Ah, the delights of... well, all this

$ cat nano/Inaros_advancing_20051115.txt | perl wc.pl
W: 54439 (MP: 217.756, PP: 108.878), %: 45.3658333333333

That is, 1978 words more to the counter, Nano is now at 14278 words.

By the way, if you ever wonder what the heck is what I paste into this blog, I'll tell you it's the result of a small Perl program I wrote, which performs word counting (at 6 characters per word), and some statistics (manuscripted pages, at 250 words per page, published pages at 500 words per page, and the total percentage of estimated total word count for the draft, which started in 130,000 and has been revised down to 120,000... I will actually have to revise it again after Nano, although I don't expect great differences, but you never now...). More precisely it's the result of injecting the text of the novel so far into the standard input of my program, done in a GNU/Linux box.

Solved this (I thought you might be wondering, anyway), let's briefly go to the fun. In the secondary track, I have the rebels doing a lot of things in a year and a half: coronation of Inaros as king of Libya and King of the Two Lands is the most spectacular one. Of course, I haven't yet found any documents that state Artaxerxes had been crowned Pharaoh by the time of this story, and considering he had to fight for the Persian throne against friends and foes in the Far East ever since 556 BCE, I doubt he ever had the time to actually go to Egypt and get crowned... Kambyses, Darius and Xerxes did, though, and until proven wrong, I'm pushing for Inaros to fill in this power vacuum, where Artaxerxes is just supposed to be the Pharaoh just because he's the Great King, not because he had been crowned as such.

I'm also pushing for a risky hypothesis, and crowned him as Psammetichos IV. Psammetichos III was the last Pharaoh of the XXVI Dinasty, son of Pharaoh Ahmose, and after less than a year of reign, he lost the Kingdoms to Kambyses at the battle of Pelusion, in 525, and then was captured after a siege in Memphis. As Inaros's claims (done by classical authors) to be his son should be respected, it's only fitting that he tried to link himself with his father. I thought that Ahmose II would be even better, but 1) they didn't have marketing as developed as we have it nowadays, and 2) Pierre mentioned a Psammetichos IV otherwise unknown, and considering the XXVIII and following Dinasties are pretty well known (though, it seems, this certainty when dealing with Egypt is pretty risky, at the least). Anyway, it all sums up pretty nicely.

Once the draft is done, and I start the Profound Historical Revision, I may change this, as I will have to change a lot of things. But I have the feeling this will survive with dignity to the PHR.

Other happenings in this time period are, very briefly, the attempt to take the White Castle by assault, Bubastis, Tanis, Judea, Memphis, the ingenious way I have found a sieged town with access to the river can spoil the efforts of making an assault ramp, or the real price of wood in Egypt. All this and more, for about 18 months of intermath.

Now it's time to re-take Megabyzos and the main track of this part, and set sails to sunny Hellas and the harsh coast of South Peloponnese, to meet, after some miles land inside (yes, gentle reader, Troy was wrong, while I won't discuss the likeliness of Sparta having a harbor of their own in Mykeanean times, Sparta is not a coastal town and never was. 'Harbor of Sparta' can be misleading, but I bet you thought Sparta was in the coast herself, uh? Now that we are talking about that most unfortunate film, please note, gentle reader, that when poor, betrayed Menelaos arrived in Mykenas to see his brother, a harbour is also seen from the hill castle: Mykenas was also land inside. They had a whole harbor town of their own, Tyrins, but the town (cidatel) itself was firmly inland). But I digress. We will walk inland and meet the powerful Spartans, complicate the political situation in Hellas a little bit, force the start of the first real civil war among the Greeks, often termed as the "first Peloponnesian war", then sit back and watch the events at Halieis, Cecryphalea, Tanagra, Oenophyta and the rest develop before our eyes, while the Persians start to prepare to re-take Egypt and all the lost territories and towns in the Mediterranean. Much will have to told in this track, and about two thirds of it will be telling all of these events. The last part of Part II will get all our points of view together for the first time, and Greeks, Egyptians and Persians will finally meet at Memphis for the Great Battle.

