The passage of years is measured differently in each city, usually
according to that city's list of Administrators or Ubars. For example, it might be the tenth year in the Administration of
someone or the fifteenth year of this Ubar. Some cities rely upon the calendar of Ar which is considered a standard in certain
areas. In the Arian calendar, the years are marked in Contasta Ar (C.A.), since the founding of Ar. Ar is allegedly over 10,000
years old. Some of the barbarian cultures, such as the Wagon Peoples and Red Savages, have their own calendars. The Wagon
People actually have two different calendars.
Gorean years are generally calculated from
one vernal equinox to the next. Turia though uses the summer solstice as their New Year. There is no known Gorean term for
a year. A year consists of twelve months and thirteen hands. Each month equals five weeks, each week consisting of five days.
This means a Gorean year has 365 days. There is no known Gorean term for a month. In between each month is a Passage Hand,
a five-day period. In many cities the Twelfth Passage Hand is a time of carnival, a festival of merriment. Players of Gor
provides an excellent example of a carnival in Port Kar.
The Twelfth Passage Hand is followed
by the Waiting Hand, a five-day period prior to the vernal equinox, which marks the New Year. The Waiting Hand is a solemn
time when little business is done and many Goreans stay home. It is a time of fasting, meditation and mourning. The doors
of many homes are painted white, sealed with pitch and branches of the brak bush are fastened to them. The brak bush is meant
to keep bad luck away. On the dawn of the vernal equinox, a ceremonial greeting of the sun takes place within the city. The
end of this greeting is signified by the ringing of great bars suspended above the city. The people then exit their houses,
washing the pitch away and burning the brak bush. The festivities will last for the first ten days of the month. The Initiates
do not make much of the Waiting Hand in their ceremonies and preachments so it is unlikely of much religious significance.
En'Kara-Lar-Torvis, commonly called En'Kara, is the first Gorean month, which would correspond roughly to the middle
of the Earth month of March. It is the month of the vernal equinox. The term translates as the "First Turning of the Central
Fire." The Central Fire is a Gorean term for the sun. According to Ar and some other cities, Hesius is the second month and
Camerius is the third month. In Ko-ro-ba, the month of Camerius is known as Selnar. Se'Kara-Lar-Torvis, or Se'Kara, is the
month of the autumnal equinox. The term translates as the "Second Turning of the Central Fire." En'Var-Lar-Torvis, or En'Var,
is the month of the summer solstice. The term translates as the "First Resting of the Central Fire." Se'Var-Lar-Torvis, or
Se-Var, is the month of the winter solstice. The term translates as the "Second Resting of the Central Fire." The four "Lar-Torvis"
months are common to most Gorean cities. The names of the rest of the months vary widely.
A Gorean day is divided into twenty Ahn, numbered consecutively. The tenth Ahn is noon and the twentieth Ahn is midnight.
A Gorean day is the same length as an Earth day. An Ahn is similar to an Earth hour but the length of each is different. Each
Ahn consists of forty Ehn, or minutes, and each Ehn of eighty Ihn or seconds. An Ihn is only a little longer than an earth
second. In Earth terms, an Ahn is equal to 1.2 hours, or 72 minutes. An Ehn is equal to 1.8 minutes, or 108 seconds. An Ihn
equals 1.35 seconds.
The duration of an Ahn may vary in other cities. Some cities divide
their days by assigning ten Ahn to their daylight hours and ten to their night hours. Thus, in the summer, the day Ahns last
longer than the night Ahns. Despite these differences, their days are still the same length as all other cities. It is only
the length of some Ahns that varies.
Time bars are commonly rung in the city to signal each
hour. Chronometers, watches, are rare and valuable. Their hands move counterclockwise and have a sweeping Ihn hand. Official
clocks are adjusted, according to certain astronomical measurements, by the Scribe Caste. The average Gorean also has a variety
of other simple devices to mark the passage of time. These include marked or calibrated candles, sun dials, sand glasses,
clepsydras (water clocks) and oil clocks.
