almost an afterthought, ropes being put on the necks of captured women, who were then, stripped, herded back with the captured
kaiila to the wagons of the victors. Vagabonds of Gor, page 272


“The fairs incidentally are governed by Merchant Law and supported by booth rents and taxes levied on the items exchanged. The
commercial facilities of these fairs, from money changing to general banking, are the finest I know of on Gor, save those in Ar’s Street
of Coins, and letters of credit are accepted and loans negotiated, though often at usurious rates, with what seems reckless
indifference. Yet perhaps this is not so puzzling, for the Gorean cities will, within their own walls, enforce the Merchant Law when
pertinent, even against their own citizens. If they did not, of course, the fairs would be closed to the citizens of that city.”
Priest-Kings of Gor, Page 10


“There is a saying on Gor, “Gold has no caste.” It is a saying of which the merchants are fond. Indeed, secretly among themselves, I
have heard, they regard themselves as the highest caste on Gor, though they would not say so for fear of rousing the indignation of
other castes. There would be something, of course, to be said for such a claim, for the merchants are often indeed in their way, brave,
shrewd, skilled men, making long journeys, venturing their goods, risking caravans, negotiating commercial agreements, among
themselves developing and enforcing a body of Merchant Law, the only common legal arrangements existing among the Gorean cities.
Merchants also, in effect, arrange and administer the four great fairs that take place each year near the Sardar Mountains. I say “in
effect” because the fairs are nominally under the direction of a committee of the Caste of Initiates, which, however, largely contents
itself with its ceremonies and sacrifices, and is only too happy to delegate the complex management of those vast, commercial
phenomena, the Sardar Fairs, to members of the lowly, much-despised Caste of Merchants, without which, incidentally, the fairs most
likely could not exist, certainly not at any rate in their current form.”
Nomads of Gor, Page 84


“The fairs, too, however, have many other functions. ...
... It is here that Merchant Law is drafted and stabilized.”
Beasts of Gor, Page 44


“The Weight and the Stone, incidentally, are standardized throughout the Gorean cities by Merchant Law, the only common body of
law existing among the cities. The official “Stone,” actually a solid metal cylinder, is kept, by the way, near the Sardar. Four times a
year, on a given day in each of the four great fairs held annually near the Sardar, it is brought forth with scales, that merchants from
whatever city may test their own standard “Stone” against it.


As in the case of the official “Stone”, so, too, at the Sardar is a metal rod, which determines the Merchant Foot, or Gorean foot, as I
have called it.”
Raiders of Gor, Page 127 and 128


“The Merchants have, in the last few years, on certain trade routes, between Ar and Ko-ro-ba, and between Tor and Ar, established
palisaded compounds, defensible stockades.



Various cities, through their own Merchant Castes, lease land for these stockades and, for their fees, keep their garrisons, usually
men of their own cities, supplied. The stockades are governed under Merchant Law, legislated and revised, and upheld, at the Sardar
Fairs.”
Captive of Gor, Page 219

“The representative of the Merchants, to whom I reported my business, and to whom I paid for wharfage, asked no questions. He did
not even demand the proof of registration of the Tesephone in Tabor. The Merchants, who control Lydius, under merchant law, for it is
a free port, like Helmutsport, and Schendi and Bazi, are more interested in having their port heavily trafficked than strictly policed.”
Hunters of Gor, Page 43


“He himself resided, I understood, in Telnus, the capital of Cos, where his company had its headquarters. His work chains, however,
were politically neutral, understood under merchant law as hirable instruments. They might, accordingly, and sometimes did, work for
both sides in given conflicts.”
Dancer of Gor, Page 322



“Merchant law has been unsuccessful, as yet, in introducing such things as patents and copyrights on Gor. Such things do exist in
municipal law on Gor but the jurisdictions involved are, of course, local.”
Magicians of Gor, Page 394



“It is my understanding, following merchant law, and Tahari custom,” I said, “that I am not a slave, for though I am a prisoner, I have
been neither branded nor collared, nor have I performed a gesture of submission.”
Tribesmen of Gor, Page 196


“In the case of the girl, Rowena, of course, as she was already a self-pronounced slave, the brand and collar were little more than
identificatory formalities. Nonetheless she would wear them. They would be fixed visibly and clearly upon her. This is in accord with
the prescriptions of merchant law.”
Players of Gor, Page 36


“You understand further, of course,” said he, “that under Gorean merchant law, which is the only law commonly acknowledged
binding between cities, that you stand under separate permissions of enslavement. First, were you of Ar, it would be my right, could I
be successful, to make of you a slave, for we share no Home Stone. Secondly, though you speak of yourself as the Lady Elicia of Ar, of
Six Towers, you are, in actuality, Miss Elicia Nevins of the planet Earth. You are an Earth girl and thus stand within a general
permission of enslavement, fair beauty quarry to any Gorean male whatsoever.”
Slave Girl of Gor, Page 394


