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Friday, July 22, 2011

Scribe Course Description and Syllabus

I have prepared a syllabus for a self-study course for apprentice scribes and scribe slaves. It is NOT a series of classes. One does not learn a caste or guild skills from sitting in a lecture. This course is desinged to challenge you to study on your own- research, learn, and practice what you have learned. Think of this in much the same way that a graduate course is handled in a university or college setting on Earth.
There are ten segments to this course. Each has an outline of topics, resources, and targeted subject areas The early segments deal with basics that EVERY scribe needs to know. The latter segments deal with more involvement in areas that are unique to the subcastes.
 Each segment will be "passed" by an oral defense of your learning in that area before you may engage in undertaking the next section or segment.
Upon completion of the the tenth segment and its defense, there will be a general defense of all your learning through direct disseration, Q&A and providing examples of your work outside in the RP environment to substantiate your qualifications to become a scribe or scribe slave. An apprentice completing the course will then become a journeyman, and will begin practicing in a particular sub-caste of the blue- those areas being accounting, law, teaching, cartography, chronicling,  literary creation and so on.
scribe slaves upon completion will be fully scribe slaves, limited to assisting in the tasks of scribes but not taking full authority for their assigned tasks as will be given by senior scribes or their master's on their behalf.
For those interested in achieving the level of Senior and then Elder Scribe, the path is long and arduous- time consuming and based upon subjective merit of the Elders of the caste. This is the tradition of the scribes. Be aware that scrhibes adhere to the love of knowledge- seeking function over form, efficiency over aesthetics, and work ethics over indulgence and decadence. It is a hard life but has its own intrinsic and intangible rewards.
If you have this love for knowledge, then I encourage you to inquire about this course.
Anzhela Dyrssen, Chief Magistrate and  Head of the Blue Caste for Stones of Tumus.
Syllabus and assignments for scribe training


We will go through several exercises and assignments to provide you with the basics of what you need to become a scirbe or scribe-slave. To begin,  we’ll present you with  a dissertation of sorts from the books of John Norman,  regarding Gorean customs and principles that involve languages. Please study it because it is important for a scribe to have  a high level of familiarity with the ways of communicating on Gor.

