Great stuff, Neil! Thanks!
I notice that their is a certain parallelism between a female slave
and a milch cow as well.
Milch Cow: a) Potential Meal. b) provides a calf. c) provides milk.
Female Slave: a) Provides work. b) (could) provide a child servant. c)
provides milk as a wet nurse for the master's children.
But perhaps I'm forcing the similarity.
On 12/22/06, Neil McLeod <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Candon McLean wrote:
> >I was actually thinking of the live cow grazing
> in the field (whose puprose is to ultimately become steak).
> Irish cows were normally bulled at three years of age.
> A three year old heifer which did NOT conceive (perhaps because she was
> not bulled, perhaps because the bulling was unsuccessful) was called a
> samaisc (from sam + sesc = 'summer dry'). A samaisc was worth half an
> ounce of silver. (The great "milch cow" of the texts was worth an
> ounce.) This value represented the value of her meat plus the latent
> potential to produce profit in the form of milk in the future. (As a
> carcass she was worth a quarter of an ounce.)
> Once she conceived, her value increased immediately by a third (to
> two-thirds of an ounce of silver). This increase in value is due to the
> imminent expectation of the profit to be derived from the milk.
> Once she actually calved, her value went up again, by the same amount
> (to five-sixths of an ounce of silver). This was because she now had a
> calf and was actually producing milk.
> Cows give more milk with successive calvings, till they reach their
> prime after the third calf. After her second calf, her value went to
> 11-12ths of an ounce. After her third calf it hit the maximum value for
> a milk-cow: a full ounce of silver.
> >when a humans
> (women) lactate conception is often (but not always) hindered or
> blocked altogether until the nursing of the current child is complete
> (and lactation stops). Not so with cows?
> Not so far as I know. According to Kelly (Early Irish Farming, p 41),
> cows tend to go dry over winter, but would already have been bulled
> again by then (in late summer).
> No virus found in this outgoing message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.5.432 / Virus Database: 268.15.26/598 - Release Date:
> 22/12/2006 3:22 PM