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“Section XLVI: Cases where the death of an official is not fatal.”

Huh. That is some creative lawyering right there.

Apparently stallions can also have wergild values. And here you thought the price of a man based on his station in life was insulting. Now let’s give his price compared to that of a horse. (Wer = ‘man’, gild = ‘money’. In medieval Germanic cultures, wergild was the value placed on the life of a person, and the restitution for crimes against that person were reckoned as a percentage of that amount.)

I think that’s the first time I’ve actually seen someone use the term interbellum. I’m going to go do a little happy dance now.

Jeez, even regular horses have wergild. But less than a stallion, because obviously a plain horsey horse doesn’t have the same sort of status. I shall have to verify whether this business of horse-wergild is the original or a translation thing.

Or perhaps it’s a matter of werehorse-gild, which would be much more interesting. Like my translation last week, “When a woman walks away from the grave…” For about five minutes, I was absolutely certain that the passage was about vampires, or perhaps succubi, and my research had just gotten a whole lot more interesting. It turned out to be about a widow walking away from the grave from her dead husband, but ever since then I’ve had an eye out for odd supernatural happenings being treated in these law codes. I mean, dipping a defendant’s hand in boiling water to see how fast God makes it heal is treated as a normal legal procedure, so I’m not sure matter-of-fact references to supernatural beings should be much more of a shock. I also badly want to write a story about medieval legal proceedings involving vampires and werehorses. Which just goes to show how far gone I already am in my research, or perhaps in general.

Have a good weekend, and don’t let the werehorses bite.