The Firebrand by Marion Zimmer Bradley Chat Transcript

March 18, 2001 FIREBRAND CHAT

20:36 - Torrey Philemon
       Chat on the Firebrand starting soon after 8:30 tonight March 18.
20:38 - Torrey Philemon
       Haiku for the day:
Listen! Hear her words!
Cassandra the prophetess
Speaks of the future.
20:38 - Torrey Philemon
       Ah Zoe is here!  (and here I was singing haiku to myself when Zoe showed up)


20:39 - Zoe Xanthippos
       oh tell me Cassandra
what do you see?
will the war never end?
will we never be free?
20:40 - Torrey Philemon
       now that's a nice poem (though not a haiku - haikus are 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables). I like the will we never be free line.
20:40 - Zoe Xanthippos
       got a Hecuba link for you
Who was Hecabe's Mother?
20:40 - Torrey Philemon
       also I'm glad you posted on the serpent goddess......Ah, must check out that link!
20:40 - Zoe Xanthippos
       Off the cuff poets can't count
20:41 - Torrey Philemon
       <-: Gee, there's a lot to read on that site. (Morgana icqed me - she's on her way)
20:42 - Zoe Xanthippos
       According to Grimal, one of the origins for Hecuba is Thrace. Also where Amazons came from in some stories. Tiny link but...
20:43 - Torrey Philemon
       How can Hecuba the daughter of Priam if she is his wife? (That source refers to her as his daughter)
20:44 - Zoe Xanthippos
       And snakes don't seem to be goddess specific - Apollo, for one, had them at his oracle.
20:44 - Morgana Flavius
       Hello, ladies!
20:44 - Torrey Philemon
       "I Polydorus, a son of Hecuba the daughter of Cisseus and of Priam." "
20:45 - Torrey Philemon
       Hello Morgana!
20:45 - Zoe Xanthippos
       Hi Morgana!
20:46 - Torrey Philemon
       Oh I read the sentence wrong. A son of Hecuba (the daughter of Ciseus) AND of Priam not A son of Hecuba (the daughter of Ciseus and of Priam). Gee.
20:46 - Morgana Flavius
       Yes, I've seen this Hecuba, daughter of Priam. Maybe only a coincidence of names.
20:46 - Morgana Flavius
       Did anyone check the Greek Mythology Link on Hecuba?
20:47 - Torrey Philemon
       Yes I did check the Greek Mythology link on Hecuba. Zoe also just gave a great link
20:48 - Morgana Flavius
       Yes, I opened the link Zoe gave in another window. Hope I don't crash...
20:48 - Torrey Philemon
       Zoe just posted recently on the serpent mother at TRP and then I posted on Hecuba, the Amazons and the Great Goddess. We seem to excel in last minute posting!
20:48 - Torrey Philemon
       My guess is that Diane Thompson isn't coming. She hasn't responded to my emails the past few days.
20:49 - Morgana Flavius
       I was very impressed with the connection of Hecuba and the Amazons. Certainly an interesting idea of Bradley.
20:49 - Zoe Xanthippos
       we are procrastinators
20:49 - Morgana Flavius
       LOL! Yes, we are Zoe!
20:49 - Zoe Xanthippos
       I've read so many things now I have trouble organizing my thoughts
20:50 - Morgana Flavius
       Ut-oh... the Greek Mythology Link is giving me an error message...
20:50 - Torrey Philemon
       I don't easily organize my thoughts Zoe. I just take notes on different sheets of paper and title each and then put them in order later. I can't keep anything straight in my mind; it's all in writing. (The Greek Myth link person said you have to put www. in the address now for the site to work, MOrgana)

20:52 - Morgana Flavius
       For a while, I played with the idea that the Greeks of the 12th and 11th century BC (when Mycenae and Crete flowrished and the Trojan War supposedly took place) were a matriarchal society.

20:52 - Torrey Philemon
       I don't know enough yet about this subject (want to learn more ) but what I've read so far leads me to believe matrilineal not necessary matriarchal.....

