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5th Passage Hand
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Merchant Law



This is a short narrative on Merchant Law, followed by supporting references.
It is not meant to be anything other than the facts of the matter.
Arrive at your own conclusions.

I wish you well,
Fogaban


Merchant Law is the only common legal arrangements existing among the Gorean cities. [1] Merchants also, in effect, arrange and administer the four great fairs that take place each year near the Sardar Mountains. [2] It is here that Merchant Law is drafted and stabilized. [3] Weights and measures are standardized throughout the Gorean cities by Merchant Law. [4]

Certain defensible stockades on main trade routes are governed under Merchant Law, legislated and revised, and upheld, at the Sardar Fairs. [5] Some free port cities like Lydius, Helmutsport, Schendi and Bazi also subscribe to Merchant Law which controls things like wharfage and proof of registration. [6] Down at the docks in Brundisium, in the warehouse, a Praetor has a curule chair where he might clarify the Merchant Law, interpret it, adjudicate disputes, and make rulings. [6a]

Businesses, too, complying with Merchant Law are aided in acquiring contracts, even with both sides of a conflict at the same time. [7] And yet, Merchant law has been unsuccessful, in introducing such things as patents and copyrights between cities. [8]

What receives the most attention throughout the books, though, is how Merchant Law pertains to slaves.

Long before Tarl coming to Gor and for about a generation, a series of wars, loosely referred to as the Slave Wars had occurred. Out of these wars grew much of the Merchant Law pertaining to slaves. [9] Probably foremost among these has to do with the brand and collar. A prisoner is not the same as being a slave. "I have been neither branded nor collared, nor have I performed a gesture of submission." [10] Merchant Law upholds the self-pronouncement that one is slave, after which it is binding. [11]

Merchant Law defines permissions of enslavement, at least two of which are making one a slave when not sharing a Home Stone and any Earth girl. [12] Merchant Law also dictates that sometimes, in the fall of a city, girls who have been enslaved, girls formerly of the now victorious city, will be freed. The rescuer has no obligation to free the girl. In having been enslaved she has lost all claim to her former Home Stone. [13]

Merchant Law prescribes the brand and collar. [14][15] And, while some men do not do so this, it is contrary to the laws of most cities and to Merchant Law, as well. [16] Following the recommendations of Merchant Law, the three standard marking places for the brand are the thighs and the lower left abdomen. [17][18]

The collar, as prescribed by Merchant Law, identifies a slave and, if the collar is engraved, often her master.[19]

Merchant law goes on to state that an unclaimed slave, who is legally subject to claimancy, may be then be claimed, and becomes the property of the claimant.[20]



Supporting References

[1]   "The fairs incidentally are governed by Merchant Law and supported by booth rents and taxes levied on the items exchanged. The commercial facilities of these fairs, from money changing to general banking, are the finest I know of on Gor, save those in Ar's Street of Coins, and letters of credit are accepted and loans negotiated, though often at usurious rates, with what seems reckless indifference. Yet perhaps this is not so puzzling, for the Gorean cities will, within their own walls, enforce the Merchant Law when pertinent, even against their own citizens. If they did not, of course, the fairs would be closed to the citizens of that city."
Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Page 11


[2]   "There is a saying on Gor, "Gold has no caste." It is a saying of which the merchants are fond. Indeed, secretly among themselves, I have heard, they regard themselves as the highest caste on Gor, though they would not say so for fear of rousing the indignation of other castes. There would be something, of course, to be said for such a claim, for the merchants are often indeed in their way, brave, shrewd, skilled men, making long journeys, venturing their goods, risking caravans, negotiating commercial agreements, among themselves developing and enforcing a body of Merchant Law, the only common legal arrangements existing among the Gorean cities. Merchants also, in effect, arrange and administer the four great fairs that take place each year near the Sardar Mountains. I say "in effect" because the fairs are nominally under the direction of a committee of the Caste of Initiates, which, however, largely contents itself with its ceremonies and sacrifices, and is only too happy to delegate the complex management of those vast, commercial phenomena, the Sardar Fairs, to members of the lowly, much-despised Caste of Merchants, without which, incidentally, the fairs most likely could not exist, certainly not at any rate in their current form."
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 84


