Modern Gods title

A Note on the Text

The text of Modern Gods has given rise to much scholarly debate. First is the problem of when it was actually written. Until recently it was believed that most of the work must have been written in 1005, but recent scholarship has suggested that for parts of the work a much earlier period of authorship is likely, though dating is still highly controversial.

     Was Modern Gods the work of one author, or several authors adding and appending to one another’s work? Some system of verbal transmission of epic narratives was surely at work also. Where was it written and by whom and for what purpose? Sadly these are all things that we simply do not know the answer. 

    The wars between Pondus and Marcus have now been convincingly dated to the period between 914 and 945 (see appendix) and the battle between Fedborg and Subratus to the summer of 980, and there seems some evidence that the painter Hoolma died in 910, but about many other things we still know depressingly little. What for example was the fate of Keeb after he stole the Golden Ball? How long did Brilo remain chief vassal in the lands of Pondus? And who is the mysterious figure Dermonius who suddenly leaps into the narrative? Much of the action of the book was perhaps still unfolding while the scribe (scribes?) was actually noting it down. Other parts of the book seem to recount in a more rambling manner a mythology from a much early period of history. Thus it is probably best to view Modern Gods more as the product of a singular civilization rather than of any single hand.

     The translation from the Eggles tongue has been particularly difficult as it is in only recent years that this little known language has attracted any serious scholarly attention. Once it appears to have been spoken by many peoples across a wide region, but now our only knowledge of its script comes from fragments such as these. It was an inflected, tonal language with no verbs and therefore all translation can inevitably only be a rough approximation of the original. I have tried to stay as faithful as possible to the narrative's powerful sense of majesty and grandeur, but readers must judge for themselves how well I have succeeded.    

     As with many chronicles of this type, there is often a plethora of names for the same thing, and much of the references remain obscure and await further scholarship, but it is hoped that the reader will at least catch a glimpse of a lost and mysterious civilization in the pages herein.

Damian Flanagan

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