Price of Frisian life in Christian laws

both within OL texts as in relation to other traditions
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Nordic
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Price of Frisian life in Christian laws

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This weregild blood money thing comes from about AD 600s Christian Ripuarian Franks. Thematically this all may tie unto the Liko's AD 800s letter about Frankish priests and kings:
For our beloved ancestors’ sake, and for the sake of our precious freedom, a thousand times I beg you — dearest —1 to never let the eyes of a monk pass over these writings. [...] To gain rich endowments, they collaborate with the puppet kings, who pay them well. (Source: OL 00)
Wikipedia claims on Weregild that:
Weregild payment was an important legal mechanism in early Germanic society [...] No distinction was made between murder and manslaughter until these distinctions were instituted by the re-introduction of Roman law in the 12th century [...] Payment of the weregild was gradually replaced with capital punishment due to Christianization (source: Wikipedia on Weregild)
...I'm not personally so sure of that. The claim is at odds with the likes of OL, Norse sagas and Tacitus' Germania where the punishment by killing or mutilation of wealthy upper class citizens (who were able to pay) is an everyday punishment form. I'm inclined to think the Weregild fine was in reality in addition to the actual crime punishment, if applicable. So if somebody killed by error (accident) someone, or in unclear situation where there was not witness to issue of who attacked first and who defended himself, they could get away by paying the weregild alone. But if somebody killed purposefully, the would both pay the weregild fine, or have it taken from criminal's relatives' purses, and have the actual punisment handed out (jailing, torture, mutilation, death penalty and hiding of memory). This understanding make more sense to me in light of the actual primary sources and also culturally.

The law code uses as value units Solidi gold coins and Denari silver coins, of which came the Arabic Dinar, very common currency also in Viking era Nordic countries. The values are:
If any Ripuarian kills a Frankish stranger, let him be held liable for two hundred solidi [200 gold coins].

[...]

If any Ripuarian slays or kills an Alamannian, Frisian, Bavarian, or Saxon stranger, let him be held liable for twice eighty solidi [160 gold coins].

If anyone kills a free cleric, let him be held liable for twice fifty solidi [100 gold coins].

[...]

If anyone kills a bishop, let him be fined thrice three hundred solidi [300 gold coins.]

If anyone kills the fetus within the body of a woman or a new born child before he has a name, let him be heldliable for twice fifty solidi [100 gold coins]. And if he kills the mother as well as the fetus, let him be fined seven hundred solidi [700 gold coins].
(Source: James Pierce Barefield, The Ripuarian code a translation with intoduction (1958)
Thus we see that the law code gave emphasis on protection of pregnant women, high-level clergy and various Germanic peoples by their closeness to the Franks. This law-code seems to balance between Germanic Frankishness and Christianity religion. For comparison reasons we have from the same law code prices of various things, allowing to see how valuable those gold coins amounts really were:
  • healthy, horned cow 1 gold coin
  • healthy stallion horse 3 gold coins
  • sword and sheath 7 gold coins
  • metal body armour 12 gold coins
  • decorated helmet 6 gold coins
  • trained hawk 12 gold coins.
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