LaTeX, treasure cave

Have discovered the joys of typesetting. Specifically, the XeLeTeX incarnation of LaTeX: it can understand Unicode, and can access any fonts installed on the system. Plus its code is expandable, and user-written packages extend its functionality and abilities.

Latex et al. (the tex part is from Greek τέχνη, techne, “art, skill, craft”, meaning both skill of mind and skill of hand) has maths typesetting at its core.

 

maths

Using suitable packages if required (and there are thousands), you can do papers on more maths:

venn

isotopes:

isotope

(and even, on the Arts Faculty side, smugcat)

 

Mazes:

maze

Chess games (of course), step-by-step

chess

.

 

There are a whole bunch of linguistics-related packages.

For syntax trees and glosses:

linguistics

Glosses in other scripts:

glossing

Playful stuff:

censor

and

roundbox

And so on.

ancient

(As an aside, learning cuneiform must have taken ages at school, not to mention if you were Babylonian and had to go to Ancient Sumerian classes!)

There’s a package called manuscript, designed for emulating the old-style typewriter-written theses, which must have been written for LaTeX in the old days, I think. Now, with XeLeTeX, with its access to any and all installed fonts, one line of code (selecting a typewriter font) is all that is needed for emulating an old-style thesis.

Well, almost. Using the underline command, produces a nice, typeset line, which contrasts with the font (Urania Czech, in this case):

 

underline2

But with the old typewriters, you could backspace, and use the _ key (or the X key for typing errors, before liquid paper was invented):

 

overstrike

And of course, some typewriter ribbons were red-and-black (never found out what the red ink was used for).

 

Lots of fun.

 

Many Sheep

Agrarian contribution to law

Sheep are a part of legal history, and have influenced court procedure significantly, the reason being that sheep are finite in number, and, in the days before Marco Polo had brought back from the lands of the Khan an invention called “paper”, they (being the sheep) supplied the hide industry, which in turn supplied the writing industry (such as it was, back then), which in turn allowed Chancery clerks and other literates to endorse (‘write on the back of’) rolls of parchment, annotating them with details of law suits brought and decided in the King’s courts.
So space was limited.
On the question of whether a plea should fail for lack of sufficient particulars (say, of the sums owed), it was eventually decided (paper taking a while to reach the Records Office) that such a plea was good, because otherwise there would be a ‘stuffing of the Rolls’.

A likely story.

The nominate report:

le_stuffing

(from GoogleBooks)

 

The English Reports:

le_stuffing2

Source:
Church v Brownewick (19 Car II, 1667) 1 Sid 334; 82 ER 1140; [1714] EngR 120
CommonLII

 

“Sometimes a plea is denied, as one seventeenth-century reporter who thinks he is writing in French, puts it: pur avoider le stuffing del rolls ove multiplicity del matter
— Charles Donahue, JR, “The hypostasis of a prophecy’: legal realism and legal history”, in Matthew Dyson and David Ibbetson (eds), Law and Legal Process: Substantive Law and Procedure in English Legal History (2013), [Cambridge University Press, 2013], pp1-16, p 15.

 

a_stuffing_of_the_rolls

CommonLII: [1693] EngR 8

The Bishop of Exeter & AL’ v Sampson Hele [1693] EngR 8; [1693] Shower PC 88; 1 E.R. 61 (1 January 1693)

 

Of course, electric sheep have infinite backs:

This judgment is unavoidably lengthy and has taken some time to prepare because the Court has been required to answer hundreds of questions of law that have been stated in the various appeals as well as consider the applications for judicial review. The Court has received some 20,000 documents and hundreds of authorities and has had to consider over 3,000 pages of submissions.

Ortmann v United States of America   [2017] NZHC 189

Runic and Phaistos Keyboards

MKLC experiment

Had a go at using the free Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator (v1.4) to create a keyboard for learning to touch-type in runes, and one using the Phaistos Disc characters.

It works.

After defining the keyboard by mapping the relevant Unicode points to specific keys, then creating the DLLs and associated files automatically, the running Setup to install the keyboard, then selecting the keyboard from the Language Bar, typing on the Runic keyboard produced runes, and Phaistos Disc characters on the other. Amazing!