[3]   "The fairs, too, however, have many other functions. - It is here that Merchant Law is drafted and stabilized."
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 44


[4]   "The Weight and the Stone, incidentally, are standardized throughout the Gorean cities by Merchant Law, the only common body of law existing among the cities. The official "Stone," actually a solid metal cylinder, is kept, by the way, near the Sardar. Four times a year, on a given day in each of the four great fairs held annually near the Sardar, it is brought forth with scales, that merchants from whatever city may test their own standard "Stone" against it.
. . .
As in the case of the official "Stone", so, too, at the Sardar is a metal rod, which determines the Merchant Foot, or Gorean foot, as I have called it."
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 127 and 128


[5]   "The Merchants have, in the last few years, on certain trade routes, between Ar and Ko-ro-ba, and between Tor and Ar, established palisaded compounds, defensible stockades.
. . .
Various cities, through their own Merchant Castes, lease land for these stockades and, for their fees, keep their garrisons, usually men of their own cities, supplied. The stockades are governed under Merchant Law, legislated and revised, and upheld, at the Sardar Fairs."
Captive of Gor     Book 7     Page 219


[6]   "The representative of the Merchants, to whom I reported my business, and to whom I paid for wharfage, asked no questions. He did not even demand the proof of registration of the Tesephone in Tabor. The Merchants, who control Lydius, under merchant law, for it is a free port, like Helmutsport, and Schendi and Bazi, are more interested in having their port heavily trafficked than strictly policed."
Hunters of Gor     Book 8     Page 43


[6a]   "In a couple of places on a platform, there was a harbor praetor, now indoors, in the warehouse, on his curule chair, as opposed to on the docks themselves, their usual station, who might clarify the Merchant Law, interpret it, adjudicate disputes, and make rulings. There were many caste colors in the crowd, but clearly predominating were the yellow and white, or white and gold, familiar to the Merchants.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 503


[7]   "He himself resided, I understood, in Telnus, the capital of Cos, where his company had its headquarters. His work chains, however, were politically neutral, understood under merchant law as hirable instruments. They might, accordingly, and sometimes did, work for both sides in given conflicts."
Dancer of Gor     Book 22     Page 322


[8]   "Merchant law has been unsuccessful, as yet, in introducing such things as patents and copyrights on Gor. Such things do exist in municipal law on Gor but the jurisdictions involved are, of course, local."
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Page 394


[9]   "She was referring to a series of wars, loosely referred to as the Slave Wars, which occurred among various cities in the middle latitudes of Gor, off and on, over a period of approximately a generation. They had occurred long before my coming to Gor. Although large-scale slaving was involved in these wars, and was doubtless a sufficient condition for them, hence the name, other considerations, as would be expected, were often involved, as well, such as the levying of tribute and the control of trade routes. Out of the Slave Wars grew much of the merchant law pertaining to slaves."
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Page 272


[10]   "It is my understanding, following merchant law, and Tahari custom," I said, "that I am not a slave, for though I am a prisoner, I have been neither branded nor collared, nor have I performed a gesture of submission."
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 196

"Now I surely acknowledge that the confiscation was within the letter of the law, given the current sorry state of Ar and the ordinances of the occupation; and I acknowledge further that she has been out of my hands for more than the number of days which, in Merchant Law, legitimate her seizure and claiming by another, and I recognize, further, of course, that she has passed through one or more hands in this time, as his or their slave, and that she was honestly purchased in open auction, in good faith, from her actual and completely legitimate owner, the state of Cos."
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 520