Gorean Language    
Gorean Dialects
Gorean speech is no less complex than that of any of the great natural language communities of the Earth nor are its speakers any the less diverse. It is, incidentally, a beautiful language; it can be as subtle as Greek; as direct as Latin; as expressive as Russian; as rich as English; as forceful as German. To the Goreans it is always, simply, The Language, as though there were no others, and those who do not speak it are regarded immediately as barbarians. This sweet, fierce, liquid speech is the common bond that tends to hold together the Gorean world. It is the common property of the Administrator of Ar, a herdsman beside the Vosk, a peasant from Tor, a scribe from Thentis a metalworker from Tharna, a physician from Cos, a pirate from Port Kar, a warrior from Ko-ro-ba.
{Priest-Kings of Gor ~ 52}
There are several barbarian languages spoken on Gor, usually in more remote areas. Also, some of the dialects of Gorean itself are almost unintelligible. On the other hand, Gorean, in its varieties, serves as the lingua franca of civilized Gor. There are few Goreans who cannot speak it, though with some it is almost a second language. Gorean tends to be rendered more uniform through the minglings and transactions of the great fairs. Too, at certain of these fairs, the caste of scribes, accepted as the arbiters of such matters, stipulate that certain pronounciations and grammatical, formations, and such are to be preferred over others. The Fairs, in their diverse ways, tend to standardize the language, which might otherwise disintegrate into regional variations which, over centuries, might become mutually unintelligible linguistic modalities, in effect and practice, unfortunately, separate languages. The Fairs, and, I think, the will of Priest-Kings, prevents this.
{Beasts of Gor ~ 154}
There are, of course, many languages spoken on Gor, but that language I have called Gorean, in its various dialects, is the lingua franca of the planet. It is spoken most everywhere, except in remote areas. One of these remote areas, of course, is the equatorial interior.
{Explorers of Gor ~ 100}
“Tal,” I said to the man, lifting my arm in the common Gorean greeting.
{Outlaw of Gor ~ 70}
In the halls we passed many individuals, who would normally, in Gorean fashion, lift the right hand, palm inward, saying “Tal,” which greeting, in turn, we returned.
{Assassin of Gor ~ 392}
“Tal, Kajirae!” cried one of the men, waving.
{Captive of Gor ~ 87}
Greetings, Ute,” said I, smiling. “Tal, El-in-or,” smiled Ute.
{Captive of Gor ~ 245}
“Greetings Captain,” said Thurnock.
{Hunters of Gor ~ 62}
“The Forkbeard greets you!” shouted Ivar. I blinked. The hall was light. I had not understood it to be so large. At the tables, lifting ale and knives to the Forkbeard were more than a thousand men.
{Mauraders of Gor ~ 194}
“Tal Master,” they said to me.
“Tal Slave Girls,” I said to them.
{Tribesmen of Gor ~ 345}
“Greetings,” said the captain to him.
“Greetings,” said Hurtha. Hurtha was a friendly Alar.
{Mercenaries of Gor ~ 444}
“Greetings Citizen,” said the first of my master’s men.
“Greetings,” said the fellow, before whom I knelt.
{Dancer of Gor ~ 309}
“Hail, Teibar!” called another.
From the latter manner of greeting, I gathered this Teibar might be excellent with the staff, or sword. Such greetings are usually reserved for recognized experts, or champions, at one thing or another. For example, a skilled Kaissa player is sometimes greeted in such a manner. I studied Teibar. I would have suspected his expertise to be with the sword.
{Magicians of Gor ~ 52}
“Then I wish you prosperity,” I laughed, “and will be on my way.”
{Outlaw of Gor ~ 29}
The Gorean phrase of farewell came silently to my lips. “I wish you well.”
{Outlaw of Gor ~ 170}
There was Gorean applause in the room, the striking of the right palm on the left shoulder.
{Rogue of Gor ~ 13}
Applause of Warriors
There was some polite striking of the left shoulder with the right hand in the room, which is a common Gorean applause, though not of the warriors, who clash weapons.
{Raiders of Gor ~ 177}
Blowing a kiss
I blew her a kiss in the Gorean fashion, kissing and gesturing, my fingers at the right side of my mouth, almost vertical, then, with the kiss, brushing gently toward her.
{Marauders of Gor ~ 134}
Salute of a Warrior
Murmillius lifted his blade to me. It was the salute of a Warrior. A Warrior, I thought to myself, he is of the Warriors. I returned the salute.
{Assassin of Gor ~ 349}
Speaking in Third Person
“Who betrayed Ute?” she demanded. I shook my head. Ute's fists were excruciating in my hair.
“Who?” she demanded. I could not speak, so terrified I was. She shook my head viciously.
“Who?” she demanded. “I did,” I cried. “I did!” “Speak as a slave!” demanded Ute.
“El-in-or betrayed Ute!” I cried. “El-in-or betrayed Ute!”
“Worthless slave,” I heard a voice behind me say. I turned, as well as I could, and saw, to my dismay, Rask of Treve. I closed my eyes, sobbing.
{Captive of Gor ~ 287}
Gorean, I might note, is somewhat similar, and though I speak Gorean fluently,
I find it very difficult to write, largely because of the even-numbered lines which, from my point of view, must be written backwards. Torm, my friend of the Caste of Scribes, never forgave me this and to this day, if he lives, he undoubtedly considers me partly illiterate. As he said, I would never make a Scribe.
“It is simple,” he said. “You just write it forward but in the other direction.”
{Priest Kings of Gor ~ 100}
Archaic Gorean
Initiates do not eat meat, or beans. They are trained in the mysteries of mathematics. They converse among themselves in Archaic Gorean, which is no longer spoken among the people. Their services, too, are conducted in this language. Portions of the services, however, are translated into contemporary Gorean.
{Marauders of Gor ~ 26}
On the other hand, I suspect that they fear too broad a dissemination of the Caste knowledge. Physicians, interestingly, perhaps for a similar reason, tend to keep records in archaic Gorean, which is incomprehensible to most Goreans.
{Magicians of Gor ~ }
Inability to Read
Occasionally heralds, or criers, would pass by, calling out news or announcements. Many on this world, you see, cannot read. Thus the importance of the heralds, the criers, and such. Many things are advertised, too, in such a way, by calling out bargains, the fruits in season, the markets, the cost of cloth, and such. Too, one may hear men, or often boys, for it costs less to hire them, calling out the pleasures of various taverns, and the delights that may be found in within.
{Witness of Gor ~ 37}
This is your first reading and comprehension assignment. Following a little
Validation quiz that will be an “oral” exam of sorts, we will then dealve into the following ten  topical assignements::

Assignment 1: The Gorean Alphabet and Writing in Gorean Style and Method
Assignment 2: The Castes, Colors  and Caste Laws of Gor
Assignment 3: First and Second Knowledge
Assignment 4: The values and tendencies of scribes
Assignment 5: Sub Castes of the High Castes
Assignment 6: Lower Castes and their roles in Gorean Society
Assignment 7: Gorean Languages other than Kassar
Assignment 8: Tools of the scribe- what they are and how used
Assignment 9:The specialty areas of a scribe
Assignment 10: Research-  discerning what you need to know versus what you can  find when needed.
A list of url’s will be provided for most  lessons to  make your research easier.

