A physicist loose among the liberal arts

Bullet Lists from Mythmoot

Mythmoot IV is over and done, and it was a blast. I heard a lot of good scholarship, met a lot of interesting people, bought some books, and was stalked by Tevildo, Prince of Cats. (Starsha tried to get photographic proof, but taking a picture of a black cat in the middle of the night is among the most difficult tasks in the visual arts.)

Things I have never done before:
  • Pronounced “oidhche” (even if I didn’t do it right)
  • Drawn up a tax code for Gondor
  • Danced the Virginia Reel with a priest
  • Sørina Higgins is so good at asking questions of panelists that I frequently find myself noting her questions rather than the answers.
  • Verlyn Flieger is not only extraordinary at delivering the punch line to a lecture; she can even improvise them.
  • Michael Drout can read an audience as well as the best stand-up comics.

I’ll have more detailed notes on some highlights coming up, though not a full “proceedings” like I did last year.


Latin Verse for hoi Polloi


Michael Drout: The Decline and Hoped Rebirth of Germanic Philology


  1. Nick Palazzo

    Oh, you know I want to know more about the Gondorian tax code…

  2. Kay ben-Avraham

    A superb summary!

  3. Kevin Hensler

    In what context did you draw up the Gondorian tax code?

    • Joe

      At dinner, Noam pointed out that the Pelennor fields aren’t big enough for Minas Tirith to feed itself, if you assume that people like Imrahil are feudal vassals who only owe military service to the king/steward. Noam’s right, so Denethor must have set up some other arrangement. Denethor is a fairly twentieth-century guy, (see ) so a tax system is obviously the way to go. It would have to be taxation in kind, with barrels of salted fish from Dol Amroth and grain from Lossarnach. Before the fall of Arnor, a tariff system on trade along the coast, run out of Osgiliath, would have worked best, and might even have used money.

      • Noam

        And I don’t want to tease you too much, but you should wait for my up-coming fanfic about a gondorian accountant trying to figure out the back taxes owed, now that the king is back and taxes for using royal property are retroactively in effect.

  4. DMae

    What more is there to say? You mentioned the cat.

  5. Sparrow F. Alden

    “oidhche” – pronounced exactly as it is spelled!

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