[11]   "In the case of the girl, Rowena, of course, as she was already a self-pronounced slave, the brand and collar were little more than identificatory formalities. Nonetheless she would wear them. They would be fixed visibly and clearly upon her. This is in accord with the prescriptions of merchant law."
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 36

There, in fear of her life, in the midst of a Kur raid, she had proclaimed herself slave. The slave, of course, cannot unsay such words, for she is then a slave. At that moment, whether she had understood it or not, she had become a slave. Later, on a far world, far beyond the Prison Moon, a Steel World, as there were slavers there, and her attractions warranted this, she had been simply taken in hand, and branded and collared, routinely so, they not even understanding at that time that she was already a slave, not that that would have spared her the brand and collar, for such details are in order, and prescribed by merchant law.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 592


[12]   "You understand further, of course," said he, "that under Gorean merchant law, which is the only law commonly acknowledged binding between cities, that you stand under separate permissions of enslavement. First, were you of Ar, it would be my right, could I be successful, to make of you a slave, for we share no Home Stone. Secondly, though you speak of yourself as the Lady Elicia of Ar, of Six Towers, you are, in actuality, Miss Elicia Nevins of the planet Earth. You are an Earth girl and thus stand within a general permission of enslavement, fair beauty quarry to any Gorean male whatsoever."
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Page 394


[13]   "The legal point, I think, is interesting. Sometimes, in the fall of a city, girls who have been enslaved, girls formerly of the now victorious city, will be freed. Technically, according to Merchant Law, which serves as the arbiter in such intermunicipal matters, the girls become briefly the property of their rescuers, else how could they be freed? Further, according to Merchant Law, the rescuer has no obligation to free the girl. In having been enslaved she has lost all claim to her former Home Stone."
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Page 409


[14]   "Girls such as I must expect to be marked," she said. "It is in accord with the recommendations of merchant law."
Kajira of Gor     Book 19     Page 46

Not all masters brand and collar their slaves, but branding and collaring is strongly recommended in Merchant Law, and it would be a rare slave girl who was not both branded and collared.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 209

"A slave should be branded," I said. "It is an explicit recommendation of Merchant Law."
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 82


[15]   "You're going to be branded," he said, "and put in a collar." I regarded him with disbelief.
"But so too, will the other girls," he said. "You will all have your brands and collars."
I could not speak.
"Such things are prescribed by merchant law," he said.
Dancer of Gor     Book 22     Page 62

In its way, the collar has some of the symbolic aspects of the marriage ring, except, of course, that that ring is a symbol worn by a free woman who is the putative equal of a man, whereas the collar is worn by a slave, and, aside from such things as its identificatory purposes, important in Merchant Law, is a symbol of the natural woman, the woman who is categorically owned by a man, her master.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 299

Surely Mirus seemed pleased with what he saw. Too, there was a collar on her neck. This, she knew, too, had its effect on men. Not only did it serve as an attractive adornment, rather like a necklace, contrasting with, and setting off, the slim, lovely, rounded softness of her throat, but she could not remove it. It was locked on her, publicly and obviously. It proclaimed her property, slave. Thus, on the symbolic level, where human sexuality luxuriates, thrives and flourishes, and aside from the obvious identificatory conveniences of Merchant Law, it was far more than a lovely piece of jewelry; it enhanced her beauty not only aesthetically but symbolically, overwhelmingly, devastatingly meaningfully.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 566

It is little wonder, he thought, that Merchant Law prescribes that the fair throats of female slaves will know the collar, that their fair throats be clasped within such lovely, indicatory, uncompromising, irremovable, possessive encirclements.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 97

On Gor, of course, these collars, at least the simple ones, sell for a pittance, and even common slaves are routinely fastened in them. Indeed, this is required by Merchant Law.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 65

What man, seeing a beautiful woman, does not imagine her in a collar, and want her? It is, accordingly, not surprising that Gorean masters keep their girls in collars. To be sure, Merchant Law, in any case, prescribes the collar, the brand, distinctive garmenture, and such.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Pages 702 - 703

