marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

tidbits cross time

In forest law there were two types of offenses:  against vert, chopping down trees for clearing, and against venison, poaching.  Robin Hood ballads talk only of the second.

In Mesopatamia, one rite was to offer a kid in place of the cursed man, with a spell binding part to part.  For kings, sometimes a man was offered -- he was allowed to live richly for some time, and then executed.

One switch from Roman to medieval times was the change of revenue from taxes to rents.  It had its disadvantages.  Among others, kings often had to lose revenue lest they lose men, by not granting them lands.

At Napoleon's table, cutlery was better and worse according to the quality of the guests.  There were gold utensiles for the lesser sort, and for those to be especially honored, aluminum ones.

In an ancient Greek lawsuit charging murder, the defendant pointed out that he had taken sail, and the ship had arrived safely in port, as evidence of his innocence.

In early modern Ukraine, when there was a drought, all the women of a village would be put to various water tests -- the classic dunking one, or carrying a bucket of water to a shrine without spilling any.  (The men, it appears, did not do drought magic.)

One ancedote about Lady Jane Grey was repeated a lot:  the story of how when all the rest of the nobles at a place went off hunting, she studied Plato instead.  It was a popular image in Victorian times -- encouraging all those daughters to study hard.

In the Dark Ages, Irish kings often were under kings, owing allegiance to a higher king.  There could be as many of four layers of kingship thus.

In ancient Mesopatamia, formulas for unwitching would describe the evil things the witch had done -- and immediately attempt to prescribe the same fate by magic to the witch in question.

One ancient Greek practice was to dedicate an enemy city to Apollo, which is to say enslave the inhabitants and pastoralize the region.

During the Peasants' Revolt, the continual claim was that they were just reclaiming ancient rights that had been wrongfully usurped from them -- perhaps derived from a charter from Offa or Canute, or from the "law of Winchester" which probably means the Doomsday book, where serfs on the royal land had more right than the ordinary sorts of folk.

Britain's switch to the Dark Ages was particularly abrupt.  Within four decades of the legions pulling out, the villas and cities were abandoned.

Rites in ancient Mesopatomia against witchcraft often prescribe against the sorcerer and the sorceress.  Still, tallying up references, there are more than refer to women practicing witchcraft than men.

In Dark Ages Lombard, the presumption that women didn't carry arms and fight was so absolute that at one point, they found there was in fact no law prescribing what to do if women did commit violent crimes.
Tags: historical tidbits, world-building: economics, world-building: law, world-building: magic (technique), world-building: other, world-building: religion, world-building: technology

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