History: weregeld

Posted on Sun 09 April 2023 in history

Literally, "money for a man." In Germanic law most crimes were treated personally, with punishment meted out directly by a person's family. The system of weregeld payments was orchestrated as a reaction to the heavy toll that was sometimes extracted by grieving family members who wished to receive retribution for their lost relative. Weregeld amounted to a fine where the guilty party would pay a fixed sum in retribution to the family of the victim.