31 March 2009

Bits for the first section of ancient history

About 285 BCE, the Greek scholar Hecataeus visited the tomb of Ramses II in Thebes. He translated the inscription on the statue as "I am Ramses, king of kings. Whoever wishes to know how great I am and where I am to be found, let him surpass one of my works."

Ramses had himself portrayed beside a lion. Some priests said he had tamed a lion and it was his companion. Others say it simply portrayed his boldness of spirit.

Circa 300BCE, Ptolemy I Soter started the library. He was joined by Demetrius Poliorcetes of Macedon ~287. Between 287 and 283 (the year of their deaths) the library had grown to over 200,000 volumes, including the Torah. In 285, Ptolemy I associated his son to the throne. In retirement, his focus was entirely on his library, including building up the force of Djinn that would protect it. The seating of his son was contrary to the advice of Demetrius. When Ptolemy I died, Ptolemy II set about to rid himself of Demetrius and had him assassinated in a remote inland village.

Aristeas was an Alexandrian Jew who worked in the library with Demetrius. He was a valued diaskenastes (curator of texts) who kept his membership in the Jewish community secret while pressing Demetrius (and by extension, Ptolemy) to include the Jewish texts (laws) in the library. The captains of Ptolemy's bodyguard were Sosibius of Tarentum and Andrew.

Tarentum was a colony founded by the bastards of Spartan women who were conceived while the Spartan men were away at war. This is a great background for an elite warrior class! So, Andrew will be given the guardianship of Ptolemy II Philladelphus, and Sosibius will be given charge of founding the elite Djinn guardians of the library. How cool is that?

Chapter 2 of "Gutenberg's Other Book" will be 283 BCE, the founding of the Djinn.

Ptolemy will discover a record that arrives from the Far East (India) that tells of a fierce group of fighters on an island kingdom who can disappear at will. These are called the Djinja. He will extol Sosibius of the nature of this force who will become the heart of the desert, beating with fire and guarding the true empire of thought contained in the library. Since they are not Egyptian by nature, their kingdom will not be limited to Egypt, but will extend across all the deserts of Africa, Asia, and Syria. They are to search the deserts for the right place to hold the library and see that it continues to grow with the accumulated knowledge of mankind.