existed from the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the night.
Although I have taken the form of Gaius Caligula, I am all men as I am no man and therefore I am... a God.
I shall wait for the unanimous decision of the senate, Claudius.
Claudius: All those who say aye, say aye.
Senators: Aye... aye!
Senators: Aye! Aye! Aye!..
Guard: He's a god now...


...From a song I know, which quotes from a film I think. Or does the name Claudia link you to Rome?
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Leto
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Re: BG and the DE

Postby Leto » 08 Aug 2009 13:02

Octavius (who will become Augustus), the first Emperor of Rome belongs to the julio-claudian dynasty. And Augustus was first a religious term.
Furthermore, his first wife is named Clodia Pulchra. I do not remember if it is precised within DE but they won't have children together.
The following Emperors belong to Julio-claudian dynasty : Tiberius, Claudius I, Caligula and Neron I.

*I do not know the english version of the names. So, I used latin terms*
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Re: BG and the DE

Postby SandChigger » 08 Aug 2009 18:47

Leto wrote:The following Emperors belong to Julio-claudian dynasty : Tiberius, Claudius I, Caligula and Neron I.

*I do not know the english version of the names. So, I used latin terms*

Close enough to perfect: Neron is usually just Nero. (Like Platon > Plato) :)

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Re: BG and the DE

Postby Omphalos » 09 Aug 2009 02:53

SandChigger wrote:
Leto wrote:The following Emperors belong to Julio-claudian dynasty : Tiberius, Claudius I, Caligula and Neron I.

*I do not know the english version of the names. So, I used latin terms*

Close enough to perfect: Neron is usually just Nero. (Like Platon > Plato) :)



And Sagitteron is Sagittarius? :wink:

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Re: BG and the DE

Postby SandChigger » 09 Aug 2009 04:55

^^^ And from the peanut gallery we can hear a moro. :roll:


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Leto
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Re: BG and the DE

Postby Leto » 09 Aug 2009 11:43

Did the little white rabbit get the wrong pill ?
:crazy:
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Serkanner
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Re: BG and the DE

Postby Serkanner » 11 Aug 2009 13:38

Voice Claudia also describes the history of a potential, and probable, active-trait male in her territory. He declared himself a living god-emperor, and through marriage to Bene Gesserat Livia produced several generations of active-trait males.


It just occurred to me that Augustus' wife Livia in the BBC series "I Claudius" is played by Siân Phillips and she also played Gaius Helen Mohiam in the Lynch movie. Considering the DE was written after both movies I wouldn't be surprised if McNelly was inspired for the Bene Gesserit history by her performance. When you watch Siân in "I Claudius" she IS a Bene Gesserit.
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and wrote a Dune Novel."

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Leto
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Re: BG and the DE

Postby Leto » 13 Aug 2009 12:58

I didn't know but Augustus had 3 wives.
Let's guess the name of the third one?
...
...
...
...

Livia Drusilla

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustus
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