Historical setting: 562 C.E. Gaul
The writings of young George seem to me filled with notions of an awkward triangular god-head working in pagan magic. In his naïve drafts I read an old legend of an ancestor to Merovech born of a tryst between monster and human. Perhaps maturity will bring him edits of believable fact. While this young author so astutely names ecclesiastical dates for saints, he seems not at all concerned about placing the whole history of the Franks within the time frame of Roman Christianity. Yet the patriarch Clovis, a brutal warrior, was baptized Christian with not the slightest nod to love of neighbor. Apparently, whatever god wins his war is the one who earns his allegiance. [Footnote] Dear God, did you know about his contest? Was it your purpose to win? Probably this is not for me to know. Amen.
I fear with so much reading of this I’m falling into Barbarian rhythms of story and my assignment to Romanize the spellings and manage the tenses may be letting go of the flavor of story.
George argues that thought as well. He has demanded that I not mark the actual parchments anymore but only note his errors separately because there may be some of these strange usages he wishes to keep as they are.
“Why would you deliberately leave errors in your writing?”
“I write not for the eyes of scholars but for the reader who be Frankish and cares not for tense. When I write for my own family who are of the most noble of the Franks, we sit very close to one another because we are family and we read best our own comfortable words. But I promise I will always try to speak to you and other heathen with my best pluperfect.”
His writing clearly goes faster without so much scraping. So believing my work should go no further as also is George’s task to align my prayers with creed, we plan to report our successes to the bishop. We both hope to be released from our obligations to change the other.
As we are nearing the equinox that marks spring planting I hope to take a leave from inks and ash and return to help Ezra plow and plant his fields.
So tomorrow George and I sail back across the river to meet with the bishop at the basilica of the Shrine.
(Continued Tuesday, March 24, 2020)
Gregory of Tours, Origins of the Merovingian Kingdom (Book II). (ed and Trans. By Alexander Callander Murray) “If You grant me victory over these enemies, and if I experience the power that people dedicated to Your name claim to have proven in Yours, then I shall believe in You and be baptized in Your name.” excerpt from a prayer of Clovis to “Jesus Christ” (II 30) from Readings in medieval civilizations and cultures: X series editor: Dutton, Paul E. Broadview Press, Ontario, 2000.