A mentat was a profession or discipline that was developed as a replacement to the thinking machines following the Butlerian Jihad that banned the creation of machines in the human mind's image. The term 'mentat' was first coined by Erasmus, created from the words 'mentor' and 'mentee'.
Use of Mentats
Mentats were used extensively by the Great Houses, primarily as political advisors. Thanks to their vast memories and ability to organize huge amounts of data they often provided valuable insights that would otherwise be lost. Limited mentat training was also used to augment individuals destined for other political or military roles.
The role of mentat required a certain degree of mental ability, and strict mental conditioning. Though not all mentats were of equal ability, all were typically able to guarantee employment with one of the power brokers of the Known Universe.
Indeed, the ability to accumulate large amounts of data and calculate it to an effective conclusion saw many military commanders and political leaders undergo some form of mentat training. Examples of this include Paul Atreides, Miles Teg, and most of the Duncan Idaho gholas. A few individuals, such as Thufir Hawat, had sufficient innate mentat abilities to be an exclusive advisor to House Atreides.
Mentats were required to operate within an ethical framework, which for some purposes was not desired. Thus, the Bene Tleilax were known to condition some mentats to be 'twisted'. These individuals, such as Piter de Vries, were able to compute trends free of any ethical restraints or limitations.
Gilbertus Albans displayed the first cognitive thinking and computer-like calculation capacity necessary for a Mentat.
Exclusive Mentat Advisors
Lesser Trained Mentats
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