20:53 - Morgana Flavius
       Ah, thanks Torrey. I had forgotten that www in front of the url.
20:53 - Torrey Philemon
       It's hard to know what sources are trustworthy.
20:54 - Morgana Flavius
       Exactly, Torrey. At that long extinct "Cassandra..." thread in AS, I learned that this migh be the case: they were a matrilineal society.
20:54 - Torrey Philemon
       Would you all like to do some reading and have a discussion on the matriarchy etc. issue after the Firebrand.
20:55 - Zoe Xanthippos
       from what I've read, this time period was a time of transition. Goddess worship was being overcome by the male pantheons and while they still had goddesses, they were protrayed under the domination of some male Great God. This happened in many civilizations, there are shards of this in the Old Testament as well
20:55 - Morgana Flavius
       For instance, Agamemnon was the king of Mycenae (spelling?) because he married Clitemnestra, who had the right over that city, through her mother Leda. And Sparta went to Helen because of Helen's father Tyndareus. And Menelau then was the king of Sparta because of his marriage to Helen.
20:55 - Torrey Philemon
       Is there any way to uncover that thread, Morgana? Like through your own posts from your domus, if you back to the right month? (then you link to the next post)
20:56 - Torrey Philemon
       I haven't read enough yet of the site Zoe just gave us but it seems to suggest that Priam married Hecuba because of her heritage and that it gave him the right of kingship.
20:56 - Morgana Flavius
       I have not tried that Torrey, because I simply dont remember what month/year that thread was on...
20:57 - Torrey Philemon
       There's something very dynamic about these transitional times in history (herstory), don't you think, Zoe? The tension of the old vs. the new.
20:58 - Zoe Xanthippos
       Yes, any period of great and basic change, such as religious focus is interesting
20:59 - Zoe Xanthippos
       And this change seems to be a theme of MZB's - there was a lot of the same sort of thing, philosophy wise, in Mists of Avalon
20:59 - Torrey Philemon
       I wonder what books are now regarded as the most authoritative in regard to the matrilineal to patriarchal issues at that time. There seems to be two camps on the subject: the feminists who want to be believe in matriarchies and the scholars who debunk them.
21:00 - Morgana Flavius
       My overall macro-view about those ancient times is: during the Archaic period (Crete, Mycenae, Troy), the Greece was dominated by people who followed the matrilineal system. This was the bronze age. Then came the people from the north, the "savage" Dorians, who already used the iron weapons. They finished with Mycenae, Crete, etc. And their culture was very primitive and... patrilineal!
21:00 - Torrey Philemon
       What do you two want to focus on in regard to the Firebrand? Any specific questions or comments?
21:01 - Morgana Flavius
       Torrey just icqed me saying she's crashed...
21:02 - Zoe Xanthippos
       Gimbutas is a good source, based on archaeological research,though lots of her peers don't agree with her
21:02 - Morgana Flavius
       Hum... I would like to discuss the possible connection of Hecuba and Cassandra with the Amazons.
21:02 - Morgana Flavius
       And what does Gimbuta say, Zoe?
21:04 - Zoe Xanthippos
       I'm inclined to think MZB made that part up. I found the diet part - where they didn't eat bread and drank mare's milk referenced in Graves to Somebody or other, a classical writer, can't remember, which leads me to think this part was well researched though a fantasy
21:04 - Zoe Xanthippos
       and her explanation of the Kentaurs made a lot of sense to me
21:05 - Morgana Flavius
       Yes, I am inclined to think that it was an original idea (or creative fantasy) of MZB. But heck...! Couldn't it be so? *s*
21:06 - Morgana Flavius
       I don't remember what she said about the centaurs.
21:06 - Zoe Xanthippos
       Gimbutas has written tons of books, most of them out of print, on the Goddess societies. The one I have is mostly photos of artefacts, not much explanation. She definitely believes that the goddess was the first religion (s) and that women ran things at some point
21:07 - Zoe Xanthippos
       Of course it could be, the custom of fostering children with relatives or others is very old and continued well into recorded history
21:08 - Zoe Xanthippos
       I spent a lot of time trying to find a reference to Imandra with no luck
21:08 - Morgana Flavius
       Another interesting "fantasy" of MZB is that Cassandra and Paris were twins...
21:08 - Zoe Xanthippos
       She reminded me of Cleo's Kandake
21:09 - Morgana Flavius
       Ah, right! Imandra! Yes, yes! She does remind me of the Kandake.
21:10 - Zoe Xanthippos
       Somebody else made Paris and Cass twins...who...?