Each of these assignments will have written work to do, as well as a small oral quiz before moving on to the next lesson.
Please remember that this specialty education is a privilege and is not meant to take away from your first duties as a kajira or from your red-silk training. Those are your priority concerns. You have as much time as you need to complete this training. Do not rush it please.
Welcome to the path to becoming a scribe-slave.

Assignment 2: The Castes, Colors  and Caste Laws of Gor
This assignment deals with knowledge of Castes. As a scribe you will need to know a great deal about how Castes function, their codes (or laws) and a certain amount about what they acutally do.
A: List the number (order) and names of the High Castes, along with their colors.
B: List a few (8) of the lower Castes and their colors.
C: Explain what Caste Codes are.
D: For at least 3 of the High Castes, Please give a list of their codes.
E: What is the purpose of Caste and how does one usually become part of a Caste?
F: Where does the Caste of Assassins fit in the Hierarchy of Castes and in Society?
Helful Study Links

Assignment 3: First and Second Knowledge
Gor has what is known as First and Second Knowledge. Please write an Essay on this subject. Please touch on the significance and need for these different levels of knowledge in the populace, the tenets of each type of knowledge and the level to which each “knowledge” is guarded if at all. Is there a “third” knowledge and what is it if it exists? . Don’t just say yes or no, but explain the logic and research points that make you think one way or the other. Wordiness won’t help your evaluation in this. Succinct, clear and to the point counts more than 1000 words.
Also explain within the essay the concepts behind much of the myths of Gor and how they relate to similar myths of Earth. This is important in terms of connecting Earth and Gor with the second knowledge.
Helpful Study Links
Learn from this as well, scribe to be- UbarLuther is perhaps the best reference and analysis site regarding Gor that you will find. It is urged that you study his essays, which are many and quite deep in delving into the Goran way of life.
Assignment 4: The values and tendencies of scribes
This is where you will learn and research what attributes or characteristics of the scribe are most noteworthy. These are partly a matter of Caste Code as well as parts of general human nature and behavior that attracts people to wanting to become a scribe.  Examples of, but not limited to these characteristics or tendencies are “love of learning”, “detailed in their approach to things”, etc. There are no right or wrong answers in the context of this assignment and no fixed number of attributes to be listed. This is a thought exercise and is based on helping you read and analyze not only what a scribe is about, but how you yourself relate to these tenets.
With that in mind, research, cite and give your opinion in an essay, as to what the values of a scribe are, should be, and how they resonate with you.
This is an exercise geared toward self-fulfillment, and as such you are on your own for starting links;
Assignment 5: Sub Castes of the High Castes
While you know by now the High Castes’ names and purpose, along with much of their practices, it’s important to know how the taxonomy of professions works withing a caste. These professions are in effect, sub castes- an example being that Warriors have different functions in their overall profession- and as such you have Tarnsmen who while Warrriors are distinctly different than an Archer/Bowman would be, both in terms of skills, but also in terms of societal value. Choose three High Castes and give at least 4 examples of a subcaste within, explaining why that would be the right categorization along with an short dissertation on the value of that subcaste to society as a whole and its value within the Caste itself.  Contrast this with the distinctiveness and narrow definitions of lower castes.

This exercise will help you to understand how Free society on Gor is arranged, and something of the hierarchical nature of professions and contribution to community and global life on Gor.
Helpful Links to start off :

Assignment 6: Lower Castes and their roles in Gorean Society
This assignment is again, a research based essay on how Lower Castes function in society. Study the lower castes. Think about how society benefits  (or possibly not) from several of these many castes. Contrast and compare at least five or six of them. Consider if any of the lower castes should perhaps be a sub-caste of a High Caste, rather than distinct. Explain why you think there is (or not) an equal amount of pride in being a member of the low caste free, as there is to being High Caste. Why do you think (or not) that there should be a binary division of Castes into high and low? Ist his a real value to Gorean society or is it a form of discrimination. These are your thoughts and not a text exercise. Learning the ways of a scribe are as much wisdon as it is practice, and one should always build toward a feeling of using learning and experience to make themselves knowledgable. Additionally, place yourself as a kajira in this higheracrchy- how does a slave’s role play out in terms of doing many of these tasks that Free of a caste can and do perform? How do you, as a soon to be scribe slave fit in terms of the “Three Pillars of Gor”?  Again this is a self-awareness and  personal growth opportunity.
Helpful Links to start off:
Also- keep this reference for later- it will help here, and be of great benefit later on. It is an essay from UbarLuther- highly philosophical but will I think, help you compose yourself in thinking through many of the following assignments and ensure your own self-awareness as a scribe-slave in the future -

