Hawt Sommer wrote:Obviously.
By the book should be by the book and based on John Norman's novels, and the content there in.
Which with the introduction of every new book written by his son we get closer and closer to leather bikini/ boot wearing, katana swinging, ninja femlaws.
Soon Gor will Reunite and be one big happy family again.
@ JackoS: Tharna IS an odd city. But it isn't 'odd' in a way that would make it MORE of a haven for outlaws. Rather, the direction it deviates in would point to LESS tolerance for outlaws, if anything. Sure, there is that 'enslave' thing, but had Tarl been less clueless than he was about the city, it is clear he could have avoided that fate easily as well (by leaving again before sundown, if I am not mistaken... it has been a while).
About cities impaling outlaws on the spot... I am not sure, but do the books say that EVERY CITY impales outlaws on the spot, always? Or is it one of the usual 'in many cities outlaws are...' or 'an outlaw might be...'-things? I would guess it was the second.
But what is an outlaw, really? Is it always so clear? A peasant, not living inside a city isn't an outlaw. Does a hunter living by himself not far from a village that is close to Lydius rate as an outlaw, or as a citizen of Lydius? Has he been taken to Lydius to swear to it's homestone? Do cities maintain a census of everyone living outside their walls, but within their dominion
? Is every sailor of a ship sworn to the homestone the captain, or to another homestone, perhaps?
I don't think any of that is the case. And I don't think that anyone that isn't sworn to a homestone would be counted as a slave. Sure, the hunter living in the woods near Lydius that I mentioned may not be PROTECTED. But that doesn't mean anyone is all that interested in trying to enslave him. Unlike the Roman world, the foundation of the Gorean economy is not slavery, but working free people. Clearly, male slaves might have their uses (working in mines, pulling oars and such), but the demand would not be unlimited, and gorean men are said to be hard to control (though some examples in the books seem to indicate otherwise).
In my mind, there would be plenty of people living outside of cities, on Gor, and I think that there would be much blurring of the lines, there (where law doesn't mean much). I remember the quote of Norman indicating that peasants and outlaws often cooperate and deal with each other, out if sight of the city authorities. Apparently, they don't feel there is such a huge divide between them. Which makes perfect sense.
As for cities allowing in strangers... there are MANY examples in the books of cities doing just that. Even Tarl, who seems to try to challenge just about everyone he meets. And I don't get your 'semantic argument' A stranger IS someone you don't know. Which would be true for most foreigners and travellers (at least, on their first visit). Yes, I know about the 'enemy' thing. But it is also clear that the fact that the fact that these two words are the same doesn't mean that a red caste would immediately cut the throat of a man whose face was unfamiliar to him in the street. The fact that the word is the same indicates a shared root, which indicates a particular mentality (towards strangers). It doesn't mean that the two meanings are, in fact, the same.
And I am sorry... I cannot agree with this bit at all:
Second, Cities in gor are pretty much organized so they don't rely too much on commerce, just like the ancient world.
Cities of the ancient world (say, that of Imperial Rome) DID rely very much on commerce. Without commerce, especially longer distance commerce, many of these cities could not survive. Or at least, not as they were. Which is shown pretty clearly in the centuries after the decline of the Roman empire (the early middle ages), when long-distance trade which had been very extensive during the Roman era pretty much ground to a halt, and in which the population of nearly all major cities fell dramatically (often to up to a tenth or more of what they had been a couple of centuries before).
Of course, that is history, not Gor, but I think it is clear from the books that this is pretty much the case in Gor as well. Merchant law exists in most high gorean cities, for that very purpose. A city like Ar is so huge it must get it's food from many places, caste system or no caste system. Turian goods pop up everywhere. Thentis would not be guarding it's monopoly so fervently if it's exports weren't very important to it. Sure, there are peoples and places in Gor that don't seem to play the trading game much. But as far as the high cities of Gor go, I think that nearly all of them would be focussed on trade of some sort or other. Self-sufficency isn't a natural characteristic of cities. That doesn't mean that cities would be trade-oriented in the way a city like 18th century London or Marseille was, but long tern trade would still be a major function of nearly any city. A city that only serves as a center of short-distance trade isn't really a city. It is a town, at most. And, naturally, many aspects associated with slavery are also directly associated with trade, including long distance trade.
Besides, there are just too many examples in the books of people not of a homestone being in a homestone, unmolested. Maybe without declaring themselves, perhaps under assumed identities, sure. But cities in Gor are fairly small government. They could not keep track of everyone all the time, and they would be far too large and open to the world to keep out all the rif-raf. That might be different in a torvie village, but the books make it clear enough that a place like Ar is something you can get in and out of fairly easily. Gor simple isn't North-Korea.