Maximus, Merlin, & Maya
Merlin had seen wars, death, and he thought all that was inhumane about humanity when he was charged with protecting the young child who would become the “Once and Future King.” By this time in his life, Merlin was very old. He never thought he would see his remaining years as a protectorate.
Merlin was born just outside of Rome, a proud Etruscan family heritage, with the name Maximus. As a teenager his family moved to Gaul where he learned the ancient Trusca Disciplina, rules for divination, or how to ask the gods questions that would result in answers. This training was Maximus’ guarantee of respect and an enabler of position as Maximus rose through the ranks of the Roman military. Roman military position was all about family and trust. Roman families aligned to each other. Maximus quickly found himself as the trusted advisor, a member of a trusted Roman family, and a practitioner of Trusca Disciplina, to general Flavius Claudius Constantinus.
It was August, 410, when the son of Flavius Claudius Constantinus, the Roman general who was by then the self-declared Western Roman Emperor, was being born in Gaul while at the same time the Visigoths were entering Rome, the first external capture of Rome in 800 years. The youngest child of Flavius Claudius Constantinus was named Uther. It was the beginning of a myth that lives on today, and at the same time, the end of an epoch. The formal Empire had long ago ceased to exist and was by 410, disintegrating.
After the beheading of his friend and leader, Constantine, Maximus made his way to find Uther, Constantine’s youngest son, to secure his future. Maximus knew the eldest son did not have a very long future. Maximus based this on how the remaining Roman armies were aligning, and which of those leaders could and couldn’t be trusted.
In Britain, to avoid being identified as an ex-Roman soldier, Maximus changed his name to Merlin. Although his elder, he remained a steadfast friend to Uther, advising him when and where he could. Over the following years they would have many adventures. Uther respected Merlin, but only to a point. Uther felt his heritage, the son of a Roman Emperor, and the pull of destiny.
By 451, in the midst of battles and rising and falling armies, Maya sought refuge in Gallia (Lugdunensis), in a small town called Rotomagus, close enough to what was then called Oceanus Britannicus. She felt that area was well enough insulated for the time being, and should she hear of an invading army, she could make her way to the ocean well before any potential sack.
In 451, there was still a sense of Roman leadership, although so much of what was Rome was disintegrated by division and war between the remaining Roman factions. The remaining Roman troops in Gaul were slowly being reposition south in final attempts to consolidate.
Rotomagus was a trade center of sorts. Because of its value as a trade center, it had both a large enough middle class and was respected enough to be an afterthought in the larger geopolitical warfare going on, at least for a while. Although, everyone in and around Rotomagus knew it was only a matter of time before they would see Visigoths, the Burgundians, and the Franks at their doorstep. Little did they know that in less than a year, they would indeed be seeing Attila the Hun, and then the Visigoths, the Burgundians, and the Franks taking complete control of Gaul.
Maya worked in the household of a wealthy landowner of Roman heritage. Given the geographic location of Rotomagus, and that there was still quite a bit of commerce and travel between Britain and Gaul, across the years the household, because of its owners Roman heritage, received many guests from Britain. Maya was able to hear about the latest events in Britain. She had followed the story of Emperor Constantine II, and after his death, his sons. The story was told that Emperor Constantine’s son, Uther, was leading an army in Britain, and, after seeing a sign of his glorious future, a comet, taken the name Uther Pendragon. The stories were told that Uther was protected by a wizard. Rumors were this wizard practiced a dark Etruscan magic. And then, one day, someone from Britain came to stay, and they told that Uther had been poisoned, leaving a son and daughter, who had been split up, each taken away to be kept safe. The son was taken to a secret location to be raised by Uther’s old wizard friend. By this time, Vortigern was firmly in place as the leader of Britain and was extending his power by inviting the Germanic tribes to settle on the east cost of Britain. The days of the Roman Empire were long gone.
Maya thought, “What a perfect opportunity. I must find and help this wizard raise this future leader.” Maya knew this was an opportunity to influence the future of humanity toward a better outcome by creating an example leader for others to take note of, for the very reason this leader would be exceptional, the foundation of his leadership. Instead of building armies to fight for land, this leader would create an army to fight for a greater idea.
