The Worldhood of the World

When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall not be liable. If the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not restrained it, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death. If a ransom is imposed on the owner, then the owner shall pay whatever is imposed for the redemption of the victim’s life. If it gores a boy or a girl, the owner shall be dealt with according to this same rule. If the ox gores a male or female slave, the owner shall pay to the slave owner thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned….. If someone’s ox hurts the ox of another, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live ox and divide the price of it; and the dead animal they shall also divide. But if it was known that the ox was accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has not restrained it, the owner shall restore ox for ox, but keep the dead animal

Reference

Exodus 21:28-32:28

Note

Act of negligent homicide for which the ox as guilty party in the murder of human is publicly stoned to death.

It has transgressed the sacred order of the cosmos and mans dominion over the earth.

Of the Catte (nesshe & sosfte)

The catte is a beste yt seeth sharpe and she byteth sore

and scratcheth right perylously

& is principall ennemye to rattis & myce

& her colour is of a nature graye

and the cause yt they be other wyse colowred that comethe through chaunge of mete as it is well marked by the house catte for they be selden colored lyke the wylde tatte & their flesshe is bothe nesshe & sosfte

Note

The mouse hunter or catte is an onclene besste & poyson ennemy to all myse

and whan she hath goten she playeth therwith

but yet she eteth it

& ye catte hath loge here on her mouthe

and whan her heres be gone than she no boldnes

and she is gladii in a warme place

and she licketh her forefere & wassheth therwith har face

Reference

The noble lyfe and natures of man of bestes, serpentys, fowles and fisshes that be moste knoweu, 1527

 

 

The Blood Drinker

“His sons, his brothers, and his relatives by marriage, the members of his kindred and his soldiers were united.”

 

Hittite proclamation of King Telepinus.

Calvert Watkins associates it with the idea of a king as just ruler. His interest here is in the dragon slayer myth which he views as ” a symbolic victory over the forces of chaos”. Chaos  is identified as “anti-social, anti- traditional, anti-hierarchical that is in violation of the fundamental institutionalized gift-exchange relations and consecrated customs which are alliance and blood kinship, symbolized by hospitality.”

The idea of social order evoked by King Telepinus is rather interesting in regard to the legal code on how to become a wolf in the Hittite law codes, as marriage abduction is the road that leads to going a howling.

If this bilateral arrangement through marriage is important in Hittite society, particularly in regard to making up the members of the kindred active in warfare.

I would drink a drink in spite of my kinsfolk; not of the red wine of Spain but the blood of youre body to me, a better drink” (1)

The wolf would stand outside of that order and threaten the good order of the kindred and the relations made here by marriage. If he could win over such relations to become part of his own kin, he would be a particularly scary beast to the clan that has now just lost a vital part of itself.

Calvert Watkins is keen to present Hittite society in comparison with later Irish society, so not going to accept this on face value. It is rather interesting though.

Note

An early modern Gaelic lament of a wife to her husband, which hints at the political complexity of kin dispute in clan based systems where marriage is a vital component. i.e. it can break core family/ political relationships and end up in a very messy, bitter and complex dispute.

The relationship between kin and enemy, good order and chaos, is a fine one. One thing can easily be found in the other. To go a howling is forever an option in a world as socially fluid as this.