Gorean Calendar (Not all the months were named in the books)
(Vernal equinox/First month)
First Passage Hand
Second Month (Known as Hesius in Ar)
Third Month (Known as Camerius in Ar and Selnar in Ko-ro-ba)
Third Passage Hand
Fourth Passage Hand
Fifth Passage Hand (Love Feast)
Sixth Passage Hand
Se-Kara (Fall equinox/Seventh Month)
Seventh Passage Hand
Eighth Passage Hand
Ninth Passage Hand
Se'Var (Winter solstice/Tenth Month)
Tenth Passage Hand
Eleventh Passage Hand
Hand (Carnival time)
There is little standardization
in currency exchange rates throughout Gor. These ratios vary from city to city. The bankers, or literally the coin merchants,
try to standarize coinage at each Sardar Fair but their motion never passes. Certain coins though are respected and accepted
throughout the civilized cities. These include such coins as the gold tarns of Ar, Ko-ro-ba and Port Kar, golden staters from
Brundisium, and the silver tarsk of Tharna.
On Gor, the basic unit of currency is the tarsk
coin, made of copper or silver. Each city then decides on the ratio between such coins. A tarsk bit is the smallest unit of
currency. From four to twenty tarsk bits equals one copper tarsk. From forty to one hundred copper tarsks equals one silver
tarsk. Ten silver tarsks equal one gold tarn disk. Gold tarn disks are also made in double weight. Some coins may be split
into pieces to make change. A coin is about 1.5" in diameter and 3/8" thick. There is a tarn or tarsk on one side and usually
a letter to identify the city of origin on the other side. There is no paper currency on Gor.
The early novels mentioned
the existance of copper and silver tarn disks but the later books, especially when discussing exchange rates, omit these coins.
If you moniter the appearance of these tarn disks, they begin to disappear from the books as they progress. And the initial
books neglect to mention tarsk disks. This seems to be another area where Norman chose to change matters in the latter books.
The latter books should be taken as more authoritative in this matter as they are the ones where the issue of coinage is more
throroughly described. Tribesman of Gor, #10, may be the last book to mention a copper or silver tarn disk.
To most Goreans, a silver tarsk is a coin of considerable value. A gold tarn disk is more than many common laborers earn in
a year. A gold tarn may buy a tarn or five slave girls. Five pieces of gold is a fortune and one can live in many cities for
years on such resources. For the most part, many items on Gor will sell for copper tarsks. Business is often conducted by
notes and letters of credit. Most cities have their own mints. Coins are struck, one at a time, by a hammer pounding on the
flat cap of a die. Coins are not made to be easily stacked. In some cities, such as Tharna, coins are drilled so that they
might be stringed.
A coin is a way in which a government certifies that a given amount
of precious metal is involved in a transaction. It saves the need of weighing and testing each coin, thus making commerce
much easier. But, some less scrupulous people may shave coins, slicing slivers of metal off of them. This is akin to theft
and fraud. The coin is worth less than it should be.
on Gor are calculated from the Sardar Mountains. There are two main directions, Ta-Sardar-Var and Ta-Sardar-Ki-Var. They are
also simply called Var and Ki-Var. Var means a turning toward the Sardar, almost like facing north. Ki-Var means not turning
to the Sardar. But, Ki-Var is never used as a designation or direction on a map. The Gorean compass is divided into eight
quadrants, as opposed to the four used on Earth. Starting with Var, in clockwise order, then comes Ror, Rim, Tun, Vask (also
known as Versus Var), Cart, Klim and Kail. There is also a system of longitude and latitude figured on the basis of the Gorean
day with Ahns, Ehns and Ihns.
A Gorean compass commonly has a luminescent dial and needle.
The needle always points to the Sardar Mountains. It may also have a chronometer on the back. You press a tab to open the
back panel and reveal the time piece.
A pasang is about seven-tenths of a mile. Most travel distances
are expressed in pasangs. Speeds are also expressed in these units.
A hort equals 1 1/4 inches.
Ten horts equal a Gorean foot, which is about 12 1/2 inches long. Height is normally expressed in horts. There are tape measures
that are marked in horts.
An ah-il is the distance from the elbow to tip of the middle finger,
about eighteen inches. This is similar to an Earth cubit. Ten ah-il equal one ah-ral. Cloth is commonly measured in these
units. Ah-ils are not used to express height.
A huda equals five tefa. Six tefs equal one
tefa, a tiny basket. A tef consists of a handful, with the fingers closed, of produce.
equals about four pounds. A weight equals ten stone. Weight is normally expressed in stones.
talu is equal to about two gallons.
There is an official Merchant's Stone, Weight and Foot.
The Stone and Weight are solid metal cylinders while the Foot is a metal rod. They have been standardized by Merchant Law
and are kept near the Sardar. Each city also keeps their own standard and can compare it to the official ones at any of the
Sardar Fairs. Each Merchant will also keep their own standard that they can check against their city standard. Less scrupulous
Merchants may use deceptive standards to cheat their customers.