21:11 - Torrey Philemon
       Hi again. That was a bad crash. The black screen of death. I had to reboot.
21:11 - Zoe Xanthippos
       Black screen of death! I like that one - though I don't like to see it here
21:11 - Torrey Philemon
       According to Euripides, Cassandra cried KILL HIM as soon as Paris was born. She was many years older.
21:13 - Morgana Flavius
       Yes. Some say she's older, some say she's younger, some say they're twins...
21:13 - Torrey Philemon
       Some other source says that Cassandra and Helenos were twins. I think Bradley created a believable story though...even with Cassandra and the Amazons.
21:15 - Torrey Philemon
       Zoe, you read a lot about the Amazons. Were they believed to be in regions close to where the Kandake was? I think of them mostly around Libya / Turkey (Troy I believe was Turkey)
21:15 - Morgana Flavius
       Yes, I think so too, Torrey. She made a lot of things up, but they are very believable and... why not?
21:16 - Torrey Philemon
       She doesn't take liberties with history and myth the way that McCullough did, so she's more convincing.
21:17 - Zoe Xanthippos
       in the Africa section,she doesn't mention that area, just North Africa
21:17 - Morgana Flavius
       They say the Amazons came from Thrace. Now, your dear friend Morgana, for other reasons, did a lot of research about Thrace. It was a region north of Troy, still Turkey (in our current days), but across the straits of Bosphorus & Dardanel.
21:17 - Torrey Philemon
       Yes, my impression is that the Kandake was closer to central Africa, far down the Nile. (Do you know where there's a good online map on this area, Morgana?)
21:19 - Torrey Philemon
       I'm curious about what is known in regard to Penthesilea and Priam's people. All I know is what I typed in my post....that she went to Priam for purification and in gratitude became his ally.
21:19 - Morgana Flavius
       See the Greek Mythology Link on the Amazons, Torrey. At the bottom of the page there's a map (not the best one, but will give you an idea).
21:20 - Morgana Flavius
       I remember that in the Firebrand, Bradley said that the Amazons where Cassandra went to live were from Colchis. Now, this is far to East of Troy, and far from Thrace or North Africa.
21:20 - Torrey Philemon
       ahh, yes, I printed out the Amazons pages but didn't remember the map. (I'm still debating getting the Greek Mythology link cdrom because I'm afraid the site will disappear again. but then again, there's always HTTrack......!)
21:21 - Torrey Philemon
       Yes, where is Colchis. I thought that was in Greece. Wasn't there a Greek drama in Colchis too....was it Antigone?
21:21 - Morgana Flavius
       Colchis was the land where Medea came from.
21:22 - Zoe Xanthippos
       Colchis is thought to be around the Black Sea, in Georgia
21:22 - Torrey Philemon
       Ahh, that's right. Medea. Good memory.
21:22 - Morgana Flavius
       Colchis is on the other side of the Black Sea. Take a look at the map you printed. There's a red circle, showing where the GML says the Amazons came from. Draw a straight line up the circle and you'll be in Colchis.
21:24 - Morgana Flavius
       Maybe a society with warrior women was common in several regions of the known world in ancient times. That's why there are so many places where the Amazons came from.
21:24 - Torrey Philemon
       I printed out the first 6 Amazons pages but not the map. Will have to get it again. (I am looking forward to reading the drama about Penthesilea).......
21:25 - Morgana Flavius
       I remember I researched a lot about the Amazons, Colchis, Medea and the connections of those lands/people with Crete, Minos and Pasiphae. They say Pasiphae (remember her from Metamorphoses? She's the one who fell in love with the white bull) and Medea were sisters.
21:26 - Torrey Philemon
       There's a magnificent out of print novel by John Gardner on Jason and Medea. One of the most beautifully written books I've ever read. A novel in poetry
21:27 - Morgana Flavius
       Anyway, the most common version (and I think this what Nagy says in his lectures) is that the Amazons that fought on Troy's side came from Thrace. Thrace was famous for having good horses and brave warriors.
21:27 - Morgana Flavius
       And Thrace was just across the strait from Troy.
21:30 - Zoe Xanthippos
       There are a lot of images from various cultures showing warrior women. I think men were fascinated and horrified by them at the same time,
21:31 - Zoe Xanthippos
       So a good story teller would be sure to include some Amazons in his tale, which would also account for the geographical ranges
21:34 - Morgana Flavius
       Anyhow... who was Penthesilea? Why she decieded to fight on the Trojan side? And... was she a female version of Achilles?
21:35 - Zoe Xanthippos
