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"Gor," he said, "is the name of this world. In all the languages of this planet, the word means Home Stone." He paused, noting my lack of comprehension. "Home Stone," he repeated. "Simply that. "
"In peasant villages on this world," he continued, "each hut was originally built around a flat stone which was placed in the center of the circular dwelling. It was carved with the family sign and was called the Home Stone. It was, so to speak, a symbol of sovereignty, or territory, and each peasant, in his own hut, was a sovereign."
"Later," said my father, "Home Stones were used for villages, and later still for cities. The Home Stone of a village was always placed in the market; in a city, on the top of the highest tower. The Home Stone came naturally, in time, to acquire a mystique, and something of the same hot, sweet emotions as our native peoples of Earth feel toward their flags became invested in it." My father had risen to his feet and had begun to pace the room, and his eyes seemed strangely alive. In time I would come to understand more of what he felt. Indeed, there is a saying on Gor, a saying whose origin is lost in the past of this strange planet, that one who speaks of Home Stones should stand, for matters of honor are here involved, and honor is respected in the barbaric codes of Gor.
"These stones," said my father, "are various, of different colors, shapes, and sizes, and many of them are intricately carved. Some of the largest cities have small, rather insignificant Home Stones, but of incredible antiquity, dating back to the time when the city was a village or only a mounted pride of warriors with no settled abode." My father paused at the narrow window in the circular room and looked out onto the hills beyond and fell silent. At last he spoke again.
"Where a man sets his Home Stone, he claims, by law, that land for himself. Good land is protected only by the swords of the strongest owners in the vicinity."
"Swords?" I asked.
"Yes," said my father, as if there were nothing incredible in this admission. He smiled.
"You have much to learn of Gor," he said. "Yet there is a hierarchy of Home Stones, one might say, and two soldiers who would cut one another down with their steel blades for an acre of fertile ground would fight side by side to the death for the Home Stone of their village or of the city within whose ambit their village lies."
"Tarnsman of Gor" page 26/7

"For the Gorean, though he seldom speaks of these things, a city is more than brick and marble, cylinders and bridges. It is not simply a place, a geographical location in which men have seen fit to build their dwellings, a collection of structures where they may most conveniently conduct their affairs. The Gorean senses, or believes, that a city cannot be simply identified with its natural elements, which undergo their transformations even as do the cells of a human body.
For them a city is almost a living thing, or more than a living thing. It is an entity with a history, as stones and rivers do not have a history; it is an entity with a tradition, a heritage, customs, practices, character, intentions, hopes. When a Gorean says, for example, that he is of Ar, or Ko-ro-ba, he is doing a great deal more than informing you of his place of residence. The Goreans generally, though there are exceptions, particularly the Caste of Initiates, do not believe in immortality. Accordingly, to be of a city is, in a sense, to have been a part of something less perishable than oneself, something divine in the sense of undying, Of course, as every Gorean knows, cities too are mortal, for cities can be destroyed as well as men. And this perhaps makes them love their cities the more, for they know that their city, like themselves, is subject to mortal termination.
The love of their city tends to become invested in a stone which is known as the Home Stone, and which is normally kept in the highest cylinder in the city. In the Home Stone - sometimes little more than a crude piece of carved rock, dating back perhaps several hundred generations to when the city was only a cluster of huts by the bank of a river, sometimes a magnificent and impressively wrought, jewel- encrusted cube of marble or granite - the city finds its symbol. Yet to speak of a symbol is to fall short of the mark. It is almost as if the city itself were identified with the Home Stone, as if it were to the city what life is to man. The myths of these matters have it that while the Home Stone survives, so, too, must the city.
But not only is it the case that each city has its Home Stone. The simplest and humblest village, and even the most primitive hut in that village, perhaps only a cone of straw, will contain its own Home Stone, as will the fantastically appointed chambers of the Administrator of so great a city as Ar."
"Outlaw of Gor" page 22/3

"Indeed, there is a saying on Gor, a saying whose origin is lost in the past of this strange planet, that one who speaks of Home Stones should stand, for matters of honor are here involved, and honor is respected in the barbaric codes of Gor."
"Tarnman of Gor" page 27

"I was somewhat annoyed to find the Home Stones, taken so seriously in the cities of Gor that a man might be slain if he did not rise when speaking of the Home Stone of his city, so airily dismissed by the lofty Sarm (a Priest-King)."
"Priest Kings of Gor" page 144

