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Atreides Culture


athanasios
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... I'd completely forgotten that the Fremen were Greeks, too!

I didn't say so. Maybe author had in mind http://www.guild-freemen-london.co.uk/? :P

But the noble Atreides WERE Greeks. ;-)

And slaves' condition in ancient Greece cannot be compared with that in Porritrin (=Rome?)

If you don't understand ..., dear, it's best to keep your little mouth shut. :)
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1)  25, 000 years in the future and 10, 000 years after the destruction of Earth I sincerely doubt there is anybody left who would identify themselves as being from a geographic boundary/national group from Old Earth.  Despite the name and the mention that they were supposedly  descended from Agamemnon I do not recall anywhere in the novels the Atreides referencing to themselves as Greek.

2)  I also don't recall, in any of the novels, any of the Atreides with racial memories actually confirming their ancestry, although I admit I could be wrong on this point.  There are a few references stating that they were supposedly descended from the house of Atreus, but I don't remember any of those who could confirm it, confirming it.  I see the name of Atreides being more of a throw back to our own medival and ancient times, where every royal family claimed descent from some other Royal family in the past - the Roman patricians themselves claimed they were descended from the survivors of the fall of Troy.  It also plays into the idea that Pauls journey is a Greek tragedy.

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Quotes always help...

"Prescience does this to you," a voice whispered.

She[=Alia] covered her ears with her hands, thinking: I'm not prescient! The trance doesn't work for me!

But the voice persisted: "It might work, if you had help."

"No...no," she whispered.

Other voices wove around her mind: "I, Agamemnon, your ancestor, demand audience!"

"No...no. "She pressed her hands against her ears until the flesh answered her with pain. (CoD 11:46-51)

"Because I'm his daughter," Ghanima said. "We Atreides go back to Agamemnon and we know what's in our blood. Never forget that, childless wife of my father. We Atreides have a bloody history and we're not through with the blood."

Distracted, Irulan asked: "Who's Agamemnon?"

"How sparse your vaunted Bene Gesserit education proves itself," Ghanima said. "I keep forgetting that you foreshorten history. But my memories go back to..." She broke off; best not to arouse those shades from their fragile sleep. (CoD 44:40-41)

My paternal grandfather was Leto Atreides, descendant of the House of Atreus and tracing his ancestry directly back to the Greek original. (GEoD)
"Naturally. And I have traversed the far wanderings of the Fremen. Through my father's line and the others, I have gone right back to the House of Atreus."

"Such an illustrious line!"

"With its fair share of fools." (GEoD)

Albeit, no doubt, "noble" fools. ::)

Oy, and now they've ran away and joined a circus.  Horrible, stupid, and very un- dune like, but not as insulting as Paul of Dune yet.

Really? I'm wondering then what part of Paul of Dune, or what aspect, you found more "insulting" than this tripe?

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I remember Leto mentioning that he was in contact with his ancestors, one of whom was Agamemnon. The exact identity of this ancestor is left nebulous, he's refered to only as a warrior. It's unfortunate that this same vagueness enabled the prequel authors to pretend that Agamemnon the cymek was the character, rather than a quasi-legendary figure who might have been from a place we recognise. Keyword being might.

I don't remember that person being Agamemnon - I thought it was someone different.

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But the noble Atreides WERE Greeks.

The fact that House Atreides had Greek roots doesn't make Leto or Paul Greeks, as Mahdi pointed out.

And slaves' condition in ancient Greece cannot be compared with that in Porritrin (=Rome?)

When you say "ancient Greece", what exactly do you mean? Athens? Sparta?

I'm wondering then what part of Paul of Dune, or what aspect, you found more "insulting" than this tripe?

I'm also intrigued by this question. Maybe it's about "Irulan's propaganda" that was "streamlined for mass consumption"?

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Thanks for those quotes Sandchigger.  You proved me wrong.  Nevertheless, I still have trouble buying Anathanasois' statement that the "noble Atreides WERE Greeks. ;-)".  Having some Greek ancestors from 30,000 years before doesn't make you Greek any more than us all having African ancestors from 100,000 years ago makes us African.

What I found personally insulting about Paul of Dune was that the entire point of the novel was to bash fans who prefer the original novels over the new books.  So far, that does not seem to be the thesis of this novel.

Winds of Dune is crap.  No doubt about that.  It is horribly written, dull, cliche, and uninteresting.  But it does not appear to have been written specificaly to attack and insult. 

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hat I found personally insulting about Paul of Dune was that the entire point of the novel was to bash fans who prefer the original novels over the new books.

Oh right, I remember you even wrote a review of PoD pointing this out :)

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Having some Greek ancestors from 30,000 years before doesn't make you Greek any more than us all having African ancestors from 100,000 years ago makes us African.
From inside the Dune Universe it would have little relevance, but it does from our aspect and that of the authors.

