Weregilt

Even among the Hive, all death has its cost.

DEFINITION/SUMMARY:

WEREGILT play on words “Weregild and Guilt”

  • A value placed on every human being and every piece of property via Salic Code (tribal law)
  • Aka “man price”, If property was stolen, or someone was injured or killed, the guilty person would have to pay weregild as restitution to the victim’s family or to the owner of the property
  • The payment of weregild was an important legal mechanism in early Germanic society
  • Another common form of legal reparation at this time was blood revenge
  • Payments were typically made to the family or to the clan, no distinction was made between murder and manslaughter until later when instituted by the Holy Roman imperial law in the 12th cent.
  • Weregild payments were gradually replaced with capital punishment, starting in and around the 9th century, and ceased almost entirely after the 12th century

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