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Chapter 10. Purchase and Redemption
We must note the manner in which Tacitus describes the conditions of those who go so far in this game as to stake the liberty of their own person: servos condicionis huius. They are not slaves in the Roman sense: there were no slaves in the proper sense in the Germanic world; Tacitus states this clearly elsewhere. They put them up for sale (per commercia tradunt) not because they wanted to make a profit thereby but to rid themselves of the shame of thus having reduced a partner to servitude.
- Lat. fungor must be linked with Skt. bhuṅkte, present middle, a nasal form (cf. bhuj-), the primary sense of which is “enjoy”; but at an early date it became specified in the sense of “enjoying food, consume.” This links up with the Armenian bucanem ‘to nourish, bring up’.
- Gothic biugan ‘bend’ from *bheugh– could be compared with Skt. bhuj– ‘bend’, Lat. fugio, Gr. pheúgō, these last from *bheug-.
- Finally, we think that Gothic bugjan ‘buy’ is to be compared with the root attested only, but in a very clear way, by Old Iranian: Av. baog-, which has abundant derivatives in Iranian and signifies “undo,” “detach” (a girdle or a garment) and later “set free” and finally “save.” The Av. verb baog– exists with several preverbs; it supplies the agent noun baoxtar ‘liberator’. It has a material, as well as a religious sense. It was, like other Iranian words, borrowed into Armenian: see the Arm. noun boyz, the present tense verb buzem ‘save’ (only from illness), ‘cure’.