Random Quote #78 topic: law, Stupid laws, stupider lawyers. *No* joke about a lawyer is *ever* offensive (except to lawyers, and who cares?).
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Some of the most interesting documents from Sweden's middle ages are the
old county laws (well, we never had counties but it's the nearest equivalent
I can find for "landskap"). These laws were written down sometime in the
13th century, but date back even down into Viking times. The oldest one is
the Vastgota law which clearly has pagan influences, thinly covered with some
Christian stuff. In this law, we find a page about "lekare", which is the
Old Norse word for a performing artist, actor/jester/musician etc. Here is
an approximate translation, where I have written "artist" as equivalent of
"lekare".
"If an artist is beaten, none shall pay fines for it. If an artist
is wounded, one such who goes with hurdie-gurdie or travels with
fiddle or drum, then the people shall take a wild heifer and bring
it out on the hillside. Then they shall shave off all hair from the
heifer's tail, and grease the tail. Then the artist shall be given
newly greased shoes. Then he shall take hold of the heifer's tail,
and a man shall strike it with a sharp whip. If he can hold her, he
shall have the animal. If he cannot hold her, he shall endure what
he received, shame and wounds."



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