As defined by the Cleasby & Vigfusson Old Norse to English dictionary:
- ja, m. the chief-defendant or prosecutor in an Icel. lawsuit in the time of the Commonwealth. It seems to have meant originally head, chieftain, princeps. A standing word in the Grágás and the SagaS. As to the form, the older one is that which preserves the j in the terminations, gen. dat. acc. aðilja, plur. -jar, acc. -ja, dat. -jum. The Grágás constantly employs this form. The Njála and some of the Sagas drop the j and write aðila etc. In the Grágás aðilja seems to occur as an indecl. word—at least four times in the Kb.—used as nom. pl.: but as -ar in old MSS. is frequently marked by a single ‘a’ with a little stroke (a-), this may be a misinterpretation. The indeclinable form occurs in the Kb. (Þ. Þ.) 25 and 109 (only preserved in the Kb.); Kb. 147, 170 has aðilja, where the Sb. has in both passages aðiljar: cp. however guðsifja and -bræðra. There is a distinction between a sóknar-aðili or sakar-aðili, prosecutor, and a varnar-aðili, defendant. Either with gen. or prep. at, varnar-a., sóknar-a., sakar-a.; or inversely, a. sakar, a. varnar, a. frumsakar, Kb. 42, 124; a. máls, 126; a. vígsakar, in a case of manslaughter, 167; or vígsakar a. (often); a. fésakar, in a lawsuit about compensation, 123; a. legorðssakar, case of legorð, 194: with at, varnir þær er hann er aðili at, 175; aðili at legorðs sekt, App. iv. 46, Grág. Kb. 15, 211 ; cp. also § 58, p. 103: hann er aðili at sök, bæði sækjandi ok seljandi, chief-plaintiff, either for carrying it on himself or by a delegate, Kb. 208. In the case of a delegate being the aðili, the challenge of jurors and judges on account of relationship was to be made in respect to the chief aðili, not the delegate, Kb. 127.
Possible runic inscription in Younger Futhark:ᛅᚦᛁᛚᛁ
Younger Futhark runes were used from 8th to 12th centuries in Scandinavia and their overseas settlements
- et cetera.
- Iceland, Icelander, Icelanders, Icelandic.
Works & Authors cited:
- Grágás. (B. I.)
- Konungs-bók. (B. I, C. I, etc.)
- Staðarhóls-bók. (B. I.)
Also available in related dictionaries:
This headword also appears in dictionaries of other languages descending from Old Norse.