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The Oera Linda Book, Extracts

The Oera Linda Book

Written in 1256 AD, from a diary
which was put together 560-558 BC.

from the Original Frisian text

verified by Dr. Ottema

by :

William R. Sandbach

Londen, Trubner & Co, 1876

APPENDIX A - EXTRACTS FROM THE BOOK

Frys Tex That was Inscribed on the Walls of all Citadels.

  • Prosperity awaits the free. At last they shall see me again. Though him only can I recognize as free who is neither a slave to another nor to himself. This is my counsel:
  • When in dire distress, and when mental and physical energy avail nothing, then have recourse to the spirit of Wr-Alda; but do not appeal to him before you have tried all other means, for I tell you beforehand, and time will prove its truth, that those who give way to discouragement sink under their burdens.
  • To Wr-Aldas spirit only shall you bend the knee in gratitude - threefold - for what you have received, for what you do receive, and for the hope of aid in time of need.
  • You have seen how speedily I have come to your assistance. Do likewise to your neighbor, but wait not for his entreaties. The suffering would curse you, my maidens would erase your name from the book, and I would regard you as a stranger.
  • Let not your neighbor express his thanks to you on bent knee, which is only due to Wr-Aldas spirit. Envy would assail you, Wisdom would ridicule you, and my maidens would accuse you of irreverence.
  • Four things are given for your enjoyment - air, water, land, and fire - but Wr-Alda is the sole possessor of them. Therefore, my counsel to you is, choose upright men who will fairly divide the labor and the fruits; so that no man shall be exempt from work or from the duty of defense.
  • If ever it should happen that one of your people should sell his freedom, he is not of you, he is a bastard. I counsel you to expel him and his mother from the land. Repeat this to your children morning, noon, and night, till they think of it in their dreams.
  • If any man should deprive another, even his debtor, of his liberty, let him be to you as a vile slave; and I advise you to burn his body and that of his mother in an open place, and bury them fifty feet below the ground, so that no grass shall grow upon them. It would poison your cattle.
  • Meddle not with the people of Lyda, nor of Finda, because Wr-Alda would help them, and any injury that you inflicted on them would recoil upon your heads.
  • If it should happen that they come to you for advice or assistance, then it behooves you to help them; but if they should rob you, then fall upon them with fire and sword.
  • If any of them should seek a daughter of yours to wife, and she is willing, explain to her her folly; but if she will follow her lover, let her go in peace.
  • If your son wishes for a daughter of theirs, do the same as to your daughter; but let not either one or the other ever return among you, for they would introduce foreign morals and customs, and if these were accepted by you, I could not longer watch over you.
  • Upon my servant Fasta I have placed all my hopes. Therefore you must chose her for Earth Mother. Follow my advice, then she will hereafter remain my servant as well as all the sacred maidens who succeed her. Then shall the lamp which I have lighted for you never be extinguished. Its brightness shall always illuminate your intellect, and you shall always remain as free from foreign domination as your fresh river-water is distinct from the sea.

Fastas Laws Established before 2100 BC.

These Are The Laws Established For The Government of Citadels:

  • When a citadel is built, the lamp belonging to it must be lighted at the original lamp in Texland, and that can only be done by the Mother.
  • Every Mother shall appoint her own maidens. She may even choose those who are mothers in other towns.
  • The Mother of Texland may appoint her own successor, but should she die without having done so, the election shall take place at a general assembly of the whole nation.
  • The Mother of Texland may have twenty-one maidens and seven assistants, so that there may always be seven to attend the lamp day and night. She may have the same number of maidens who are mothers in other towns.
  • If a maiden wishes to marry, she must announce it to the Mother, and immediately resign her office, before her passion shall have polluted the light.
  • For the service of the Mother and of each of the burgtmaidens there shall be appointed twenty-one townsmen: seven civilians of mature years, seven warriors of mature years, and seven seamen of mature years.
  • Out of the seven three shall retire every year, and shall not be replaced by members of their own family nearer than the fourth degree.
  • Each may have three hundred young townsmen as defenders.
  • For this service they must study Fryas Tex and the laws. From the sages they must learn wisdom, from the warriors the art of war, and from the sea-kings the skill required for distant voyages.
  • Every year one hundred of the defenders shall return to their homes, and those that may have been wounded shall remain in the citadels.
  • At the election of the defenders no burgher or Grevetman, or other person of distinction, shall vote, but only the people.
  • The Mother at Texland shall have three times seven active messengers, and three times twelve speedy horses. In the other citadels each maiden shall have three messengers and seven horses.
  • Every citadel shall have fifty farm workers chosen by the people, but only those may be chosen who are not strong enough to go to war or to go to sea.
  • Every citadel must provide for its own sustenance, and must maintain its own defense, and look after its share of the general contributions.
  • If a man is chosen to fill any office and refuses to serve, he can never become a burgher, nor have any vote. And if he is already a burgher, he shall cease to be so.
  • If any man wishes to consult the Mother of a burgtmaid, he must apply to the secretary, who will take him to the burgtmaster. He will then be examined by a surgeon to see if he is in good health. If he is passed, he shall lay aside his arms, and seven warriors shall present him to the Mother.
  • If the affair concerns only one district, he must bring forward not less than three witnesses; but if it affects the whole of Friesland, he must have twenty-one additional witnesses, in order to guard against any deceptions.
  • Under all circumstances the Mother must take care that her children, that is, Fryas people, shall remain as temperate as possible. This is her most important duty.
  • If she is called upon to decide any judicial question between a Grevetman and the community, she must incline towards the side of the community in order to maintain peace, and because it is better that one man should suffer than many.
  • If any one comes to the Mother for advice, and she is prepared to give it, she must do it immediately. If she does not know what to advise, he must remain waiting seven days; and if she then is unable to advise, he must go away without complaining, for it is better to have no advice at all than bad advice.
  • If a mother shall have given bad advice out of ill-will, she must be killed or driven out of the land, deprived of everything.
  • If her Burgers are accomplices, they are to be treated in a similar manner.
  • If her guilt is doubtful or only suspected, it must be considered and debated, if necessary, for twenty-one weeks. If half the votes are against her, she must be declared innocent. If two-thirds are against her, she must wait a whole year. If the votes are then the same, she must be considered guilty, but may not be put to death.
  • If any one of the one-third who have voted for her wish to go away with her, they may depart with all their live and dead stock, and shall not be the less considered, since the majority may be wrong as well as the minority.

