His semblable, yea, himself, Timon disdains " these are products of an exhausted, dying civilization. The primitive man finds his pleasure, his ratio vivendi, in associa- tion. He cannot think outside his community. He cannot understand the possibility of man living as a unit, not as a digit in a sum. The most extreme condemnation that could be passed on a Norseman was to proclaim him an outcast, a " wolf" 1 who might not lie under the same roof with, nor speak with, a fellow-man. As one outside the commonwealth, every man's hand was against him.
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He might be killed with impunity. And the horror with which excommunication was regarded by a man in the Middle Ages was due, not to dread of deprivation of the Sacraments, so much as to dis- sociation from fellow-men who might not house and converse with him. When the Popes excommunicated whole peoples it lost its force, and sectaries were willing cheerily to excom- municate themselves, for they went forth from the Church in bodies. When Innocent III. Pil- grims : "The Coke's Tale. The family was un- questionably the egg out of which the tribe was hatched, and out of the tribe, but long after, grew the nation.
But the tribe itself in time ramified into subdivisions or septs. The original idea certainly was that all members of a tribe were of one blood, and it was on this account that such strict rules existed against intermarriage between the members. But in process of time this ceased to be strictly true, as by adoption individuals pertaining to one tribe might be taken into another, and a clan which was reduced in numbers through war or plague was glad to recuperate by this means.
So homogeneous was a tribe, that a crime committed by one member of it was resented against the whole ; and when a murder had been committed outside it, retaliation was made, not necessarily on the murderer, but on any innocent and innocuous member of the murderer's tribe. We have excellent opportunity for seeing this in operation in the early history of Iceland, where families were established in their several homesteads, but had not as yet multiplied sufficiently to constitute clans ; or in Borneo, where this system of vendetta prevails to the present day.
From a very early period indeed, from the very time when a tribe was formed it became essential to place some mark upon each member, so that he might be recognized by friend and foe as belonging to it. This is the signification of all the mutilations and disfigurements that are found among men in a primitive state of civilization.
It continued even under later conditions. Circumcision among the Jews 1 Remarkably enough, from the moment that the ban was fulminated Providence blessed Sverrir, and his fortunes assumed a favourable turn. He was one of the best Kings Norway ever had. And circumcision has the same significance among the Mohammedans only that with them it is the badge, not of uniqueness in blood, but of oneness in faith.
Among the ancient Irish, the Druids wore a particular tonsure, indicative of their pertaining to the sacred, in contradistinction to the secular tribe. The Christian mis- sionaries adopted another kind of tonsure. They shaved the head from ear to ear in front, and the native Irish called them " adze-heads " because this gave to their faces the shape of the weapon we commonly call a " celt.
The Romanist tonsure of the priest and the monk has the same significance the indication by an outward mark that those so disfigured belong to a sacred caste. Many savage races flatten the head, pierce the cartilage of the nose and insert rings, knock out one or more of the teeth or file them to sharp points, draw forth the nether lip, pierce it, and insert a stick; or else tattoo the face, or face and body together. All these disfigurements had originally, and have still, the object of marking a man or woman as a member of a particular tribe.
When a female marries out of her tribe, then she is re- quired to have additional flourishes tattooed upon her ; and anyone acquainted with native ways can read upon her body the history of her life that she was born into one tribe, but was taken by marriage into another. On the Congo, says Frobenius, every group, even every village, bears, so to say, visibly on its head its own coat of arms. Nor is this custom confined to the region of the Congo, but prevails beyond Africa over a great part of the world, especially in the region of the Pacific Ocean and the lands bordering on it.
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What he saw was the painting or tattooing that indicated the distinctions of tribes ranged against him. Long after tattooing had ceased to prevail in Europe, down to our own times, every village distinguished itself, in France, Germany, and elsewhere, from every other by some peculiarity of costume. Costume is now rapidly disappear- ing, but fifty years ago it prevailed. In , when my father drove through France from St. Malo to Pau, I sketched the head-dresses of the women.
Not only was there a difference between those of the different provinces, but there was distinction between those in the several villages. In the National Museum at Munich is a hall given up to the costumes worn by men and women alike in the kingdom. There is, or were, precisely the same differences there. At the present day, in the market at Quimper in Brittany, one may distinguish at a glance a Bigauden from any other peasantess by the hair tightly drawn back from the face, and collected in a black box-cap at the back of the head.
