I like the story of the Roman emperor, Silbannacus, whose entire reign, wealth, and policy goals have been reduced to two silver coins minted in 253 AD.
Who is going to remember my name — or yours — 3,500 years from now, either in the fictional Imperial Era of Strephon the Last, or in the actual year of AD 5521?
Almost certainly, no one but God.
But if the dominant religion of the 56th century is tied to a particularly demanding variant of Christianity, I will be rather satisfied.
If anyone actually remembers my name or not isn’t the point: after all, salvation is tied to the Name of Jesus Christ. That’s the name to keep in mind.
Silbannacus would disapprove: but the power of the Word does, indeed, trump the power of the Sword.
Traveller: how far into the future should the PCs be placed, for the entirety of the reign of Strephon to be reduced to two silver coins?
proper noun Traditional masculine name used for the male lover in pastoral poetry.https://www.wordnik.com/words/Strephon
I bet Strephon wished that he was left to the quiet obscurity of chasing skirts, instead of his name being tied to the infamous destruction of both the Third Imperium, and of Charted Space.
But we don’t always get to choose what we are famous for.
At least John F. Kennedy never did press the big red button. He died responsible for quite a bit of adultery, but not a vast ocean of innocent blood.
Doomed to Remembrance
Then again, unlike Strephon, Kennedy was a real human being, not a fictional character. Fictional characters, even famous ones, are not personally held accountable for their actions.
Real people, even obscure and utterly forgotten ones, are held accountable.
(Famous people are simply held to even higher standards than obscure people. But even the obscure cannot hide from the Final Judgement.)
Where it matters, no one is truly doomed to obscurity.
But quite a lot of people are doomed to remembrance.
Or, better put, damned to remembrance.
The story of mankind after the fall is this: the transition from wrath to grace. God imposes negative sanctions on covenant-breakers in history. But He also grants the mercy. He does so on the basis of a series of informal trials. All of human history reflects the outcome of these trials. There is a mixture of wrath and grace in all of them. It is the task of Christian historians to assess the effects of both wrath and grace in history, person by person and institution by institution.
There will be justice at the final judgment. For covenant-breakers, there will be no additional mercy.The Biblical Structure of History: Chapter 14, Justice
Interesting bit, about institutions as well as individuals.
I wonder how the Third Imperium would measure up?
“Greatness, even a rough form of justice, for centuries… and then, utter disgrace at the end.
A great enough shame, to wipe out all the honour so carefully gathered before.”