wergild


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Related to wergild: compurgation
See: indemnification, reparation

WERGILD, or WEREGILD, old Eng. law. The price which in a barbarous age, a person guilty of homicide or other enormous offence was required to pay, instead of receiving other punishment. 4 Bl. Com. 188. See, for the etymology of this word, and a tariff which was paid for the murder of the different classes of men, Guizot, Essais sur l'Histoire de France, Essai 4eme, c. 2, Sec. 2.

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1) acoeglod 'studded with pegs; locked with a key', agimmed 'set with precious stones', anhyrned 'having one horn', oehtboren 'born in bondage', feowertynenihte 'fourteen nights old', gesperod 'armed with a spear', mylenscearp 'sharpened on a grindstone', symbelwlonc 'elated with feasting', toefle 'given to dice-playing', twihynde 1 'having wergild of 200 shillings'.
9) Nevertheless, courts sometimes considered the circumstances behind the crime when determining whether or not to impose wergild payments on a wrongdoer.
Historically-minded writers from Innes (1913) to Miller (2008) have argued that systems of credit and debt evolved out of the elaborate North German wergild system which used 'fines' and 'debt' to adjudicate tribal blood feuds.
The volume includes maps, illustrations, tables, and charts of Wergild (compensation) tariffs in Germanic injury laws.
In England, by the year 1200 AD (CE), a system of wergild, or payment of money as compensation for a wrong was developed as a way of reducing the frequency of violent blood feuds.
Hreidmar and his two surviving sons take the Gods prisoner, and demand as wergild that they cover Otr's skin with gold.