The throats of slaves, of course, are commonly bared, save, of course, for the collar. As they are slaves, they are expected to display the collar, obviously, and publicly, such a lovely badge of servitude. Indeed, as earlier noted, this display, as certain others, is prescribed by Merchant Law, which is a general, intermunicipal body of law regularly promulgated by the Merchant caste at the great fairs, and tending to be shared by disunited, often hostile, Gorean communities. Even were it not for such law, of course, practical considerations would dictate some obvious ways of marking the distinction between the female slave and the free woman. One might think in terms of a slave bracelet or a slave anklet, or such, but the collar is almost universally preferred, possibly because of the prominence of its mounting, its unmistakable visibility, its way of clarifying the nature of its wearer, as a collared animal, and its beauty.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 703


[16]   "Some fellows do not brand their slaves," I said.
"That is stupid!" she said.
"It is also contrary to the laws of most cities," I said, "and to merchant law, as well."
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Page 188

It is natural that not every property should be marked identically. But it is recommended that each property be marked. That is prescribed in Merchant Law.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 9


[17]   "But her left thigh worn no brand. Her right thigh, too, as I soon noted, did not wear the slave mark, nor did her lower left abdomen. These are the three standard marking places, following the recommendations of Merchant Law, for the marking of Kajirae, with the left thigh being, in practice, the overwhelmingly favored brand site."
Fighting Slave of Gor     Book 14     Page 312


[18]   "The thighs and the lower left abdomen are the brand sites recommended by Merchant Law."
Fighting Slave of Gor     Book 14     Page 349

"I thought that slaves were branded," said the woman to Mirus.
"Not all," said Mirus, "though it is recommended by Merchant Law. Turn your left thigh to our guest, Ellen. Look high, just under the hip.
"She is branded!" said the woman.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 98

How the collar enhanced her beauty, in a thousand ways, aesthetically and psychologically, and how delicately, unmistakably, and beautifully, too, was her status, condition, and nature made clear, fixedly and absolutely, by the tiny, tasteful mark placed in her body, in her thigh, just beneath the hip, a site recommended by Merchant Law, a mark proclaiming her the most exciting and beautiful of women, kajira.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 101

She was then handled, and turned about, for he was looking for slave brands. The most common site for such, recommended in Merchant Law, is high on the left thigh, under the hip. But there are other sites, as well.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 50


[19]   The collar may be viewed as a simple contrivance, a device prescribed by Merchant Law, identifying a slave and, if the collar is engraved, often her master.
Conspirators of Gor     Book 31     Page 41


[20]   Whereas cities have laws, and most castes have caste codes, there is only one law which is generally respected, and held in common, amongst Gorean municipalities, and that is Merchant Law, largely established and codified at the great Sardar Fairs. According to Merchant law an unclaimed slave, one legally subject to claimancy, may be claimed, and then is the property of the claimant.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 424








All Occurrences

The fairs incidentally are governed by Merchant Law and supported by booth rents and taxes levied on the items exchanged. The commercial facilities of these fairs, from money changing to general banking, are the finest I know of on Gor, save those in Ar's Street of Coins, and letters of credit are accepted and loans negotiated, though often at usurious rates, with what seems reckless indifference. Yet perhaps this is not so puzzling, for the Gorean cities will, within their own walls, enforce the Merchant Law when pertinent, even against their own citizens. If they did not, of course, the fairs would be closed to the citizens of that city.
Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Page 11


