The Letter of Amainta
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A controversial sacred text.
This public article was written by EllaHansen, and last updated on 20 Jan 2020, 23:25.
5. InaiyoraTersas, author of the Sacred Laws, was high priest of the Telian in Naven during the Vensamáth War. One of the first areas to embrace his theology was eastern or 'upper' Cir-Eléin, a mountainous area surrounding the gorge of the river Cir in the far south of the Telian lands. The matrilineal families of Cir-Eléin were reluctant, however, to adopt the patrilineal inheritance system outlined in the Sacred Laws; their high place also had monotheistic liturgies other than the ones that Tersas prescribed. Accordingly, they sent a lord named Caitom with his sister Amainta to Naven with their questions.
In this letter home, Amainta describes her meeting with Tersas and an apparent miracle that he performed. The authority of the letter was accepted only by the high places of Cir-Eléin and Melenna: the former because it legitimised their customs, the latter because it showed the true high-priestly power wielded by Tersas but rejected by his successors in Naven, with whom they had decisively broken. Among Naven scholars, the letter was generally dismissed as a later forgery, until the 700s when Ledáin Feŋcwa of Tower College was able to date Lowlandish quotations of it to within Tersas's lifetime.
The name 'Amainta' is the result of Heláin sandhi on the common Highlandish name Ama-Hetta 'lady rock-dove'.
- aiyeadaia arora cirelindora Amainta.
Amainta greets the lords of Cir-Eléin.
- lelenden av sora, dha ant sora anneinicuris Navenas tullin, so fi s'ivenire arre, cortahweni'lsallen i ad f'ar sian m'elfenirian evis, an-taláv cwisteimpeli talellen min e al.
As we were sent, so we have come to that harbour-city of Naven, I and my lord brother, about which great and high [city] I will tell you when I come to you, before the bramble-harvest if it is the god’s will.
- a tessen istenini semmis curicusenis il finis frearval' il, u tul barren tahwena musoras Hartagos.
Now their high place sits on a hill [which is at] the heart of the city, within sight of the keep, and there are kept the words of Hartaga’s sons.
- fiu iscleiteres el sora eilfennen Tersase aristenire filaián inaiyora es eve.
And at the gate of cleansing, we met Tersas the high priest, through whom the Laws were spoken.
- fiu aián e Caitom tullin istannen av e sora fier' alle sei untrilithe f'uŋgesithe sesarren fi cammen teiglen fi teiglad fi melien fi cemirián f'aiarián llesereis eve;
And Caitom told him how we worship one god unborn and undying, by whose works the earth and heavens and all stars and all living things and all rational creatures (lit. 'speakers') were made and live;
- u istannen av e sora indis ivra fiera cwellis fi hweid cithid eóm fi adhonid fi creid, u corren av e sora seu an-taláv harallún, taldarc oráv sora setaldenora, fiera;
And how we worship rightly with wine and burnt herbs and with hymns and prayers, and how we pray also before noon, as was handed down from our forebears;
- u thennen freannor soetir ciritannis il fiera, illened faiye lletalli filenithi sidhided fi breneirreis eve, u setaldenned fi teliniened eól seora.
And how we have a warlord in the eyrie of the Cir, whose authority, however, comes through his kinswomen and the gathering of his kinsmen, and likewise with our houses and towns.
- u seaián Tersase arre dhel, aia 'v inaiyora tegienas talelired artegis f'ecvidis evra, fiu isthennen min tegi tu filinthesithi indi f'astwa, emvén ián una.
And Lord Tersas said to him that the Laws of order speak to those who live in disorder and fighting; but if there be some order which lies straight along righteousness and friendship, let it not be overturned.
- fiu av arcivaiá une isthenis allos seos.
But let no one agree against the truth of the one god.
- u aián Tersase arre: adasten il rian dhi talberros fiel menet breci fi feioli; u aián san, seu dha, arir.
And Lord Tersas said, This woman is dearly beloved of [her] husband but barren and without healing (lit. 'but fruit and bodily healing are lacking'); and I said, Even so, [my] lord.
- a eindant Tersase iŋge heliatseris lleriannor.
Now Tersas in his youth had learnt the physicians’ arts from his father-in-law (lit. 'his wife's man').
- Tul heimfellen hweora fi cwell' enthesithora istenis illin f'ilite teiros herithos tur u ŋeŋunnen fi geglenden sián.
Then he crushed together [some of the] herbs and wine which were set aside for worship with a pinch of fine salt and gave [it] to me, and I drank [it].
- u aián e: bel i mián al clarrined fi clarriniclarrined lleadhenired sien, seu sump filáv cenderi u eŋcint i melien.
And he said: May the god bless thee with children and with children’s children who will praise him for ever, even until the moon is melted and the stars are burnt away.
- sián Amainta teint dhián muellin s'astired fie dha'l ateiŋcusén sereni mura iŋ, u efeníhwe av sián mura, eŋiníhwe mura aŋcyed s'ellas, an-talavi, eadeníhwe mur' al.
I, Amainta, have written all these things to you, my friends, that you may share my gladness now, and when I come to you, you will have my own lips, until when, the god strengthen you.