The Older Gulathing Law  book cover
1st Edition

The Older Gulathing Law

Edited By

Erik Simensen

ISBN 9780367681500
Published April 6, 2021 by Routledge
270 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

The Gulathing Law regulates relations between the social classes, the king and his officers, the clergy, and the peasantry. Parts of the law appear to be a social contract between two parties: on the one hand the people, on the other hand the church and the king.

This new edition, in modern English, contains many references to research that has been carried out since the appearance of previous editions in 1935 and 1981. In the Gulathing Law, differing interests are being balanced, and procedures described for solving conflicts. Personal rights are defined, and scales of fines and compensation are set up, graded according to the gravity of the insult, offence, and the social status of the persons involved. Large parts of the law text mirror the internal conditions in the farming community of Western Norway in the High Middle Ages; economic transactions, disputes, damage to life and property, and theft.

Accompanied by a translator’s introduction and a commentary essay which place the Gulathing Law in a theological and church history perspective, this volume will be useful for both students and specialists of medieval Norwegian legal history and medieval Scandinavian law.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Translator’s introduction

  1. Norway in the thirteenth century
    1. Population, livelihood, geography
    2. Social structure
    3. Economic structure
    4. The Church
    5. Political structure

  2. The Gulaþing
    1. The assembly
    2. The Gulaþing Law
      1. The nature and content of the law
      2. Origins and composition
      3. The manuscripts
      4. Editions
      5. Translations

Part 2: The Older Gulaþing Law according to DonVar 137 4to

I The Book on Christian Law (Chapters 1–33)

The Gulathing Law in a Theological and Church History Perspective. A commentary essay by Torstein Jørgensen

II The Book on Contracts (Chapters 34–50)

III The Marriage of Women (Chapters 51–56)

IV Freedman’s Law (Chapters 57–71)

V The Book on Tenancy (Chapters 72–102)

VI The Book on Inheritance (Chapters 103–130)

VII Summons to an Assembly (Chapters 131–147)

VIII Amendments (Chapter 148)

IX Rules for Whaling (Chapters 149–150)

X Concerning Personal Rights (Chapters 151–252)

XI The Book on Theft (Chapters 253–264)

XII The Redemption of Odal-land (Chapters 265–294)

XIII The Book on the Naval Levy (Chapters 295–315)

XIV A Later System of Wergild (Chapters 316–319)

XV Peace Pledge (Chapter 320)

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Erik Simensen has been Associate professor of Scandinavian Studies (especially Norwegian) at the University of Oslo. He has worked on Old Norse dictionaries and has written articles on topics of Norwegian language history. He has translated charters from 1301- 1310 (2002) and translated four Old Icelandic texts, including Egils saga Skallagrímssonar (2014).