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Monday, August 8, 2011
AN EXPLANATION OF GOREAN CHRONOLOGY
AN EXPLANATION OF GOREAN CHRONOLOGY
Goreans seem, for the most part, not too particular about the manner in which they tell time. The Wagon Peoples and Torvaldslanders, as well as the Tribesmen of the Tahari, the Black Tribes of the jungled south, and the Red Peoples, depend almost entirely upon their interpretation of the various positions of the sun, the moons and the stars to keep track of such matters. Even in the more civilized environs of Gor, where mechanical Gorean wrist chronometers, sand clocks, and waterclocks are readily available, the average Gorean tends to measure his day in hours rather than minutes. Perhaps that is why we are informed that Gorean chronometers, excepting those which are of the finest quality, seem to often lack such niceties as a minute hand or a second hand, and tend to concern themselves, like their owners, only with the passage of ahn. Oddly enough, Gorean chronometer run backwards, their spinning hands rotating in a counter-clockwise direction. I suppose this sort of thing is to be expected, it being "counter-earth" and all. Nevertheless, such peculiarities on the part of Goreans tend to lend certain aspects of Gor a "bizarro-world" quality, including the fact that instead of reading and writing from left to right, they do it from left to right on the first line, then from right to left on the following line, then back to left to right on the line after that, and so on, alternating the direction of each line.
If you can't imagine that, then here is an example:
Like many of the differences between the counter-earth and her sister planet, reading and writing in such a manner makes a certain amount of sense, since it would certainly save the reader from having to stop at the end of each line and go back to the left side of the page. Nevertheless, in actual practice, to those not accustomed to it, such a manner of writing is rather confusing. Similarly, the various peculiarities of the Gorean chronological terms "Ihn", "Ehn" and "Ahn," as well as the unusual measurement of the passage of years with the phrases "Contasta Ar" and "Of the Sovereignty of the Council of Captains" can be a bit hard to decipher. I have therefore taken the liberty of translating these things into their equivalent Earth counterparts for ease of reference.
Here, then, are the standard Gorean measurements for time, along with their Earth equivalents:
Ihn: Gorean Second; equals 1.35 Earth seconds
Ehn: Gorean Minute (80 Ihn); equals 108 Earth seconds
Ahn: Gorean Hour (40 Ehn); equals 72 Earth minutes
Day: 20 Ahn; equals 24 Earth hours
AHN OF THE GOREAN DAY
EARTH HOUR GOREAN AHN
12:01 AM-1:12 AM 1st Ahn
1:13 AM-2:24 AM 2nd Ahn
2:25 AM-3:36 AM 3rd Ahn
3:37 AM-4:48 AM 4th Ahn
4:49 AM-6:00 AM 5th Ahn
6:01 AM-7:12 AM 6th Ahn
7:13 AM-8:24 AM 7th Ahn
8:25 AM-9:36 AM 8th Ahn
9:37 AM-10:48 AM 9th Ahn
10:49 AM-12:00 PM 10th Ahn (Gorean Noon)
12:01 PM-1:12 PM 11th Ahn
1:13 PM-2:24 PM 12th Ahn
2:25 PM-3:36 PM 13th Ahn
3:37 PM-4:48 PM 14th Ahn
4:49 PM-6:00 PM 15th Ahn
6:01 PM-7:12 PM 16th Ahn
7:13 PM-8:24 PM 17th Ahn
8:25 PM-9:36 PM 18th Ahn
9:37 PM-10:48 PM 19th Ahn
10:49 PM-12:00 AM 20th Ahn (Gorean Midnight)
THE STANDARD GOREAN YEAR
The Gorean calendar is divided into twelve twenty-five day months. Each month consists of five weeks (Hands), each of which is five days long. Each month is separated from the month which follows it by a five day "Passage Hand" which marks the passage from one month to the next. Following the normal Passage Hand which marks the end of the twelfth Gorean month is a five day period known as "The Waiting Hand" during which most Goreans mourn the passing of the old year. The Waiting Hand concludes the eve of the Vernal equinox, and the following day is the Gorean New Year. The first Hand of the month of En'Kara begins on the next day after. Every fourth year (leap year) the Gorean New Year is celebrated on a separate day between the Waiting Hand of the previous year and the first day of the first Hand of En`Kara. The calendar below lists the Gorean hands and months along with their equivalent dates according to the calendar of Earth, as calculated from the orbital ecliptic of the twin planets.
