Friday, 4 May 2012

Indestructible, Untameable
Adamant is the strongest material of myth and legend. It is stronger than steel and the only substance to damage Gods as well as mortals. Adamantine chains bound Prometheus to the mountain-side and an adamantine blade castrated Ouranos or Uranus, the primordial Greek Sky God and beheaded the Gorgon Medusa.

Today Adamant is easily seen in fiction everywhere. Wolverine, although already popular, was made a household name by Hugh Jackman and his appearance in five movies already. He has his adamantium-laced skeleton with his trademark claws. That skeleton even survived when the rest of him was destroyed in one series of the comics.

The super-human Space Marines from Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 universe, again, with increasing popularity as they move from the tabletop to PC games and console games and even a movie, wear powered adamantium armour allowing them to shrug off attacks from all but the most powerful weapons in the bleak future of the 41st millennium.

As a child I read the myths, the stories and the game backgrounds, each with their adamantine weapons and armour: defending heroes, safeguarding the rest of civilisation, providing the only defence against powerful enemies. So perhaps the best form of idea is an invincible, indestructible, adamantine one? A theme popularised in fiction, most recently Inception and V for Vendetta, but extolled throughout history as the driving force behind revolution and the battle for freedom everywhere.

Finally, a bit of etymology, the English word "Adamant" comes from the Latin adamas meaning "invincible" as shown in its use above. But it originally comes from the Greek ἀ- (a-, “not”) + δαμάζω (damazo, “I tame”). Not only can adamantine dreams be indestructible, they can be untameable too. Something that may be apt for dreams and ideas that are recorded and given voice, rather than vanishing fleetingly into nothingness.

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