Multiple emporers in a reign, revisited

Mon Mar 13 12:38:11 PST 2006

You bring up some good points and I certainly consider them as plausible as
any other interpretations.

> More an aside than a strong argument: "Encompass" is a weird 
> word to use
> to describe a person holding an office, I think - it has a sense of
> "surround" to me, and to say a reign surrounded a project seems more
> likely than to say a person's term surrounded the possible period. It
> would strike me odd to write, e.g., "Clinton's presidency 
> encompassed the
> two terms he was elected for but Nixon's didn't".

The difficulty is that you're putting it in context of the individual. A
more proper comparison would be "Clinton's presidency encompassed the
duration of the Democratic reign whereas Nixon was forced to resign prior to
the end of the Republican reign." I don't see any problems with "encompass"
in the context of the House of Democracy and the House of the Republic.

> There is a strong argument for 
> Paarfi being
> thoroughly sloppy and fallible - consider the historians Ilen 
> the Magian
> quotes.

No arguments on this count. ;-)

> Note that you haven't addressed my other objections - the supposed use
> of "The X emperor" to the exclusion of "An X emperor" (book search is
> not giving me a response here - if someone has the Texts it would be
> easy to grep them in perl or whatever) and the ending of _FHYA_.

You're correct, as far as I can remember. It's strong evidence, but it's not
conclusive because you can't prove a negative. All you can prove is that
"Every example we are aware of is an example of a single Emperor." Until
Paarfi or some other historian writes "The Complete History of The Dragaeran
Empire" we don't know for a fact that there's never been a case of a House
with two sitting Emperors (excluding the current Phoenix reign, which most
everyone would consider an abberation, I think). As a counterpoint, we don't
even really have a clue what the government is like when there's a Teckla
Republic in power. Nobody's bothered to tell us, and Teckla reigns are all
referred to as The Xth Teckla Republic. It would be silly to conclude that
Teckla Republics have no supreme leader(s) based on this lack of any
reference to them. Same thing for multiple Emperors from a single House. 

The telling thing, I think, is that in instances that don't involve war
there always seems to be a decision to be made about whether the Cycle has
actually changed. It would seem that the Orb doesn't always just move to the
next recipient. "Our" Zerika emerged from the Halls carrying the Orb, but
the Council of Lords (or whoever they were) still had to ratify her as the
recognized Emperor. What would the Orb have done if the Council had sided
with Kana instead of Zerika? Would it have stayed with Zerika? Would the
decision of the Council have caused the Cycle to turn? Just how closely tied
are the Cycle and the Throne?