THE GOREAN YEAR
MONTH OF EN'KARA (The First Turning)
March 21-March 25: First Hand
March 26-March 30: Second Hand
March 31-April 4: Third Hand
April 5-April 9: Fourth Hand
April 10-April 14: Fifth Hand
April 15-April 19: First Passage Hand
MONTH OF HESIUS (Ar)
April 20-April 24: First Hand
April 25-April 29: Second Hand
April 30-May 4: Third Hand
May 5-May 9: Fourth Hand
May 10-May 14: Fifth Hand
May 15-May 19: Second Passage Hand
MONTH OF CAMERIUS (Ar)/ SELNAR (Ko-ro-ba)
May 20-May 24: First Hand
May 25-May 29: Second Hand
May 30-June 3: Third Hand
June 4-June 8: Fourth Hand
June 9-June 13: Fifth Hand
June 14-June 18: Third Passage Hand
MONTH OF EN`VAR (The First Resting)
June 19-June 23: First Hand
June 24-June 28: Second Hand
June 29-July 3: Third Hand
July 4-July 8: Fourth Hand
July 9-July 13: Fifth Hand
July 14-July 18: Fourth Passage Hand
July 19-July 23: First Hand
July 24-July 28: Second Hand
July 29-August 2: Third Hand
August 3-August 7: Fourth Hand
August 8-August 12: Fifth Hand
August 13-August 17: Fifth Passage Hand
August 18-August 22: First Hand
August 23-August 27: Second Hand
August 28-September 1: Third Hand
September 2-September 6: Fourth Hand
September 7-September 11: Fifth Hand
September 12-September 16: Sixth Passage Hand
MONTH OF SE'KARA (The Second Turning)
September 17-September 21: First Hand
September 22-September 26: Second Hand
September 27-October 1: Third Hand
October 2-October 6: Fourth Hand
October 7-October 11: Fifth Hand
October 12-October 16: Seventh Passage Hand
October 17-October 21: First Hand
October 22-October 26: Second Hand
October 27-October 31: Third Hand
November 1-November 5: Fourth Hand
November 6-November 10: Fifth Hand
November 11-November 15: Eighth Passage Han
November 16-November 20: First Hand
November 21-November 25: Second Hand
November 26- November 30: Third Hand
December 1-December 5: Fourth Hand
December 6-December 10: Fifth Hand
December 11-December 15: Ninth Passage Hand
MONTH OF SE`VAR (The Second Resting)
December 16-December 20: First Hand
December 21-December 25: Second Hand
December 26-December 30: Third Hand
December 31-January 4: Fourth Hand
January 5-Jaunuary 9: Fifth Hand
January 10-January 14: Tenth Passage Hand
January 15-January 19: First Hand
January 20-January 24: Second Hand
January 25-January 29: Third Hand
January 30-February 3: Fourth Hand
February 4-February 8: Fifth Hand
February 9-February 13: Eleventh Passage Hand
February 14-February 18: First Hand
February 19-February 23: Second Hand
February 24-February 28: Third Hand
March 1-March 5: Fourth Hand
March 6-March 10: Fifth Hand
March 11-March 15: Twelfth Passage Hand
March 16-March 20: The Waiting Hand
GOREAN HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS
Below is a listing of various Gorean holidays and festivals; most are mentioned in the books themselves, but a few are new Gorean holidays pertinent to those who frequent the Silk&Steel Tavern. They are listed along with their equivalent Earth dates.
GOREAN NEW YEAR: On the day of the Vernal equinox (March 21), many northern Gorean cities, including Ar, celebrate the Gorean New Year. Typically upon this day a celebration takes place, doors are painted green, and a city-wide festival is held, lasting for two full Gorean hands (ten days). Every fourth year the New Year is celebrated on the extra day which occurs between the Waiting Hand and the day of the equinox.
