En 04c Useful Precedents

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    4c. Useful Precedents

    [029/12] Useful precedents from the writings left by Minno:

    (Minno was an old sea king, seer, and philosopher.[1] He gave laws to the Cretans. He was born on the banks of the Linde and, after all his wanderings, he had the good fortune to pass away at Lindaheim.)

    1. If our neighbors have a piece of land or water that seems good to us, it is fitting for us to ask them to sell it.[2] If they refuse, we must let them keep it. That is according to Frya’s Tex, and it would be unjust to take it from them.

    2. If neighbors should quarrel and dispute amongst themselves over some cause or piece of land and ask us to make judgment, it would be better to let the matter blow over; but if we cannot get out of it, we must honorably and justly pass judgment. [030]

    3. If any should come and say: “I am at war, you must help me”; or if another comes and says: “My son is underage and unskilled. I am old, so I wish you to be his guardian and to take charge of my property until he comes of age,” one ought to refuse, in order that we may not come into dispute over matters that are in conflict with our Frya morals.

    4. If a foreign trader comes to the open market at Wieringen or Almanland and he commits fraud, he is to be immediately branded (as a cheat) and made known by the maidens throughout the land.[3] If he ever comes back, no one shall deal with him. He may leave the way he came. Thus, when traders are chosen to go throughout the markets, or to sail with the fleet, one ought to choose only those who are very well known and in good repute with the maidens. If it should nonetheless chance that a bad man is among them, who wishes to cheat people, then it is up to the others to prevent that. If he has already committed the fraud, it must be set right and the culprit banished from the lands, in order that our name should everywhere be deemed honorable.

    5. But if we find ourselves at a foreign market, whether near or far, and it happens that the people do us harm or steal from us, we must assail them quickly; for although we [031] must do all we can for the sake of peace, our half-brothers may never treat us with disrespect or believe that we are cowardly.

    Notes

    1. ‘philosopher’ (WIS.GÍRICH) — lit.: ‘wise-greedy’ or desiring wisdom.
    2. Compare [039/10] where Minno exchanges a boat with goods for a harbor and a piece of land.
    3. Compare ch. 3b, laws 11 and 12.

    Sandbach 1876

    [p.43 cont.] Useful Extracts from the Writings left by Minno.

    Minno[1] was an ancient sea-king. He was a seer and a philosopher, and he gave laws to the Cretans. He was born at Lindaoord, and after all his wanderings he had the happiness to die at Lindahem.

    If our neighbours have a piece of land or water which it would be advantageous for us to possess, it is proper that we should offer to buy it. If they refuse to sell it, we must let them keep it. This is Frya's Tex, and it would be unjust to act contrary to it.

    If any of our neighbours quarrel and fight about any matter except land, and they request us to arbitrate, our best course will be to decline; but if [p.45] they insist upon it, it must be done honourably and justly.

    If any one comes and says, I am at war, you must help me; or another comes and says, My son is an infant and incompetent, and I am old, so I wish you to be his guardian, and to take charge of my property until he is of age, it is proper to refuse in order that we may not come into disputes about matters foreign to our free customs.

    Whenever a foreign trader comes to the open markets at Wyringen and Almanland, if he cheats, he must immediately be fined, and it must be published by the maidens throughout the whole country.

    If he should come back, no one must deal with him. He must return as he came.

    Whenever traders are chosen to go to trading stations, or to sail with the fleets, they must be well known and of good reputation with the maidens.

    If, however, a bad man should by chance be chosen and should try to cheat, the others are bound to remove him. If he should have committed a cheat, it must be made good, and the culprit must be banished from the land in order that our name may be everywhere held in honour.

    If we should be ill-treated in a foreign market, whether distant or near, we must immediately attack them; for though we desire to be at peace, we must not let our neighbours underrate us or think that we are afraid.

    Note Sandbach

    1. Minno, Minos (the Ancient).


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