And I was mainly referring to Athens and the classic period.

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From inside the Dune Universe it would have little relevance, but it does from our aspect and that of the authors.

And I was mainly referring to Athens and the classic period.

How?  The Atreides seem to have no connections to, or affinity for, Greek culture.  They're Caladanian, not Greek, Pre-Dune.  Fremen, not Greek, post Dune.  Bene Gesserit, not Greek, post GEOD.  Other than watching a play about the fall of Troy in the Prequels there is no sign at all that they embraced an incredibly ancient society and culture that has undoubtedly been extinct (just like every other old Earth culture minus the Hebrews) for thousands upon thousands of years.

I may have Scottish ancestry from 200 years ago but that doesn't make me Scottish.  I may have Norman ancestry from 800 years ago.  That does not make me Norman.  I may have Irish and German ancestry from 1500 years ago, that does not make me Irish or German.  I may have Roman ancestry from 2000 years ago, that doesn't make me Roman.  You can go on and on and on like that back to the cradle of life. 

Ancestry is one thing - and yes, Paul does have some Greek ancestry - but if you read through the list of famous people Leto encounters in his other memory, he's descended from a lot of other cultures and peoples too.

Paul, his sister, and his children are Fremen, not Greek.  They make that quite clear.  Hell, the secret language Leto and Ghanima speak in is French, not Greek, showing they have a better affinity for the French culture (or German if you want to go back all crazy like) than they do the Greek.

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Well, French is ONE of their secret languages that is specifically named as such, with examples to prove it. One of the others is Ancient Egyptian. Secher Nbiw. ;)

And with respect, or rather, regard to Peridonteles' rant above, the Fremen spoke a form of Arabic on a daily basis and Chakobsa during rituals and when on ghaziya (razzia).

But just as the Atreides have a Greek name but are not Greek, the Fremen were no longer Arabs nor Muslims (except to the degree that Zensunnism retained Islamic elements).

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It's been a very long day at work and is not even close to being over.  I will split this topic soon.

Sandchigger:  Exactly.  However, I do take issue with your statement that the day to day language the Fremen speak in is a form of Arabic, not Galach, but will bring up my points in favour of Galach later.  They basically rest on the fact that whenever we read Fremen speaking to other Fremen the language being used is always Galach, with the occasional Chakobsa or Arabic phrase thrown in.

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    Balak! Paul thought, thinking in Fremen. Look out! She can be filled with angry passion, too. (DM 11)

If the people around him spoke Galach only interspersed with Fremen & Chakobsa, how would Paul have ever learned to think in the Fremen language? ;)

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I think, after 30,000 years, our current notions of nationality and ethnicity would be horribly obsolete, so much so that the statement "our line goes back to the House of Atreus" would sound as absurd as a guy from Hoboken claiming that his line "goes back to Isaac and Abraham." Sure. I mean, I've also heard that approximately 1/10 of the world's population is descended from Ghenghiz Khan while 30% of white Americans have some statistically significant amounts of DNA originating from sub-Saharan Africa. My point is, after thousands of generations of intermarriage, redrawn borders, and shifting cultural attitudes, new nationalities and even new ethnicities and races would emerge, while others would disappear and die out. And then they too would disappear and die out as yet new "families" emerge from the ever-turning tides of human genetics. Why would an organization 30,000 years in the future seek to style itself after a long-extinct culture and heritage? Presumably, the Atreides have no better historic or genetic claim than any other millions of human institutions floating around the Known Universe.

But, then again, why not? People style themselves after long-gone myths and legends today, so why not then? It always seemed to me that, even if the Atreides could trace their line back to Orestes and Agamemnon (along with probably trillions of other humans), their understanding of what it meant "to be Greek" was something completely of their own manufacture, and totally alien to a Greek, or any other human, for that matter, living today.

Ah, time to stop rambling.

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their understanding of what it meant "to be Greek" was something completely of their own manufacture, and totally alien to a Greek, or any other human, for that matter, living today.

Just like the "Brazilians" in Card's Songmaster. ;)

(Or were they "Virginians"? There was something about the Susquehanna... ???)

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If the people around him spoke Galach only interspersed with Fremen & Chakobsa, how would Paul have ever learned to think in the Fremen language? ;)

You're putting a limit on Pauls intellectual capability, the super-mentat and Kwisatz Haderach?

Besides, we already know Paul is fluent in multiple tongues - among them Chakobsa.  As is his mother.  I'd hazard to guess that you are fluent in multiple languages since you're awfully good at English and you live in Japan - could you think in whichever one is your second tongue before you were fully immersed in it?  I can think in rudimentary French if I want, and I'm not even close to fluent.

