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Just how big is the Holy Writ?

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Just how big is the Holy Writ?
Post by DMcCunney   » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:10 pm

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We know from textev that the Writ is composed of an assortment of books, each attributed to a particular Archangel.

So we have the books of Langhorne, Bedard, Chihiro, Jwo-Jeng, Hastings, Pasquale, Sondheim, Truscott and others.

The books of Pasquale, Sondheim, and Truscott, at least, are essentially technical manuals on medicine, agriculture, and animal husbandry, and seem to be fairly comprehensive "Do this and get that" compendiums of allowable technology, carefully avoiding underlying principles of just how these things work, leaving it at "The Archangels made it so. Glory to the Archangels!"

But the full writ looks to be a very massive tome.

My suspicion is that what folks commonly read and refer to are essentially breviaries, that likely include things like the books of Langhorne, Bedard (maybe), Chihiro and Schueler that directly address how a devout Safeholdian is expected to behave on a daily basis, but drop the tech manuals as irrelevant to the spiritual requirements being addressed. A full copy of the Writ doesn't sound very portable.
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Re: Just how big is the Holy Writ?
Post by ConnorM   » Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:49 pm

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From the textev in AtSoT, I took it to mean that the Holy Writ was indeed published in separate volumes, rather than a single volume, specifically for the technical manuals.
At the Sign of Triumph wrote: At the moment, I’d welcome a distraction,” he said wryly, pointing at a chair on the other side of his desk. “I know I officially have to sign off on all these reports, but do you think the Grand Inquisitor really needs to know how many copies of the Book of Sondheim we have in the borough library?
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Re: Just how big is the Holy Writ?
Post by phillies   » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:48 am

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ConnorM wrote:From the textev in AtSoT, I took it to mean that the Holy Writ was indeed published in separate volumes, rather than a single volume, specifically for the technical manuals.
At the Sign of Triumph wrote: At the moment, I’d welcome a distraction,” he said wryly, pointing at a chair on the other side of his desk. “I know I officially have to sign off on all these reports, but do you think the Grand Inquisitor really needs to know how many copies of the Book of Sondheim we have in the borough library?


If it is one book, it is sort of like the three nephews of Donald Duck and the Junior Woodchucks Handbook, which contains absolutely everything known to man. Your interpretation for the tech manuals seems plausible. However, for some reason there is a black page separating I forget which two books, so therefore some of the books are in the big book.
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Re: Just how big is the Holy Writ?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:55 pm

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DMcCunney wrote:We know from textev that the Writ is composed of an assortment of books, each attributed to a particular Archangel.

So we have the books of Langhorne, Bedard, Chihiro, Jwo-Jeng, Hastings, Pasquale, Sondheim, Truscott and others.

The books of Pasquale, Sondheim, and Truscott, at least, are essentially technical manuals on medicine, agriculture, and animal husbandry, and seem to be fairly comprehensive "Do this and get that" compendiums of allowable technology, carefully avoiding underlying principles of just how these things work, leaving it at "The Archangels made it so. Glory to the Archangels!"

But the full writ looks to be a very massive tome.

My suspicion is that what folks commonly read and refer to are essentially breviaries, that likely include things like the books of Langhorne, Bedard (maybe), Chihiro and Schueler that directly address how a devout Safeholdian is expected to behave on a daily basis, but drop the tech manuals as irrelevant to the spiritual requirements being addressed. A full copy of the Writ doesn't sound very portable.
______
Dennis
Thinking about it I would further guess that the Book of Pasquale is further sub-divided for publishing. Everyone needs the basic home sanitation and first aid portions, but there's no particular need for every person to have a copy of the surgical techniques, or of the sanitation rules for urban, military camp, or shipboard planning. So it makes a certain amount of sense to publish a basic version for the every-man and then various specialty supplements for doctors, surgeons, sanitation planners, etc.

Technically the whole collection would be the Book of Pasquale, but why distribute only the unabridged copy which even a given specialist wouldn't need all of.
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Re: Just how big is the Holy Writ?
Post by HungryKing   » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:04 pm

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It was mentioned that the Book of Hastings is a map, the actual original 'Book' is actually a giant map in the temple, the copies of the Holy Writ have a copy of it at such a low resolution as to be useless.
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Re: Just how big is the Holy Writ?
Post by thanatos   » Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:05 pm

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phillies wrote:
If it is one book, it is sort of like the three nephews of Donald Duck and the Junior Woodchucks Handbook, which contains absolutely everything known to man. Your interpretation for the tech manuals seems plausible. However, for some reason there is a black page separating I forget which two books, so therefore some of the books are in the big book.


I believe you are referring to Huey, Dewey, and Louie.

And I would imagine that the Book of Pasquale would also contain an abbreviated copy of Gray's Anatomy along with diagram of the human body, the types of muscles, tendons, arteries, veins, nerves and lymph nodes, a list of diseases and injuries and the instructions to make inoculations, medicines, and blood typing compounds (ATSOT mentions that Safeholdian surgeons know how to blood type for transfusions) - all within the low-tech constraints of what can be accomplished without nanites, complex diagnostic machinery and high tech lab tests.

And let's not forget that the Book of Langhorne is essentially the Constitution of Safehold, setting down the fundamental laws of the colony. Then we have the Book of Bedard, which is likely is just as much a psychology textbook as Pasquale is a medical textbook. Any such books would be very lengthy tombs. But just as lawyers, physicians and psychologists have internships and specialties, Safeholdian law masters, healers and Bedardists must equally specialize in their fields. Indeed, the Order of the Blessed Hand (mentioned in AMF) specializes in childbirth. Then you have the Book of Chihiro, which is part of the Writ that is the most "exciting" as it details the harrowing history of the War Against the Fallen. Several years of history of a guerrilla struggle that encompasses an entire planet would be quite lengthy.