       I think she just came for the purification from Priam and decided to fight. That supposes that the family connection in Firebrand is only a story
21:36 - Torrey Philemon
       Yes, the myth is that she mistakenly killed her sister Hippolyta in an accident and was full of remorse. She came to Priam to be purified, and apparently it was an Amazon ethic to do battle as a means of purification too. She respected Priam, and agreed to be his ally.
21:36 - Zoe Xanthippos
       and I don't think Achilles had a female version, his traits seem all male to me.
21:37 - Torrey Philemon
       Nagy pointed out that the name Penthesilea and the name Achilles mean the same thing in greek. Both refer to sorrow. Penthos and Akhos (ache).
21:39 - Torrey Philemon
       Morgana, is there any relation between the name Amazon river and the Amazons?
21:40 - Morgana Flavius
       Bradley also says that Andromache came from Colchis and that she was the daughter of Imandra. Now, that was pushing things a bit too far, in my opinion...
21:41 - Zoe Xanthippos
       the name comparison is interesting. Oh, I meant to say. I read that 'lipless' (Achilles) referred to his never having suckled at his mother's breast. Also that there are many Achilles around the area of the Meditteranean, local heroes with their own shrines
21:41 - Morgana Flavius
       Oh, there's certainly a relation between the name of our mighty river and the warrior women!
21:41 - Torrey Philemon
       Yes, why would the Amazons (like Hecuba) have given up their life to marry? And Bradley's Andromache seemed to take too easily to the role of subservient wife.
21:42 - Zoe Xanthippos
       Didn't the Europeans find remnants of female societies in South America when they first came?
21:42 - Torrey Philemon
       Say more Morgana. What is the source of the name of the mighty river?
21:42 - Morgana Flavius
       I agree with you on Andromache accepting too easily the role of subservient wife, Torrey. Couldn't be an Amazon.
21:43 - Zoe Xanthippos
       as in any day, all women don't value the same things and are quite easily swept off their feet by some man and his promises. Life may have looked a lot easier in a palace than on the back of a horse. Until one loses freedom, it's not always appreciated
21:44 - Morgana Flavius
       The reason for the name of the Amazon river (actually it the correct name is Amazonas, which means a lot of Amazons) is that when the Spanish navigators first sailed through the rivers, they saw a group of indians at the banks. These indians were wild and warrior like, but they were long hair on their heads and had no hair on their bodies... so they were taken by women! And warrior women are who? The Amazons, of course! *s*
21:45 - Torrey Philemon
       I was also surprised that Bradley made Chryseis so bratty and promiscuous! Also about her name. Her name means "Golden". Because of my long blonde hair, that's the nickname my friends give me. Golden. But I don't want to identify with Chryseis.
21:45 - Torrey Philemon
       Wow, Morgana! That's interesting.
21:46 - Torrey Philemon
       I was also trying to find information on Khryse but all I could find was that he tried to get his daughter back by negotiating with the Achaians.
21:47 - Morgana Flavius
       Yeah... it's very interesting. But as far as I know, there were no legends about women dominated societies here in South America. And, at least here, in the Amazonian region (north of S.America), the indigenous people never rode horses.
21:47 - Torrey Philemon
       Yes, I hadn't heard about women warriors in South America.
21:48 - Zoe Xanthippos
       I think Bradley used Khryse as a vehicle for Cassandra's interaction with Apollo and embellished him for that purpose. Though I would think that priest rape would be common in the shrine setting
21:48 - Morgana Flavius
       Poor Spanish navigators... didn't have that info by the time they discovered the great river... *s*
21:48 - Torrey Philemon
       I agree, Zoe. Kryse as a vehicle for Apollo.
21:49 - Torrey Philemon
       Curious about the relationship of words here - Khryse, Chryseis and Christ as in Jesus Christ. If the root means golden, what does Christ mean? Is there a connection.
21:49 - Morgana Flavius
       That's interesting, Zoe. And do you recall that Bradley also used a god/priest characterization to explain Aeneas birth by Aprhodite?
21:50 - Torrey Philemon
       Did either of you ever read the Sibyl by Par Lagervist? A very haunting book about a Delphic oracle.
21:50 - Zoe Xanthippos
       yes, Morgana, I do remember that
21:51 - Torrey Philemon
       Remind me, Morgana. What god/priest characterization for Aeneas.
21:51 - Morgana Flavius
       hum... as far as I know, Christ comes from Greek and means "the blessed one"... nothing to do with golden...


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