“The legal point, I think, is interesting. Sometimes, in the fall of a city, girls who have been enslaved, girls formerly of the now
victorious city, will be freed. Technically, according to Merchant Law, which serves as the arbiter in such intermunicipal matters, the
girls become briefly the property of their rescuers, else how could they be freed? Further, according to Merchant Law, the rescuer has
no obligation to free the girl. In having been enslaved she has lost all claim to her former Home Stone.”
Explorers of Gor, Page 409


“Girls such as I must expect to be marked,” she said. “It is in accord with the recommendations of merchant law.”
Kajira of Gor, Page 46


“You’re going to be branded,” he said, “and put in a collar.” I regarded him with disbelief.
“But so too, will the other girls,” he said. “You will all have your brands and collars.”
I could not speak.
“Such things are prescribed by merchant law,” he said.
Dancer of Gor, Page 62


“Some fellows do not brand their slaves,” I said.
“That is stupid!” she said.
“It is also contrary to the laws of most cities,” I said, “and to merchant law, as well.”
Vagabonds of Gor, Page 188



“But her left thigh worn no brand. Her right thigh, too, as I soon noted, did not wear the slave mark, nor did her lower left abdomen.
These are the three standard marking places, following the recommendations of Merchant Law, for the marking of Kajirae, with the
left thigh being, in practice, the overwhelmingly favored brand site.”
Fighting Slave of Gor, Page 312


“The thighs and the lower left abdomen are the brand sites recommended by Merchant Law.”
Fighting Slave of Gor, Page 349


Yet perhaps this is not so puzzling, for the Gorean cities will, within their own walls, enforce the Merchant Law when pertinent, even
against their own citizens. If they did not, of course, the fairs would be closed to them. Priest Kings of Gor page 11


It might be mentioned, for those unaware of the fact, that the Caste of Merchants is not considered one of the traditional five High
Castes of Gor the Initiates, Scribes, Physicians, Builders and Warriors. Most commonly, and doubtless unfortunately, it is only
members of the five high castes who occupy positions on the High Councils of the cities. Nonetheless, as might be expected, the gold
of merchants, in most cities, exercises its not imponderable influence, not always in so vulgar a form as bribery and gratuities, but
more often in the delicate matters of extending or refusing to extend credit in connection with the projects, desires or needs of the
High Councils. There is a saying on Gor, "Gold has no caste." It is a saying of which the merchants are fond. Indeed, secretly among
themselves, I have heard, they regard themselves as the highest caste on Gor, though they would not say so for fear of rousing the
indignation of other castes. There would be something, of course, to be said for such a claim, for the merchants are often indeed in
their way, brave, shrewd, skilled men, making long journeys, venturing their goods, risking caravans, negotiating commercial
agreements, among themselves developing and enforcing a body of Merchant Law, the only common legal arrangements existing
among the Gorean cities. Merchants also, in effect, arrange and administer the four great fairs that take place each year near the
Sardar Mountains. I say "in effect" because the fairs are nominally under the direction of a committee of the Caste of Initiates, which,
however, largely contents itself with its ceremonies and sacrifices, and is only too happy to delegate the complex management of
those vast, commercial phenomena, the Sardar Fairs, to members of the lowly, much-despised Caste of Merchants, without which,
incidentally, the fairs most likely could not exist, certainly not at any rate in their current form. Outlaw of Gor, page 84
Laws, Codes and Rituals
Merchant Laws of Gor
She was referring to a series of wars, loosely referred to
in the middle latitudes of Gor, off and on, over a period
of approximately a generation. They had occurred long
before my coming to Gor. Although large-scale slaving
was involved in these wars, and was doubtless a
sufficient condition for them, hence the name, other
considerations, as would be expected, were often
involved, as well, such as the levying of tribute and the
control of trade routes. Out of the Slave Wars grew
much of the merchant law pertaining to slaves. Too, out
of them grew some of the criteria for the
standardization of the female slave as a commodity, for
example, how, in virtue of her scarcity, her training, and
such, she is to be figured as an item of tribute, for
example, in terms of other domestic animals, given their
current market values in the area, and so on, such as
verr and tarsks. For example, she might, at a given time,
be worth five verr or three tarsks, but she might be
worth only a fifth of a sleen or a tenth of a tarn.
Obtaining women is one of the major reasons Goreans
fight. Another is sport. The Slave Wars, incidentally,
might be compared with the Kaiila Wars of the southern
hemisphere. In the latter wars, fought among factions of
the Wagon Peoples, the object, or principal object, was
apparently the acquisition of the lofty, silken kaiila, the
common mount of the Wagon Peoples. In those wars,
as I understand it, the acquisition of female slaves was
All rights reserved.
This research is done on the series of books written by John Norman, the comments in italics are mine and my point of view.
Woman of Gor