I'm not saying the Fremen mother tongue isn't as you say, just that by the time of Dune the regular conversational language seems to be mostly Galach with a smattering of future Arabic/Chaokobsa.  Then the tribe reverts to straight Chakobsa in dangerous situations, similar to the Atreides "battle languages". 

Look at modern "Celtic" languages for example.  People may say Irish or Cornish or Breton or Scottish is their mother tongue, and they may have learned it from birth, but odds are they speak English a lot more often.

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I think, after 30,000 years, our current notions of nationality and ethnicity would be horribly obsolete, so much so that the statement "our line goes back to the House of Atreus" would sound as absurd as a guy from Hoboken claiming that his line "goes back to Isaac and Abraham." Sure. I mean, I've also heard that approximately 1/10 of the world's population is descended from Ghenghiz Khan while 30% of white Americans have some statistically significant amounts of DNA originating from sub-Saharan Africa. My point is, after thousands of generations of intermarriage, redrawn borders, and shifting cultural attitudes, new nationalities and even new ethnicities and races would emerge, while others would disappear and die out. And then they too would disappear and die out as yet new "families" emerge from the ever-turning tides of human genetics. Why would an organization 30,000 years in the future seek to style itself after a long-extinct culture and heritage? Presumably, the Atreides have no better historic or genetic claim than any other millions of human institutions floating around the Known Universe.

But, then again, why not? People style themselves after long-gone myths and legends today, so why not then? It always seemed to me that, even if the Atreides could trace their line back to Orestes and Agamemnon (along with probably trillions of other humans), their understanding of what it meant "to be Greek" was something completely of their own manufacture, and totally alien to a Greek, or any other human, for that matter, living today.

Ah, time to stop rambling.

Good post Mr. Fibble.

Btw, the Ghengis Khan thing?  It's actually an unproven assumption.  There is a common Asian ancestor from around Ghengis' time, and people logically infer it is Ghengis Khan.  This common ancestor is also shared by a powerful family that claims direct descent from Ghengis Khan, but cannot prove it.  Ultimately, there is no real genetic proof it is him since no one has any sample of his DNA.

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I think, after 30,000 years, our current notions of nationality and ethnicity would be horribly obsolete, so much so that the statement "our line goes back to the House of Atreus" would sound as absurd as a guy from Hoboken claiming that his line "goes back to Isaac and Abraham."

In Chapterhouse Dune the Rabbi's jewish ancestry was not in question.  Rebecca, via OM/AM, could easily confirm their jewish history. 

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Good post Mr. Fibble.

You're too kind. Anyway, it was Wolf who posted that, not me :D

In Chapterhouse Dune the Rabbi's jewish ancestry was not in question.  Rebecca, via OM/AM, could easily confirm their jewish history. 

It is specifically stated that the Jewish culture was an exception, and it survived intact due to the historical circumstances that shaped their adaptive and social patterns towards secrecy and ultimate adherence to tradition. Unless the Atreides are "secret Greeks" of sorts, whereof there is no hint in the books, they do not, and cannot fall into the same category.

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You're too kind. Anyway, it was Wolf who posted that, not me :D

Stop being modest.  We all know you wrote that post and Wolf just put his name to it

Yes... that's what happened....

It is specifically stated that the Jewish culture was an exception, and it survived intact due to the historical circumstances that shaped their adaptive and social patterns towards secrecy and ultimate adherence to tradition. Unless the Atreides are "secret Greeks" of sorts, whereof there is no hint in the books, they do not, and cannot fall into the same category.

Good post Mr. Fibble.

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. . .  Unless the Atreides are "secret Greeks" of sorts, whereof there is no hint in the books, they do not, and cannot fall into the same category.

When Duke Paulus falls asleep during the performance of a greek play Lady Helena chides him by stating the following;

"It's all just talking and standing anyway, lad."  He blinked toward the stage, where the old men still  hadn't moved much.  "And we've seen it every year." 

"That is not the point, Paulus, dear.  People are watching."  It was Leto's mother, sitting on the other side of the Duke.  The dark-skinned Lady Helena, dressed in her fine gown, took seriously the ponderous words of the Greek chorus.  "Pay attention to the context.  It's your family history, after all.  Not mine."

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I didn't say so. Maybe author had in mind http://www.guild-freemen-london.co.uk/? :P

But the noble Atreides WERE Greeks. ;-)

And slaves' condition in ancient Greece cannot be compared with that in Porritrin (=Rome?)

When you say Ancient Greece, you are painting with a broad brush. Are you talking about Sparta? [Very bad conditions for slaves], or Athens in the 400s BC? [Not so bad]

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