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From: mary whalen <marewhalen@yahoo.com>
Subject: (urth) Palaemon as Severian0
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 18:19:29 

This is Sean Whalen (prion).

I was thinking about how Palaemon may be Gene Wolfe's original concept
for how the story of Sev would go (The Feast of St. Catherine).  Well,
the original Palaemon in mythology was the name of two characters: 
the first name of Hercules and the second name of Melicertes. 
Melicertes was thrown into the water as a boy, and either drowned or
was saved by a dolphin, but either way was then made a sea god.  His
mother drowned and became the goddess Leukothea (White Goddess).  This
seems quite a bit like what happens to the Severian we know.  Also,
Melicertes means beekeeper, any relation to the Honey Steward who
became Autarch?  Does Leukothea relate to Catherine being like
Katharine, who was killed on the wheel and became a saint?

There's some circular connections in the naming of Hercules and
Melicertes, too.  Some people think Melicertes is just a corruption of
the Canaanite name Melkarth/Melquart, the equivalent of Hercules in
Canaan.  Melkarth means lord of the city.

Now, some free-association with Palaemon.  Palaimon is Greek for
wrestler.  Palaistra was a wrestling school or educational school
(palaestra!).  Palaemon was in charge of education at the guild. 
Palaios means old, and he's old.  Palin means back again or again,
signifying his return to the guild after exile and him being an analog
of Severian.

There seems to be a lot of association here.  I may as well make one
other speculation:  could Palaemon be Severian's maternal grandfather?


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