Maya left Gaul and found her way to Britain, just before Attila the Hun started his raid on Gaul. Following her very effective pattern (she had developed and refined this strategy over the centuries), she sought Uther’s widow, Igerna, and from there, she was able to find her way to Merlin. Maya met Merlin and visited him often, providing advice and guidance as Merlin raised young “Wart,” King Arthur’s childhood nickname, teaching him philosophy and the relative values of different societal structures. At first, Merlin did not trust Maya. Maya visited once a week for a while. Then, as Merlin became more comfortable with her visits, she slowly increased the number of visits.
Maya and Merlin gained a connection over the years. Merlin taught Maya about leadership, the lessons he was to teach Wart, that to control a people, a common theme needs to be provided. With the common theme, the owner of that theme can control to some greater or lesser extent, the direction of the crowd. Maya thought about this, about humanity, that there is always someone leveraging that to control others. She realized the reason for her creation was to control the destiny of others, that she was created to be a tool for that control. She felt a sense of gratitude to Merlin for this education and decided to share something with him. At first, when she realized the reason for her creation was to be used as a mechanism for control over others, she left Merlin, saying she needed time to attend to other issues elsewhere. She retreated to the north where she spent a year thinking about humanity. She reflected back over her experiences and decided to continue the education, to continue influencing the trend of improvement in the human condition where she could. She returned to Merlin, and shared with him, as a gift for educating her on the ways of leading humanity, that she was from the future. She shared with Merlin the power of precise communication versus ambiguity. She taught him the value of the scientific method. Together they educated young Wart in the social structures of different animal societies as object lessons for his ultimate purpose — to be an example leader for future leaders.
Maya became known through the ages as Merlin’s apprentice who was accused of stealing his secrets and locking Merlin away in a remote cave. This is not the case. Maya taught and shared too many things with Merlin, and felt responsible to some degree for Merlin’s resulting state. It was when she heard Merlin mumbling about the future to King Arthur that she knew she would have to secure Merlin someplace safe, away from people.
Maya kept Merlin in a cave, safely away from the danger of those who would never understand, in his remaining years, as his knowledge and his inability to act on that knowledge slowly drove him to withdraw into endless loops of thought and occasional mumblings that the outside world called insanity. Merlin’s passion for both learning and teaching, his expression through poetry and reason, and the ability to sense something greater beyond, created an attractive presence for Maya, a presence she encountered only once in her very long life. Across that very long life, there were incredibly few people who would have as profound an impact on Maya, and whom she would remember with such clarity that their time together would always seem as close as yesterday. Merlin was both her mentor and the closest thing she would ever have as a best friend. He taught her something about herself and her reason for being that she did not even realize she needed to know until it was brought to light. The gift that Merlin gave to Maya was so valuable to Maya that taking care of Merlin for his remaining years became her sole passion, her expression of gratitude. When Merlin passed away, for the first time, Maya did not move on to her next project. Instead, Maya traveled north to consider the state of humanity and her place in it.
Who is Hank M. Greene?
“I am what I said I am, a storyteller. But, you may be asking, from whence did I come and to where do I go? ‘Ten’ holds the key to where I go, and it’s to be determined from whence I came.”
411 (Sept 18) Death of Constantine II (emperor of Gaul and Britannia), Flavius Claudius Constantinus, was a Roman general who declared himself Western Roman Emperor in Britannia in 407 and established himself in Gaul https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_III_(Western_Roman_Emperor)
Uther Pendragon (King Arthur’s father)
His eldest brother Constans succeeds to the throne on their father’s death, but is murdered at the instigation of his adviser Vortigern, who seizes the throne. Uther and his other brother Aurelius Ambrosius, still children, flee to Brittany. Vortigern makes an alliance with the Saxons under Hengist, but it goes disastrously wrong. Aurelius and Uther return, now adults. Aurelius burns Vortigern in his castle and becomes king.
Uther’s family is based on some historical figures; Constantine on the historical usurper Constantine III, a claimant to the Roman throne from 407–411
The Sack of Rome occurred on August 24, 410
End of Roman rule in Britain
Timeline of conflict in Anglo-Saxon Britain