In The Horse and His Boy, C.S. Lewis, there is a certain refrain: “In the presence of the Tisroc (may he live forever), the only acceptable response was the enforced litany, ‘To hear is to obey.’” Lewis repeats this refrain to convince his readers that the culture of Calormene, and in particular the capital city of Tashbaan, was one of unquestioned obedience. Tashbaan is reminiscent of all that we envision of a premodern tenth-century Arabian kingdom. Immediate and full obedience to the bidding of the Tisroc (may he live forever), whether feigned, fearful, or willing, was the expected cultural …
Rev. Robert F. Ingram is headmaster of the Geneva School in Winter Park, Fla., and a senior fellow of the Society for Classical Learning. He previously served as editor of Tabletalk.