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From: Dan Rabin <danrabin@a.crl.com>
Subject: (urth) Legion of unmanned Autarchs?
Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 21:14:28 

[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]

Alice Turner states, in urth.v0006.n020.1:
>Besides, it wasn't the one Autarch, it was the whole string of them.

Christopher R. Culver concurs:

>     Yep, we specifically learn that Ymar and the Autarch's predecessor were
>also unmanned, as well as the other autarchs in between. What about Typhon?

Could we have citations, please?

I'll accept the statement as concerns Ymar and Severian's predecessor, on
the strength of the passage in _Citadel_, XXXI:

  "If you fail, your manhood will be taken from you, so that you cannot
  bequeath the Phoenix Throne to your descendants.  Your predecessor also
  accepted the challenge." [aquastor Malrubius _dixit_]

  "And failed.  That is clear from what you said." [quoth Severian]

  "Yes.  Still, he was braver than many who are called heroes, the first
  to go in many reigns.  Ymar, of whom you may have heard, was the last before

Since we learn in _Urth_ that Ymar was the first Autarch (as opposed to
Monarch), this passage would seem to deny that castration was usual for

I am unable to find another citation I seek: a passage in which Severian
notes how many of his predecessors met their violent ends by foolish
exposure to danger.

Christopher also asks,

>     BTW, someone in _Citadel_ refers to the Autarch as "Legion," because he
>is many (Biblical reference, Luke 32, I think). Is this his real name? If
>not, what is?

It was one of the woman-cats in _Citadel_, XXIV.

There's another passage (again, I've misplaced it) in which the application
of the term is explained.  It's certainly not his real name.  Michael
Andre-Driussi assigns him the name Appian based on a mention of a recent
Autarch by that name in the short story "The Cat", but I don't recall the
evidence being conclusive that Severian's predecessor reigned at the time
of the events there recounted.

  -- Dan Rabin

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