Anathem Wiki


248pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Add New Page Talk0

An iconography is a popular conception that Saeculars hold about the mathic world. The self-imposed separation of the avout makes it difficult for Saeculars to understand the discipline lives within the concents, so they often resort to caricatures drawn from literature and entertainment.

That separation also makes it difficult for the avout to understand the culture of the Saecular world, which can prove dangerous during Apert when they venture outside the concent walls. Iconographies can also spark civil unrest and lead to a Sack. This makes it necessary for avout to study various iconographies and the role they have played in shaping historical events.

Iconographies clearly connected to earth stereotypes Edit

  • Doxian Iconography: Derived from the characters of a starship captain and his second-in-command in a moving picture serial. In this icongraphy, the second-in-command's intellect proves useful to the crew but also hobbles him emotionally, which is what makes him subordinate to his more passionate captain. The Earth equivalent of the Doxian Iconography is the "Spock Stereotype".
  • Muncostran Iconography: An "eccentric, lovable, disheveled theorician, absent-minded, means well" Saunt Muncoster, a theor of the late Praxic Age who worked on relativity. The Earth equivalent of the Muncostran Iconography is the "Einstein Stereotype".
  • Temnestrian Iconography: A two-part iconography. In the first part, avout are portrayed as clownish, almost child-like, in the pursuit of useless knowledge. In the second part, this apparently innocent degeneracy leads to the corruption of unsuspecting Saeculars. This is the oldest iconography, named after The Cloud-weaver, a satirical play by the Ethran playwright Temnestra. The Earth equivalent would be a "Socrates Stereotype". The Cloud-weaver resembles The Clouds by Aristophanes (which is a negative portrayal of Socrates). Note that Socrates was put to death for "corrupting the Athenian youth" after some of his early students became part of a tyrranical dicatatorship and later fell from power, but early in his life he was mostly considered a harmless pest.
  • Yorran Iconography: Derived from Yorr, who is "identified as a theorician, but if you see how he actually spends his time, he’s really more of a praxic. He has turned green from working with chemicals, and he has a tentacle sprouting from the back of his skull. Always wears a white laboratory smock. Criminally insane. Always has a scheme to take over the world." On Earth this fits a classic comic book villain. Possibly a "Lex Luthor Sterotype" would be closest, where the weird head feature of Luthor is baldness rather than a tentacle?

Iconographies whose connections involve more interpretationEdit

  • Rhetorian Iconography':' Probably connected to the Rhetors, who grew out of Procian lines of thinking. On Arbre, this may connect to poorly defined fears of Polycosmic Manipulation, but the name also suggests distrust of people who are especially skilled at speaking, which might connect to a "Slick Talker Stereotype" on Earth. More likely connected to the Platonic view of Sophists. Socrates, during his trial, was accused by a group of people with this attitude towards him, claiming he had corrupted the youth and taugh them to "make the weaker argument the stronger."
  • Baudan Iconography
  • Klevan Iconography
  • Moshianic Iconography
  • Pendarthaan Iconography
  • Penthabrian Iconography
  • Dravicular Iconography
  • Brumasian Iconography

Also on Fandom

Random Wiki