SARDAR FAIRS: The Gorean equivalent of the World's Fair on Earth, these are four huge trade fairs which are held quarterly in the shadow of the Sardar Mountain Range. Each young person of Gor is expected to make a pilgrimage to the foot of the Sardar Mountains before he or she reaches their 25th birthday. They typically last ten full days (plus at least that long for set up and break down) and are scheduled to coincide with the solstices and equinoxes. Therefore, the four annual Fairs are:
The Fair of En'Kara (March 21st-March 30th)
The Fair of En`Var (June 19th-June 28th)
The Fair of Se`Kara (September 22nd-October 1st)
The Fair of Se`Var (December 21st-December 30th)
THE PLANTING FEAST OF SA-TARNA:A complex feast celebrated by most Gorean cities early during the growing season, and believed by many to ensure a plentiful harvest for the year ahead. Numerous rituals are performed during the three days of the feast (April 16th-18th) by members of the caste of Initiates, and members of each of the five high castes perform their own part of the ceremony during that three-day period. Most of these rituals consist of sacrifices or prayers to the Priest Kings conducted in the presence of the city Home Stone. On the final eve of the feast, the Home Stone is placed beneath the sky, typically atop the tallest cylinder in the city, and sprinkled with sa-tarna grain and ka-la-na wine by a dignitary of the city, often the Administrator, Ubar, or a member of the ruling family.
THE RETURN TO TURIA: The last day of the Second Hand of En'Kara (March 30th) is traditionally the day which marks the beginning of The Season of Little Grass for the Wagon Peoples, and shortly thereafter they begin the long trek from their winter pastures back to Turia.
GAMES OF LOVE WAR: The Wagon Peoples compete against the Warriors of Turia on the Plain of Stakes during the Second Passage Hand (May 15th-19th) in mid-spring, participating in various challenges and ceremonial-combats in order to exchange freewoman for slaves.
TAKING OF THE OMENS: Every tenth year, dating from 10,119 CA (1969 AD), is considered by the Wagon Peoples to be an "Omen Year." Therefore, in 10,129 CA (1979 AD) and in 10,139 CA (1989 AD), the Wagon Peoples halted their annual trek past Turia and various Omens were divined by their haruspexes regarding the future of the tribes and the safety of the bosk. This ceremony typically occurs in late spring, sometime during the month of Camerius. The next such Omen Year will be 10,149 CA (1999 AD).
TURIAN NEW YEAR: The peoples of Turia and certain other southern regions officially celebrate their own new year on the day of the Summer Solstice (June 21st). A ten day period of revelry follows, similar to the New Year celebrations in northern cities.
KAJURALIA: "The Festival of Slaves", it is held in most Gorean cities (except Port Kar, where it is not celebrated at all) on the last day of the Twelfth Passage Hand (March 15th). In Ar, it is celebrated on the last day of the fifth month (August 12th), the day which precedes the Love Feast. Upon this day, slaves may take liberties which are otherwise not permitted them during the year, including the drinking of wine and liquor, the freedom to roam at will (provided of course they do not attempt to escape from their owners permanently), the freedom to choose their own sexual partners and to couch with slaves of the opposite sex whom they find attractive, temporary suspension of all work and duties, and even the opportunity to play (minor) tricks and practical jokes upon freepersons. After the twentieth ahn, however, they are expected to be back in their respective kennels and slave quarters to resume the services required by their imbonded status; slaves who "go renegade" during Kajuralia are typically punished severely if recaptured, and are often executed for such an offense.
LOVE FEAST: Five day celebration within Ar, held during the Fifth Passage Hand (August 13th-17th). It is a time wherein many slaves are sold; the fourth day of the Love Feast (August 16th) is typically considered the climax of the festival in regard to the sale of slaves. The fifth day (August 17th) is normally reserved for great contests and spectacles in the Stadium of Blades, grand races in the Stadium of Tarns, great Kaissa championships and general celebratory feasting.
THE PASSING OF TURIA: The herds of the Wagon peoples traditionally pass closest to the city of Turia on or around the Second Hand of Se`Kara (September 22nd-26th).
