The Västgöta Laws  book cover
1st Edition

The Västgöta Laws

Edited By

Thomas Lindkvist

ISBN 9781032004921
Published January 9, 2023 by Routledge
246 Pages

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Book Description

The Västgöta Laws contains the translation of the oldest of the Swedish provincial law codes and other texts of great relevance to the legal history.

The first version, the Older Västgöta Law, is from the first half of the thirteenth century and the earliest example of an indigenous vernacular literacy with the Latin script from Sweden. A second and highly revised version of the law is preserved in a manuscript from the middle of the fourteenth century. This volume also contains a translation of the annotations and proposals made during the complicated negotiations between representatives of the church, the kingdom, and the community of the province. Together, the two versions of the law and the annotations offer a unique possibility to understand the making and transformation of a medieval law. The importance of the regional leaders, the lawmen, is evident from the earliest example of history writing in Sweden, illustrating the legal and political history of Västergötland.

With an Introduction that places the province of Västergötland and its law into its political setting, this translation is invaluable for all students and scholars of medieval Swedish legal and political history.

Table of Contents


The Older Västgöta Law

The Book about the Church

About Manslaughter

This is the Book about Wounding

About Accidental Wounds

This is about Fighting

Non-Compensamble Crimes

The Book about Inheritance

The Book about Matrimony

This is the Book about Lawlessness

The Book about Land

How a Mill Shall Be Built

The Book about Theft

Cases of Illegal Appropriation

The Book about Illegal Appropriation

About a Player’s Rights

The Younger Västgöta Law

The Book about the Church

[About accidental wounds]

The Book about Peace

Non-Compensable Crimes

The Book about Manslaughter

The Book about Inheritance

The Book about Matrimony

The Book about Lawlessness

The Book about Theft

The Book about Land

The Book about Mills

The Book about Illegal Appropriation

The Book about Fences

The Younger Västgöta Law. The Additamenta

The Västgöta Law: Laurentius’ Book

The lists of lawmen, kings and bishops

Ordinance of Bishop Brynolf 1281

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Thomas Lindkvist, Professor Emeritus of Medieval History at the University of Gothenburg. His recent publications include the conference paper 'Iron and the Medieval Modernisation of Sweden' (2020) and (as editor with Kristian Kristiansen and Janken Myrdal) Trade and Civilization. Economic Networks and Cultural Ties, from Prehistory to the Early Modern Era (2018).