Posts Tagged ‘Star Trek’

A stranger appears in the city. He is awkward and sometimes distant in social interaction, and appears to regard many well-established customs and traditions with curiosity or even irony – but most people are happy to attribute this to the vaguely defined ‘foreign connections’ that are also offered as the explanation of his considerable wealth. That’s enough to win him acceptance in the upper levels of society, even to the point that he is assigned to lead an important mission in the war that the city has been waging for some years. His performance in this role is best described as diffident or hesitant – a former subordinate reports his habit in crisis situations of muttering the phrase proton prostagma, and then generally opting for inaction – and it is wholly unsuccessful. Banished from the city, over the next twenty years he visits many different parts of the region, appearing unexpectedly at every major crisis point in the war, taking notes and talking to people before vanishing just as mysteriously. At the end he returns to the city, remaining long enough to hand over a manuscript – “I have compiled your war,” he is supposed to have said. “Use it well.” – before disappearing from this planet for the final time. (more…)

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This blog is likely to be rather quiet over the next month, as I have to get my head down and finish my book on Thucydides and the Idea of History and so won’t have time to write extended essays on here, and no one else ever seems to contribute anything. However, I couldn’t resist sharing the latest example of the place of Thucydides in contemporary popular culture: the Thucydides class Federation starship:

Thucydides class

This has at least some sort of formal status within the universe of Star Trek and its licensed products, though my impression is that it derives from a role-playing game rather than any of the series or films. Apparently (I quote) the Thucydides was conceived as the Federation’s first timeship in response to the rising number of temporal refugees discovered to be traveling through time by the Department of Temporal Investigations; they were very small, maneuverable ships designed to travel to other time periods and recover people and items that could possibly contaminate a timeline. All of which seems very appropriate; after all, calling such vessels the Herodotus class would presumably entail traveling back in time and grabbing a random selection of people and things that looked interesting; the Tacitus class would go back to make sarcastic remarks about people, and so forth.

I am now waiting with bated breath to see what this post does to my blog statistics; am I now going to attract a lot of annoyed Star Trek fans to argue about the limits of the canon, or a lot of even more annoyed Tacitus scholars..?

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