Thursday, September 30, 2010

Animal Utility in the Salic Law

The Salic Law (or the Law of the Salian Franks)1 was written and revised multiple times between ca. 500 and 798 by a number of different people and groups from both Frankish and Roman perspectives. It is an extremely complicated source for historians for a number of reasons. It is impossible to say exactly how it was perceived by the people who created it, much less how or even whether it was used by them. It is impossible to tell exactly what it means in some parts because it is impossible to tell what was meant by some of the words used in it, most notably the Malberg glosses but also some of the Latin terms. It is also impossible to tell exactly how severe the monetary punishments it prescribed were since we do not have an adequate sense of the economy of the time or the exact value of the fines either objectively or in relation to the wealth of the average Frank. Given these and other issues it should be used carefully, especially when attempting to draw conclusions about Frankish society. However, the law can be examined internally in order to reveal its own sometimes fractured logic and used tentatively to draw conclusions about the ways in which its creators organized their world. Whatever its dangers it remains an excellent source dealing with animals in northern Europe during its time period. I would like to briefly suggest some of the main conclusions about the use of animals that can be drawn from it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Number of the Beast

666 – Number of the BEAST
670 – Approximate number of the Beast
DCLXVI – Roman numeral of the Beast
666.0000000 – Number of the High Precision Beast
665.9999954 – Number of the Pentium Beast
0.666 – Number of the Millibeast
/666 – Beast Common Denominator
666 x sq. rt. (-1) – Imaginary number of the Beast
1010011010 – Binary of the Beast 6
1-666 – Area code of the Beast
00666 – Zip code of the Beast
1-900-666-0666 – Live Beasts!  One-on-one pacts!  Call now!  Only $6.66 per minute.
$665.95 – Retail price of the Beast
$699.25 – Price of the Beast plus 5% state sales tax
$769.95 – Price of the Beast with all accessories and replacement soul
$606.66 – Wal-Mart price of the Beast
$566.66 – Costco/Price Club price of the Beast
Phillips 666 – Gasoline of the Beast
Route 666 – Way of the Beast
666 F – Oven temperature for roast Beast
666k – Retirement plan of the Beast
666 mg – Recommended Minimum Daily Requirement of Beast
6.66% - 5-year CD interest rate at First Beast of Hell National Bank, $666 min. deposit
Lotus 6-6-6 – Spreadsheet of the Beast
i66686 – CPU of the Beast
666i – BMW of the Beast
DSM-666 (revised) – Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the Beast
668 – Next-door neighbor of the Beast

[Forwarded to Fencing Bear by Barbara Newman.  Original author yet!]

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monsters Are Us

The dreaded Snailox, pronounced "snay-lox" (with thanks to TE for the suggestion!)

Habitat: the lower margin of University of Chicago Library, Special Collections Research Center, MS 348 fol. 31, opening folio for the hour of Terce for the Little Office of the Virgin Mary.

Diet: acanthus leaves, thistles, (possibly) butterflies.

Strength: that of an ox.

Speed: that of a snail.

Powers: induce sloth and distraction in the minds of readers, forcing them to ruminate for hours over the same text. May also encourage web-browsing in search of images of, for example, acanthus leaves, leading to discoveries such as the site linked above on how to draw said leaves.

Very dangerous, but easy to escape if you can manage to turn the page.

Originally posted by Fencing Bear.