The Universal Laws that were Begun by Fasta.

  • All freeborn men are equal, wherefore they must all have equal rights on sea and land, and on all that Wr-Alda has given.
  • Every man may seek the wife of his choice, and every woman may bestow her hand on him whom she loves.
  • When a man takes a wife, a house and yard must be given to him. If there is none, one must be built for him.
  • If he has taken a wife in another village, and wishes to remain, they must give him a house there, and likewise the free use of the common.
  • To every man must be given a piece of land behind his house. No man shall have land in front of his house, still less an enclosure, unless he has performed some public service. In such a case it may be given, and the youngest son may inherit it, but after him it returns to the community.
  • Every village shall possess a common for the general good, and the chief of the village shall take care that it is kept in good order, so that posterity shall find it uninjured.
  • Every village shall have a marketplace. All the rest of the land shall be for tillage and forest. No one shall fell trees without the consent of the community, or without the knowledge of the forester; the forests are general property, and no man can appropriate them.
  • The market charges shall not exceed one-twelfth of the value of the goods either to native or strangers. The portion taken for the charges shall not be sold before the other goods.
  • All the market receipts must be divided yearly into a hundred parts, three days before the Jule-day.
  • The Grevetman and his council shall take twenty parts; the keeper of the market ten, and his assistants five, the Earth Mother one, the midwife four, the village ten, and the poor and infirm shall have fifty parts.
  • There shall be no usurers in the market. If any should come, it will be the duty of the maidens to make it known through the whole land, in order that such people may not be chosen for any office, because they are hardhearted. For the sake of money they would betray everybody - the people, the mother, their nearest relations, and even their own selves.
  • If any man should attempt to sell diseased cattle or damaged goods for sound, the market keeper shall expel him, and the maidens shall proclaim him throughout the country.

The Final Section of the Laws of Minno.

Laws For The Navigators:

  • All Fryas sons have equal rights, and every stalwart youth may offer himself as a navigator to the Alderman, who may not refuse him as long as there is any vacancy.
  • The navigators may choose their own masters.
  • The traders must be chosen and named by the community to which they belong, and the navigators have no voice in their election.
  • If during a voyage it is found that the king is bad or incompetent, another may be put in his place, and on the return home he may make his complaint to the Alderman.
  • If the fleet returns with profits, the sailors may divide one-third among themselves in the following manner:
  • The king twelve portions, the admiral seven, the boatswains each two portions; the captains three, and the rest of the crew each one part; the youngest boys each one-third of a portion, the second boys half a portion each, and the eldest boys two-thirds of a portion each.
  • If any have been disabled, they must be maintained at the public expense, and honored in the same way as the soldiers.
  • If any have died on the voyage, their nearest relatives inherit their portion.
  • Their widows and orphans must be maintained at the public expense; and if they were killed in a sea-fight, their sons may bear the names of their fathers on their shields.
  • If a topsailsman is lost, his heirs shall receive a whole portion.
  • If he was betrothed, his bride may claim seven portions in order to erect a monument to her bridegroom, but then she must remain a widow all her life.
  • If the community is fitting out a fleet, the purveyors must provide the best provisions for the voyage, and for the women and children.
  • If a sailor is worn out and poor, and has no house or patrimony, one must be given to him. If he does not wish for a house, his friends may take him home; and the community must bear the expense, unless his friends decline to receive it.

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