Kalanthes of Hanumar

Orkin

Mongoose
In The God in the Bowl we are told of Kalanthes of Hanumar, who is a priest of Ibis. He has connections with the Stygian sorceror Thoth-Amon. Is he a Stygian or a Nemedian (which is where the story takes place)? Is Hanumar in Stygia or in Nemedia? The RPG map shows Hanumar to be in Nemedia, but I wonder if that was the original meaning from the story. Anyone care to comment?
-Was Kalanthes a Stygian or Nemedian?
-Is Hanumar in Stygia, Nemedia, or someplace in between?
 

The King

Cosmic Mongoose
Orkin said:
In The God in the Bowl we are told of Kalanthes of Hanumar, who is a priest of Ibis. He has connections with the Stygian sorceror Thoth-Amon. Is he a Stygian or a Nemedian (which is where the story takes place)? Is Hanumar in Stygia or in Nemedia? The RPG map shows Hanumar to be in Nemedia, but I wonder if that was the original meaning from the story. Anyone care to comment?
-Was Kalanthes a Stygian or Nemedian?
-Is Hanumar in Stygia, Nemedia, or someplace in between?
Good question indeed. Let us try and play Sherlock Holmes. However it is only my own assumption:

1) From his name, Kalanthes could be from Argos, Nemedia or Corinthia.

2) There is no hint about where Hanumar could be located but we could deduct this:
Hyborian nations worship mostly Mitra so Ibis represents a minority. If that is the case, there is no reason Ibis should be a great ennemy of Set because Mitra is the most important foe of Set there. So I guess it's about an ancient struggle between the two deities and their respective servants. In that time people (and gods) were very rancorous.
We know that Stygia is an old country where Set was always worshiped as the major deity.

1st possibility: Ibis is a rebellous God who struggled aeons ago for the supremacy.

However, there are a lot of located ruins in Stygia and Hanumar doesn't belong to them. Hence my

2nd possibility: Long ago, Stygia invaded the country of what is now known as Shem. Every city in that country often worships a patron god and Ibis could be one of them.
Then the desert of Shem is immense and the east doesn't have many sedentary people (as the Stygians are) but nomads. So the ruins of a city could be recovered by the sand and noone would ever know about it. Hanumar could have been the major seat of Ibis worshippers and the first priest of Ibis could have that title.

Why would Set still have such a grudge against Ibis? Stygia, whose boundaries extended up to Koth more than 3,000 years ago (compared to the Age of Conan) lost progressively the whole lands and the Stygian borders was reduced to the Southern of the Styx river. I suppose Ibis worshippers could have played a major role in that defeat.

An Ibis is also a bird living by the riverside. As a metaphor Ibis would then be the Guardian preventing the expansion of Set on the Northern side of the Styx, hence this long hatred. It would at least make some sense.

Howard's scholar Dale Rippke has another idea about Hanumar:
Hanumar:---a town in Nemedia, not on a direct route from Numalia to Belverus. There is a temple to the elder-god Ibis located in this city.
 

Faraer

Mongoose
Kalanthes is a Greek-style name, which means he's a Hyborian.

Since Ibis is an Egyptian god, the idea that Ibis is a Stygian god is sensible. (Hyborians worship other races' gods, such as Asura.) The worship of Ibis would have been driven out of Stygia by the Set-worshippers.

The paragraph that mentions Hanumar does imply it's in or near Nemedia. We can't tell if Hanumar is a village, town, or city, though.

Let's see what Kurt Busiek does with this in the comic.
 

The King

Cosmic Mongoose
Faraer said:
Since Ibis is an Egyptian god, the idea that Ibis is a Stygian god is sensible. (Hyborians worship other races' gods, such as Asura.) The worship of Ibis would have been driven out of Stygia by the Set-worshippers.
It is far too easy and not doesn't make honour to Howard to merely compare with Egyptian gods. Set wasn't an Egyptian god, but Seth was one of them though he never was described as a snake. Howard doesn't mention any of the other numerous gods of Egypt. If you absolutely want to have Egyptian gods stemming from old Stygia, you shouldn't forget Horus who was Seth's brother.
 

Faraer

Mongoose
The name of Seth has often been rendered Set, and associated with serpents in fiction, which Bob often drew on (as with Erlik) as well as mythological sources. Set is Egyptian, the ibis god (Thoth) is Egyptian... Which doesn't mean the gods of Stygia are the same as the god of Egypt, but if we're to guess the origin of Ibis, I would think Stygia the most likely (as the CRPG authors did). More likely than Shem, whose gods have mainly Assyrian/Sumerian/Babylonian names.
 

Orkin

Mongoose
It's interesting that the King of Stygia is given as Ctesphon, which I believe is a Greek-derived name for a place in Mesopotamia.

