En 13h The Burg Liudgarda

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    Ott 2023

    13h. Apollania’s Burg

    [106/10] Now I myself will write, first about my burg and then about what I have observed:

    My burg lies at the northernmost end of the Liudgarda. The tower has six sides and is three times thirty feet high, flat on top. A small observatory sits thereon, from which one watches the stars.

    On each side of the tower there is a hall, three hundred feet long, three times seven feet wide and equally high, except for the roof, which is vaulted. All is made of locally fired brick, and none are brought in from elsewhere. Surrounding the burg is a dyke, and around it a moat, three times seven feet deep, three times twelve feet wide. Looking down from the tower, one sees the shape of the Yule wheel.

    Upon the ground between the buildings on the south side, a variety of herbs grow from far and wide, of which the maidens must learn all virtues. Between the northern halls grows only meadowgrass.

    The three northerly buildings are [107] filled with grain and other stocks. Two on the south are for the teaching and housing of the young maidens. The southernmost is the burgmaid’s home. In the tower hangs the Lamp, and the walls are bejeweled with precious stones. On the south wall is written the Tex; to the right of it one finds the Primal Teachings, and to the left, the eawa (laws). The other records can be found on the other three. At the dyke, near the burgmaid’s home, stands the oven and a millstone for the making of flour, worked by four oxen.

    Outside our burg wall, the burg lords and defenders live. The ring dyke is one ‘stand’ across[1] — not a steersman’s, but a solar stand — of which there are twice twelve in a day. On the inside of the dyke is a platform five feet below the crown, with three hundred crossbows,[2] covered with wood and leather. Apart from the homes of the dwellers within, the dyke encloses yet another three times twelve houses for needy dwellers of the surrounding villages. The field serves both for military practice and as a grazing meadow.

    On the south side of the outermost ring dyke is the Liudgarda, enclosed by the great Lindenwood. Its shape is triangular, with the base at the southern end so that sunlight may enter in,[3] as many exotic trees and flowers grow there, brought home by the navigators.

    [108] The ordering of our burg is the same as all others, though ours is the largest — except for the one at Texland, which is the greatest of them all. The tower of Fryasburg at Texland is so high that it rends the clouds, and the rest of the burg is in proportion to it.

    Among us at our burg, it is divided thus: seven young maidens attend to the Lamp, in watches of three hours each. In the remaining time, they must do housework, study, and sleep. After seven years of watching, they are free. Then they are permitted to go amongst the people to uphold morals and give advice. After having been a maiden for three years, they may at times accompany the older maidens. The scribe must teach the young maidens to read, write, and count. The gray ones, or aldermen, must teach them justice and duty, knowledge of seeds, herbs, and healing, histories, tales, songs, and much else that is useful for giving advice. The burgmaid must teach them how to apply all this amongst the people.


    1. ‘stand’ (STONDE) — unclear; apparently measure of space as well as time; cognates (German/Dutch): Stunde/stonde.
    2. ‘crossbows’ (KRÁN.BOGA) — lit.: ‘cranebows’, also mentioned in chapters 14e and 16b. These were possibly identical or similar to the ‘ballistae’ as described in 2 Chronicles 26:15 of the Old Testament.
    3. ‘the base at the southern end’ (THET BRÉDE BUTA) — interpretation; lit.: the breadth [on the] far side.

    Sandbach 1876

    [p.147] Now I will write myself, first about my Citadel, and then about what I have been able to see.

    My city lies near the north end of the Liudgaarde. The tower has six sides, and is ninety feet high, fiat-roofed, with a small house upon it out of which they look at the stars. On either side of the tower is a house three hundred feet long, and twenty-one feet broad, and twenty-one feet high, besides the roof, which is round. All this is built of hard-baked bricks, and outside there is nothing else. The citadel is surrounded by a dyke, with a moat thirty-six feet broad and twenty-one feet deep. If one looks down from the tower, he sees the form of the Juul. In the ground among the houses on the south side all kinds of native and foreign herbs grow, of which the maidens must study the qualities. Among the houses on the north side there are only fields. The three houses on the north are full of corn and other necessaries; the two houses on the south are for the maidens to live in and keep school. The most southern house is the dwelling of the Burgtmaagd. In the tower hangs the lamp. The walls of the tower are decorated with precious stones. On the south wall the Tex is inscribed. On the right side of this are the formulae, and on the other side the laws; the other things are found upon the three other sides. Against the dyke, near the house of the Burgtmaagd, stand the oven and the mill, worked by four oxen. Outside the citadel wall is the place where the Burgtheeren and the soldiers live. The fortification outside is an hour long—not a seaman's hour, but an hour of the sun, of which twenty-four go to a day. Inside it is a plain five feet below the top. On it are three hundred crossbows covered with wood and leather.

    Besides the houses of the inhabitants, there are along [p.149] the inside of the dyke thirty-six refuge-houses for the people who live in the neighbourhood. The field serves for a camp and for a meadow. On the south side of the outer fortification is the Liudgaarde, enclosed by the great wood of lime-trees. Its shape is three-cornered, with the widest part outside, so that the sun may shine in it, for there are a great number of foreign trees and flowers brought by the seafarers. All the other citadels are the same shape as ours, only not so large; but the largest of all is that of Texland. The tower of the Fryaburgt is so high that it rends the sky, and all the rest is in proportion to the tower. In our citadel this is the arrangement: Seven young maidens attend to the lamp; each watch is three hours. In the rest of their time they do housework, learn, and sleep. When they have watched for seven years, they are free; then they may go among the people, to look after their morals and to give advice. When they have been three years maidens, they may sometimes accompany the older ones.

    The writer must teach the girls to read, to write, and to reckon. The elders, or "Greva," must teach them justice and duty, morals, botany, and medicine, history, traditions, and singing, besides all that may be necessary for them to give advice. The Burgtmaagd must teach them how to set to work when they go among the people.

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