Assignment 7: Gorean Languages other than Kassar
Beleive it or not, there are other languages on Gor besides Kassar. Even if very similar, there are distinction of speech and unique words that are regional and are reflective of customs. Research the following and provide insight where you can:
Barbaric (not Barbarian as that is commonly used to refer to Earth languages and the people of earth who arrive on Gor)  languages of Gor- their names and regions they come from. Give some examples of the common words found there that are different from the Kassar..
Initiates use Archaic or Ancient Gorean extensively. Tell why you think a language that should be extinct by now is still in use by them. What is their purpose in  keeping such a dead language surviving.
Dialect Differences- an example, contrast words and phrases from Torvaldsland with that of the Wagon People of the Tahari. Use this as a means to develop your own awareness of how the values and symbology of a region contribute to language.
It is important for a scribe-slave to know and recognize some of these distinctions, because in creating and reading documents, you may be dealing with far flung areas and cultures in your work. Clarity and protocol are necessities in dealing with peoples outside your own culture.
Helpful Links to Start:

Assignment 8: Tools of the scribe- what they are and how used
Here’s a little break from the thought invoking efforts of the last few assignments. Please list all that you can find of what you think comprises the “tools” of the scribe- instruments, materials, along with  the accoutrements your reseach makes you think would be necessary, and how they are used. You will find lists of such things.out there, but I suggest before you simply grab any old list, that you think about it, compose your own and then hit the search engine to validate yourself and to get a good start on putting your mind into the task. You’ll find you learn more once you’ve comprised your own list, and then compare it to others- remembering things because you’ll say “oh why didn’t I think of that before”.
So this is a simpler task, but one that can be used to train you to open your mind, first to your own thoughts and then to others. It is the way of a scribe to think for themselves and then alter their opinion, rather than stick to a rigid unalterable list of dogmatic rules.

Assignment 9:The specialty areas of a scribe
Go to the scrolls and find the specialty areas of what a scribe does- these would be things like
Record Keepers
Magestrates and Praetors
Geographers and Cartographers
 and so forth.
 Describe what each does as a function of society, and how they can  and should overlap. Think about what common skills are needed to perfrom any role in the list.
Examine each from an external perspective and an internal one, where you describe the role from an objective view, but then look at each one with your heart, much as a slave does with her feelings of submission, and explain what about each area

Helpful Links:
Assignment 10: Research-  discerning what you need to know versus what you can  find when needed
This is important and is an assignment that will go on forever as a scribe-slave. Read the books as much as you can. It is not necessary to learn everything that can be asked of you from them. What is important is to know where to look for answers in the books.
One thing you do need to know however is a variety of laws of Gor. The distinction between laws that are of the homestone and those of Merchant law on Gor for example.
Desribe Merchant Law, and state some of those laws it covers. How is Merchant law determined in contrast wth city law? Why is Merchant law important as a bond between cities?
State some laws that are unique to Freewomen and their behavior within society.
What are capture laws? How do they work within the framework of  laws regarding  FreeWomen and slaves? How do capture laws and rites work in terms of slavers, raiders, and pirates?
List several significant crimes on Gor that are capital offenses.
Find out how severity of crimes differs from place to place on Gor.  For example, what is done to a thief in Port Kar versus what is done to punish a convicted thief in Ar?
You are nearly done with your studies to be certified as a scribe-slave or working apprentice to the caste . All that remains after this assignment is :
An ad-hoc oral examination will be given that will meander around all the topics you’ve studied. You may be asked to speak at some length on a process, or topic that has been covered in your studies. You may be asked a “What would you do if?” kind of question. Don’t be nervous. Scribes and scribe-slaves are almost always a breath away from being asked a detailed, opinionated, educated or wild-rask question that needs to be addressed in a scholarly and composed manner. Your demeanor counts as much as your outright knowledge, and your thinking process counts the most of all.
Good luck!

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