FESTIVAL OF THE 25th OF SE`KARA: An annual Festival held in Port Kar to celebrate their great naval victory over the combined fleets of Cos and Tyros (October 11th).
THE THING: An annual celebration held in Torvaldsland, during which all of the shieldmen of the various Great Jarls travel to the Hall of their particular leader, submit their weaponry for inspection, and formally repledge their oaths of loyalty. The Thing usually occupies a span of from three to five days, and occurs sometime during the middle of the ninth Gorean month (mid-November), varying according to such factors as weather and the current political situation.
THE WINTERING: The nomadic herds of the Wagon peoples typically occupy their winter pastures during the period from the middle of the ninth Gorean month (late November) through the Second Hand of En'Kara (late March).
NEW YEAR (WAGON PEOPLES): The day of the Winter Solstice (December 21st) is celebrated by the Wagon Peoples as the first day of the new year, and marks the beginning of The Season of Snows. In addition, the women of the Wagon Peoples keep a calendar of their own, based upon the phases of the largest of the three Gorean moons. It consists of fifteen separate divisions, each named after one of the fifteen diiferent kinds of bosk, for instance: "The Moon of the Brown Bosk", "The Moon of the Spotted Bosk", etc.
PAGA DAY: Anniversary of the founding of the Silk&Steel Tavern (February 21st).
CARNIVAL: Held in many southern cities, notably Port Kar, during the five days of the Twelfth Passage Hand (March 11th-15th). During this celebration it is often customary to garb oneself in outlandish costumes or masks and attend various masquerade fetes and feasts.
THE WAITING HAND: This is a five day period (March 16th-20th) during which doors are painted white, little food is eaten, little is drunk and there is no singing or public rejoicing in the city. Walls and doors are adorned with sprigs and branches from the brak bush to ward off ill-luck in the coming year. On the day of the Vernal equinox, the Ubar or Administrator of the city performs a ritual "greeting of the sun," after which doors are repainted and the brak foliage is removed, beginning a ten day period of general revelry.
GOREAN YEARS: ANNUAL CHRONOLOGY
Due to the many different calendar systems in use by the cities and peoples of Gor, it would be virtually impossible to choose one such system as the primary means of measuring and listing Gorean years. Therefore, I have included eight such systems, each of which is in use in a particular geographical region of Gor, or is utilized by a particular city or culture. In such a way, it is possible to discern the particular year in which an important event occurred upon Gor, and assign it to its corresponding Earth date. I have listed no more than a few events from each city or culture, along with the Earth year in which they occurred as well as the present Earth year according to that system.
CHRONOLOGY OF AR
This is far and away the most often used and quoted system of chronology in the books; it is therefore assumed that this system is in use, or at least is understood, throughout most of the civilized regions of Gor. The abbreviation "CA" stands for the phrase "Contasta Ar," which can be translated as "from the founding of Ar."
CHRONOLOGY OF AR GOREAN YEAR EARTH EQUIVALENT 10,110 CA (Year of Pa Kur's Horde) 1960 AD 10,119 CA (Restoration of Marlenus) 1969 AD
10,137 CA (Cosian Invasion of Ar) 1987 AD
10,149 CA (Current Year) 1998 AD
CHRONOLOGY OF KO-RO-BA
In the city of Ko-ro-ba, as in many other cities, the years are reckoned according to the length of rule by the particular City Administrator who happens to be in power. Matthew Cabot, the father of Tarl Cabot, is currently the administrator of that city, a title which he retained even after the city was destroyed and rebuilt almost thirty years ago. Tarl informs us that the Earth year 1969 AD was designated as the 11th year of the Adminstration of Matthew Cabot. Each year after that one was designated in a similar fashion, as shown below.
CHRONOLOGY OF KO-RO-BA
GOREAN YEAR EARTH EQUIVALENT
Year 11 Administration of Matthew Cabot 1969 AD
Year 40 Administration of Matthew Cabot (Current Year)
(1998 AD) CHRONOLOGY OF TORVALDSLAND
In Torvaldsland the years are numbered by Rune-Priests, and the starting date (Year 1) of their chronology dates from the legendary event "Thor's Gift to Torvald," when the god Thor supposedly traded the spring of Torvaldsland to the hero Torvald in exchange for a ring of gold.