Enough said.


Lastly, I'll send my regards to the thousands (estimated about 60,000!) of fellow Nanowriters out there... To them and us all: Success!



Pacal said...

Your outline makes sense and I fully agree with you that Artaxerxes I never visited Egypt to be crowned or for any other purpose.

I should point out that Artaxexes I had a pretty good reputation has a ruler. He seems to have been a Zorastrian like his father but tolerant. What he thought about Greek let alone Egyptian religion is interesting to speculate on.

I wonder about whether or not he had any personal motive for defeating Inaros considering that Archaemenes, the Satrap of Egypt killed by Inaros at Pampris was his uncle. I don't accept Ktesias' contention that Achaemenes was the brother of Artaxerxes I.

Regarding Inaros being the son of Psammetichos III, I personally doubt it. But it is very likely that Inaros would make such a claim, and it is possible that it is in fact true.

Megabazus's visit to Sparta is amazing to me considered a failure, although shortly afterwords Sparta tried to invade Attica. (Battle of Tangara). And meanwhile Megabyzus and Artabazus plan the invasion of Egypt and probably the pacification of Cyprus and Phoenicia. I hope that you are making it clear that Megabazus and Megabyzus are two different people. I myself confused the two for a time much to my detriment.

Now to get to a real sore point. The whole "replacements" debate. In my book I devote some wasted pages to discussing the definition of the word "diadochi". Several writers in my opinion erected inverted pyramids of logic on the meaning of that one word has used by Thucydides ignoring the context of the word.

Now considering the length of the expedition it makes sense that some ships and men returned and that some came has reinforcements but the evidence does NOT allow use to say how many or when.

I have also found out some more information regarding the historian Justin that has lead me further to doubt the usefulness of his passage regarding forces returning from Egypt. It appears that Justin was an even worst Historian than I have thought and that he bungled his paraphrase of Trogus. If you want I'll send you a summary of the findings. So it appears that the idea that the bulk of the fleet returned to confront the Spartans and their allies has less literary support than I have thought.

Just some thoughts.


Excalibor said...

Pierre, thanks for your comments!

I also buy the story that Achemenes was Artaxerxes's uncle rather than his brother, dates look much more credible with his being his uncle, as well.

About Megabazus, I have even started to suspect Thukidides may also be wrong, I'd love to be able to see that fragment original greek version, just to check... The translation I have in English, speaks of a "Megabazus, a Persian" and later introduces "Megabuzus, son of Zopyrus, a Persian", which seem to indicate their similar names, and distinct personality.

However I haven't found any Persian name that may correspond to Megabazos (like Bagabuxsha matches Megabyzos -- note that 'y' in classical greek was neither 'i' nor 'u', and in fact many latin words with 'y' have actually evolved to have an 'u', and not an 'i').

Therefore, I think they were two actual people who happened to have the same name (or slight variations of the same name). It will be fun to set this up, it confused us, and it will confuse the readers... :-)

About the diadochoi, I really think some ships were replaced over the years, I have had to beach them on Saqqara when the Nile flooded! Also, "dry dock" can get a whole new world of meanings once you are on the marshes... Their wood surely suffered a lot during the whole expedition, and they must have moved them a lot, up and down the river, and maybe even in Judea and Syria.

That they didn't return to Hellas is clear to me because Athens had to take the elders and youngsters and crippled just put up a fight at Cecryphalea, and Tanagra, they would be pretty happy if some 160 League trirremes had appeared for the battles...

I'll tack unto those bridges in some thousand words, probably after this weekend (unless I write faster than I hope, which I doubt).

And about Justin, I'd love to get that summary, of course... Any bit of classical sources adds to the richness of possibilities to drag on the novel... I won't buy many things, but some must have happened, and their telling should be as good as anything I may conjure up from thin air...

Thanks a bunch!