Since Kalanthes is cited as an enemy of the cult of Set, it seems reasonable that he may be a Stygian expat settled in Nemedia, which would make Hanaumar potentially Nemedian land, and Kalanthes a Stygian name.

Then again we can see Hanumar as derived from Hanuman, a Hindu monkey god, and potentially more exotic.

:?:
 

The King

Cosmic Mongoose
Faraer said:
The name of Seth has often been rendered Set, and associated with serpents in fiction, which Bob often drew on (as with Erlik) as well as mythological sources....
What do you mean by "as with Erlik"? I just know that Erlik stems from Central Asia (Altaic) and is considered as king of the dead.
In fact many important gods of the Hyborian Age are gods of death and/ or psychopomps, that is those who judge the dead. I am pretty sure that Crom belongs to this category because he is the lord of the mound and we know that Cimmerians use funeral mounds for their dead.
 

The King

Cosmic Mongoose
Faraer said:
...More likely than Shem, whose gods have mainly Assyrian/Sumerian/Babylonian names.
That is totally true but Aphrodite and Apollo, for instance, were major Greek gods but they were imported from the middle east.
So when I say Ibis could come from the country of what would become Shem I didn't mean at all it was a Shemite god. My assumption is that he was a local deity on the eastern part of the land and near a river (probably the Styx).
If you read the pastiche "Conan and the Grim Grey God" (by Sean A. Moore), Nithia was the capital city of the God Ibis before it was destroyed by Acheron and Nithia was located in the deserts of eastern Shem and is know in legends as the City of Brass.
Of course I generally don't take pastiches as a base for Howard's works, but this one has quite good ideas that could suit in this world. As long as a Conan pastiche isn't written by Perry Moore or Roland Green, I am willing to consider that the author had done some research in the field before writting a novel on the subject.
 

Faraer

Mongoose
It's interesting that the King of Stygia is given as Ctesphon, which I believe is a Greek-derived name for a place in Mesopotamia.
"Hyborian Names" says 'In TT, PS, the king of Stygia. From Ctesiphon, an ancient ruined city in Iraq, near Baghdad, which flourished in Parthian and Sassanid times.' I tend to think the point is that it sounded Egyptian/Stygian to Howard. I don't object to any of these suggestions, though.
What do you mean by "as with Erlik"? I just know that Erlik stems from Central Asia (Altaic) and is considered as king of the dead.
Although there is a historical god Erlik, I understand that Howard's Erlik is thought to be derived from Robert W. Chambers's novel The Slayer of Souls. Erlik references are among those I'm noting as I make my way through Bob's stories.
 

The King

Cosmic Mongoose
Faraer said:
What do you mean by "as with Erlik"? I just know that Erlik stems from Central Asia (Altaic) and is considered as king of the dead.
Although there is a historical god Erlik, I understand that Howard's Erlik is thought to be derived from Robert W. Chambers's novel The Slayer of Souls. Erlik references are among those I'm noting as I make my way through Bob's stories.
I didn't know this (and don't know that author well beyond the King in Yellow). For my part, I am referencing all the mythological facts of Howard and try to establish the origin of those gods in the Hyborian Age. It is, however, quite difficult because there are very little hints and then all the deities worshipped in the time of Kull were different from those of the Hyborian Age.
The most I know is that there is some link between Ishtar, Astoreth and Derketo. There is a mythology of three women in Eastern Europe (the girl, the wife and the crone) and I believe there is probably some origins there to be found.
 

Fernando

Mongoose
Kurt Busiek wrote a good saga in the issues 12-14 of Conan. However, I don't believe Hanumar was in Ophir, but in Aquilonia! Based in "The Tower of the Elephant", Dale Rippke said in his Conan's Chronology that, between Nemedia (God in the Bowl) and Zamora (The Tower...), the Cimmerian went to Aquilonia and Koth.
 

tarkhan bey

Mongoose
I have actually been considering the prospect of using Grecian names for the upper echelons of the Stygian nobility.I am basing this simply on the fact that Alexander the Great conquered Egypt,founded Alexandria and following his death it was one of the successor states ruled by the dynasty of Ptolemy.
Thus I see no problem with Kalanthes being an actual Stygian despite having a pseudo Greek name.
 
I read DH's The Book of Thoth and it has a very interesting back story on where Kalanthes is from and why he is connected to Thoth Amon and such. I take that as to his background, even though DH has a tendency to hurt some of Conan's stories (someone here didn't like the interpretation of the Frost Giant's Daughter and the Hyperboreans they did). But I saw why too.
 

Fernando

Mongoose
Particulary I enjoy the Busiek's version of The Frost Giant's Daughter - it's very closer to the Howard's tale than the Marvel's version. But The Book of Thoth... A Stygian (Thoth-Amon) with brown-hair and a black-skinned noble... I'd like if this saga didn't come here, but unhappily it's coming.
 
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