CHRONOLOGY OF TORVALDSLAND
GOREAN YEAR EARTH EQUIVALENT
1,006 Rune-Priest Year(Year of the War Arrow) 1972 AD
1,029 Rune-Priest Year (Current year) 1998 AD
CHRONOLOGY OF PORT KAR
The books are very specific about the manner in which years are numbered in Port Kar, and Tarl Cabot often makes use of the term which I have abbreviated below as "SCC." This actually represents the designation "Of the Sovereignty of the Council of Captains," meaning that the chronology of Port Kar was revised almost thirty years ago to refer specifically to the year of the Council's assumption of power in that city.
CHRONOLOGY OF PORT KAR
GOREAN YEAR EARTH EQUIVALENT
Year 1 SCC(Year of Victory over Cos & Tyros) 1970 AD
Year 29 SCC (Current Year) 1998 AD
CHRONOLOGY OF TURIA
As in the case of Ko-ro-ba, above, I have dated the Turian reckoning of years from a definitive event in the city's history, namely Turia's invasion and defeat and the subsequent restoration of her Home Stone by the Ubar-San of the Wagon Peoples.
CHRONOLOGY OF TURIA
GOREAN YEAR EARTH EQUIVALENT
The Sparing of Turia 1969 AD
Year 29, Post-Invasion (Current year) 1998 AD
CHRONOLOGY OF THARNA
I have dated the chronology of Tharna from the dethronement and enslavement of the freewomen once known as the "Silver Masks." Each year since therefore bears the title "Sa`ng-fori" after it, acknowledging that each year since that event is a year of freedom for its male inhabitants.
CHRONOLOGY OF THARNA
GOREAN YEAR EARTH EQUIVALENT
Year 1 Sa'ng-fori ("without chains") 1968 AD Year 31, Sa'ng-fori (Current Year) 1998 AD
CHRONOLOGY OF THE WAGON PEOPLES
The Wagon Peoples are an unusual case, as they do not number their years at all; instead they give each year a specific name relating to the most important event which occurred during that particular period. These names are not written down, but rather are entrusted to individuals known as "Year Keepers" who commit them permanently to memory to be passed down to their descendants. Fortunately, we are given the names of at least two such years in the fourth book of the series, "Nomads of Gor." CHRONOLOGY OF THE WAGON PEOPLES
GOREAN YEAR EARTH EQUIVALET
"The Year in Which Tarl Cabot Came to the Wagon Peoples" 1968 AD
"The Year in which Tarl Cabot Commanded a Thousand" 1969 AD
30th Year of the Ubar-San (Current Year) 1998 AD
First, for those new to this: The Gorean monetary system is based on coins of copper, silver and gold. With a copper coin, one might buy a meal or a couple(?can't recall the passage) loaves of bread. Thus a copper is probably no LESS than one dollar American and could be as much as ten or twenty. For one or two coppers, one may rent the use of a slave for the night... (but remember that slaves are common and this is not a thing that has much worth to most Goreans.)
There are 100 copper coins to a silver coin, and there are ten silvers to a gold. Thus if a copper coin is one dollar American, then a silver is one hundred dollars and a gold would be a thousand... Coins may be refered to as Tarns or Tarsks, depending upon the city in which they were minted. There are also coins of double weight. On this same scale a gold tarn of double weight would be 2000 dollars American....
My question is what exchange rate we should consider when refering to the Gorean currency.... Should we consider a copper coin to be more like ten dollars? Making a double-weight gold about 20,000? In "Assassins" pp34-37 there is indication that a double gold is considered great riches... so perhaps 20,000 is more in keeping..?
This is my question to those who have read the books... Can you cite places in the books that give a clear indication of what coins might be worth in Earth monies (from whichever country you want to relate it to..)
If we can get a clear idea what a copper is worth, we can figure the rest from there...and I am hoping for facts from the series, relating to actual Earth prices on things, rather than opinions.... Any ideas?
