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The Publius Enigma

By Nicholas Palffy

Publius' (possible) identity

The whole issue about Publius has to be adressed from a different perspective. I hope the following will bring a new look on an old problem...

Point one: Publius is a person. Publius is a messenger. He (or she...) is the voice for another person or a group of persons. He/she's an angel (greek etymology, angelos = messenger). An Angel is a Guiding Spirit, a Steer. Publius want us to find the answer of the enigma and "unearth" the "treasure".

My opinion is that The Publius Enigma was created by several persons, of whom Publius is only the spokeperson.They must have worked together to assemble all the parts of the enigma.

The lyrics (Gilmour, Samson, Moore, Laird-Clowes)
The graphics (Peter Curzon, with Ian Wright)
The music: Gilmour, Wright, , Ezrin,
The concept of the secret: Adams? Moore? Gilmour?
The sculptures (Steel Heads made by Aden Hynes & John Robertson. Stone Heads made by Keith Breeden /Andy Hill)

Back to the pseudonym, I read somewhere (see note 1) that the (latin) word PUBLIUS is equivalent to the Greek name LAIOS. Laios is Oedipus' father in the masterpiece from Sophocles. This name is supposed to derive from the Greek, Laios, meaning "from the People", or from laàs: STONE, Rock, or from Laiós, Left-Handed or Left-Sided, Crooked, (latin: CLAUDIUS), or from the root LAO- which is associated with the notions of SEEING, sight, looking. (I personnaly associate STONE and SIGHT to Stonhenge), or from Laïs, a SICKLE or a heap reaper. (By the way, the letters for LAIOS are included in Nick (Lai)rd-Cl(o)we(s) name, but I think it's just a coincidence...)

LAIOS represents the Winter Soltice (Dark Side of the Calendar, Zodiacal sign Capricorn, Minimum of Light, Christmas).

Publius = Douglas Adams? Polly Samson? David Gilmour? Storm Thorgerson?

At this stage, nothing can be stated with certainty. If it is a "groupwork", then who did what?

The name of Douglas Adams contains a hint linking him to Publius (and the Dark Side of the Moon...)

Born 11 (!) March (3) 19-52. Does that ring a bell?
Died 11 MAY (5) 2001. (RIP, Doug...) at the age of 49, of a Heart Attack...(This is a real enigma!)
MA in English Literature at age 22 (1974).

ADAM = First Man
PROTOS = Name of the Governor in MALTA.
Governor = Cybernetic = to STEER

The dark face of this bright man...

Douglas Noel ADAMS = DNA

Noel = LEON (zodiacal LEO). NOEL = Christmas, Winter Solstice, 21 December. (Noël in French, Adams' second name)...)

Author of "A hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy", which is nothing else than a very clever and funny pastiche of Oedipus the King. [See the Hitchhiker'sWebsite and BBC site]

The BBC h2g2 website seems to contains information on the Enigma. It was made with the help/on the inspiration of Douglas Adams... Not obvious, but some useful indications... But check his message here. And make a search on ENIGMA.

In the following message, it seems there's a lot of allusions to Adams AND Oedipus: [link to page]. Tha's just one exemple, I think the site is loaded with such stuff...

An introduction to an enigma...

Hello, I'm Joseph Mansell. Danger is my middle name. Well, actually Alan is, but that's a bit boring really isn't it. So I wrote 'Danger' on a maths competition I did once and, hey presto, according to Westpac (Australian bank) and some maths board, I am Joseph Danger Mansell. Not only does it sound good, but it also means that my last two initials are the same as that of (possibly) my favourite cartoon character. Danger Mouse who, incidentally, lives in a mailbox out the front of (possibly) my favourite novel character, Sherlock Holmes. I love nothing more than stirring people up until they explode. My psychology teacher once classified me as unstable and a psychotic. But then so did my dog (Sirius). I don't believe them. I hate morons and cretins (oxymorons...) and I often believe the only solution to the international stupidity is a nuclear winter (solstice...).

The references to the dog, the moron and winter point to Sirius aka the Sphinx, Sothis, Canis Major (about the Barking dog, see Edgar Elgar's Variations), Oedipus a literal oxy-moron or wise nut, and a nuclear winter to Dark Ages...

Douglas Adams had (to my opinion) a very special way to make fun of thing and a superior ability to transpose ideas from one plane to the other. To envision Oedipus as a hitchhiker is one of this twist. By the way, the amount of anagramms that can be derived from is quite impressive.


MONKEY = MOON KEY...) lead me to think he loved twists of the tongue... The song title "Keep Talking" should rather be "Keep Talking, don't be LUNATIC...).

I like the IMARRONDLA pun and anagram (from a Publius post, sorry for not quoting the date...).

It points again to Oedipus: I Lead a Moron, Aid no Morale; No moral Idea.

Point 1: I lead a moron. Oedipus is a moron. An oxy moron (etymologically, a sharp-dull kind of guy)

Point 2: Aid no morale. The moral side of Oedipus the King is more than debatable.

Point 3: No moral Idea. Killing his father and being a motherfucker won't need lenghty explanations on moral education...But remember that killing a father-king is similar to reversing the course of the Sun (or the son...) and marrying-merrying a mother is something you do in the dark...)

For those interested in astrology, here's a question: To which zodiacal sign do you associate a heart attack? The answer give the name of the culprit...

mirror globe image Compare page five of TDB and Douglas Adams book cover designed by Storm Thorgerson. Do you see any similarities?

Conclusion: Now that Douglas Adams died, who's in charge of the Publius Enigma?

(1) Marie Delcourt, Oedipe ou la légende du conquérant, Belles-Lettres, Paris, 1981, p. 27: "Laïos équivaut à Publius ou Publicola" (Laïus is equivalent to Publius or Publicola).