"He circled me, widely. "Beware," he said, "I carry a Home Stone."
I stood back and made no move to draw my weapon. Though I was of the caste of warriors and he of peasants, and I armed and he carrying naught but a crude tool, I would not dispute his passage. One does not lightly dispute the passage of one who carries his Home Stone."
"Nomads of Gor" page 1

"The Home Stone of Ar, like most Home Stones in the cylinder cities, was kept free on the tallest tower, as if in open defiance of the tarnsmen of rival cities. It was, of course, kept well guarded and at the first sign of serious danger would undoubtedly be carried to safety. Any attempt on the Home Stone was regarded by the citizens of a city as sacrilege of the most heinous variety and punishable by the most painful of deaths, but, paradoxically, it was regarded as the greatest of glories to purloin the Home Stone of another city, and the warrior who managed this was acclaimed, accorded the highest honors of the city, and was believed to be favored by the Priest-Kings themselves."
"Tarnsman of Gor" page 67/8

"It is the Home Stone which, for the Gorean, marks the center. I think it is because of their Home Stones that the Gorean tends to think of territory as something from the inside out, so to speak, rather than from the outside in. Consider again the analogy of the circle. For the Gorean the Home Stone would mark the point of the circle's center. It is the Home Stone which, so to speak, determines the circle. There can be a point without a circle; but there can be no circle without its central point. But let me not try to speak of Home Stones. If you have a Home Stone, I need not speak. If you do not have a Home Stone, how could you understand what I might say?"
"Fighting Slave of Gor" page 145

"I have been refused bread, and fire and salt," I said to Elizabeth. She nodded. "Yes," she said. She looked at me, bewildered. "Hup told me yesterday it would be so."
I looked at Hup.
"But why has this been done to me?" I asked. "It seems unworthy of the hand of a Ubar."
"Have you forgotten," asked he, "the law of the Home Stone?"
I gasped.
"Better surely banishment than torture and impalement."
"I do not understand," said Elizabeth.
"In the year 10,110, more than eight years ago, a tarnsman of Ko-ro-ba purloined the Home Stone of the city."
"It was I," I told Elizabeth.
She shuddered, for she knew the penalties that might attach to such a deed. "As Ubar," said Hup, "it would ill become Marlenus to betray the law of the Home Stone of Ar."
"But he gave no explanation," I protested.
"An Ubar gives no accounting," said Hup.
"We fought together," said I, "back to back. I helped him to regain his throne. I was once the companion of his daughter."
"I say because I know him," said Hup, "though I might die from the saying of it, Marlenus is grieved. He is much grieved. But he is Ubar. He is Ubar. More than man, more than Marlenus, he is Ubar of my city, of Ar itself." I looked at him.
"Would you," asked Hup, "betray the Home Stone of Ko-ro-ba?"
My hand leaped to the hilt of my sword.
Hup smiled. "Then," said he, "do not think Marlenus, whatever the price or cost, his grief, his dream, would betray that of Ar."
"I understand," I said.
"If a Ubar does not respect the law of the Home Stone, what man shall?"
"Assassin of Gor" page 406/7

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"Young men and women of the city, when coming of age, participate in a ceremony which involves the swearing of oaths, and the sharing of bread. fire and salt. In this ceremony the Home Stone of the city i held by each young person and kissed. Only then are the laurel wreath and the mantle of citizenship conferred This is a moment no young person of Ar forgets. The youth of Earth have no Home Stone. Citizenship, interestingly, in most Gorean cities is conferred only upon the coming of age, and only after certain examinations are passed. Further, the youth of Gor, in most cities, must be vouched for by citizens of the city, not related in blood to him, and be questioned before a committee of citizens, intent upon determining his worthiness or lack thereof to take the Home Stone of the city as his own. Citizenship in most Gorean communities is not something accrued in virtue of the accident of birth but earned in virtue of intent and application. The sharing of a Home Stone is no light thing in a Gorean city."
"Slave Girl of Gor" page 394

"When one does not have a HomeStone, it is possible to become a citizen/citizeness of a town/city by being permitted in a public ceremony to kiss the HomeStone of the town/city."
"Mercenaries of Gor" page 265

"I am surprised to hear such sentiments," I said, "from those who must once have held and kissed the Home Stone of Ar." This was a reference to the citizenship ceremony which, following the oath of allegiance to the city, involves an actual touching of the city's Home Stone. This may be the only time in the life of a citizen of the city that they actually touch the Home Stone. In Ar, as in many Gorean cities, citizenship is confirmed in a ceremony of this sort. Nonperformance of this ceremony, upon reaching intellectual majority, can be a cause for expulsion from the city. The rationale seems to be that the community has a right to expect allegiance from its members."
"Vagabonds of Gor" page 303

