Re: Heortlings and inheritance

From: Bryan Thexton <bethexton_at_...>
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2000 19:17:39 -0000

Thank you for the pointer. I wasn't signed up on this list at the time. For reasons that escape me now I suscribed to the rules list and not the general list way back, and I only recently corrected that oversight. I've been working my way throught the archives, but I hadn't reached that thread. I've gone and read it now.

Hmmm, I guess the conclusions really was that the inheritance system is above all pragmatic. A death makes a hole in the web of relations, occupations, and obligations. The inheritance is really handled in the way to close that hole as effectively as possible.

In other words, whoever lived in the stead will probably go on living in the stead. Someone has to plough the field, and whoever is going to do that work will need the plough, and plough team. Probably the grain from that field will continue to be cooked in the same oven, and to feed most of the same people.

There might be varying details in the tradition, but the essence is that work of life goes on, and the means of doing that work need to carry on too. In fact, I'd go so far as to speculate that there must be some heortling parables about the man who arranged for one son to get the plough, and the other the team, as an example of short sightedness and selfishness.

Well, just my take based on what everyone else has written.


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