The Warrior Prophet

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The Warrior Prophet (2005) by R. Scott Bakker. The second book in the Prince of Nothing series.


  • Ignorance is Trust.
    • ancient Kuniuric proverb
  • Duty measures the distance between the animal and the divine.
    • Ekyannus 1, 44 Epistles
  • The proposition "I am the centre" need never be uttered. It is the assumption upon which all certainty and all doubt turns.
    • Ajencis, The Third Analytic of Men
  • See your enemies content and your lovers melancholy.
    • Ainoni proverb
  • No decision is so fine as to not bind us to its consequences.
    No consequence is so unexpected as to absolve us of our decisions.
    Not even death.
    • Xius, The Trucian Dreams
  • Why must I conquer you ask? War makes clear. Life or Death. Freedom or Bondage. War strikes the sediment from the water of life.
    • Triamis I, Journals and Dialogues
  • When shields become crutches, and swords become canes,
    some hearts are put to rout.
    When wives become plunder, and foes become thanes,
    all hope has guttered out.
    • Anonymous "Lament for the Conquered"
  • Sleep, when deep enough, is indistinguishable from vigilance.
    • Sorainas, The Book of Circles and Spirals

  • All men are greater than dead men.
    • Ainoni proverb
  • One can look into the future, or one can look at the future. The latter is by far the more instructive.
    • Ajencis, The Third Analytic of Men
  • Love is lust made meaningful. Hope is hunger made human.
    • Ajencis, The Third Analytic of Men

  • How does one learn innocence? How does one teach ignorance? For to be them is to know them not. And yet they are the immovable point from which the compass of life swings, the measure of all crime and compassion, the rule of all wisdom and folly. They are the Absolute.
    • Anonymous, The Imprompta
  • If all human events possess purpose, then all human deeds possess purpose. And yet when men vie with men, the purpose of no man comes to fruition: the result always falls somewhere in between. The purpose of deeds, then, cannot derive from the purposes of men, because all men vie with all men. This means the deeds of men must be willed by something other than men. From this it follows that we are all slaves.
    Who then is our Master?
    • Memgowa, The Book of Divine Acts
  • What is practicality but one moment betrayed for the next?
    • Triamis I, Journals and Dialogues
  • Though you lose your soul, you shall win the world.
    • Mandate Catechism
  • Men are forever pointing at others, which is why I always follow the knuckle and not the nail.
    • Ontillas, On the Folly of Men
  • A day with no noon,
    A year with no fall,
    Love is forever new,
    Or love is not at all.
    • Anonymous, "Ode to the Loss of Losses"
  • It is the difference in knowledge that commands respect. This is why the true test of every student lies in the humiliation of his master.
    • Gotagga, The Prima Arcanata
  • Where the holy take men for fools, the mad take the world.
    • Protathis, The Goat's Heart
  • Men never resemble one another so much as when asleep or dead.
    • Opparitha, On the Carnal
  • In terror, all men throw up their hands and turn aside their faces. Remember, Tratta, always preserve the face! For that is where you are.
    • Throseanis, Triamis Imperator
  • The Poet will yield up his stylus only when the Geometer can explain how Life can at once be a point and a line. How can all time, all creation, come to the now? Make no mistake: this moment, the instant of this very breath, is the frail thread from which all creation hangs.
    That men dare to be thoughtless ...
    • Teres Ansansius, The City of Men
  • To piss across water is to piss across your reflection.
    • Khirgwi proverb
  • What vengeance is this? That he should slumber while I endure? Blood douses no hatred, cleanses no sin. Like seed, it spills of its own volition, and leaves naught but sorrow in its wake.
    • Hamishaza, Tempiras the King
  • ... and my soldiers, they say, make idols of their swords. But does not the sword make certain? Does not the sword make plain? Does not the sword compel kindness from those who kneel in its shadow? I need no other God.
    • Triamis, Journals and Dialogues
  • The vulgar think the God by analogy to man and so worship Him in the form of the Gods. The learned think the God by analogy to principles and so worship Him in the form of Love or Truth. But the wise think the God not at all. They know that thought, which is finite, can only do violence to the God, who is infinite.
    It is enough, they say, that the God thinks them.
    • Memgowa, The Book of Divine Acts
  • ... for the sin of the idolator is not that he worships stone, but that he worships one stone over others.
    • 8:9:4 The Witness of Fane
  • For all things there is a toll. We pay in breaths, and our purse is soon empty.
    • Songs 57:3, The Chronicle of the Tusk
  • Like many old tyrants, I dote upon my grandchildren. I delight in their tantrums, their squealing laughter, their peculiar fancies. I willfully spoil them with honey sticks. And I find myself wondering at their blessed ignorance of the world and its million grinning teeth. Should I, like my grandfather, knock such childishness from them? Or should I indulge their delusions? Even now, as death's shadow pickets gather about me, I ask, Why should innocence answer to the world? Perhaps the world should answer to innocence ...
    Yes, I rather like that. I tire of bearing the blame.
    • Stajanas II, Ruminations
  • For men, no circle is ever closed. We walk ever in spirals.
    • Drusas Achamian, The Compendium of the First Holy War
  • They strike down the weak and call it justice. They ungird their loins and call it reparation. They bark like dogs and call it reason.
    • Ontillas, On the Folly of Men
  • What is the meaning of a deluded life?
    • Ajencis, The Third Analytic of Men

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