"To claim a Home Stone that is one's own when it is not is a serious offense among Goreans."
"Slave Girl of Gor" page 395

"In the center of the amphitheater was a throne of office, and on this throne, in his robe of state a plain brown garment, the humblest cloth in the hall, sat my father, Administrator of Ko-ro-ba, once Ubar, War Chieftain of the city. At his feet lay a helmet, shield, spear, and sword. "Come forward, Tarl Cabot," said my father, and I stood before his throne of office, feeling the eyes of everyone in the chamber on me. Behind me stood the Older Tarl. I had noted that those blue Viking eyes showed almost no evidence of the previous night. I hated him, briefly. The Older Tarl vas speaking. "I, Tarl, Swordsman of Ko-ro-ba, give my word that this man is fit to become a member of the High Caste of Warriors." Then, beginning with the lowest tier, each member of the Council spoke in succession, giving his name and pronouncing that he, too, accepted the word of the blond swordsman. When they had finished, my father invested me with the arms which had lain before the throne. About my shoulder he slung the steel sword, fastened on my left arm the round shield, placed in my right hand the spear, and slowly lowered,the helmet on my head. "Will you keep the Code of the Warrior?" asked my father. "Yes," I said, "I will keep the Code." "What is your Home Stone?" asked my father. Sensing what vas wanted, I replied, "My Home Stone is the Home Stone of Ko-ro-ba." "Is it to that city that you pledge your life, your honor, and your sword?" asked my father. "Yes," I said. "Then," said my father, placing his hands solemnly on my shoulders, "in virtue of my authority as Adminstrator of this city and in the presence of the Council of High Castes , I declare you to be a Warrior of Ko-ro-ba.
My father was smiling. I removed my helmet, feeling proud as I heard the approval of the Council, both in voice and by Gorean applause, the quick, repeated striking of the left shoulder with the palm of the right hand. Aside from candidates for the status of Warrior, none of my caste was permitted to enter the Council armed. Had they bee armed, my caste brothers in the last tier would have struck their spear blades on their shields. As it was, they smote their shoulders in the civilian manner." "Tarnsman of Gor" pages 62/3

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Political Organisation

"'The city-state,' said my father, speaking to me late one afternoon, 'is the basic political division on Gor - hostile cities controlling what territory they can in their environs, surrounded by a no-man's land of open ground on every side.'
'How is leadership decided in these cities?' I asked. 'Rulers,' he said, 'are chosen from any High Caste.' "
"Tarnman of Gor" page 42

"There is no Gorean expression for `country' in the precise sense of a nation. Men of Earth think of cities as being within countries. Men of Gor tend to think of cities and the lands controlled by them. The crucial political entity for Goreans tends to be the city or village, the place where people and power are. There can be, of course, leagues among cities and tangential territories. Men of Earth tend to think of territory in a manner that might be considered circumferential, whereas Goreans tend to think of it as a more radial sort of thing. Consider a circle with a point at its center. The man of Earth might conceive of the territory as bounded by the circumference; the man of Gor would be more likely to think of the territory as a function of the sweep of the radius which emanates from the central point. Geometrically, of course, these two conceptions are equivalent. Psychologically, however, they are not. The man of Earth looks to the periphery; the man of Gor looks to the center. The man of Earth thinks of territory as static, regardless of the waxing and wanings of the power that maintains it; the Gorean tends to think of territory as more dynamic, a realistic consequence of the geopolitical realities of power centers. Perhaps it would be better to say that the Gorean tends to think more in teens of sphere of influence than he does in terms of imaginary lines on maps which may not reflect current historical realities."
"Fighting Slave of Gor" page 144

"One result of this attitude is that most wars, most armed altercations, tend to be very local. They tend to involve, usually, only a few cities and their associated villages and territories, rather than gigantic political entities such as nations. One result of this is that the number of people affected by warfare on Gor usually tends, statistically, to be quite limited. Also, it might be noted that most Gorean warfare is carried out largely by relatively small groups of professional soldiers, seldom more than a few thousand in the field at a given time, trained men, who have their own caste. Total warfare, with its arming of millions of men, and its broadcast slaughter of hundreds of populations, is Gorean neither in concept nor in practice. Goreans, often castigated for their cruelty, would find such monstrosities unthinkable."
"Fighting Slave of Gor" page 144/5

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