Glossary

Atheling – A man of royal blood; a prince – usually the firstborn son of a king.

Danelaw – The body of laws in force in the northeast of England where the Danes settled in the 9th century; also the part of England under this law.

Goði – Old Norse term for a heathen priest.

Handfasting – A covenant or contract, especially a betrothal, usually completed by a handclasp or tying together of hands.

Hide – A unit of land measurement of approximately 120 acres (or the amount of land needed to support a single household). 100 hides make up a hundred.

Housecarl – A member of the household troops or bodyguard of a Danish or early English king or noble.

Hundred – An administrative division of an English county; 1 hundred equals approximately 100 hides (1 hide = the amount of land needed to support a single household).

Jomsviking – Semi-legendary order of Viking mercenaries.

Manor – The mansion of a lord with the land belonging to it.

Mjolnir – The hammer of Thor, god of Thunder.

Norn – Any of three goddesses of fate, the goddess of the past (Urd) the goddess of the present (Verdandi) and the goddess of the future (Skuld).

Shire – Administrative division made up of between 2 and 20 hundreds; administered on behalf of the crown by a shire-reeve.

Thegn – A member of the aristocratic class of men ranking between earls and freemen granted lands by the king or by lords for military service.

Valhalla – The hall of Odin into which the souls of heroes slain in battle are received.

Valkyries – The warrior maidens who bring the souls of slain warriors to Valhalla.

Wergeld – The amount of money fixed as compensation for the murder or disablement of a person; amount determined on the basis of rank and extent of injury.

Witan – The members of the national council.

Wite – A fine imposed by a king or lord on a subject who has committed a serious crime.

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