Nomads and Agarian Cultivation
Cadmus wanted to sacrifice the cow to Athena, and sent men to the spring of Aretias to fetch water, but a dragon guarding the place killed them. Cadmus then killed the dragon and, at the suggestion of Athena, sowed half of the dragon’s teeth in the ground. Up sprang armed men, and in fear, Cadmus threw a stone in their midst. Each man thought that another one had attacked him, and they all fought. In the end, only five men, survived and became the ancestors of the aristocratic families of Thebes.
This ploughing of the earth symbolizes the end of the Golden Age. Instead of being content with what the earth gives us spontaneously, we cultivate it and plant seeds forcing it to produce what we want against nature.
Cain and Abel #
The dispute between Cain and Abel arises because Cain and Abel both submitted offerings before God. Abel’s was the gift of fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. On the other hand, Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground.
God preferred Abel’s gift. Making Cain angry, and in his rage he killed his brother. God noticed and said,
“What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and . . . When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you.
Roaming tribes from Europe and Asia raided settlements throughout history in Europe. The Roman Empire eventually collapsed due to raiding Vandals, Visigoths and other raiding tribes.
Genghis Khan, the greatest warrior and ruler of all the nomadic tribes of Mongolia led a rigidly disciplined military state, attacking settled peoples beyond the borders of his nomadic realm with campaigns of plunder and conquest that eventually carried the Mongol armies as far as the Adriatic Sea in one direction and the Pacific coast of China in the other, leading to the establishment of the great Mongol Empire.
The Gypsies are still despised for their itinerant lifestyles.
In Huckleberry Finn the feuds between the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons stem from long forgotten origins or causes and are both re-ignited by romantic love. The Grangerfords grew crops, while the Shepherdsons herded animals.
In Australia, the Europeans considered the Indigenous people did not own the land because they did not cultivate it.
Transient or nomadic workers are not quite as reviled as the gypsies of Europe, transient workers originated as shearers, rouseabouts or sundowners in early colonial times.
Not willing to settle down in predictable settings, the transient workers preferred the adventure of new surroundings and meeting new people. Its attractions today extend to global citizens who regularly migrate to new continents.
The stark contrast in earlier more sedentary times is illustrated by the novels of Thomas Hardy, where most of the characters had never travelled more than twenty miles from the place where they were born.
Drifters shares many of the descriptions of Henry Lawson or Banjo Paterson’s characters who roamed the outback of Australia in the 19 th century. Rouseabouts, sundowners, swagman and many other descriptors suited them.
Today we find some workers who work in a variety of countries commuting around the world.
Nomadic or itinerant people are always on the move, searching for adventure, novelty, chasing dreams and opportunities. The gypsies have always been viewed with hostile suspicion.