Re: Orlanthi Property; Barntar

From: Ian Cooper <ian_hammond_cooper_at_...>
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000 16:35:48 -0000

David Dunham wrote:
> I believe this is *not* the Heortling model -- one reason being
> that I believe this is the Alakoring model.
> Of course, if you define eligible heirs more narrowly than the
> Irish, you can at least preserve some difference. But I suspect the
> Heortlings designate their primary heirs.

Why? Primogeniture only appears with feudal cultures. Its value is to hold the estates together for the support of a knight. It never applied to personal poperty only to land. Germanic and Celtic cultures the model for Heortling and Alakoring cultures respectively both practiced division amongst kin. For example in AS there was a law called:

"gavelkind [M.E.,=family tenure], custom of inheritance of lands held in socage tenure, whereby all the sons of a holder of an estate in land share equally in such lands upon the death of the father. Most of the lands in England were held in gavelkind tenure prior to the Norman Conquest in 1066, and the custom of dividing lands among the male heirs is still preserved in parts of England, notably the county of Kent. This system of inheritance of lands is to be contrasted with borough-English and primogeniture."

So analagous cultures divided land and property, and even in feudal cultures was only land (which is odal anyway) that was not divided.

Mythically I cannot see it either - was Orlanth Umath's first son. was he excluded from Umath's inheritance. The Orlanthi values of freedom and independence would be undermined. I think that John is right primary heirs smack of the Emperor.

If we find it anywhere I would say it is in Tarsh where we have the kings appointed from a noble family etc, heavy Darra Happen influence etc. and Tarshites ae Alakorings (personally I alwasy see them as closed to early Franks but that's my opinion).

Also it may be that the influence of western cultures in Hendirikeland has lead to some primogeniture amongst the Orlanthi there, but I suspect it is resisted.

> Sounds a little more like stead or household to me.

Agreed. I think that John's bloodline/household division is not that strong, perhaps it needs to be made a bit clearer. i.e. a bloodline cntains many households mebership of which is fluid.  

> Dad, dad, there's Orlanth the Farmer and Barntar, which one is
> better at farming? Why do we have both? When do we worship one and
> not the
> other? Are they the same God with a different name? If one is
> better than
> the other why do we worship the other?

I always saw the choice as men worship Orlanth, women worship Ernalda. Some men are drawn to the ways of the earth, but they worship Barntar and not Ernalda.


Powered by hypermail