It might be mentioned, for those unaware of the fact, that the Caste of Merchants is not considered one of the traditional five High Castes of Gor the Initiates, Scribes, Physicians, Builders and Warriors. Most commonly, and doubtless unfortunately, it is only members of the five high castes who occupy positions on the High Councils of the cities. Nonetheless, as might be expected, the gold of merchants, in most cities, exercises its not imponderable influence, not always in so vulgar a form as bribery and gratuities, but more often in the delicate matters of extending or refusing to extend credit in connection with the projects, desires or needs of the High Councils. There is a saying on Gor, "Gold has no caste." It is a saying of which the merchants are fond. Indeed, secretly among themselves, I have heard, they regard themselves as the highest caste on Gor, though they would not say so for fear of rousing the indignation of other castes. There would be something, of course, to be said for such a claim, for the merchants are often indeed in their way, brave, shrewd, skilled men, making long journeys, venturing their goods, risking caravans, negotiating commercial agreements, among themselves developing and enforcing a body of Merchant Law, the only common legal arrangements existing among the Gorean cities. Merchants also, in effect, arrange and administer the four great fairs that take place each year near the Sardar Mountains. I say "in effect" because the fairs are nominally under the direction of a committee of the Caste of Initiates, which, however, largely contents itself with its ceremonies and sacrifices, and is only too happy to delegate the complex management of those vast, commercial phenomena, the Sardar Fairs, to members of the lowly, much-despised Caste of Merchants, without which, incidentally, the fairs most likely could not exist, certainly not at any rate in their current form.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 84


The Weight and the Stone, incidentally, are standardized throughout the Gorean cities by Merchant Law, the only common body of law existing among the cities. The official "Stone," actually a solid metal cylinder, is kept, by the way, near the Sardar. Four times a year, on a given day in each of the four great fairs held annually near the Sardar, it is brought forth with scales, that merchants from whatever city may test their own standard "Stone" against it. The "Stone" of Port Kar, tested against the official "Stone" at the Sardar, reposed in a special fortified building in the great arsenal, which complex was administered by agents of the Council of Captains.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 127


The Merchants have, in the last few years, on certain trade routes, between Ar and Ko-ro-ba, and between Tor and Ar, established palisaded compounds, defensible stockades. These, where they exist, tend to be placed approximately a day's caravan march apart. Sometimes, of course, and indeed, most often, the caravan must camp in the open. Still, these hostels, where they are to be found, are welcome, both to common merchants and to slavers, and even to travelers. Various cities, through their own Merchant Castes, lease land for these stockades and, for their fees, keep their garrisons, usually men of their own cities, supplied. The stockades are governed under Merchant Law, legislated and revised, and upheld, at the Sardar Fairs. The walls are double, the interior wall higher, and tarn wire is strung over the compound. These forts do not differ much, except in size, from the common border forts, which cities sometimes maintain at the peripheries of their claims. In the border forts, of course, there is little provision for the goods of merchants, their wagons, and such. There is usually room for little more than their garrisons, and their slaves. I hoped I would not be a slave girl in a distant border fort. I wanted to reside in a luxurious city, where there would be many goods, and sights and pleasures. I wanted to wear my collar in great Ar itself.
Captive of Gor     Book 7     Pages 219 - 220


The representative of the Merchants, to whom I reported my business, and to whom I paid for wharfage, asked no questions. He did not even demand the proof of registration of the Tesephone in Tabor. The Merchants, who control Lydius, under merchant law, for it is a free port, like Helmutsport, and Schendi and Bazi, are more interested in having their port heavily trafficked than strictly policed. Indeed, at the wharves I had even seen two green ships. Green is the color common to pirates. I supposed, did they pay their wharfage and declare some sort of business, the captains of those ships were as little interrogated as I. The governance of Lydius, under the merchants, incidentally, is identical to that of the exchange islands, or free islands, in Thassa. Three with which I was familiar, from various voyages, were Tabor, Teletus and, to the north, offshore from Torvaldsland, Scagnar. Of these, to be honest, and to give the merchants their due, I will admit that Tabor and Teletus are rather strictly controlled. It is said, however, by some of the merchants there, that this manner of caution and restriction, has to some extent diminished their position in the spheres of trade.
Hunters of Gor     Book 8     Page 43


"It is my understanding, following merchant law, and Tahari custom," I said, "that I am not a slave, for though I am a prisoner, I have been neither branded nor collared, nor have I performed a gesture of submission."
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 196


"Do you understand the document?" he asked.

