En 10b Athenia

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    Ott 2023

    10b. Athenia: Miscegenation and Decadence

    [076/22] From the other Greeks, you have surely heard many evil things about Seekrops, because he was not in good repute among them. But I dare say that he was a bright man, highly regarded as much by the indigenous people as by us, since he would not exploit the people like the other priests, but was virtuous and knew to judge the wisdom of distant nations according to their value. Because of this, [077] he allowed us to live according to our own book of jurisdiction.[1] There was a rumor that he was favorable to us because he was bred of a Fryas girl and an Egyptian priest, as he had blue eyes and many of our girls had been kidnapped and sold in the Egyptian lands — though he himself never confirmed this. Whatever the case, he certainly showed us more friendship than all the other priests together.

    But when he had fallen, his successors soon began to meddle in our laws and gradually made so many corrupt decisions that, at long last, nothing remained of equality and freedom beyond illusions and words. Also, they would not permit regulations to be set in writing, so that the knowledge thereof became hidden from us. Formerly, all cases in Athenia had been tried in our language. But, afterwards, it had to be in both languages, and ultimately in the native language alone.

    In the earliest years, the men living in Athenia took wives only of our own lineages. But as the young men grew up with the native girls, they chose also wives therof. The debased children that came from this were the best looking and cleverest in the world, [078] but they were also the most deplorable — wavering between both sides, not caring about morals or traditions unless it was for their own benefit. So long as there yet prevailed a spark of Frya’s spirit, all building materials were used for common works, and no one was permitted to build a house that was larger and more luxurious than that of his neighbors. But, as some bastardized townsmen had been enriched by our seafaring and by the silver that their slaves gathered in the mines, they went out to live on the hills or in the valleys. There, behind high hedges or walls of stone, they built richly furnished mansions. And in order to be held in high esteem by the vile priests, they placed in them statues of false gods and unchaste forms. Among the vile priests and princes, the boys were sometimes more desired than the daughters, and they were often led astray from the path of virtue through rich gifts or through force.

    Because wealth was much more important than virtue and honor to this spoiled and corrupted brood, one sometimes saw young men who adorned themselves with flamboyant clothing, to the shame of their parents and the maidens, and [079] to the mockery of their kin. If any of our modest elders came to the general assembly at Athenia and wished to protest about this, a cry would go up: “Hark! Hark! A sea hag is going to speak!”

    So Athenia has become like a swamp in the hot lands, full of blood-sucking parasites, toads, and venomous snakes, where no decent man would dare set foot.

    Sandbach 1876

    [p.107 cont.] From the other Greeks you will have heard a great deal of bad about Cecrops, because he was not in good repute; but I dare affirm that be was an enlightened man; very renowned both among the inhabitants and among us, for he was against oppression, unlike the other priests, and was virtuous, and knew how to value the wisdom of distant nations. Knowing that, he permitted us to live according to our own Asegaboek. There was a story current that he was favourable to us because he was the son of a Frisian girl and an Egyptian priest: the reason of this was that he had blue eyes, and that many of our girls had been stolen and sold to Egypt, but he never confirmed this. However it may have been, certain it is that he showed us more friendship than all the other priests together. When he died, his successors soon began to tear up our charters, and gradually to enact so many unsuitable statutes that at long last nothing remained of liberty but the shadow and the name. Besides, they would not allow the laws to be written, so that the knowledge of them was hidden from us. Formerly all the cases in [p.109] Athens were pleaded in our language, but afterwards in both languages, and at last in the native language only. At first the men of Athens only married women of our own race, but the young men as they grew up with the girls of the country took them to wife. The bastard children of this connection were the handsomest and cleverest in the world; but they were likewise the wickedest, wavering between the two parties, paying no regard to laws or customs except where they suited their own interests. As long as a ray of Frya's spirit existed, all the building materials were for common use, and no one might build a house larger or better than his neighbours; but when some degenerate townspeople got rich by sea-voyages and by the silver that their slaves got in the silver countries, they went to live out on the hills or in the valleys. There, behind high enclosures of trees or walls, they built palaces with costly furniture, and in order to remain in good odour with the nasty priests, they placed there likenesses of false gods and unchaste statues. Sometimes the dirty priests and princes wished for the boys rather than the girls, and often led them astray from the paths of virtue by rich presents or by force. Because riches were more valued by this lost and degenerate race than virtue or honour, one sometimes saw boys dressed in splendid flowing robes, to the disgrace of their parents and maidens, and to the shame of their own sex. If our simple parents came to a general assembly at Athens and made complaints, a cry was raised, Hear, hear! there is a sea-monster going to speak. Such is Athens become, like a morass in a tropical country full of leeches, toads, and poisonous snakes, in which no man of decent habits can set his foot.

    Notes

    1. ‘book of jurisdiction’ (É.LIK.SEZA.BOK) — more literally: ‘book of just regulations’, likely a compendium of laws and legal decisions.


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