Definitely better than adding them one at a time via Insert | Symbol, or typing the Unicode hex value and pressing Alt-X.

(Of course, the appropriate font is required, as well: Aegean, Quivira, Code2003, Noto Sans Phaistos, etc. Some fonts are better than others.)

Next step: how to make the keyboard setup files available.

 


Addendum (15-Aug-2017):

One unintended consequence is, as the fingers brush against the various key combinations, the Runic keyboard (which has been added to the Language Bar) sometimes activates and I find myself ᛆᚷᛝᚢᛘᚼ ᚢᛘ ᛂᛈᛘᚢᚦ ᛐᚢᛆᚠᛛᛈᛆ ᛖᚲᚤᛘᚢᛘᚼ ᛆᛛ᛫ᚤᛘᚧ ᛄᛛᛖᚲᛆᚢᛖᚲᛄ ᚢᛆ ᛆᚤᚭᚲᛄ ᚤ ᛐᚠᚢᚱᚲ ᛆᛛ ᛘᛛᛆᚢᚲᚦ!

Some more font tests

Another sampling of fonts

Some fonts are quite elegant.

Hand-crafted creativity.

There are too many languages for one font to do everything for everybody, though.

qwerty example ABCDEFٻشلعىنفد(AGA Balloon بالون ) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Andron Scriptor Web) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(AnglosaxOblique) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFऔतऴदधघॊफुढूठृसिडी(Annapurna SIL) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFऔतऴदधघॊफुढूठृसिडी(Annapurna SIL) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(ArtNoveauDecadente) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𒁋𒀺𒀤𒀴𒁣𒀁𒁱𒂏(Assurbanipal) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Aung San) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Aver Bold Italic) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Aver Bold) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Aver Italic) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Aver) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFꤕꤖꤗꤧꤘꤨꤥꤩꤚꤪꤛ꤫ꤑ(ayar) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFꤕꤖꤗꤧꤘꤨꤥꤩꤚꤪꤛ꤫ꤑ(Ayar Juno) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFၹၩဲ၄ဴၒၢဘျဗေဥြၕ့(Ayar Kasone) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFၹၩဲ၄ဴၒၢဘျဗေဥြၕ့(Ayar Takhu) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𐎸𐎷𐎦𐎵𐎳𐏕𐏂𐏁𐎰𐏀𐏏𐏎(Behistun) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𐎸𐎷𐎦𐎵𐎳𐏕𐏂𐏁𐎰𐏀𐏏𐏎(Bisitun) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(bu Richard the Second) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Cardinal Alternate) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Cardinal) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Chapbook) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Chapbook) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Chapbook) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Classix) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Curved Manuscript, 17th c.) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Day Roman – Expert) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Day Roman) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(DDC Rinzin) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(DDC Uchen) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFٻشلعىنفد ԱՑբաԲՓգճ Ⴡბგდუსჱ αβγδε שררקחז ຣາຢຳຕຶວະ ꓔꓕꓖꓗꓘꓩꓨ ߔߓߒߢߡߑߐߧ ᚃᚆᚌᚔᚐ 𐌅𐌆𐌇𐌈 ⴵⴶⵂⵁⵉⴺⴻⴼ ᐐᐑᐂᐕᐚᐛᐊᐉᐁ(DejaVu Sans Light) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(DejaVu Sans Condensed) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(DelitschInitialen) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Didact Gothic) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Druk Corners 01) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFऔतऴदधघॊफुढूठृसिडी(Ek Mukta bold) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFऔतऴदधघॊफुढूठृसिडी(Ek Mukta ExtraBold) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFऔतऴदधघॊफुढूठृसिडी(Ek Mukta ExtraLight) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFऔतऴदधघॊफुढूठृसिडी(Ek Mukta Light) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFऔतऴदधघॊफुढूठृसिडी(Ek Mukta Medium) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFऔतऴदधघॊफुढूठृसिडी(Ek Mukta) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFऔतऴदधघॊफुढूठृसिडी(Ek Mukta SemiBold) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(ESL Gothic Unicode) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(FreeMono) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(FreeMonoBold) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(FreeMonoBoldOblique) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(FreeMonoOblique) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(FreeSerifBold) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(FreeSerifItalic) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Gentium Book Basic) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Gentium Book Basic) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Gentium Book Basic) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Gentium Book Basic) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(German Blackletters, 15th c.) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Gothic Straight-Faced, 16th c.) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(GothicMajuscles) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(GrandjeanPW) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(HansFraktur) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(JSL Ancient) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(JSL Ancient) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(JSL Blackletter) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Jomolhari) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Junicode) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Junicode) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Junicode) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Junicode) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(KaiserRotbartOneCaps) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(KaiserRotbartTwoCaps) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𐎸𐎷𐎦𐎵𐎳𐏕𐏂𐏁𐎰𐏀𐏏𐏎(Kakoulookiam) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Karen3_0) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFၹၩဲ၄ဴၒၢဘျဗေဥြၕ့(Khmer Nettra) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𐎸𐎷𐎦𐎵𐎳𐏕𐏂𐏁𐎰𐏀𐏏𐏎(Khosrau) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(KL1_ Monocase Serif) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Lapidaria) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Leipzig Fraktur LF) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Leipzig Fraktur Bold) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Leipzig Fraktur Heavy) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Leipzig Fraktur LF) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Leipzig Fraktur) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Lombardic Narrow) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Magna Veritas) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Monospace) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Monospace) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Monospace) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(NeoBulletin Beveled) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(NeoBulletin Extruded) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(NeoBulletin Italic) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(NeoBulletin Outline) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(NeoBulletin Semi Bold) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(NeoBulletin Trash) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(OldStandard-Bold) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(OldStandard-Italic) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(OldStandard-Regular) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Palemonas MUFI) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Palemonas MUFI) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Palemonas MUFI) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Palemonas MUFI) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𐎸𐎷𐎦𐎵𐎳𐏕𐏂𐏁𐎰𐏀𐏏𐏎(Persepolis) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Plone Ware Shar_Mla) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Primitive) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Art) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Betsu) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Chuyig) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Drutsa) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Dunhuang) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Edict) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Horyig) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Subtitle) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Title) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Tsumachu) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Tsuring) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Tsutong) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Uchen Sarchen) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Uchen Sarchung) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Uchen Suring) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Uchen Sutung) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Woodblock) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𒁋𒀺𒀤𒀴𒁣𒀁𒁱𒂏(Santakku) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𒁋𒀺𒀤𒀴𒁣𒀁𒁱𒂏(SantakkuM) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFٻشلعىنفد(Scheherazade) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Spanish Round Bookhand, 16th c.) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Steinem Unicode) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(StrangeBlackLetter) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFᮕᮖᮥᮔᮓᮣᮑᮡᮐᮠᮛ᮪(Sundanese Unicode) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Theuerdank Fraktur) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Thryomanes) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Title page 1600) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Traditional Gothic, 17th c.) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFٻشلعىنفد(UKIJ Diwani Kawak) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFٻشلعىنفد(UKIJ Kufi Yay) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFٻشلعىنفد(UKIJ Moy Qelem) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFٻشلعىنفد(UKIJ Qolyazma) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𒁋𒀺𒀤𒀴𒁣𒀁𒁱𒂏(UllikummiA) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𒁋𒀺𒀤𒀴𒁣𒀁𒁱𒂏(UllikummiB) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𒁋𒀺𒀤𒀴𒁣𒀁𒁱𒂏(UllikummiC) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF龜不賂量璘吝立難韛瘟歹華(UnBatang) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF龜不賂量璘吝立難韛瘟歹華(UnBatang) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF龜不賂量璘吝立難韛瘟歹華(UnGungseo) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Vampyres Garden) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF龜不賂量璘吝立難韛瘟歹華(Wangdi29) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(WeygelBodies) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Wizard Of The Moon) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𐎸𐎷𐎦𐎵𐎳𐏕𐏂𐏁𐎰𐏀𐏏𐏎(Zarathustra) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Zuider Postduif Demo) ;

Lost in Museums

The other side of the collection

Of Museums

When the mice get in, the information is lost.