"Yes," she said. "It is an order of enslavement."

"You understand further, of course," said he, "that under Gorean merchant law, which is the only law commonly acknowledged binding between cities, that you stand under separate permissions of enslavement. First, were you of Ar, it would be my right, could I be successful, to make of you a slave, for we share no Home Stone. Secondly, though you speak of yourself as the Lady Elicia of Ar, of Six Towers, you are, in actuality, Miss Elicia Nevins of the planet Earth. You are an Earth girl and thus stand within a general permission of enslavement, fair beauty quarry to any Gorean male whatsoever."
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Page 394


The fairs, too, however, have many other functions. For example, they serve as a scene of caste conventions, and as loci for the sharing of discoveries and research. It is here, for example, that physicians, and builders and artisans may meet and exchange ideas and techniques. It is here that Merchant Law is drafted and stabilized.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 44


The slave can be freed only by one who owns her, only by one who is at the time her master or, if it should be the case, her mistress. The legal point, I think, is interesting. Sometimes, in the fall of a city, girls who have been enslaved, girls formerly of the now victorious city, will be freed. Technically, according to Merchant Law, which serves as the arbiter in such intermunicipal matters, the girls become briefly the property of their rescuers, else how could they be freed? Further, according to Merchant Law, the rescuer has no obligation to free the girl.
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Pages 409 - 410


Most girls are branded on the left thigh. Perhaps this is because most masters are right-handed. The brand, then, as one controls the slave, may be easily caressed. But her left thigh worn no brand. Her right thigh, too, as I soon noted, did not wear the slave mark, nor did her lower left abdomen. These are the three standard marking places, following the recommendations of Merchant Law, for the marking of Kajirae, with the left thigh being, in practice, the overwhelmingly favored brand site.
Fighting Slave of Gor     Book 14     Page 312


"I could, of course, examine your thighs, your lower left abdomen, your body generally," I said. The thighs and the lower left abdomen are the brand sites recommended by Merchant Law. Masters, of course, may brand a girl wherever they please. She is theirs. Sometimes brands are placed on the left side of the neck, on the left calf, the interior of the left heel, and on the inside of the left forearm. The customary brand site, incidentally, is high on the left thigh. That is the site almost invariably utilized in marking Gorean kajirae.
Fighting Slave of Gor     Book 14     Page 349


"Girls such as I must expect to be marked," she said. "It is in accord with the recommendations of merchant law."
"Merchant law?" I asked.
"Yes, Mistress," said the girl.
Kajira of Gor     Book 19     Page 46


In the case of the girl, Rowena, of course, as she was already a self-pronounced slave, the brand and collar were little more than identificatory formalities. Nonetheless she would wear them. They would be fixed visibly and clearly upon her. This is in accord with the prescriptions of merchant law. Too, for all practical purposes, they make escape impossible for the Gorean slave girl.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 36


"You're going to be branded," he said, "and put in a collar." I regarded him with disbelief.
"But so too, will the other girls," he said. "You will all have your brands and collars."
I could not speak.
"Such things are prescribed by merchant law," he said.
Dancer of Gor     Book 22     Page 62


Ten days now I had been with the "black chain of Ionicus." Never before, however, had I been assigned to this crew. Two girls, commonly, are assigned to each crew. The "black chain," as a whole, consisted of several such groups, most of some fifty men. The other chains of Ionicus, the "red chain," the "yellow chain," and so on, were at other locations, not in the neighborhood of Venna. Ionicus was one of the major masters of work chains. He himself resided, I understood, in Telnus, the capital of Cos, where his company had its headquarters. His work chains, however, were politically neutral, understood under merchant law as hirable instruments. They might, accordingly, and sometimes did, work for both sides in given conflicts.
Dancer of Gor     Book 22     Page 322


