in the early days of the law –
There once was a man who had nine daughters, in a time when they didn’t really mean a lot. They could own property and work at domestic-type jobs, selling surplus from theirs and their family’s efforts at the market, but it didn’t really provide a lot. Her best hope in life was to marry well.
For a man with nine daughters and little power, influence or money, this wasn’t ideal. He didn’t want to spend his whole life taking care of them.
So daughter one was sold to the castle. She was sturdy enough to be a good slave for them. He hoped it would make him good will with the ruler of his city.
Daughter two was sold to the temple. She would be taught all she needed to know to either be a priestess (if she was bright) or a temple whore (if she was pretty).
Daughter three was sold to the man who owned a city brothel. He did check to see that it was a clean place and they wouldn’t harm her if she was disobedient.
His fourth daughter was sold to a man who had several shops. She would clean the shops for him and help his wife with clerking and inventory. The man had other slaves and they seemed healthy and happy.
His fifth was promised to a man in his 30s. who only had one wife so far. Their home was clean and his wife had a boy, so his daughter wasn’t that likely to be bred into an early grave. Or beaten if she didn’t have a son. But she might still be divorced if she didn’t have any children.
His sixth was promised to a trader who would give her a life of travel and goods from many lands. For this child, he lit candles at the temple and asked the gods to keep her safe. Once away from home, she’d have no safety net, like the others did.
And the seventh child was promised to a soldier who came from money, but had decided to serve his king before he married. The father had concerns about the son, but the family had a good reputation, so he went thru with the marriage.
Daughter eight and nine were meant to remain with their mother and help them out till he and his wife were old. He could provide for two daughters, with the money the others had provided.
He thought he had done well for them. They would be cared for, so their mother was pleased.
If they had been born in our time, what could a father do with nine daughters? Cast their fortunes to the wind and pray it all worked out well. But they’d still have to be lucky as well as smart, pretty and quick to get along. If life were to go well for a daughter. Well, easier anyway.
## . . . . influences
[Hammurabi’s code- Babylon/Sumer][http://www.duhaime.org/LawMuseum/LawArticle-105/1760-BC–Hammurabis-Code-of-Laws.aspx]
[Solon’s Laws- Greece][http://www.duhaime.org/LawMuseum/LawArticle-306/530-BC–Solons-Laws-Greece.aspx]
[the twelve tables – Rome][http://www.duhaime.org/LawMuseum/LawArticle-303/450-BC-The-Twelve-Tables.aspx]
[Magna Carta – England][http://www.duhaime.org/LawMuseum/LawArticle-109/1215-The-Magna-Carta.aspx]
[English bill of rights][http://www.duhaime.org/LawMuseum/LawArticle-110/1689-The-English-Bill-of-Rights.aspx]
[Geneva’s Convention – Switzerland][http://www.duhaime.org/LegalResources/InternationalLaw/LawArticle-150/Default.aspx]
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[J/C 10 commandments][http://www.duhaime.org/LawMuseum/LawArticle-108/1300-BC-The-Ten-Commandments.aspx]
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