Basic Thoughts & Facts About Midia

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Basic Thoughts & Facts About Midia

Post  Admin on Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:55 am

Just to get things started ! Very Happy

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Midia - the Founding Myth

Post  andypearce on Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:31 am

Dido was a beautiful and popular princess of Kandaria. Her father, King Mattan, decreed that following his death, the throne should be shared by his daughter and his son, Pygmalios. However, following Mattan's death, the autocratic Pygmalios seized the throne for himself alone, and declared his intention to take Dido in marriage for himself - a custom that, whilst not uncommon in the Desert Kingdom, was entirely contrary to the ancient laws of Kandaria. Dido persuaded many of her brother's subjects to rebel against him, and to join her in searching for a new home across the Middle Sea. Eventually, twenty ships joined her, and together Dido and her associates founded the city of Solus, in the heart of the land that thereafter became known as Midia.

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Re: Basic Thoughts & Facts About Midia

Post  seneschal on Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:55 am

Don't see anything here that does violence to what I'm working on.

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Midian Religion

Post  andypearce on Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:10 pm

Okay - Midian religion.

Bear in mind that Midian religion would be rooted in the ancient Edonite faith of Kandaris & the surrounding area. However, 600 years (the amount of time between the founding of Solus & the 'present day' in Mythika) is a long time - and a fair amount of cultural drift will have taken place (the comparison with ancient Carthage is an instructive one - founded in 814 BC, decisely defeated at thge Battle of Zama in 202 BC - a history of 600 years or so. A fair amount of change & development would have taken place in Carthage between the 9th and 3rd centuries BC).

Midian religion, essentially, revolves around a triad of deities: El, Tanit and Esmun.

El (also known as Baal Hammon) is clearly inspired by the Edonite god Baal, and has very similar characteristics. Originally, he was the chief god of Midian. However, one notable aspect of Midian religion is that the Edonite god Moloch was from very early on identified with El - a darker incarnation, perhaps, of the same god. The first generation of Midians probably indulged in child sacrifice - perhaps a by-product of the harsh conditions they faced in the early years - an alien environment, little or no support from 'back home', hostile natives (the Charybdian tribes then living in Midia) - think 'Pilgrim Fathers', and a rather darker equivalent of 'Thanksgiving' - 'Wicker Man' style. However, after a decade or two, the first Queen of Midia - Dido - outlawed the practice of child sacrifice. Of course, this decision was not universally-liked - and down through the centuries, the secret worship of Moloch - not the water-down, sanitised syncretised version that most Midians have absorbed as an aspect of El, but rather the full-blooded (in every sense) version who demands a heavy payment in blood from his worshippers - has continued. Secret Cults of Moloch thrive, especially in bad times - but they are not something that most Midians would be proud of.

Tanit is the second member of the Midian Triad - a moon goddess who is also seen as an earth, love and fertility goddess too. The spouse of El, Tanit came to greater prominence in the later Midian age, eventually displacing El as chief deity, & effectively becoming patron goddess of Solus and, by extension, all Midia. Tanit could be viewed as an immortalised, idealised version of Queen Dido herself. In many ways, Tanit replaces both Astarte/Ishtar and Asherah - in fact, the early Midians worshipped Astarte/Ishtar, & it was only after Dido's time that this apotheosised Dido-figure of Tanit gradually displaced the older goddesses, absorbing some of their characteristics in the process. Very much a 'life-goddess', Tanit (and her worshippers) would be implacably opposed to Moloch - at least in his 'full-blooded' incarnation.

The third diety of the Holy Triad is Esmun - less frequently worshipped than El or Tanith, Esmun is usually depicted as a youth, god of medicine, light, and commerce. He is clearly influenced by elements of Ascelpius, Apollo and Mercury. He may well have been a later addition to the Holy Triad - possibly displacing Moloch in the eyes of most Midians?

So, in summary: the original Midians worshipped El (or Baal Hammon), Astarte (or Ishtar), Asherah and Moloch (in other words, just like the Edonites). El - at least at first - was the supreme god.

The next stage saw the suppression as a god in his own right of Moloch (and the suppression of the vile practices of his worshippers) by Queen Dido, with Moloch being partly assimilated (and 'tamed' in the process) as an aspect of El. Of course, secret worships of the 'True' Moloch continue underground...

The next stage saw the elevation of Dido to divinity in the form of the goddess Tanit - who soon absorbs characteristics of Asherah & Astarte, who soon fall out of favour as worshipped beings in their own right. The worship of Tanit soon eclipses even that of El.

Finally, a third god - Esmun - joins El and Tanit, becoming more prominent as commerce - one of his areas of influence - becomes more and more important to the Midians. These three divinities come to form a triad of holy ones - the older, wise god El; the middle-aged, life-giving goddess Tanit; the young, exuberant god Esmun.

But in the background, Moloch remains...and his worshippers do not forget, and do not forgive...

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