"Some fellows do not brand their slaves," I said.
"That is stupid!" she said.
"It is also contrary to the laws of most cities," I said, "and to merchant law, as well."
"Of course," she said.
Gorean, she approved heartily of the branding of slaves. Most female slaves on Gor, indeed, the vast majority, almost all, needless to say, are branded. Aside from questions of legality, compliance with the law, and such, I think it will be clear upon a moment's reflection that various practical considerations also commend slave branding to the attention of the owner, in particular, the identification of the article as property, this tending to secure it, protecting against its loss, facilitating its recovery, and so on. The main legal purpose of the brand, incidentally, is doubtless this identification of slaves.
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Page 188


Out of the Slave Wars grew much of the merchant law pertaining to slaves. Too, out of them grew some of the criteria for the standardization of the female slave as a commodity, for example, how, in virtue of her scarcity, her training, and such, she is to be figured as an item of tribute, for example, in terms of other domestic animals, given their current market values in the area, and so on, such as verr and tarsks.
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Page 272


Merchant law has been unsuccessful, as yet, in introducing such things as patents and copyrights on Gor. Such things do exist in municipal law on Gor but the jurisdictions involved are, of course, local.
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Page 394


"I thought that slaves were branded," said the woman to Mirus.
"Not all," said Mirus, "though it is recommended by Merchant Law.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 98


How the collar enhanced her beauty, in a thousand ways, aesthetically and psychologically, and how delicately, unmistakably, and beautifully, too, was her status, condition, and nature made clear, fixedly and absolutely, by the tiny, tasteful mark placed in her body, in her thigh, just beneath the hip, a site recommended by Merchant Law, a mark proclaiming her the most exciting and beautiful of women, kajira.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 101


Not all masters brand and collar their slaves, but branding and collaring is strongly recommended in Merchant Law, and it would be a rare slave girl who was not both branded and collared.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 209


In its way, the collar has some of the symbolic aspects of the marriage ring, except, of course, that that ring is a symbol worn by a free woman who is the putative equal of a man, whereas the collar is worn by a slave, and, aside from such things as its identificatory purposes, important in Merchant Law, is a symbol of the natural woman, the woman who is categorically owned by a man, her master.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 299


"Now I surely acknowledge that the confiscation was within the letter of the law, given the current sorry state of Ar and the ordinances of the occupation; and I acknowledge further that she has been out of my hands for more than the number of days which, in Merchant Law, legitimate her seizure and claiming by another, and I recognize, further, of course, that she has passed through one or more hands in this time, as his or their slave, and that she was honestly purchased in open auction, in good faith, from her actual and completely legitimate owner, the state of Cos."
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 520


Too, there was a collar on her neck. This, she knew, too, had its effect on men. Not only did it serve as an attractive adornment, rather like a necklace, contrasting with, and setting off, the slim, lovely, rounded softness of her throat, but she could not remove it. It was locked on her, publicly and obviously. It proclaimed her property, slave. Thus, on the symbolic level, where human sexuality luxuriates, thrives and flourishes, and aside from the obvious identificatory conveniences of Merchant Law, it was far more than a lovely piece of jewelry; it enhanced her beauty not only aesthetically but symbolically, overwhelmingly, devastatingly meaningfully.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 566


She was then handled, and turned about, for he was looking for slave brands. The most common site for such, recommended in Merchant Law, is high on the left thigh, under the hip. But there are other sites, as well. As the polities of Gor are largely scattered and independent there is, as would be expected, some variation in brands. The most common types are the staff and fronds, and the Dina, resembling a small and common flower of that world. Various cities, too, have their brands, such as Treve, and Ar, and some populations, as well, such as those of the nomadic Wagon Peoples. The white female slaves of the Red Savages of the Barrens are not branded. Being white in that area, it is understood they are slaves. Their colorful, beaded collars, however, identify their masters.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Pages 50 - 51