“In the early hours of the following day 600 Grenadier Guards took possession of the geology department at Imperial College (the Royal College of Science had been renamed Imperial College in 1910) and were billeted in all the rooms and laboratories. When [Arthur] Holmes arrived in the morning he had to step over sleeping soldiers lying in the corridors or propped up on the floor alongside cabinets and cases. Others were eating their morning rations using the tops of museum cases as tables. These cases were fitted with drawers filled with important teaching and research collections of minerals and fossils, all carefully labelled. Irreverently the soldiers deposited the remains of their rations into these draws and over time scraps of bread, meat and cheese gradually accumulated. Inevitably this attracted a large population of mice who indiscriminately ate the labels from the specimens along with the scraps. Much information was lost and the value of the collection as a teaching aid was enormously reduced, but it was a minor problem in the scale of this terrible war.”

— Cherry Lewis, The Dating Game: One Man’s Search for the Age of the Earth, (2000) [Canto Classics, 2012], p 106. ISBN 9781107659599

Sometimes things just disappear:

“These [star maps] are to be found in the library of the Royal Astronomical Society, but the Chinese planispheres which J. Williams (1)a presented in 1855 are no longer there, and had indeed already been lost by 1909, as Knobel (1)b tells us.”

a. J Williams, ‘Notes on Chinese Astronomy’ (presentation of planispheres). RAS/MN, 1855, 15, 19.
b. E B Knobel, ‘On a Chinese planisphere.’ RAS/MN, 1909, 69, 436.
Joseph Needham, Science and Civilisation in China: Volume III – Mathematics and the sciences of the heavens and the Earth, (1959) [Cambridge University Press, 2005], p 282. ISBN 9780521058015

Sometimes it is understandable:

“[During the severe winter of 1947] People chopped up old furniture to put on the fire, wooden fences disappeared over night, and trees seen standing one day were no longer there the next. In the Edinburgh geology department a large piece of coal exhibited in the main entrance hall, displaying the beautiful fossil of a three hundred million year old fern, mysteriously disappeared one day. No one complained, they just wished they had thought of it first.”

— Lewis, p 216.

Lord Asriel

A potential prototype for the Pullman character could be Lord Kelvin:

“In 1862 Lord Kelvin was the Professor in Natural Philosophy at Glasgow University and the world’s expert on thermodynamics. A scientist of international repute and ferocious ability, he was then at the height of his powers and widely regarded by his contemporaries as the greatest physicist of his day – a formidable opponent.”

— Lewis, p 34.

Particularly with the context of Rutherford and radium with its invisible particulate rays, standing in the place of Dust.

Maxwell and his Electromagnetic vectors could have a look-in, too.

There was a lot of discovery going on back then. The Age of the Earth, the Age of the Sun, the distance to any other star.

Legal lorem

By oak, ash and thorn

In his commentary on the present passage [from the 春秋大專 Simplified: 春秋大专 Pinyin: chūn qiū dà zhuān Wade-Giles: Chhun Chhiu Ta Chuan “The Great Commentary on the Spring and Autumn Annals”, about investiture of land] Khung An–Kuo [ Pinyin: kǒng ān guó 孔安國 Simplified: 孔安国], about -85, explains how this was done. ‘The emperor’s altar mound of the God of the Soil,’ he says, ‘was made of the earths of the five colours. When a lord was enfeoffed with territory (in one or other of the four directions) he was presented with a sod …’ … As Chavennes [probably his 1910 paper in the Bibliographie d’Etudes (Annales de Musée Guimet)] points out, the etymology of the character fêng [封 Pinyin: fēng], enfeoffment, shows a piece of land with a plant growing on it, alongside a length measure and a hand (the radical of which now means an inch…). Thus just as in the medieval Western world, enfeoffment was per herbam et terram.

“On this a story hangs”, about the five earths — Joseph Needham, Science and Civilisation in China: Volume VI:1 Botany, (1986) [Cambridge University Press, 1989], p 86 n l. ISBN 9780521087317

On the trail of

quest for source

“The late Professor Oswald Prentiss Backus told me shortly before his death that he had discovered on an island in the Baltic a volume which might have been a Scandinavian prototype of the Russkaia pravda, but I have heard no more of this since his demise.”

— Richard Hellie, “The Law”, in Maureen Perrie (ed), The Cambridge History of Russia: Volume I – From Early Rus’ to 1689, (2006) [Cambridge University Press, 2006], pp 360-386, p 361 n 2.