posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 06:09 AM
No discussion of Doomsday is complete without some reference to the original Domesday or Doomsday Books. This famous work was done in England after
William from Normandy conquered Harold, last Anglo-Saxon king of England. Who has not seen the television special on the Battle of Hastings which
“changed the world forever” a phrase we are so often subjected to today? We must now add “robust” to our list of favored words, too, as a new
word our president just learned and seems to enjoy using, even if a bit awkward in some contexts.
The Great Tapestry seems to portray King Harold being felled by an arrow shot into his eye! Ohh! That smarts, even though almost a millennia distant
in time. Somewhere I read there was also religious skullduggery involved in that final battle. (Actually it was not the final battle but William won
all that followed. It certainly was Harold's final battle, win or lose.) It seems William had thoughtfully sent 30,000 gold ducats - whatever a ducat
was worth - to Pope Alexander II in exchange for which the Pope gave William a papal bull excommunicating anyone who fought again him, William. Did
not Bob Dylan immortalize that in his song, “With God on Our Side?” William supposedly used this letter to cause great dissension in Harold’s
ranks and the loss of upwards of one-third of his soldiers who feared God more than they feared Harold. “You have to plan ahead to get ahead.”
By 1086, William had quashed all dissent - I hope this is not about to be the same time scenario in Iraq - and he thoughtfully sent out his messengers
to do a census of the lands, livestock and incidentally, of the people. The result was a series of books which came to be known as the Domesday Books.
We changed the spelling to ‘Doom’ a couple hundred year later. The title, Doomsday, referred to the Christian concept of the final judgment which
was commonly referred to as doomsday and which entails the opening of the books out of which humanity will be judged.
After stating the assessment of the manor, the record sets forth the amount of arable land, and the number of plough teams, each reckoned at eight
oxen,)available for working it, with the additional number that might be employed; then the river-meadows, woodland, pasture, fisheries, i.e. weirs in
the streams, water-mills, saltpans, if by the sea, and other subsidiary sources of revenue; the peasants are enumerated in their several classes; and
finally the annual value of the whole, past and present, is roughly estimated . .
In August 2006 the contents of Domesday Books went on-line, with an English translation of the book's Latin. Visitors to the website will now be able
to search a place name, see the index entry made for the manor, town, city or village and, for a fee, download the appropriate page. For the whole
story, see the following: en.wikipedia.org...
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[edit on 8/23/2006 by donwhite]