--------- 2.Sat Dec 27 08:26 ~ - Subject: * - 0 reaction(s) NCDavid said:
This list comes from Renegades of Gor, p. 51. It is a listing of prices that an inn on the road to Ar's Station charged, and they are indicated as being high, but due to the nature of the fighting in the area, perhaps only supply and demand were in effect.
Bread and paga....................2 C.T.
Other food......................3-5 C.T.
Bath girl.........................2 C.T.
Sponge, oil and strigil...........1 C.T.
Girl for the night................5 C.T.
T., Greens and Stable.............2 C.T.
T., Meat and Cot..................5 C.T.
"First, it might be noted that they are not typical. In many inns, depending on the season, to be sure, and the readiness of the keeper to negotiate, one can stay for as little as two or three copper tarsks a day, everything included, within reason, of course, subject to some restraint with respect to paga, and such.
Also, the bath girl, and the sponge, oil and strigil, in most establishments, come with the price of the bath itself. The prices on the list on the wall seemed excessive, perhaps to a factor of five or more. The prices, of course, were in terms of copper tarsks.
"For purposes of comparison, in many paga taverns, one may have paga and food, and a girl for the alcove, if one wants, for a single copper tarsk. Dancers, to be sure, sometimes cost two. I did not know what the 'other food' might be. One always inquires. It would vary seasonally, depend on the local suppliers, and, in some cases, even on the luck of local hunters and fishermen. In most inns the fare is simple and hearty." --Renegades of Gor, pp. 51-52
Also, to compliment your discourse on the monetary breakdown, the copper tarsk is broken down into eight tarsk bits, much like the sa-tarna loaves. So, if we divide all of the prices above by five, then I think that we can come up with what the prices would be normally for much of what is supplied by a paga tavern/inn and could charge accordingly. If you make a copper tarsk equal to a dollar, then the tarsk bit is worth about 12½ cents, and "two bits" would become a U.S. quarter, which is exactly what it was back in the "Old West".
"For example, a 'double tarn' is twice the weight of a 'tarn'. It seems there are usually eight tarsk bits in a copper tarsk, and that these are the result of cutting a circular coin in half, and then the halves in half, and then eac of these halves in half. An analogy would be the practice of cutting the round, flat Gorean loaves of sa-tarna bread into eight pieces. There are approximately something like one hundred copper tarsks in a silver tarsk in many cities. Similarly, something like ten silver tarsks would apparently be equivalent, depending on weights, etc., to one gold piece, say, a single 'tarn.' Accordingly, on ths approach, the equivalencies, very approximately, and probably only for certain cities, would be eight tarsk bits to the a copper tarsk; one hundred copper tarsks to a silver tarsk; and ten silver tarks to a gold piece, a single tarn. On this approach, there would be, literally, 8,000 tarsk bits in a single gold piece." Magicians of Gor, p.469
Also in Magicians, Tarl Cabot describes even five gold pieces as being able to support a normal individual with their basic needs for many years (although not in Ar at the time due to the inflation after being "liberated" by Cos).
"Five pieces of gold, in its way, incidentally, is also a fortune on Gor. One could live, for example, in many cities, although not in contemporary Ar, with its press on housing and sortages of food, for years on such resources." Magicians of Gor, pp. 468-469
I hope that this information proves helpful. I think that I will somehow post the above list within my tavern somehow so that Patrons will know the prices. Of course, I will reduce the prices by a factor of about three. Jewel of Gleaming Thasssa is located, of course, in Port Kar, and I wouldn't want to think to be cheated. Besides, I have to give a cut to my mercenary partners, after, of course, doctoring, er, adjusting the tally sheets appropriately.
Of course, many of the supplies for my tavern come from my small fleet of seven green painted ramships plying Thassa in search of loot to plunder, er, goods to be transhipped through Port Kar for an administrative fee when such ships become becalmed and their oars somehow broken and nonusable. chuckling evilly It seems then that their Captains are more than happy to negotiate a passage to Port Kar for our normal administrative fees (cargo, ship, slaves, crew to be sold into slavery into Port Kar)
Magistrate Kati Evans
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