On Gor, of course, these collars, at least the simple ones, sell for a pittance, and even common slaves are routinely fastened in them. Indeed, this is required by Merchant Law.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 65


It is little wonder, he thought, that Merchant Law prescribes that the fair throats of female slaves will know the collar, that their fair throats be clasped within such lovely, indicatory, uncompromising, irremovable, possessive encirclements.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 97


To be sure, Merchant Law, in any case, prescribes the collar, the brand, distinctive garmenture, and such.
. . .
As they are slaves, they are expected to display the collar, obviously, and publicly, such a lovely badge of servitude.

Indeed, as earlier noted, this display, as certain others, is prescribed by Merchant Law, which is a general, intermunicipal body of law regularly promulgated by the Merchant caste at the great fairs, and tending to be shared by disunited, often hostile, Gorean communities.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 703


"A slave should be branded," I said. "It is an explicit recommendation of Merchant Law."
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 82


Later, on a far world, far beyond the Prison Moon, a Steel World, as there were slavers there, and her attractions warranted this, she had been simply taken in hand, and branded and collared, routinely so, they not even understanding at that time that she was already a slave, not that that would have spared her the brand and collar, for such details are in order, and prescribed by merchant law.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 592


In a couple of places on a platform, there was a harbor praetor, now indoors, in the warehouse, on his curule chair, as opposed to on the docks themselves, their usual station, who might clarify the Merchant Law, interpret it, adjudicate disputes, and make rulings.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 503


The collar may be viewed as a simple contrivance, a device prescribed by Merchant Law, identifying a slave and, if the collar is engraved, often her master.
Conspirators of Gor     Book 31     Page 41


It is natural that not every property should be marked identically. But it is recommended that each property be marked. That is prescribed in Merchant Law.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 9


Whereas cities have laws, and most castes have caste codes, there is only one law which is generally respected, and held in common, amongst Gorean municipalities, and that is Merchant Law, largely established and codified at the great Sardar Fairs. According to Merchant law an unclaimed slave, one legally subject to claimancy, may be claimed, and then is the property of the claimant.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 424


"As slavers see it," I said, "you were a slave from the moment your name was entered on an acquisition list."

"I see," she said.

"Branding and collaring," I said, "would then be rather in the nature of accompanying details, confirming the matter."

"I see," she said.

"Such things, identifications in their way, are in accord with Merchant Law," I said.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 138


"Most masters are right-handed," I said. "Too, that location is commonly recommended in Merchant Law on the continent."
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 198


"All slaves need not be collared," she said, intensely.
"On the continent," I said, "it is prescribed by Merchant Law."
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 307


She was pretty, but not collared. Most Pani slaves were not collared. Many, however, were marked. I did think she was pretty enough to collar. On the continent, almost every slave is collared. It is prescribed by Merchant Law.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 452


On the continent, of course, almost all slaves are collared, even pot girls, and kettle-and-mat girls. It is prescribed, as indicated earlier, by Merchant Law.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 465


I tensed, and a new collar, as I lay, was snapped about my throat.
The dealer's collar was then removed. Merchant Law recommends that female slaves be kept in their collars.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 133


Whereas most Gorean cities share in, and respect, Merchant Law, the only common law binding scattered, and often hostile, communities, there are no provisions in such law for securing protections against one parry's appropriation of another party's methods, processes, formulas, techniques, devices, or such.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 363


Merchants, with their connections amongst houses in diverse cities, sometimes at war with one another, with their vouchers, notes, seals, stamps, letters of credit, and such, have created a subtle, almost invisible, bur very real, commercial world. Merchant routes link cities. Merchant Law, instituted at, and revised in, the Sardar Fairs, is the only common body of law on Gor.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 434


"Your body is public," he said, "as much as that of a tarsk or kaiila. You know that much from Merchant Law. Whether it is clothed or not, and to what extent, is up to the master."
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 666






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