From: David Cake <>
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2001 13:27:40 +0800

Peter Larsen wrote:
> >I tend to think that
>>they [non LM lawspeakers] are also literate - if nothing else, they would
>want to compete with the Lhankor Mhy lawspeakers by also being able to
>learn from
>>ancient precedents and such, so it would at least be a common skill.
> Not if the ancient precedents are part of the oral record. A lawspeaker
>will be able to recite from memory all fixed laws of the culture, tribe,
>clan, and (in the case of Sartar) nation. All important permutations and
>interpretations will also be available, in more detail as the situation
>gets more local. Jurors will also know much of this.

        My impression was that precedent was persuasive, but not necessarily binding, in Heortling law. So while I agree that a lawspeaker will know all the major laws and be able to quote them, I think an ability to quote many many precedents is an advantage in arguing or judging a legal case. Much legal argument consists of quoting judgements that are similar to your case, and favour your cause.

        I am sure that the LM cult record all judgements.

> > Also, I would presume that the Issaries cult teaches at least
>>minimal Tradetalk literacy, enough for simple record keeping and
>>contracts. Of course, many Issaries cultists might travel far enough
>>afield to pick up other languages as well.
> Each merchant is likely to have his or her own system, possibly passed
>down to apprentices. Beads on thongs are more likely than ledgers.
>Contracts are probably oral, and not engaged in too much outside of tribal
>groups and traditional trading partners. You also get witnesses to
>important contracts outside your tribe.

        Given that we have Tradetalk, I think its pretty straightforward to assume its used by merchants. I am sure there are differences in each merchants record keeping, but I also think that as they all know Tradetalk they probably use it - written Tradetalk probably started as a mercantile record keeping system.

        And yes, the vast majority of contracts are verbal. But some probably aren't.

> Kralorela is the only part of Glorantha where I imagine a wide
>semi-literate society.

        Yes. In Glamour and some other areas, though, the narrow semi-literate echelon of society can still be a large enough subset that some things that depend on a large group of literates do exist (such as libraries, circulation of written material for entertainment purposes, public inscriptions, etc). A noble of Glamour might still, for example, put large written inscriptions on public monuments - the wider populace might not understand, but the political classes that he cares about impressing by and large will.



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