The Old Testament purportedly contains some 2,000 years of Jewish history while the New Testament deals with the (short) life of Christ and the lives and insights of his apostles. Yet the bible also has the Book of Leviticus, which is essentially a manual for the sacrifices in the Temple, the work of the priests and Levies in the Temple and any number of legal injunctions and restrictions (for this reason, religious schools in Israel don't teach it until 5th grade - It's too heavy a subject for the children). Deuteronomy it likewise packed with a recitation of laws with very little story at the beginning and end. The dimensions of the standard, non-interpreted Hebrew-English bible (from the Koren Institute) that is sold on Amazon (and just in Hebrew in Israel) is about 7.5 x 5.3 x 3 inches, and that's with letters that are 1 mm in size and over 2450 pages in both English and Hebrew. So in theory, you could probably have a Holy Writ that fits in your hand, so long as the printing presses can handle such small lettering.
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Re: Just how big is the Holy Writ?
Post by DMcCunney   » Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:56 pm

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thanatos wrote:The dimensions of the standard, non-interpreted Hebrew-English bible (from the Koren Institute) that is sold on Amazon (and just in Hebrew in Israel) is about 7.5 x 5.3 x 3 inches, and that's with letters that are 1 mm in size and over 2450 pages in both English and Hebrew. So in theory, you could probably have a Holy Writ that fits in your hand, so long as the printing presses can handle such small lettering.
And you would get something like the abridged Oxford English Dictionary, produced as a two volume set, complete with magnifying glass to read the very small type.

Safehold presses should be able to handle it. I doubt Safehold type founders could create the type.

Safehold is still in the days when each letter in a line of type was handset in a form from something like a California job case, one letter at a time. Innovations like the Linotype used for decades by newspapers, that had a typewriter like keyboard and could set a line of type at a time will be rather in the future. (Duke Delthak's artificers could probably contrive something like that as a first approximation.) Typesetters trying to set type that small would face challenges.

Given how time consuming and labor intensive the process is, I assume publishers that actually print copies of the writ carefully preserve the forms once set, and reuse them till they wear out.
______
Dennis
Last edited by DMcCunney on Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Just how big is the Holy Writ?
Post by Louis R   » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:42 pm

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I rather imagine that the Writ is unitary and generally regarded as complete - none of the viewpoint characters contemplating a copy ever think of it as abridged or simplified. Given that, each book probably has two parts, with the specialist text separate from the injunctions every faithful person is expected to know and adhere to. Thus, the Book of Sondheim in a copy of the Writ doesn't have the detailed 'how-to' that is in the separate Book of Sondheim mentioned in ATSOT. Very possibly, that second section is packaged as The Decrees of Soandso - and it's a measure of the corruption of the Inquisition that it has taken on itself the task of updating and correcting the Decrees of Schueler. Or perhaps there has always been provision for supplementing the Decrees with the accumulated wisdom of human experience in applying them, and it's only the extent to which this is being done that marks out Clyntahn's Inquisition.


DMcCunney wrote:
thanatos wrote:The dimensions of the standard, non-interpreted Hebrew-English bible (from the Koren Institute) that is sold on Amazon (and just in Hebrew in Israel) is about 7.5 x 5.3 x 3 inches, and that's with letters that are 1 mm in size and over 2450 pages in both English and Hebrew. So in theory, you could probably have a Holy Writ that fits in your hand, so long as the printing presses can handle such small lettering.
And you would get something like the abridged Oxford English Dictionary, produced as a two voume set, complete with magnifying class to read the very small type.

Safehold presses should be able to handle it. I doubt Safehold type founders could create the type.

Safehold is still in the days when each letter in a line of type was handset in a form from something like a California job case, one letter at a time. Innovations like the Linotype used for decades by newspapers, that had a typewriter like keyboard and could set a line of type at a time will be rather in the future. (Duke Delthak's artificers could probably contrive something like that as a first approximation.) Typesetters trying to set type that small would face challenges.

Given how time consuming and labor intensive the process is, I assume publishers that actually print copies of the writ carefully preserve the forms once set, and reuse them till they wear out.
______
Dennis
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Re: Just how big is the Holy Writ?
Post by WeberFan   » Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:25 am

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There are at least two versions of the Writ:

The original version, published before the War of the Fallen (OAR, August, Tear of God 890, III, The Mountains of Light, The Temple Lands): "Nimue's library included the original test of the Safeholdian "Holy Writ" which Maruyama Chihiro, one of Langhorne's staffers, had composed, and she'd skimmed it with a sort of horrified fascination." (Later we see) "The version of the Church's scripture available to Nimue had almost certainly undergone signficant revision following the events Commodore Pei had desctibed in his final message. She had no way of knowing exactly what those revisions might have been until she could get her hands - or, rather, get one of her SNARCs' hands - on a more recent edition."

The "revised" version that is apparently available as a single volume (OAR, August, Tear of God 890, VII, Tellesberg and Styvn Mountains, Kingdom of Charis, Armageddon Reef): "He's deleted the standard PICA ten-day countdown clock from his visual field, and there was nothing to distract him as he skimmed rapidly and steadily through the thick leather-bound copy of the Holy Writ of the Church of God Awaiting."

To the point about Hastings' Book (the "map" of Safehold), in the same section this is described: "The Archangel Hastings' "book," for example, was actually an atlas - a very detailed atlas of the entire planet, based on the meticulous maps Shan-wei's crew had made at the time of its original terraforming."
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Re: Just how big is the Holy Writ?
Post by Annachie   » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:09 pm

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It's always possible that there is the writ, and then the writings (or some such) which contains the more technical aspects.

Thinking about it, even a Safeholdien abridged Grey's included in the writ would make it unweildy.

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