The Bigauden is believed to be of a different race from the Breton, and to have Mongolian characteristics. She proclaims the difference by her coiffure. The author already quoted tells the story of a young French trader who in started for the Congo, and reached Lake Leopold, where he did so good a business that he resolved on establishing a permanent station there. So a palaver was held, and the gentle Mongols insisted that the trader must become a member of the tribe, without which he might not settle.
He was rejoiced. He nodded his assent, and through his interpreter asked how this was to be done. He pulled a long face, but there was no help for it.
On all sides, right and left, ivory and rubber were to be had in abundance, and all at the cost of a few gashes. On a leather cloth he spread out all sorts of little objects a couple of horns, black ashes, red dyes, a few small iron implements, and four little wooden figures tied up in a bundle.
Even that did not suffice. Inflammation set in with the wounds, which festered. After four weeks the ganga presented himself again. The scorings were repeated. Again he fell ill, lost all patience, and in a few days returned to Europe.
The affair had a sad ending. The poor fellow never recovered, and died in the hands of a surgeon, trying to get the hateful disfigure- ments removed from his temples. The tartan, the costume, the various modifications of the plaiting of the hair, are substitutes, in the interests of humanity, for the bodily disfigurements. But another sub- stitute was found in the registration of the tribesmen. In all probability, among the Celts generally, and among the Irish and Welsh certainly, the bard was instituted as the genealogist of the tribe. It was his obligation, for which he was liberally paid, to know and recite the pedigree and position and achievements of every individual of the tribe.
The man who founded a family had a personal name, and imposed that name on his descendants. The sons of Adam were Adamim. But as families multiplied, and became detached more or less from the parent stock, the head of each branch became in turn an ancestor, giving his name to the sept. Yet, as in the subclans of the Highlands of Scotland, the original filiation was never wholly forgotten. In Genesis we read : " Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah : Shem, Ham, and Japheth ; and unto them were sons born after the flood.
By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands : every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations. He clearly notes that the tribes and races of whom he had knowledge claimed or were accorded descent from certain named ancestors, but they did not all take the name of the remotest forefather, but of that one which formed the radiating sept. This fissiparous formation of tribes may go on for a long time, but it must come to an end eventually, so far as reten- tion of relation with the parent stock and with the collateral branches goes ; and then in the general welter and confusion of relations the idea of the nation rises to the surface.
Among the Norsemen, the Royal Family was that of the Ynglings, deriving from a mythical ancestor, Ingvi. The Saxon and Angle Kings all traced back to heroic ancestors, and the Saxon Chronicle is careful to record the pedigrees. The Danish Royal Family was that of the Skjoldungs, descended from an ancestor Skjold, of whom this story is told : One day a skiff arrived on the coast of the Baltic with a little boy asleep within it on a shield.
He was reared among the people, and became their King.
Because he slept on a shield he was called Skjold, and because he was found in a boat he was fabled to be the son of Skiff. Simeon of Durham, in his history of St. But the royal Danish race of this stock expired in the male line with the extinction of the family of Canute the Great, and the crown passed to the son of an Earl Ulf whom Canute had murdered, and who had married his sister. Thenceforth the Danish royal race was entitled the Ulfungs.
It was a tribal name, but it did not adhere as yet to the personal name. In the Scandinavian stock, the tribal formation had broken down or been dissolved, and descent from the heroic ancestor was attributed to the Royal Family alone.
The dissolution of the tribe was largely due to the conformation of the land, which threw people together about the fjords, and forced them to adopt a territorial rather than a tribal organization. The ancient social organization of the Romans was tribal. The tribe, or rather house, was called a gens, and the idea was that all members of a gens were of one blood. The most ancient gentes were all patrician the Ramni, Titii, and Luceri. But as they died out other gentes were formed. After the reign of Servius Tullius arose plebeian gentes.
In some cases in the same gens existed at the same time patrician and plebeian families. Such was the case with the gentes Claudia, Cornelia, and Junia. This arose through a plebeian family being elevated into being patrician, whilst the others remained in their former position.
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Or else a patrician by a marriage out of his order might found a family that became plebeian.